Secret tunnels discovered in Seringapatam

Local lore has it that Tipu Sultan shared a close relationship with Lord Sri Ranganatha Swamy and had constructed a fairly big tunnel connecting his palace to the temple. He had also constructed other small tunnels to be used during war time emergencies.

Officials of the Indian Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) claimed on Tuesday that they’ve unearthed at least five underground ancient tunnels in the town once ruled by the Mysore Wodeyar dynasty and Tipu Sultan.

Director of Archaeology and Museums Dr. R. Gopal inspecting the tunnel discovered recently at the Gajendra Moksha kalyani near the Ranganathaswami temple in Srirangapatna.

Dubbed the most “sensational archaeological discoveries” in the history of Srirangapatna, the tunnels lend credence to untold stories of how they were used by members of the royal family and their military generals.

The first tunnel, which measured 3ft in diameter, was found by workers on January 29, 2013 while reviving a Gajendra Moksha holy pond near the famous Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple. ASI officials visited the spot and took up excavation work. A day later, workers discovered another four tunnels.

“We’ve found underground tunnels which are interlinked and diversify in various directions. As of now, we cannot say what these tunnels are, their usage and when they were constructed. It will need more time,” said an officer, pleading anonymity.

According to officers, the first tunnel found near Ranganatha Swamy temple may have been used to draw water from the Bangara Doddi Canal to fill the pond. However, the reasons for constructing the other tunnels, found near Tipu’s Palace, are yet to be established, they said.

“All the tunnels were found very close to Tipu’s Palace and Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple. Unearthing of these tunnels could mean many historical tales were not just fiction,” an officer said.

Reference: Times of India, B’lore Edition, 31 January, 2013
The Hindu, B’lore Edition, 2 February, 2013

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About Olikara

An engineer, history buff, collector of South Indian antiques.
This entry was posted in Tipu Sultan & his times and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Secret tunnels discovered in Seringapatam

  1. runjeetsingh says:

    Wow! Great news! I always think that you rarely hear of any notable Archaeological finds’ in India, or am I mistaken?

    • olikara says:

      Runjeet,
      A lot of such discoveries keep happening but the ASI very rarely manages to ‘close’ the case or dig deeper into the mystery. The reasons are primarily lack of funding, staff and even interest.
      N.

      • runjeetsingh says:

        What a shame – you may have heard about the discovery of the remains of Richard III in England in 2012, well to illustrate your point – about ‘closing’ the case, the University of Leicester who led the dig have now begun a second dig at the same site, and are on the verge of further discovery’s. http://www.le.ac.uk/richardiii/

        I am sure India will get there one day – what about independent / private ‘treasure hunters’ – I bet India would be a dream for those with metal detectors!! The Staffordshire hoard was made by a private individual. http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/

  2. Murugan says:

    Hi Runjeet, What makes you think that there is a dearth of treasure hunters and metal detectors here. We even have swamijis who dream up locations of buried treasures!

  3. yarlagadda police says:

    Tunnels are also equal to treasures. Indian turism department has to take up the identifying and cleaning work of Indian ancient tunnels and keep them for public’s view.

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