Two horse polo posts believed to have been built by medieval kings in India have been demolished, it has been reported.
The goal markers have stood on vacant land near the centre of the city of Bidar for centuries, and were considered part of the region’s rich cultural history.
Thehindu.com reports that a local sugarcane grower has said he was responsible for their removal.
“They were not historical monuments,” he told the website, asserting that snakes were nesting inside the posts.
The two polo pillars were part of a set of four that marked the goals on a polo field that measured more than 590 yards long. Each of the pillars was said to have a circumference of 16 feet and stood seven feet tall.
A local book, Bidar: Its history and monuments, said the pillars were called Ran Khambh, meaning war stones. Sport was an important part of local culture and was likened to the combat of war.
Local authorities told the website they would be investigating the removal of the structures.
Two or Horse polo posts, built by the medieval era Kings, that were a reminder of Bidar’s rich cultural history, have disappeared now. They were on a piece of empty land, bang in the middle of the city on Udgir Road.
Venkatrao Biradar, a former convict – turned farmer who grows sugarcane on that land, has claimed responsibility for demolishing them. “That is not a historical monument. People keep talking anything that comes to mind. We brought down those two pillars as snakes were nesting inside,” he told The Hindu.
He had served jail term on charges of killing Vijay Kumar Nagamarapalli over a dispute about the land. The land dispute has not been settled fully yet. The land borders the Indian Air Force signal centre on one side.
They were part of the set of four pillars, put up on two sides out of a large polo field of over 590 yards. The pillars were huge, with a circumference of 16 feet, a height of 7 feet and a girth of eight feet. The other two pillars are behind the new bus stand.
The poles were featured in The Hindu on February 23, 2014. The Archeological survey of India or the state archaeology department are yet to recognise them as monuments.
In the book “Bidar: Its history and monuments”, the late Ghulam Yazdani, former director of archaeology with the erstwhile Hyderabad Nizam state, referred to them as Ran Khambh. He says the four pillars on two ends of a large playing field. But they were called Ran Khambh, (war stones) as sport was so important to them that it was likened to war, he says in the book. The book marks them as medieval era structures, but does not clearly say who built them.
Heritage lovers rue the destruction of the monument. Damage or destruction of monuments, even unrecognized, is sad and unfortunate. It speaks about the need for recognizing such structures and protecting them, said Basavaraj Biradar, writer and historian.
P.C. Jaffer, Deputy Commissioner, said he would look into all issues related to the structures.