Glimpses of a Shattered Bangalore,

for the 2nd Anniversary of "India Hello, Bangalore Walla, Namaskara!"

Richard's Town and St. John's Hill

This is one of the most elegantly designed houses in Richard's Town, waiting for the builders hammer to fall on it. It has unique arches in the drive-way which reminds one of the Mysore Tobacco bungalow on Richmond Road. Just around the corner, (below) is Tommy D'aguier in front of his house with his playful dog, on Viviani Road. The adjacent house on Cookeson Road which has the same carpentry woodwork on the front trellis as Tommy's house, apparently the houses were built at the same time. Strangely, the number of houses that gardens can be found in this area is not very high in proportion to the size of the properties, although some have maintained very artistically laid out ones. One must remember that every bungalow traditionally had a self-respecting garden attached in the 'Good Old Days', today the concepts are different with different priorities with a different generation that now looks to 'divide and concrete', which changes the whole complexion of that tradition.

Tommy A'aguier's The Nest

St. John's Hill is situated to the South of a residential location called Cleveland Town. It is a fairly large and populous section of Bangalore and was inhabited by a large number of European and Eurasians (also known as Anglo-Indians), with neat cottages and the spire of St. John's Church rising up in their midst, in the good old days gave the ambiance of an English Village (today it is far from a pretty sight). The houses were ideal for the middle class people, and behind the European sector, one can find the 'servants' village with small houses very close to each other. Something unique in design of these little houses is that they are not similar to to any other servants quarters in Bangalore. Perhaps it is because they may have been built later than the other existing ones found in Neelsandra and Austin Town, or other places.

To the North-East of St. John's Hill lies the burial grounds at Kulpully. The Protestant Cemetery, which is in charge of the Chaplain of St. John's Church, contained a monument in red granite erected by the Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO's) of the 42nd Company, Royal Engineers, to their comrades who died in peace and war. This monument has been moved to the Museum and Archives Building of the Madras Engineers Group (MEG) and preserved there, but the monument seems to be white not red as reported by JW Morris in 1905. Some of the tombstones date back to 1868. The late General Cleveland (after whom Cleveland Town was named) lies buried here along with his wife. The inscription on his tomb and his wife's are as follows: "John Wheeler Cleveland, Senior General in Her Majesty's Indian Army, who, after a service of 75 years, during which he took part in the first Burma War, and afterwards held all the highest commands in the Madras Presidency, died at Bangalore on the 1st November, 1883, in his 92nd year", "Louisa Elisabeth Cleveland, 31st October 1874. Aged 77, for 59 years the beloved wife of General John Wheeler Cleveland." , and I guess from where Wheeler Road got it's name too. The Catholic Cemetery which adjoins the Protestant Cemetery, is not was well maintained, but has a grotto which contains a beautiful life like representation of the Crucification. Both the Cemeteries are worth a visit if you would like to search for your ancestors. For the Protestant Cemetery, Admiral OS Dawson, 32 Viviani Road, would be the ideal person to contact for information, and you would have to meet the Parish Priest of St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral for the Catholic one. There is a whole Page on Internet with photographs dedicated to cemeteries of Bangalore which I request you to visit. It is called the 'Forgotten Soldier's' Home Page.

Cleveland Town and Fraser Town

Goodwill Girl's High School, on Promenade Road, St. John's Hill, the school was earlier known as the Wesleyan Mission School, and Rev. Goodwill was the Principal. The date given on the wall below the name shows 1855! I need to check up on this, as it couldn't be older than Frazer Town itself! Cleveland Town lies to the north-east of the Cantonment Railway Station, and North of St. John's Hill. It was said to be one of the most healthy and 'cheerful' localities of Bangalore, with good houses and tolerably wide and straight roads. Benson Town lies across the railway tracks, and is similar to Cleveland Town in description.

Cole's Park, situated to the West of St. John's Hill, once a beautiful Park where the residents of the area could spend many a pleasant evening, and with a Bandstand where the Band of the Bangalore Rifle Volunteers played, now renamed as 'Freedom Fighters Park'! At one stage this Park was falling into a garbage heap, now those that maintain the Park have done a fairly good job to keep it clean and neat, although there is quite a bit of encroachment. Can one imagine that this 'Park' had three tennis courts, and one of these was used by the Y.W.C.A. Club in that area.. When one walks along Coles Road, at the junction of Mosque Road, you will see presently the ruins of an old house (below), which is quite questionable, as to what are the shades for? there could have been windows and a door that opened onto the road? The ledges seem to cover openings that are bricked up, if it is windows, it is very low to ground level, I still have to come across someone who can tell me what it is all about.

Frazer Town and Cleveland Town, some more roads ...

Nutharpanrady is an area North East of Frazer Town , bordered by Wheeler Road and Mosque Road, that still has a few vintage houses seen below. The Buddhist Society building has a date of 1907, another beautiful house seen below is found on the back roads. I never saw this house before, and only by chance did I notice it when my daughter Joanne and I were going around the Buddhist building. The photographs found on this page have been taken by Joanne, who seems to have a flair for photography, and all future photos will probably be taken by her. Some of the photographs have their individual comments when you look at their properties.

This strange narrow house, has the Mysore Peacock emblem on the top of the building.

Madavaraya modr road, Dispensary, a very large building dating 1909 House with a dome on Madavaraya Modulair Road, this could have belonged to someone related to the Mosque at the corner of the road
House on Ahmed Sait road called 'Constance' another house on Ahmed Sait road that is from the past
House on Ahmed Sait road belong to the Roberts family. Mr. Roberts was one of the few who wrote to me to photograph his house. The Mangaram family residence, at the top of Mosque Road
Muslim Boy's school on Mosque road

Wheeler Road and Frazer Town ...

The General Bazaar, Narayan Pillai Street, Blackpully ....

Malabar Boarding House on the right attached to the Mosque This building is definately older that the date of the board of the Society that is using it. Located on the cross road of Narayan Pillai Street.

The Hindu Balika Patasala is one of the very old schools for women, and is located on one of the parallel roads to Commercial Street

A view of the Hindu Balika School taken from across the road at the back
The Hindu Balika printing press The Methodist Mission High School

The General Bazaar is the most densely populated part of the town, and lies south of St.John's Hill. The Market is in the North, and Ulsoor Lake touches it on the East. This locality is inhabited by local people , in the past referred to a 'natives', and could be quite unhealthy in the hot season because of closeness of buildings, dirty streets and drains. There is so much of history and old buildings in this area and will take some time to cover. Being in the heart of a bazaar area, the roads are a little cramped and full of slush when it rains. It does remind one of Ulsoor area, where the houses are slightly elevated perhaps because of the water collection during the rains. In this area, one can find wholesale shops, granaries, cloth and carpet depots, local banks, jeweler's shops, in fact there is a road called 'Jewelers Street' that bisects Commercial Street, and parallel to Narayan Pillai Street. Nothing much has changed since the Colonial days except that some of the old houses have been demolished, and the area is more crowded than ever. There are many Mosques and Temples, and the architectitutre can be quite confusing, because Mosques look like Temples and vice versa.

Adjoining the General Bazaar, one can find the Cantonment Bazaar, which was mainly for the local people, and is situated in the valley north of Infantry Road. It contains a well stocked market known as The New Market, which we refer today as Russel Market, and which was once maintained by a European Sergeant. The Bowring Civil Hospital and Thumboo Chettiar Dispensary, the Lady Curzon Hospital for Women ad Children, and Sivaganga Ummal's Maternity Hospital, and quite a number of shops that once sold English goods fill the area.

To the West of the General Bazaar lies Blackpully, a very old 'native' suburb. Because of it's congested set-up, it was prone to epidemics and at one time there was a proposal to even re-locate the area being a potential health hazard. Blackpully has one of the finest Roman Catholic Churches in South India, called St. Mary's Basilica, known for it's architecture, and has an annual feast on 8th September which is celebrated by all the people in the locality and around, and draws lakhs of pilgrims on that day. It is a location for many a miraculous healing, and has a deep spiritual background to it.

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