P L Udaya Kumar, a 55-year-old ex-techie has been on a mission for five years — to save the millennia-old inscription stones from across Bengaluru city.

Most of these stones are unknown and forgotten, fading away with time, and taking along with them their rich history.

Udaya takes these stones, preserves them and converts them into books enriched with the area’s history.

“These books do not tell you stories of kings and queens of the city, but the local people and the ultra-local area,” says Udaya.

It all started in 2018 when a friend of Udaya told him about an inscription that has his native village’s name inscribed on it.

Curiosity struck and Udaya decided to find the stone. He eventually found a book called ‘Epigraphy of Karnataka’ which mentions the stone’s location.

However, he could locate the stone. I was sad and disturbed that the only proof of the village being so old is probably gone forever,” he recalls.

This pushed him on a journey to find more such stones and save them from being misplaced.

So far, Udaya has saved more than 300 inscription stones from withering away by digitally imprinting and recording them in a book series titled Bengaluru Itihaasa Vaibhava (The Historical Glory of Bengaluru) under the Mythic Society Bengaluru Inscription Project

“We scan the stone inch by inch with the scanner and take high-resolution 3D impressions. Unlike a photograph, one can clearly see the inscription from the digital impression of the stone on a computer,” he says.

Additionally, Udaya has made a systematic map of Bengaluru city and placed the stones in order of priority.

As for the future, he wishes to expand his work to other cities and introduce people to the history of the land they live in.