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Cannon balls unearthed at Chittoor hospital

Cannon balls unearthed at Chittoor hospital
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Chittoor: In a major find of historical significance, as many as 35 cannon balls were found when workers were digging the ground for laying...

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Chittoor: In a major find of historical significance, as many as 35 cannon balls were found when workers were digging the ground for laying foundation for new buildings at the government hospital here on Wednesday. Hospital head S Sarala confirmed the discovery which was taken to the notice of the government.

They are believed to belong to Nawab's reign in the region and each one weighs about 5 kg. As news spread, a large number of people started flocking to the area to have a look.

The contractors immediately halted the works as rumours were set off that there could be a tunnel beneath old structures. Archaeological Department Conservator at Tirupati, Subbarayalu, opined that unless they examined the find, they would not be able to ascertain to which time they belonged. No official visited the area till the last reports came in.

When the town was once part of the united Tamil Nadu state, Arcad Nawabs used it as their headquarters. The building that houses the hospital was the provincial administrative building then. Hyder Ali had his base in the town for a long time. It is also learnt that Mysore Nawab Tipu Sultan also visited the place a number of times. Even now, some mosques exist on the hospital premises, standing as mute witnesses to the bygone era.

Later, the town came under the British regime and several British officials set up their offices there to conduct their business. In the process, they also demolished a number of buildings of Nawabs and raised new structures. The cannons belonging to the Nawabs were destroyed and their supporting structures razed to erect new ones. However, the cannon balls made of stone were left discarded and they came under the new structures in course of time.

Some foundation stones were also found in the recent decades, testifying that the British officials brought the new buildings to use around 1925. Now, the government has ordered new buildings to be constructed in place of British structures. JCB machines were being used for digging, when the balls were discovered.

Earlier, even less heavy cannon balls were found on the hospital premises during the construction work of a small building.

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