Max Mueller Bhavan, along with two heritage architects, Kripa and Pankaj, had organized a heritage walk in Malleswaram this time, so off we went last Saturday.
It was on the way there that my S3 fell-and-broke! Divya generously lent me her S5 and I used my SD card and took the photographs. Thank you, Divya!
The buildings that were identified and shown as part of the walk were truly heritage landmarks….the only question being, how many of them will survive even the next ten years!
One building, however, has been converted to a heritage hotel, and is in great shape. Here’s the Malleswaram sunset over the Villa Pottipatti , it has eight bedrooms named after various saree weaving centres :
The starting point was given as "St.Peter’s Seminary", and it took , Divya, and me quite a while to find it, but it was really beautiful set in an arcadian backdrop of large trees:
We saw a short documentary on the history of the Seminary, and we were walked around the grounds, and then went to the Malleswaram Women’s Society Building:
Most of the Malleswaram roads are much narrower than contemporary roads in Basavangudi, and the bungalows nestle amidst large, spreading mango and neem trees….
The building in front houses the studio of the film personality, M S Sathyu, as well as the office of the Crafts Council of Karnataka:
We then went to see the ancient temple of Kadu Malleswara (kAdu= forest, mallEswarA=god who is expert at wrestling) which gives its name to the neighbourhood. Though there is a new, glorious-technicolour gOpuram coming up, the temple itself is redolent of mellow age:
We saw the small temple chariots on the road outside the temple:
We then walked past the narrow roads and steps that led past the Seva Sadan orphanage that Ammin Iyengar had set up so many years ago:
We also walked past "Vema House", where the family of Venkat Prasanna Krishna has been living for close to a hundred years! The Communications/News Department (Varthey Elake) is functioning on the ground floor:
We then came to look around the Villa Pottipatti, and it is exquisitely maintained!
Then we trooped off to the house of Ammini Iyengar and her family. It’s called "Kanya" (young girl!) and functions as both home and saree boutique.
Smt Vimala Rangachar talked about the past and for a while, we were transported to a more gracious time!
She showed us the old puja room, where, earlier, a priest would come every day to conduct the worship!
Our last stop was the home of Sir C V Raman; here’s his name on the gate, still intact!
This house is in large, spacious grounds and gives us an idea of how each bungalow was set in a very large garden.
By this time, it was nearly dark, and Mohan suggested that having seen so many heritage buildings, we could not go home without visiting another ancient place…the Central Tiffin Room:
Now it’s called Sri Sagar…but alas, it was being painted, inside and out, and they told us it would open (naturally…Murphy’s Law!….the next day!) So we went to another landmark, the Janata Hotel, instead, in the heart of Malleswaram market. By this time, I had returned the S5 to Divya, so didn’t take any more photographs!
We returned home with our eyes and minds still in the past…. ⊕
I was part of the Bangalore City Project crew that organised the Malleswaram Walk.
You will find the corrected details of Vema Lodge at http://www.bcp.wikidot.com/city-walks:malleswaram
We met the current residents at Vema Lodge and have posted the correct information as given by them on the website
Also, Seva Sadan was founded by Lady Raman and Smt. Rajivibai.
A lot of the histories are oral and difficult for us to clarify. We are glad that people have volunteered the accurate information and apologize for the confusion.
After I posted this photo-account, I received this email from Venkat Prasanna Krishna:
Feedback from Prasanna Krishna (firstname.lastname@example.org
On article: Heritage Walk in Malleswaram Organized by Max Mueller
Deepa, Vemma Lodge does not belong to Seshadari Iyer. It belongs
to us and we have been staying there close to 100 years . Please
remove this from your website immediately . And its true that the
ground portion has been rented to ” Vartha Elake” Please verify
the facts before publishing Thanks, Venkat Prasanna Krishna
I emailed him back immediately:
Thank you for the prompt feedback.
My heartfelt apologies for the factual error. It will be corrected immediately.
I was informed by our guide that it was “what was left of Seshadri Iyer’s property”. I am very sorry for this piece of misreporting.
However, the email bounced, saying that the email id was “invalid”
I corrected the post immediately.
VEMA House decription itriuged me a bit.
Sir. M. Sehsadri Iyer was the Diwan of Mysore from 1883 to 1901. During this period he built the Kumara Krupa Mansion for his personal use. Diwan and his wife are reported to have died there. Later around 1935 his descendants sold it to the Maharaja as they were in some financial problems. Malleswaram itself was an extension planned by the Late Diwan around 1899.
So it is surprising VEMA House is alluded as Diwan’s House ! Sir.M. Seshadri Iyer perhaps had the longest reign as the Diwan of Mysore and was a Builder of Modern Mysore with such gigantic projects like Cauvery Power project, Vani Vilas Sagar etc. He had four sons and two of them served with some distinction as officers of the Maharajs’s government. It is possible VEMA house belonged to one of them.
Hope some old Malleswaram resident will throw some light on this