Two techies on a mission to ensure future generations have access to the “Inscription Stones”
By Sharathkumar Nair
Bengaluru, April 11, 2019:
The Inscription Stones of Bengaluru is a civic activism project started by two techies, Vinay Kumar, and Uday Kumar, with the sole vision to safeguard and preserve the ancient inscription stones (Shila Shaasanas in Sanskrit) found in and around the city. These stones were lost to the rapid urbanization of the city.
Epigraphia Carnatica, a book written by British author Benjamin Lewis Rice, director of the Mysore Archaeological Department during the British Rule of India, wrote extensively about the inscription stones found in Mysore.
Rice had documented around 9,000 stones in Mysore and 150 stones in Bengaluru in his book. Both Vinay and Uday Kumar were deeply motivated after reading this book and decided to take matters into their hands to preserve these stones.
Both Kumars started their quest to salvage these stones in the city. They are the only links to the great history and culture that has been lost in time. The inscription etched onto these stones gives us a glimpse of the social and cultural life of the people who lived back then.
Out of 150 stones documented in the book, only 30 are left in Bengaluru. The remaining stones were destroyed due to construction activities at the sites. To ensure future generations have access to these stones, Inscription Stones of Bengaluru have created a virtual library using 3D scanning.
“It was heartbreaking for us to find out that only 30 stones have been left out of 150 stones. Once we find an inscription stone, we inform the locals about its cultural importance and build a shelter around the stone to preserve it. It becomes very difficult if anyone wants to study the inscriptions written on it. So, we decided to digitize, so that everybody can have access to them for study and research purposes,” said Vinay Kumar.
“All these stones were massive in size. We had a team of three people who worked for several days to scan them using the 3D scanner to ensure that we capture each and every detail. All the 30 stones have been scanned and can be printed using a 3D printer that can be used for study and research purposes,” said Afreen who works for Altem Technologies, the company who helped in creating 3D scanned images of these stones.
According to Dr. Krishna Murthy, an epigraphist from Bangalore said,” Bengaluru glorious past is written on these stones. The government has not taken any initiative to save them from being destroyed. It is great to see the new generation getting deeply involved in preserving our history. These stones tell a great deal about our ancestors and their achievements. These stones must be preserved in order for the future generation to understand their cultural past.”