Some Places in Bangalore that refused to die ...

Being brought up in Bangalore... mostly around Brigade Road, "Brigades" ... "Commercials", " MG's", "Impees", "City", to name a few... Cinema Halls were abundant ... if they ran out of tickets in one you could easily trot down to the next and so forth (Please Click on the Blue 'hyper-texted' words in the paragraphs Below and you will get Photographs)...BRV with it's lovely chandeliers (understand it was a dance floor before) had all the James Bond movies, on the West of Spencer's one used to find Liberty ( today, try Handloom House! Before it was called Liberty, it was The Globe, and perhaps before that it was the Crystal Picture Palace!), Plaza (wow! that one is still around ... how much more time!!), New Opera, is at the bottom of Brigade Road although Brigade Road does run up to Shoolay Circle... now there is no circle where Shoolay Circle is except traffic lights where it crosses Richmond Road... there is a circle near Castle Street before the old Shoolay Police Station (1910) that has been flattened out..., New Empire does not function.. is a set up for displaying clothes ..., Imperial (Impees!) shows shady movies!! Rex is still around ... Clubs like Bangalore Club, Catholic Club, Century Club, Bowring Institute ( Bowring now refuses to let anyone photograph the beautiful building because of some newspaper report that they are going to demolish it... this is indeed sad, as it is such a part of Bangalore history!..), Greens, Ye Olde Bulle & Bushe (the original location where Sir Winston Churchill played billiards was very close to Eves Beauty Parlour opposite St. Patrick's Church. They had shifted the billiard room further up the road later. Understand that when they started digging up the foundations of the old site, they found a cellar of beer bottles... empty ones though!! This is also the place were the famous hockey coach Alan McBride and his sister Dolly stayed till recently, this building has collapsed in the September '96 rains). Beck's, etc. There was Metro Bar & Billard Parlour, ( now Tom's Bar, too late it's gone, it's a "Prestigeous" spot!!), 3-Aces, Princes, Kwalities, Supermarket & Breeze (both demolished). Other still existing landmarks are the Bull Temple at Basavanagudi, the Gangadharesvara Cave Temple, built in Kempe Gowda's period in mid 16th Centuary, the Tippu Sultan's Summer Palace, the Ground Level water Tank on Palace road, the Mysore Maharaja's Bangalore Palace which is now a bone of contention as to ownership... everyone wants a piece of the action... Cunningham Road, Palace Road and Infantry Roads have some really old buildings, also on Lalbagh Road, Richmond Institute now the Frank Anthony's Junior School on Wellington Street. There is a magnificent building tucked away in an obscure place opposite the Race Course that is used by the Post & Telegraphs as a Sorting Office. Those looking for Blue Moon and Blue Diamond Theaters are in for a surprise (Galaxy & Lido are is waiting in the wings), yes, you are right they have been demolished for posh office buildings, the old concrete is still kicking in the dust and really giving them a tough time to die and break up! Lets take you back into time and walk around South Parade. I feel that many of the newspapers are reluctant to take up the issue of "heritage buildings" because they loose out good property if people take an interest in the buildings. Also I think there is move by newspapers to refrain from taking up these issues because builders advertise with them, and that probably puts pressure. No builder has ever come forward to save a good building, completely ignoring MY APPEAL to photograph them before they destroy the house, which I sent to all the newspapers sometime back. One can never dream of it, Bangalore, Where are your Roses?". In the coffee table book "City Beautiful" brought out by late T.P. Issar, you may be able to find some of the old buildings in they haydays! This book is a Bangalorewalla collector's 'must'.

>>>>>Have You seen This Part of Bangalore?<<<<<

Brigade Road (Brigade's), M.G. Road (MG's or MGeez!), South Parade have all changed their looks and one really cannot be living in the past... a few like Higginbottams, Youth Hostel, and some of the earlier mentioned and a few houses on the opposite side of MG Road near East Parade Church are classics. Brigade Road has very few oldies, like Cauvery Arts & Crafts Emporium, the Post Office which still bears the British Government Coat of Arms (1914), Spinker & Co. (now used to sell discounted shoes), the oldest building spotted on Brigades is a small shop just opposite where the old Shoolay Police Station used to be called New King (1901), some others of the " 1910, (another view of the 1910 buildings being compressed by huge unaesthetically designed buildings), 1924, 1930 " era are scattered about, the other old building of the Louis Boarding Home, which was in St. Joseph's Commerce College campus is brought down some years ago. Around Commercial Street area we find the YWCA on Infantry Road that must date very old, and dedicatedly looked after by Miss. Ramsbottom, a fine old lady in her 80's, Carlton Lodge opposite used to be famous for visitors to Bangalore has given way to Tycoons or Sapana..? .. In the early days shopping was very simple, for fancy items go to Cliftons, for clothes go to Brown, Green Shop or Fazals, for shoes of to Reliance, Rubin Moses (now has some shops in Canada), Leongs, for toys go to Toyland ( it carried some quality items, I still have a set of wickets from way back from the late 50's !! must be made of teak!! my children use them today!), for blankets it was only Binny's, Bata's came in later.... now it's amazing how one can shop on Commercial Street without getting lost.. one can never really find what one is looking for... it's a Mall! especially with no more parking on it!! M.G. Road and Brigade's had Basco's for Ham (Omeer Building), Nilgiris for pastries, Crown (Crowns) Cafe for puffs ( it was an exclusive meeting place for courting couples!), Bangalore Ham Shop (Andrews Building) for sausages, Lakeview for Icecreams, EGK or GK Vales, Albert Raj for photos, India Coffee House for real coffee, pubs were not heard of, but Bars were .. some of them are already mentioned earlier, there was Fatima's (Fat's) or Tom's Cafe (Toms) or Crystal Restaurant. Victoria Hospital & St.Martha's Hospital (History). Let's not to leave out the famous Victoria Hospital (foundation laid in 1897, and opened by Lord Curzon the Viceroy and Governor-General of India in December 1900), and the Vani Vilas Hospital, the Minto Ophthalmic Hospital (built in 1913), YMCA, South Parade Grounds looks a little different with the introduction of Field Marshal Carippa Park at one end of the Grounds (opposite the Oriental Building), the Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium looks a little out of place with it's tall floodlights and gantrys put up for the TV coverage of the last World Cup! The Kamandheru Restuarant on MG's has now become a "Prestige Maidan" place, gone is the family atmosphere it once had. The only old Family Restaurant around is Victoria Hotel (just opposite the Mayo Hall) run by Mr. John & Merril Motha, that serves great Kerala food, due to pressure from the police, the main entrance is now on Commissariat Road. Church Street does have one or two old houses, as well as St. Mark's Road with it's India Garage, The spooky looking Bajaj godown ( formerly the Bangalore Post building, perhaps The Bangalore Spectator, before that) on Museum Road, Nanking Restaurant on Grant Road (gone!!) (now known as Vittal Mallya Road) looks closed. On St. Mark's Road one can still find the stone Trac & Book House, Bible Society Buildings, Koshy's, the "Jewel Box", and the "British Library" that was a meeting place for many ! "See you at BC"!! used to be the password, because the library I think was called the British Council Library earlier. Chester Allen used to have his auction set up next to Sadwanis on the top of Brigade Road. Ronald Pacheco held his Auction on Alexander Street, Ince held his on Wellington Street. These Auctions were a good pass-time. Items used to circulate through the town. Nobody worried, it was part of the fun! Now that has all gone. Brigade Road also connects up Church Street (leading up to St. Mark's Church), Rest House Road (lots of old houses on this road, all are being knocked down like nine pins). Anyone looking for Blue Moon or Blue Diamond will not find them, they have been leveled, guess with the Cable TV boom lots of business was lost. Residency Road (the first British Residency was at the location of the Good Shepherd Convent, which had also housed the Museum and Jail (for thugs, it is said that they were hanged across the road in the compound where St. Joseph's College now stands!! Many a ghost was seen wandering about before the College came up!!), before the Residency went to the Raj Bhavan, the Museum to Kasturba Road, the Jail to Shoolay Police Station, now demolished), Museum Road, Castle Street, Woods Street, Albert Street, Richmond Road where it ends. One of the places that one can remember was Gaylord's a restaurant that had some live music and floor shows, next to that was Panchasheela Pharmacy, these were located where the gates of Mota Arcade are now situated, and The Only Place, was a set of cottages and a homely restaurant that made steak or barbecue, in the compound behind. Monuments and War Memorials in Bangalore can be still found in a few places, however some of them have been destroyed or moved by the Military. One wonders why in the old records there is a reference to "Cenotaph Road" where there is none to be seen (the road on which the Mythic Society, Daly Memorial, St. Martha's Hospital, Y.M.C.A. are located, today it is called Nrupathunga Road). Viewing a photograph published in the Deccan Herald on 21st may, 1994 under the article "Monumental Amnesia" by Suresh Moona, the Cenotaph can be seen very much in the centre of what is called Hudson or Corporation Circle.. (there is no circle but a criss-cross of six roads, where in 1945 when the photograph was said to be taken) there were only three roads going around the monument. The monument was built in memory of Lt. Col. Moorhouse, Capt. Delany and about 50 soldiers who died in the siege in 1791, besides other soldiers who died in different wars with Tipu Sultan till 1799. This was wiped out from memory on 28th October, 1964, even the engraved stones are not to be traced!!. A full detail is in this newspaper article along with photographs of the Madras Pioneers war Memorial on Brigade Road and the Mysore Imperial Troops Memorial near Doordashan Kendra in J.C. Nagar.

Churches were at all corners, All Saint's with it's greenery, Sacred Hearts Church (History) , Methodist Church (now rebuilt), St. Andrew's (History) on Cubbon Road, St. Joseph's Church (Briand Square), St. Paul's near Bowring Hospital on Lady Curzon Road, Trinity Church (the end of MG Road, the start point of many a drag race!!), St.Patrick's Church once a Cathedral (History) under the Archdiocese of Bangalore , St. John's Church (History), Hudson Memorial Church, St. Mary's Basilica just to name a few. We did have a few horse carriages that we went to Lalbagh in, typical Victorian Raj style!! Today they are used for films or weddings. The Little Sisters of the Poor on Hosur Road and The Carmelite Convent on Ali Askar Road are two of the Chapels that I can recount have a history connected with the Foreign Missions of Paris.

Whitefield is another old time settlers site... Winston Churchill is said to have spent some time there at a house called "Waverley Inn" on the Outer Circle now owned by Mrs. Lousie D'Souza... a very pretty house... with a beautiful garden. Whitefield is known for the Joy Icecream Factory, later lots of Industries came up around it, Sai Baba has his set up there with ashram and college, now there is the Software Technology Park modernising the whole place...say what you may, Whitefield has kept a little of it's past, with the Inner Circle and Outer Circle being the original setup. History of Whitefield.

Sports used to be an occasion that everyone got into the act.... the newspapers used to have even the school level matches photo's in them and made it very interesting.... wonder why they stopped.. just the other day I came across some '58 clippings and photos which I sent to Australia.. cannot tell how happy people were to remember their early days... Kantirava Stadium with it's cinder track (now being rebuilt for the Nationals.. and where Kenny Powell was brought up...) for track ... where Leander Paes's father Vece was brought up as one of the City's best all rounders from St. Joseph's Boy's School ... then the still famous Sullivan Grounds for the Hockey Tournaments like the Centenary Shield , Fr. Eric Vaz Memorial, Fr. Mervyn Coelho Trophy, Clarke's. Cricket was on Central College Grounds, Cotton's had their Cottonian Shield on their grounds , St. Joseph's College Hostel Grounds, I'm not too sure about football, perhaps Baldwin had their shield on their grounds. it must have had a place .. before the present stadium on the junction of Magrath Road, Richmond Road and Commissariat Road...it is a monster, Star TV and WWF brought to focus lately.. (for a smirk ...someone remarked that Sullivan Grounds was a Wedding Gift of Major Magrath on his daughter's marriage to Sullivan's son or vice versa.. but Mr. Kora Chandy does not agree to this theory, as he says that Sullivan and Magrath were from different periods of time!) ... this is on the road of the now famous shopping centre called Shoppers Stop .. also the dilapidated football stadium.. some of the great cricketers have their roots in Bangalore, check with Keki B. Tarapore, Salus Nazareth, some of the well known coaches.. We also need to remember one of Bangalore's well known Sports News Reporter, none other than the late Leslie Wilson of the Deccan Herald (Mrs. Wilson still stays opposite the Telegraph Office, in the compound of the famous Hotel of the late 1800's , The Cubbon Hotel). His son Leslie Wilson jr has also taken after him and is presently with Gulf News, Dubai. Looks like I would have to make some changes in the text above... I did see some action shots from school tournaments in the Deccan Herald!! Cheers! Bangalore was also famous for it's Women's Hockey teams.

Education in Bangalore is amongst the best in the Country and World.. with the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, RV College of Engineering, Good Shepherd Convent Schools (History) that once had the Teacher's Training College ( yellow and brown uniform), Sacred Heart's Girls High School, GAS College, Maharani's College, Mount Carmel College (all the beauties come from here!), Jyoti Nivas College, St. John's School, Clarence High School, Frank Anthony Public School, St. Theresa's, St. Francis Xavier's Girl School, St. Germain's School, Goodwill Girl's School, St. Anthony's Boy's School, BMS Engineering College, Sophia Girl's School ( which now has the Notre Dame Junior College for Teacher's Training), King George's (now Bangalore Military School on Hosur Road, where lots of hockey & football tournaments are held, as there are some good grounds in this school), SJ Polytechnic, St. Joseph's Colleges and Schools (History from 1858) which also has a large Old Boy's Association (photo of 1996 meeting), Cathedral School (earlier known as the Cantonment Orphanage, today celebrates130 years!), Bishop Cotton Schools (Girls & Boy's), Baldwin Schools (Girl's & Boy's), National School... St. John's Medical College.. (some of Bangalore's best loved doctors was once at St. John's - Dr. Gerry Mascarenhas, as Dean & Thoracic Surgeon, and also the famous Musician, Dr.Alfred Mascarenhas, also Dean & Surgeon ) just to name a few. I came across a very interesting article in the Deccan Herald, 3 August 96 (Spectrum), by Mr. M. Seshagiri Rao, called "Good Old Bungle-uru!" - a visitor to Bangalore after 45 years ... also a good book for travel through India is called "South Asia Handbook, - Indian Sub Continent" by Trade & Travel Publications ... most of what they say is true and practical for Foreign Travelers to India, and Bangalore too. I have a 1993 Edition ... may be more updated today...!

Hospitals in Bangalore in the 1920's were divided into the Civil & Military Station and the City or Petta. In the C&M Station, there was the Bowring Civil Hospital, Lady Curzon Hospital for Women on Hospital Road near Blackpully and Commercial Street, the Zenana Mission Hospital on Miller's Road. In the City area, was the Victoria Hospital, the Minto, the Maternity Hospital, the Lunatic Asylum, the Leper Asylum, St. Martha's Hospital, The Anglo-Arya Dispensary and Indigenous Hospital. The Red Cross Home on 11 Kensington Road, Bangalore 560 042, opposite the Ulsoor Lake, is for Totally Disabled Ex-Servicemen.


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Thought for the Day:" Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, Fon in the manner their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did they fathers to the false prophets." Holy Bible: Luke 6:20-26



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