The next time you go past Double Road (KH Road) flyover, you can relive the journeys of these four stalwarts and six more cricket icons to have emerged from the state.Also, it won’t be called Double Road junction below Richmond Circle flyover; instead, it is being aptly renamed Kreeda Junction.
As part of the ‘Brand Bengaluru’ initiative to develop areas under flyovers, 10 murals of the state’s cricket icons, including Roger Binny, Syed Kirmani, V Subramanya, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, and Javagal Srinath, have been readied on the flyover pillars. While celebrating the skill, craft and guile of some of the finest cricketers to have emerged from this state, the murals also commemorate 50 years of Karnataka’s maiden Ranji Trophy triumph.
Outside of M Chinnaswamy Stadium, this is the first such effort in a public space. The development has been conceived and executed by India Rising Trust (IRT), a non-profit, in association with Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
The murals are a culmination of over six weeks of hard labour put in by various stakeholders. The area was first cleaned of garbage and age-old debris, before leaks in the structure were plugged and the entire stretch, including the ceiling, was painted. Digital photographs of the players’ signature shot or bowling action were projected on the pillars and then painted by a team of artists. While the entire area around the flyover has been embellished, the murals give the junction an identity.
Asked why the junction was picked to showcase the sporting heroes, one of the stakeholders said, “The vicinity is a celebration of the city’s sporting culture. Within a 2-km radius, you have Kanteerava Stadium, hockey and football stadiums, M Chinnaswamy Stadium, and the KSLTA (Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association). Also, the stretch leads to some of the city’s prestigious educational institutions which have produced many of the legends.”
Just the beginning?
The stakeholders believe that with the state government showing keen interest in promoting Karnataka’s legacy in public spaces, this is just the beginning.
“Cricket was the first sport we showcased because of the timing factor and also the World Cup. Going forward, we want to bring to the fore the forgotten sporting heroes of the state as well as inspirational champions from varied sports,” pointed out a source.
Aniruddha Abhyankar, chief design officer of IRT, who was instrumental in conceptualising the design, said, “All these years, these pillars were waiting for an identity. I responded to that need through the concept and design. Now Kreeda Junction will surely bring that iconic identity to the vacant and neglected public space. ‘Beauty and neatness commands respect’ is the design principle that I used in the visual design of the space.”
The murals are likely to be inaugurated over the next couple of weeks.