While the Ulsoor Lake/Tank might be famous for its temples, shopping and food destinations, the stretch from Tank Road to Kensington Road is often ignored. Shutterbug Saina Jayapal and scribe L Romal M Singh, walk down roads less travelled to discover these two not-so-popular banks of the water body
Last week we covered one of the most popular banks of the Ulsoor Tank — Annaswamy Mudaliar Road and this week we decided to instead, tread an uncommon path. Tank Road that also originates at Prof. K Venkatachalam circle and follows a right angle, is the access road to the world famous MEG headquarters. The MEG HQ (a picture of which we couldn’t take, owing to security reasons) is a landmark on this picturesque stretch. Here the road takes a sharp right turn and one gets on to Kensington Road that runs all the way down the other bank of the lake, eventually joining the Old Madras Road. The area is famous for renamed roads and while even at present the two roads are individually known as Tank Road and Kensington Road, some modern maps, name the whole stretch as Meanee Avenue Road. What’s in a name you ask? A lot, apparently! At least that’s what our BBMP thinks.
The BBMP has a whole stretch of buildings including a ward office, a community hall, a few local governance offices and even a marriage registration office that are lined up opposite this bank of the lake.
Battle Tank Memorial, Tank Road
This Vijayanta battle tank was built in India, based on a licenced design of the Vickers MK-1. It was the first indigenous tank of the Indian Army. The prototype was completed in 1963 and the tank entered service in 1965. The first few were built by the Vickers in UK, after which production moved to Avadi in Tamilnadu. This tank participated in the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
The Madras Sappers
The Madras Engineer Group (MEG) (Informally known as the Madras Sappers) is a regiment of the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army. The Madras Sappers draw their origin from the erstwhile Madras Presidency army of the British Raj. The Madras Sappers are the oldest regiment of the Corps of Engineers and are headquartered on this stretch of road. They are also the only regiment of the erstwhile Madras Presidency Army to survive the post-1857 reorganizations unscathed. The thambis, as the troops of the Madras Sappers are popularly known, with their hallmark shakos have distinguished themselves in many battlefields around the world for more than 200 years. In World War I they became particularly famous for inventing the mine clearing torpedo that goes by the name of Bangalore torpedo.
Priyadarshini Handlooms, Tank Road
This complex houses three stores of the Priyadarshini Handlooms brand as a part of the Karnataka Handlooms Development Corporation Limited. The complex features stores that stock pure Mysore silk sarees, silk shirts for men and another store for smaller handloom products.
The Ulsoor Park,
This park, a beautiful stretch of well-maintained green features a beautifully landscaped park, centred around a newly installed statue of Swami Vivekananda, a boating facility and views of the lake that will stay with you for eternity. Early mornings are a treat at this venue and a snack store ensures your tummy is satiated too!
Karnataka Sozhia Vellalar Sangam, Tank Road
A sangam meant for the Chozhia Vellalar or Sozhia Vellalar community — this sangam represents this prominent sub-group of the greater Vellalar and Pillai community from Tamil Nadu. The Sozhia Vellalar were the inhabitants of Chola (Chozha) Nadu and were generally landlords and scholars in the Chola Kingdom. A similar group from the Coimbatore region calls themselves the Kongu Vellalar community and both communities have sizeable populations in the Ulsoor area.