Landmarks vanishing in Tirupati

Landmarks vanishing in Tirupati
Decades-old IS Mahal, a film theatre, at Nehru Nagar in Tirupati to disappear soon with civic body taking up road widening works

Many landmarks in the pilgrim city are vanishing one after another thanks to the rapid development of the city.

Tirupati: Many landmarks in the pilgrim city are vanishing one after another thanks to the rapid development of the city. The booming pilgrim economy saw the city is growing leaps and bounds naturally taken its toll. The widening of the roads to cope with manifold increase in vehicular movement in the city resulted in some of the landmarks either removed or relocated while many buildings that remained as landmarks for long too disappearing to give way to modern structures.

The latest one is a cinema hall 'IS Mahal' in Nehru Nagar area of the city which going to disappear soon as the demolishing of the structure is on. Following the crisis gripping the cinema halls nationwide witnessing a recession with the growing domination of small screen coupled with invasive internet easily accessible now thanks to smart phones providing all sorts of entertainment, the owners finding it very difficult to maintain the cinema halls forcing them to close down.

The soaring land value proving fatal for many cinema halls with the owners preferring to dispose them to make good money in real estate. IS Mahal became popular by screening only English films and another cinema hall Jyothi Talkies by its side, screening mostly old Telugu hit movies became landmarks after the two theatres turned popular in the city, since seventies.

The sizable population of students studying in various universities and colleges including professionals preferring IS Mahal to witness English movies as it was in the olden days considered as a status symbol and also elite adding more to the popularity of the cinema hall.

A retired TTD officer Yerram Reddy said that he bunked college at least once in a week to go to IS Mahal to witness 'Cow Boy' pictures. "I was saddened while passing on the road to see the demolishing of the theatre," he said nostalgically. Balasubramanyam of city-based Archaeology Research Group (ARG) said many landmarks disappeared in the road widening and cited 'Mangalivalla Bhavi' a freshwater pond on Kapilatheertham road.

The pond which is as old as the pilgrim city and served the pilgrims going to Tirumala, providing sweet water but dried up later with its springs and replenishing source, a stream by its side covered with concrete, ceased.

It proved a hurdle to civic authorities and also to the residents in the surroundings resulting in its closure in the name of development, he said, seeking the authorities to be more sensitive with regard to historic landmarks in the city to preserve them.

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