By Mahesh Nayak
Mangaluru, February 07, 2020: Subsequent to the reporting of installing ugly 8-foot steel barricade around the historic Sultan Battery, Dr. Shivakant Bajpai, Superintending Archaeologist of ASI Bangalore Circle, visited the archeological site to take stock of the situation.
Earlier Mangalore Today and The Hindu had reported that the historical monument had been rendered an eye sore due to the installation of the barricade disregarding the aesthetics of maintaining an ancient monument. Sultan Battery is one of the two monuments enjoying protection of Archeological Survey of India (ASI) in the city, the other being Mangala Devi Temple.
Dr. Bajpai visited Sultan Battery with K. Gokul Praveen, the ASI’s Junior Conservation Assistant who is based at Karkala. After inspecting the site he instructed the local officers to ensure adequate maintenance and protection to the monument.
Clarifying that ASI was not responsible for installing the barricade, he said that the metal fencing was done by another government agency. “As Sultan Battery enjoys state protection under ASI, I will write to the concerned agency and have this barricade removed. We will also ensure that a new protective structure will come up which will aesthetically match the landscape and enhance the beauty of the place,” he said.
Sultan Battery lies on the banks of River Gurupur. It’s said to have been built by the ‘Tiger of Mysore’ Tipu Sultan in the year 1784 to serve as a naval outpost to prevent enemy ships from moving upstream.
Dr. Bajpai said the barricade might have been installed to protect the monument and prevent vandals from desecrating the structure. He was keen to engage in activities in Mangalore to preserve heritage venues. He held discussions with Niren Jain, convener of Intach Mangalore Chapter and advised him to come up with projects to identify and preserve heritage places in the city.
Mangalore Today had earlier reported that National Monuments Authority (NMA) coming under the Union Ministry of Culture is understood to have installed the steel barricade around Sultan Battery.