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The Raj Bhavan Karnataka

Through the Ages


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I

t is indeed a privilege to be the Governor of a state whose progressive strides are as defining as its growing legacy. This state has lived through the shifting tides of time, holding on to its immortal heritage, and the Raj Bhavan has been, for the past three hundred years, the apex of history and politics. Within the walls of this prestigious institution, the story of Karnataka continues to unfold. The Raj Bhavan is the residence of the head of the State. With distinguished guests of the State visiting the premises, the Raj Bhavan is the figurehead and the symbol of power. The Raj Bhavan provides, apart from the warmth and hospitality that it exudes, a showcase of the State’s culture and heritage. The pages of this elegant book will guide you down the annals of time, to an era when the enterprising pioneers and visionary leaders began sculpting the future of Karnataka from within the hallowed halls of the Raj Bhavan. From the emerald-carpeted gardens to the artefacts of past empires of India, the photographs in the book capture the true essence of a colonial legacy and the new identity of a free nation. This book also offers a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Raj Bhavan, giving an honest representation of the human side of this august institution. It is my belief that this exquisitely produced book will find its place in the historical documentation of Karnataka as an aesthetically pleasing and well-researched record of a most interesting epoch in Indian history.

I am sure that The Raj Bhavan Karnataka Through the Ages will provide you with insightful and enjoyable reading and will prove to be a source of fascination and knowledge.

Hans Raj Bhardwaj Governor of Karnataka


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Contents Introduction

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Chapter I History of Mysore State

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Chapter II History of the Raj Bhavan

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Chapter III Architecture

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Chapter IV Gardens

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Chapter V Artefacts

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Chapter VI Behind the Scenes

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Chapter VII Roll of Honour

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Chapter VIII Memorable Moments

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First published 2010 Š 2010: The Raj Bhavan, Karnataka & Raintree Media Pvt. Ltd. ISBN No. 978-81-906620-5-5 Printed at: Brilliant Printers, Bangalore Published by Sandhya Mendonca on behalf of Raintree Media Pvt. Ltd. 7/1, 1st Floor, Ebony, Hosur Road, Langford Town, Bangalore - 560 025 raintreemedia@gmail.com www.raintreemedia.com Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in The Raj Bhavan Karnataka Through the Ages. Neither Raintree Media nor The Raj Bhavan, Karnataka take any responsibility for errors or omissions. All brands, products and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved: No part of this publication shall be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted or modified in any form or by any means (except as quotes in reviews/ articles). This publication shall not be stored in whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system.


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Introduction

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engaluru, or Bangalore, is the capital of Karnataka state in South India. Located at a lofty height of 1000 m above sea level, the city is known for its pleasant climate and relaxed way of life. The story of Bangalore begins with the chieftain of Magadi, Kempe Gowda. He is credited with designing the city and giving it the name of Bendakaluru (the town of boiled beans) which was later anglicised to ‘Bangalore’. Kempe Gowda laid the foundation stone for the new town of Bangalore in a barren land, within the walls of a mud fort that he built in 1537. The Marathas, and later the Mughals, captured the Bangalore Fort, with the Mughals eventually leasing out the city to Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar; the rule of the Wodeyars was interrupted when Hyder Ali usurped the throne. After the demise of his son Tipu Sultan, Bangalore came under the de facto control of the British who made it the centre of administration for Mysore state.

Map not to scale


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The Raj Bhavan

With the reorganisation of states post-Independence, it became the capital of Mysore (later, Karnataka) on November 1, 1956. Bangalore has marched from the pages of history on to the 21st century with characteristic ease. It is the hub of scientific and technological developments, owing to internationally reputed institutions like the Indian Institute of Science, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, National Aeronautics Limited, Indian Space Research Organisation, and many pioneering infrastructure and engineering industries in the public sector. A natural corollary has been the growth of engineering colleges and the establishment of blue-chip software and biotechnology companies that have catapulted the city to global attention. Karnataka has the biggest share of 34 per cent of the national IT and ITES exports and a per capita income of Rs. 31,041 in 2008-09 with a growth of 4.5 per cent. Karnataka’s Biotech exports are expected to cross Rs. 4000 crore during this fiscal year – the definitive sign of a technology pioneer. The state has among the highest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, overall investments and conversion ratios, proving its attraction to global software conglomerates and other multi-national corporations. Known for a rich tradition of promoting art and culture,

the city abounds with museums, art galleries and performance arenas fuelling the growth of literature, theatre, dance, music, fashion and cinema. An impressive list of cricketers, athletes, hockey, badminton and tennis players from the city have made their mark on the world stage. Even as it keeps pace with modern times, the city continues to remain true to its roots and celebrates its time-honoured tradition of morning walks and aromatic coffee. It boasts of a large green cover with the Lal Bagh Botanical Garden and the historic Cubbon Park, along with a multitude of neighbourhood parks. The city’s favourite beverage, coffee, continues to influence the lifestyle of its denizens. Karnataka’s coffee growing areas of Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Hassan contribute 70 per cent of the coffee production of India. The iconic Mysore silk saris and fabrics have an evergreen appeal and the state accounts for 37 per cent of the silk production of the country. Hutti Gold Mines Limited (HGML) makes Karnataka the country’s biggest gold producer with a 65 per cent share in the total production. Cosmopolitan Bengaluru is the favoured destination for investment, employment and tourism, greeting everyone with a genuine namaskara.


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Chapter

I

History of Mysore State

History is a cyclic poem written by Time upon the memories of man. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792 - 1882), English poet


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Maharaja of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV with his brother and sisters (1895) Š The British Library Board. Photo 15/4(29)


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Tipu Sultan’s surrender at the Third Anglo-Mysore war in Srirangapatna

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THE HISTORY OF MYSORE STATE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ADMINISTRATION

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he story of the provinces that went on to comprise Mysore state has its beginnings buried in the sands of time. This region has echoed with the thundering hooves of numerous armies throughout its history. When the Hoysalas erected their magnificent temple complexes in Belur and Halebeedu in the 12th century, the Gangas were already a distant memory; this is the land where the might of the Vijayanagara Empire ascended to the zenith of its glory; Shivaji’s father, Shahaji, marched his invincible army across this land to besiege a small town called Bangalore in 1638. When the armies of the Deccan Sultanate finally broke the Vijayanagara Empire’s backbone in 1565, a vassal of the declining empire rose to prominence as a powerful presence – the Wodeyars. This autonomy came at a time when the Indian subcontinent was becoming the focus of attention for several European superpowers.

© The British Library Board. X378(19)

The gold mines of Kolar, the fertile lands of Mangalore, the potential for vast coffee plantations in Chikmagalur and its proximity to the Company-controlled Madras Presidency made the Kingdom of Mysore an irresistible temptation for the British. The Nizams of Hyderabad and the Marathas also had a lot at stake in the region and were biding their time for an opportune moment to strike. By the latter half of the 18th century, South India had become a tinder box ready to blow. The spark that 15


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© The British Library Board. Photo 430/41(11)

The Government House at Yelawala, Mysore was the first Residency of Mysore state. The front portion of the building was erected in 1803, under Col. Mark Wilks, and is of the Doric order of Architecture. The handsome portico with the verandah was later enclosed to form an extra drawing-room. The rear wing of the building was added a few years later by Sir John Malcolm and comprised one of the largest rooms without pillars in Southern India, designed by Thomas Fiott De Havilland.

ignited the fuse was a charismatic military leader named Hyder Ali serving under Krishnaraja Wodeyar II. At the height of his popularity, his fame eclipsed that of the Maharaja himself, who he eventually deposed in 1761. Hyder Ali and his illustrious son, Tipu Sultan, proved to be too hot for the British to handle. Alliances shifted and negotiations broke down as the powers clashed repeatedly from 1766. The First (1766-69) and the Second Anglo16

Mysore (1780-84) wars saw the true scale of Hyder’s ambitions and military acumen as he dealt crushing blows to the British. But the fortunes changed towards the end of the century, culminating in the Siege of Srirangapatna. British forces, led by Lord Cornwallis, finally overwhelmed the seemingly invincible forces of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatna, Tipu’s capital, at the end of the Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789-92). When the dust


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from the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1799) had settled, Mysore was split four ways with two parts going to the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas. A third part was annexed to the Madras Presidency, which was directly ruled by the East India Company. The British were reluctant to relinquish their new-found control over Mysore which was rich in gold and sandalwood. This was clear from Lord Cornwallis’ notes during the peace negotiations after the Third AngloMysore war in which he states: “If we had taken Seringapatam and killed Tippoo, [...] we must either have given that capital to the Marattas (a dangerous boon) or have set up some miserable pageant of our own, to be supported by the Company’s troops and treasures, and to be plundered by its servants.” Thus, the fourth part was given to the Wodeyars, restoring their 500-year rule which had been interrupted in 1761 by Hyder Ali’s coup d'état. Dewan Purnaiah, who had so ably administered the region under Tipu Sultan, was asked to swear allegiance to the boyking, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar and was retained as the Dewan of Mysore. To preserve the interests of the colonial powers, Col. Barry Close was appointed the first ever British Resident in Mysore. A Residency was built in 1800 to house the new Resident. This building still exists at Yelawala, Mysore, and is called the Government House. Mysore continued to be the seat of power and Krishnaraja Wodeyar III ruled over the kingdom from his palace. Dewan Purnaiah went on to hold office until he resigned

due to ill health in 1811 (he subsequently died in 1812) after which the British Residents themselves functioned as dewans for the Maharaja. Within three decades of Mysore coming under the indirect control of the East India Company, the region began to face serious problems. The heavy land revenue that the Company extracted from the peasants triggered discontent. The demand for rice and pepper had fallen drastically, and floods worsened the situation. The Company had also imposed its monopoly on the cultivation of tobacco and salt extraction. Soon, rebellion started in South Kanara district, and began to spread. Lord William Bentinck, the Governor-General of India, was alarmed at the rebellion, and felt that Mysore should come under the direct control of the British. Consequently, the post of the Resident was abolished and a Commissioner was appointed to the Mysore state. In 1831, amidst turmoil, John Briggs took over as the first Senior Commissioner. While it was Charles Lushington (the Acting Senior Commissioner who succeeded Briggs) who decided to move the administration from Mysore to Bangalore, the actual shifting of the seat of power is ascribed to Sir Mark Cubbon, the Commissioner of Mysore state from 1834 to 1861. In 1834, Bangalore was made the capital of Mysore state, a decision that would shape the political and cultural identity of Bangalore and pave the way for the British to consolidate their claims and strengthen their presence. The Rendition in 1881 ensured that the administrative powers were restored back to the Wodeyars. 17


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HYDER ALI (1722-1782)

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highly ambitious soldier who raised himself from obscurity to become the de facto King of Mysore, Hyder Ali is one of the most illustrious names in South India’s political history. He is credited with having been the first Indian to form a corps of sepoys armed with firelocks and bayonets, and who had a train of artillery served by Europeans. As a youth, Hyder assisted his brother, a commander in the Mysore Army, and acquired a familiarity with the tactics of the French under Joseph François Dupleix, in what would prove an invaluable experience for his later years. In fact, throughout his struggles and conquests, the French were found in numbers in his army. Though he was illiterate, Hyder was proficient in many languages and had a remarkable memory. Shrewd and sharp, he had an extraordinary ability to multi-task, and was noted for doing several things at the same time, like reading a letter, dictating orders and witnessing a theatrical exhibition.

Hyder was an efficient strategist and an adventurous warrior. His excellent warfare skills earned him a commission in the state army in 1749, which eventually became his gateway to the throne of Mysore. His capability saw him being promoted from a deputy minister to being incharge of the entire state administration in no time. In everything but name, he became the ruler of the kingdom. His administrative acumen later earned him the title of ‘Nawab Hyder Ali Khan Bahadur’ from Krishnaraja Wodeyar II, the then Maharaja of Mysore. A man of self-control and discipline himself, Hyder’s remedy for neglect of duty and egregious plundering was the whip, which he applied freely. Few officials appear to have escaped the infliction, his son surely did not and Hyder once publicly flogged the young Tipu at Chinkurali. In 1763, the conquest of Kanara and acquisition of Bednor’s treasures saw Hyder usurp supreme control of the throne of Mysore. He spent much part of his rule expanding his kingdom through conquests, while fending off the British and the Marathas.


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TIPU SULTAN (1750-1799)

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ultan Fateh Ali Khan Padshah or Tipu Sultan, was born on November, 1750 at Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bangalore. The ‘Tiger of Mysore’, Tipu Sultan was instructed in military techniques by the French as a young boy and continued his father Hyder Ali’s battle against the British staunchly defending the Kingdom of Mysore. Tipu showed considerable skill in war strategy. From the age of 15, he engaged in fierce battles, accompanying his father against the British in the First Anglo-Mysore War in 1766. Tipu took over the throne after Hyder Ali’s death in 1782. In the Third Anglo-Mysore War in 1789-92, the British fought alongside their allies - the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Marathas. Tipu’s international allies, the French had earlier signed a truce with the British and, thus did not take part in the war. His other allies - the Amir of Afghanistan and the Sultan of Turkey - were too far away to make a difference to the war which ended in Tipu’s surrender. Tipu efficiently employed canons in the wars and used a weapon which resembled a crude prototype of the modern day missile.

Historians attribute the adoption of the ferocious beast as the emblem of Tipu’s rule to his realisation of the need for a symbol to whip up patriotic fervour and also strike terror into the minds of his subjects. He is said to have declared he would sooner live two days as a tiger than two hundred years as a sheep. The tiger insignia was omnipresent in his domain and he even displayed a mechanical tiger built by French engineers in his palace at Srirangapatna. This is currently on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Tipu sought the help of the French emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte to counter the British forces in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War (1798-99). Napoleon agreed to join forces with Tipu and started to proceed towards Suez, from where he planned to sail to India with his army. The British got wind of this matter and frustrated Napoleon’s bid to reach Suez by destroying his army even before it had reached Cairo in Egypt. The Fourth (and final) Anglo-Mysore War effectively brought the reign of Tipu Sultan to a close with his defeat and death at Srirangapatna, in 1799. The Scottish historical novelist, Sir Walter Scott, wrote a fitting epitaph to the fallen leader: “Tipu Sahib... die(d) manfully upon the breach of his capital city with his sabre clenched in his hand.”


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DEWAN PURNAIAH (1746-1812)

P

urnaiah was the first Dewan or Prime Minister of Mysore state and served three rulers consecutively, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Purnaiah started off as an account writer in a trader’s shop at the age of eleven. He came into contact with Hyder Ali through a merchant who supplied groceries to the army. His mastery over accounts as well as several languages earned him the position of the head of Accounts Department and he became the King’s confidante. When Hyder Ali died in Srirangapatna in 1782, Purnaiah handled the administration smoothly until Tipu’s return from Kerala. He soon became one of the members of Tipu’s inner cabinet and was the only Hindu in the allMuslim team. After Tipu’s death, the British turned down Purnaiah’s proposal to pass the throne to Tipu’s son who had been entrusted to his care. The British however had a healthy respect for Purnaiah’s political acumen and chose to appoint him as the first Dewan of the newly formed state of Mysore, with the consent of Queen Regent Lakshmammanni.

Purnaiah steadfastly secured the Kingdom, maintaining law and order and retaining the British support by sending native soldiers to join their campaigns against the Marathas. He worked on winning popular support for the State by reinstating cash allowances to places of worship, which Tipu Sultan had stopped. He opened a judicial department for people’s complaints. His public works have left behind a great legacy. He is credited with building a 48 mile (77.2 km) canal to supply drinking water to Mysore, while several tanks were also dug. A stone bridge, dedicated to Marquess of Wellesley, the Governor General, was constructed across the river Cauvery connecting Srirangapatna with Kirangur. For his efforts, Purnaiah was honoured with big grants and a large pension. In 1807, Yelandur and other surrounding villages were granted as jahgir (gifted land) to him by Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Yelandur was Purnaiah’s birthplace. His focus on creating a sound administrative machinery for Mysore state laid the foundation for it to be recognised later as one of the foremost progressive states in Britishruled India.


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BANGALORE AS A MILITARY STATION

W

here there are glistening steel-and-glass high rises now, two centuries ago, there were all-weather canvas tents and humble quarters for officers.

In the early 1800s, the British, riding high on the defeat of Tipu Sultan, chose the salubrious climes of Bangalore as the setting of what would become their largest military cantonment in South India. By 1809, the Civil & Military Station (CMS), also known as the Cantonment, had come up in an area of 13 square miles in North-East Bangalore, ruled directly by the British until India’s Independence. The troops camped at Srirangapatna cantonment were moved here. The CMS land was later leased out by the Mysore king to the British under the agreement that any surplus tax, after the administrative expenditure, should be remitted to the Mysore exchequer.

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Thus, Bangalore now comprised of two separate areas: to the West, Bangalore (Pettah) administered by the Mysore Maharaja, and to the East, Bangalore Cantonment, administered by the British Government through the Resident. The British garrison stationed in the Cantonment included three artillery batteries, and regiments of the cavalry, infantry, sappers, miners, mounted infantry, supply and transport corps and the Bangalore Rifle Volunteers (BRV). The heart of the Bangalore Cantonment was the Parade Ground. The Civil and Military Station (CMS) grew around it. Bangalore’s pleasant weather and its proximity to both Mysore and the Madras Presidency soon started attracting not only the families of the British Army, but also a large number of Europeans, Anglo-Indians and missionaries who quickly adopted the Cantonment area as their new home. Among the city’s new residents were also workers and traders from the neighbouring British-controlled Madras Presidency.


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The shifting of the Residency, the seat of colonial power, from Mysore further enhanced Bangalore’s new-found status as the cosmopolitan hub of South India, perhaps a foretaste of the status it would achieve two hundred years later. Today, one can find the essence of the city’s colonial past in the buildings, parks, streets and entire suburbs which bear the mark of their British legacy. These include the areas which were under the Cantonment, like Blackpully (now Shivajinagar), the Parade Ground (MG Road area), St. John’s Hill, Fraser Town, Benson Town, Cleveland Town, Cox Town, Richard’s Town, Knoxpet (Murphy Town), Agram, Richmond Town, Langford Town, Austin Town and Whitefield (an Anglo-Indian Colony created in 1882). Similarly, Artillery Road, Brigade Road, Infantry Road, Cavalry Road, South Parade (now MG Road) and East Parade (near Mittal Towers) continue to testify to the flurry of military activities they once hosted. The Shoolay area (now Ashoknagar) still has streets named Wood Street and Castle Street.

F

amous philosopher, political theorist and administrator, John Stuart Mill had a decisive influence in the matter of transfer of power from the British back to the Wodeyars. Contrary to his long held opinion, Mill argued strongly in favour of the transfer of power to the Wodeyars in the House of Commons on February 22, 1867.

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The BRV building in the Cantonment was the headquarters of the Bangalore Battalion. The original building at the same site was demolished in 1905 and the present structure was erected in 1912.


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Illustration: Baadal C. Majumdar

Among the soldiers stationed in the Cantonment was a young officer named Winston Churchill who would go on to become one of the most venerated statesmen who led the British to victory in the World War II. Sir Winston Churchill stayed in Bangalore from 1897 to 1900. In keeping with its military history, present day Bangalore is the headquarters for various defence organisations, including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under the Ministry of Defence, and Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) establishments like Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS).

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NALWADI KRISHNARAJA WODEYAR

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ollowing the Rendition in 1881, Chamaraja Wodeyar X took over the Kingdom of Mysore as its new king. His untimely death in 1894 put the responsibility of the throne on the young shoulders of his ten year old son, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, also known as Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. Upon reaching majority, on August 8, 1902, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was invested as the Maharaja of Mysore, with full ruling powers, by the Viceroy, Lord Curzon. Mysore thus, braced itself for what would come to be known as the ‘Golden Age’ in its eventful history. It was under Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar and his eminent dewans like C. Rangacharlu and Sir M. Visveshwarayya that Mysore emerged as one of the most progressive states of its time.

Under him, Mysore blazed many trails in industry, education, agriculture and art. Much of the pioneering work in educational infrastructure that was put in place during this period would go on to serve Karnataka invaluably in consolidating its position as India’s leading technology hub.

Several developmental works like the Shivanasamudra Hydroelectric Project, the Vanivilasa Sagar Dam, the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam, the Marikanive Dam, the Bhadravati Iron and Steel plant, and institutions like the Indian Institute of Science, the Mysore University, the Mysore Chamber of Commerce and the Mysore Bank came up during his reign. He was the first chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and the Mysore University. This philosopher-king was seen by the British philosopher Paul Brunton as living the ideal expressed in Plato’s Republic. He was called Rajarshi or ‘saintly king’ by none other than Mahatma Gandhi himself, while his kingdom was described by his followers as Rama Rajya, an ideal kingdom akin to the rule of Lord Rama. The King was an accomplished musician, and like his predecessors, avidly patronised the development of the fine arts in Mysore. He died on August 3, 1940, and was succeeded by Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar.


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Chapter

II

History of the Raj Bhavan

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday Pearl Buck (1892 - 1973), American writer, Nobel Laureate


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The Residency, Bangalore, 1890

Š The British Library Board. 430/41(2)


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I

n his memoirs, Lord Bentham Bowring wrote with characteristic British understatement: “[The Residency] was tolerably commodious for a bachelor but not remarkable. The best part was the out-offices, especially the stables which could hold fifty horses.” When Mark Cubbon began building a residence in 1840, he was not merely looking for a place to stay. It was to be the Commissioner’s Bungalow – the residence of the British representative to the Kingdom of Mysore. It was built on the highest point of the fledgling city, at 3,031 feet above sea level, to oversee the burgeoning control of the British Empire. The sweeping entrance and the vast garden were carefully designed to invoke wonder and evoke power to equal the Maharaja. With the construction of the Commissioner’s Bungalow, a strong message was sent to the locals – the British Raj was here to stay.

ADMINISTRATION FROM BANGALORE Bangalore was, geographically speaking, the ideal administrative centre for the British. The climate, the proximity to Madras Presidency and the vast tracts of land made it possible for the British to expand and build a stronghold in India. The Resident used to stay at what is now the headquarters of the State Bank of India on St Mark’s Road. The road abutting this colonial edifice began to be known as Residency Road as a result of this. 32


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Mark Cubbon was known to be passionately fond of Arabian horses and stabled fifty horses.

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From October 19, 1831 till 1843, Commissioners were appointed in addition to Residents. On January 1, 1843, the post of Resident was abolished and the duties of the Resident were combined with those of the Commissioner in Bangalore. Sir Mark Cubbon who was the Commissioner at the time, commenced his duties from the newly constructed bungalow. In the years that followed, Sir Mark Cubbon and his residence would imprint themselves firmly upon the history of Bangalore. His keen administrative skills endeared him to the people of Bangalore and the Commissioner’s Bungalow became the centre of British power. He was the first Commissioner to introduce Kannada into public administration. Sir Cubbon toiled hard not merely to make Bangalore a profitable military station of the British, but also to improve the life of the locals. In 1859, when the British Government was seriously contemplating the transfer of Mysore to the Madras Government, Cubbon tendered his resignation, arguing sensibly that Mysore was unique in its culture and language and could not be peacefully assimilated into the Madras Presidency. The government quickly dropped the

idea and retained Cubbon as the Commissioner. He eventually resigned in 1861 citing ill health, and died on board a ship in the Suez Canal on his way back to England from India. Sir Cubbon and his contributions have been immortalised in various parts of Bangalore. One of the City’s much admired green spaces, the Cubbon Park, is named after him, as is an extension in Bangalore city and the nearby Cubbon Road. A medallion portrait of Cubbon adorns the ceiling at the western end of the Central Hall of the High Court Building, while an equestrian statue of him, sculpted by Baron Carlo Marochetti in England, was unveiled on March 16, 1866 by L.B. Bowring in Cubbon Park. With Cubbon’s death, the Commissioner’s Bungalow was put up for sale. Lord Bowring who was appointed Commissioner in 1862, bought the building on behalf of the Mysore Government. Lord Lewin Bentham Bowring followed in the pioneering footsteps of his predecessor by reorganising several departments such as Revenue, Survey and Settlement. He introduced regular measurement of land and assessment of revenue and established the Municipality at Bangalore.

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The Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure was introduced by him to Mysore. The popular Attara Katcheri in Cubbon Park to house the public offices of the State was also his contribution. In 1867, after careful investigation, Lord William Bentinck and others agreed that the riots of 1830 were due to the laxity of the British administration and not because of the King’s rule. This was conveyed to Queen Victoria who agreed to hand administration back to the Wodeyars. Since Krishnaraja Wodeyar III died on March 27, 1868, his adopted son, Chamaraja Wodeyar X was proclaimed as the King. Regency was established as Chamaraja Wodeyar X was just four years old at that time. Later, in 1881, with the attaining of his majority, the Queen formally rendered the power of the administration to the Wodeyars. With this, the post of the Commissioner was abolished and, once again, a Resident was appointed. For a few years after the Rendition, the Residency was shifted to the Park House Building in Mysore. In 1888, the Bangalore Fort, which was under the Civil and Military Station, was exchanged with the Maharaja for the Commissioner’s Bungalow which became a property of the British. From then on, till Independence, the Commissioner’s Bungalow served as the Residency.

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RESIDENCY OF POST INDEPENDENCE ERA All the British Residents were withdrawn and a new post, the Raj Pramukh was created by the leaders of free India. When Sardar Vallabhai Patel consolidated the Union of India by merging the princely states with the Indian Union, the Maharaja of Mysore, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar handed over administration to elected representatives and he was subsequently made the Raj Pramukh. Since the Maharaja had his own grand palaces in Mysore and Bangalore, he did not choose to stay at the Residency which was converted to a guest house for visiting dignitaries. When Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar was appointed as the Governor of the Madras State, the Residency was occupied by the new Governor and ceased to be a guest house. The building took on its new avatar as the Raj Bhavan, the seat of administrative power in a completely Indian government, and quickly became the centre of much political activity. During this period, several famous personalities of Indian politics such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Dr. Rajendra Prasad visited the Raj Bhavan.


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When Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar learnt of Mark Cubbon’s resignation in 1861, he expressed his deep regret and sadness in a letter to Cubbon.

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The Park House Building in Mysore which was used as a Residency, is still well preserved. 38


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The Ballroom of the Raj Bhavan witnessed many meetings of the Congress Legislature Party after the Congress Ministry was formed in 1947. In 1952, Lal Bahadur Shastri met with party workers in this very room to decide who would become the first Chief Minister of Karnataka – Kengal Hanumanthaiah or K.C. Reddy. Kengal Hanumanthaiah received the strongest support and was made the leader of the legislature. During Kengal Hanumanthaiah’s time, the Raj Bhavan played host to many lively parties. One such memorable event was the farewell party given to the then Dewan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail. During those days, the palace orchestra was in full attendance at these parties. From the dawn of the 19th century to the 21st century, the Raj Bhavan has remained relevant. This colonial building, built by an Empire that held sway over the subcontinent for three hundred years, has evolved with the city, and is now synonymous with the history of Bangalore. Photo: P.V. Anil Kumarr

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MUMMADI KRISHNARAJA WODEYAR

and music during his reign and he played a huge role in the cultural growth of Mysore state.

W

A voracious reader, he was also a writer and penned a number of books in Kannada, including Sritattvanidhi and Sougandhikaparinaya. He also had a number of writers in his court who together with their king, contributed to the development of modern Kannada prose which bears a style different from the Champu style of prose followed till then. Among the important writings that emerged during his rule are Mudramanjusha by Kempu Narayana, Kalavati Parinaya by Yadava and Vachana Kadambari.

hen the Kingdom of Mysore was reclaimed from the ravages of war, the huge responsibility of leading such a rich and prestigious region fell on the slender shoulders of a young boy not older than five. Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, son of Khasa Chamaraja Wodeyar IX who was adopted by Maharani Lakshmammanni, was crowned the new king. Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar or Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (mummadi stands for third in Kannada) ruled the princely state of Mysore for nearly seventy years, being installed as the Maharaja at the mere age of five on June 30, 1799. His ascendancy to the throne marked the restoration of the Kingdom of Mysore back to the Wodeyars three decades after they lost the throne to Hyder Ali in 1766. Hyder’s son Tipu Sultan who had continued his father’s legacy as ruler of Mysore, was eventually defeated by the British.

Krishnaraja’s father Khasa Chamaraja Wodeyar IX was the adopted son of Maharani Lakshmammanni, the widow of Krishnaraja Wodeyar II. Maharani Lakshmammanni is said to have played a major role in the development of her adopted grandson and was also instrumental in his ascendancy to the throne. Most significantly, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar is known for his contribution and patronage to different arts

The multi-talented king was well-versed in many languages. Besides Sanskrit and Kannada, he could read and write in Persian, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Marathi, and he also knew English. In fact, he introduced English education in Mysore state, by starting Maharaja’s English School which paved way for the famous Maharaja’s College and later for the Mysore University. He played the veena and patronized great musicians and composers of his time like Sadashiva Rao, Veena Venkatasubbayya and Doddaseshanna. Well-known commentators of shastras, grammarians and poets adorned his court. He encouraged dance and drama as well as graphic arts. A good number of artists were engaged to paint court-life in all its grandeur, while he also had portraits of well-known


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personalities in his kingdom made by the best artists. Art portraiture grew into a fine art in Mysore during his rule and he is rightly credited with documenting a visual history of his period. He was responsible for the creation of the Jaganmohan Art Gallery of Mysore, and built the original building in 1861. Yet another facet to his personality was his passion for board games. An avid collector and inventor of the same, he is credited to have revived the Ganjifa, a card game that originated in Persia and became popular in India under the Mughal emperors in the 16th century. Refined in taste and cultured in manners, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was loved and respected for his humane, charitable and kind nature by his subjects. Leaving behind a legacy which redefined the cultural landscape of Mysore, he was succeeded by his adopted son, Chamaraja Wodeyar X.

Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar (1794 –1868)

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SIR MARK CUBBON

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ir Mark Cubbon came to India in 1801 at the age of 16, as a cadet in the 2nd Madras Battalion, an appointment which reportedly came through the influence of his uncle, Major Wilks. In the next 33 years, Cubbon served in various capacities marking his transition from the military to administrative service, until his eventual appointment as Commissioner of Mysore State in 1834. In his 28 years of uninterrupted service as Commissioner of Mysore, Cubbon restructured the government of Mysore, helped reform its tax and revenue systems, and created a peaceful and prosperous state. Cubbon is credited with the construction of over one thousand miles of roads, hundreds of dams, coffee production and improvements in the tax and revenue systems. It was he who first introduced coffee plantation in the Malnad region of Mysore. A man of high ideals, Cubbon was striking and prepossessing in appearance, dignified yet simple and unassuming in demeanour, with an exquisite tenderness of sympathy. His administrative acumen 42


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and genuine fondness for Mysore state and its people won him many friends and admirers, the most privileged among them being the Maharaja himself. When Cubbon made known the resignation of his office to Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar a few days before his departure from India, the news was received by His Highness with sincere regret. “Although I was in some measure prepared”, wrote His Highness, “to receive this communication, yet when it came the sensation it produced in me was inexpressibly distressing and painful… more so as it conveyed the intimation that your departure from the country was to be without a personal interview with me and without the last interchange of a friendly farewell”. His Highness further added, “The zeal and ability you have displayed in your administration, the great improvement you have introduced without changing the native system of administration, the continued prosperity of the country and the happiness of the people have been the theme of admiration and praise in everybody’s mouth. In fact, your administration of it has been so perfectly consistent with the wishes of the sovereign and his people that I have specially noticed it in my letter to Lord Canning, dated 23rd ultimo, and I shall only add that you have earned for yourself a world wide fame and have enrolled your name with those of the Duke of Wellington and other great statesmen who by their generous rule and wise policy have established for themselves a name and reputation in this country which can never be obliterated.” A glimpse into Cubbon’s personality is given in an account by Mrs Stuart, Lady Canning’s companion on her

visit to Bangalore in 1858. She wrote: “At seven in the morning (22nd March), drove up through the lines of the 60th Rifles to General Cubbon’s charming bungalow at Bangalore… We found the whole house prepared for us, the chivalrous old man of 74 having put himself into a tent. He is very handsome, keen eyed intelligent man and the quantity of anecdote of the deepest interest that he told us has been more entertaining than I can describe”. Aga Ali Askar, the great grandfather of Sir Mirza Ismail who was a Dewan of Mysore state, was a close friend of Sir Mark Cubbon. He built the line of buildings adjacent to the Raj Bhavan known as the Cubbon Hotel Buildings. Askar was in the business of importing and supplying Arabian horses to the British Army, so it was only natural for Cubbon, who was passionately fond of Arabian horses, to be drawn towards him. Cubbon used to keep at least fifty horses in his stable. According to Dr. D.V. Gundappa’s Jnapaka Chitrashale, it was Sir Cubbon who sanctioned the land near the Raj Bhavan to Aga Ali Askar. According to the book, Sir Cubbon once queried Askar: Sir C: There are ample vacant lands in Bangalore and very few people who build houses here. Why don’t you build a house in Bangalore? Mr. A: Well, if you grant me the land I require, I shall. Sir C: Pray, measure out the precincts of the land to your fancy, and consider it granted - here and now. Thus, came up Ali Askar’s two bungalows on either side of a road which later was named after him.


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LEWIN BENTHAM BOWRING

L

ewin Bentham Bowring was the second son of Sir John Bowring, an English political economist who became the fourth Governor of Hong Kong.

Bowring joined the Bengal Civil Service in 1843. He became Assistant Resident at Lahore in 1847 and subsequently joined the Punjab Commission. From 1858 to 1862, he served as Private Secretary to the Viceroy of India, Lord Canning. In February 1862, he succeeded Sir Mark Cubbon as the Commissioner of Mysore. As an administrator, Bowring was as efficient as his predecessor and was responsible for several reforms in the administration of Mysore. He reorganised the Revenue, Survey and Settlement departments and introduced regular measurement of land and assessment of revenue. He divided Mysore into three administrative zones and passed the Registration Act in 1864 which was instrumental in curbing corruption and benami land transactions. In 1868, he established the Central Education Agency which paved the way for the setting up of schools and

colleges teaching in Kannada and English. To Bowring goes the credit of creating wide network of roads throughout the kingdom. He took steps to connect Bangalore to Jolarpet through railways, thus easing connectivity with Madras, the seat of British power in South India. The police system was also reorganised by Bowring who structured it along the lines of the Madras Presidency. During the famine of 1866 when Orissa and Madras Presidency were severely hit, Bowring constructed a reservoir near the Miller Tank to provide drinking water to Bangalore. During the last year of his incumbency, Bowring also served as the first Chief Commissioner of Coorg. He was made a Companion of the Star of India (CSI) in 1867. In 1870, Bowring retired from service and returned to England. There, he turned to writing and authored the book Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan and the Struggle with the Musalman Powers of the South, which was published in 1893. Bowring also edited his father’s notes and published Autobiographical Recollections of Sir John Bowring in 1877.


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This statue of Queen Victoria is on M.G. Road, at the entrance of Cubbon Park.

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Sir Mark Cubbon immortalised outside the High Court


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Sir Mirza Ismail (front row, third from left), Kengal Hanumanthaiah (front row, fourth from left) and Kadidal Nanjappa (second from right), among other luminaries at the Raj Bhavan Photo: Information Department, Government of Karnataka

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Chapter

III

Architecture

Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 - 1969), German-born American architect


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The massive Ionic columns are characteristic of British colonial architecture. 50


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he British Residency or Commissioner’s house, now the Raj Bhavan, emerged out of the chrysalis of an old British stately home and dominated the High Grounds of Bangalore plateau and the territory ruled by the ‘Mysore Tigers’ and the Maharaja of Mysore. The barrack city or Cantonment had already been built, and before and during the construction of the Residency (commissioned in 1842), all the other structures and institutions of the British were introduced, namely the Madras Sappers and Miners, the Attara Katcheri (the government offices), Cubbon Park, the botanical gardens at Lalbagh, the Museum and the churches of different denominations. The British Crown’s will was manifest in the British Resident at the court of Mysore and all the administrative and political decisions emanated out of the Residency.

Attara Katcheri (High Court) used to house the government offices. Photo: Best of Bangalore Volume 1

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The low elaborate wrought iron gate at the guard house extending seventy feet across is the formal introduction to present day Raj Bhavan. The gate is adorned with the embossed brass emblem of the Government of India. On either side of the grills are wicket gates with sharp arrow-shaped masonry pseudo arches leading to the attractive guard house on either side. The gateway was originally designed for wheeled vehicles such as carriages which proceeded through the wrought iron gates. The gate frontage has palm trees placed a few feet away from the gate piers. This adds to the overall tropical feel of the whitewashed Raj Bhavan building, along with the various species of plants, shrubs and flowers in the grounds.

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The elaborate gateway is a formal introduction to the Raj Bhavan. 53


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THE MAIN BUILDING The Raj Bhavan is styled on a typical English home, with a wide portico opening out to the expansive garden. It is easy to imagine the sahibs with their wives relaxing with a nice cup of tea, enjoying the lush garden which was much bigger during the early years of Raj Bhavan. A magnificent banyan tree towers over a gazebo built at the southern end of the building close to the portico. The gazebo houses the artefacts made from the legendary 200-foot-tall Araucaria cookii which fell due to heavy rains in 2000. The trunk of the tree has been cut and scooped to form abstract chairs and tables. The Mangalore tiled roof of the gazebo is edged in beautifully patterned bargeboards. The structures of the colonial era were adapted to the heat and the bright light of India with high 55


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ceilings and deep verandahs. In addition, there were, as in the Bangalore Residency (some of these additions came later on), antechambers, vestibules, reception halls, banquet halls and salons in the main structure, to cater to the Westernised tastes and manners of the British and European guests. The various hybrid styles of architecture and the diversity of native elements leading to styles such as the Indo Saracenic came later on. At the Raj Bhavan, the most repetitive element is the prominent dentils in the main building which wrap themselves around the structure and below the roof. The portico, large enough for elephants to walk through, is supported by fluted Ionic columns whose capitals look like ancient scrolls.


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INTERIORS The luxurious interiors of the Raj Bhavan, with the sophisticated dĂŠcor, rich upholstery and priceless antiques are all part of the fine living that distinguishes this stately building and its privileged occupants from the rest of the city. White is the dominant colour here and extends to the colour of the sheets on the beds, rendering sparkling cleanliness and welcoming serenity to both the exterior and interior of the Raj Bhavan. The building is given a fresh coat of whitewash every two years. There are nineteen rooms in all, each named after famous rivers and mountains, a legacy left by former Governor V.S. Rama Devi.


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The sitting room of the Presidential suite has hosted many a President and Prime Minister. 58


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The luxuriant chambers of the Raj Bhavan’s Presidential suite house the President of India, the Prime Minister and other VVIPS during their sojourns in the city. It is located on the first floor of the new wing that has been flawlessly integrated with the original Raj Bhavan building. The wing was inaugurated on June 2, 1995 by Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda, the then Chief Minister of Karnataka who went on to become the Prime Minister of India. Mr. Gowda had earlier served as the PWD Minister of Karnataka and appreciated the careful details of the renovation and addition. The Presidential suite has a main hall which is elegantly furnished with rosewood desks and divans upholstered with silk. The entire floor is covered with a rich carpet in gold and red. The suite has its own dining room where VVIP guests can dine in privacy.

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The bedroom of the Presidential suite

An ornate dressing table with a full-length mirror and drawers with several compartments built into them stands in a stately manner in the antechamber adjoining the bedroom. The centrepiece of the bedroom is the imposing teak bed with four tall bedposts and a plain headstand. Small sitting rooms lead off from the bedrooms; here the private attendants of the guests are accommodated. There are two bedrooms in this suite, each with en suite bathrooms. Panic buttons have been thoughtfully placed in the bathrooms. 60


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Technology mingles effortlessly with the antique decor in the form of a state-of-the-art television hanging amidst the portraits on the wall. Interestingly enough, the windows here are reinforced with double-paned bullet-proof glass to protect the VVIP inside. The eastern end of the suite opens out to a comfortable patio and commands a view of the Java fig and the Primavera towering above the garden below. White park benches are placed around a table, perfect for evening tea.

The dining space in the P1 suite 61


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The study in the Governor’s residence

The Governor’s private residence is located in the original Residency wing of the edifice, with three guest rooms for his private visitors. The corridors are lined with reprints of rare frescoes from the Ajanta caves and exquisite artwork from local artists. Several artefacts from the era of Hoysalas, Gangas, and the Vijayanagara Empire, among other dynasties, are a further adornment. 62


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The central lounge is an architectural marvel with intricately patterned ceilings, fluted Ionic columns and exquisite marble-and-granite flooring.


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The impressive central lounge is where heads of state discuss matters of importance as the Father of the Nation looks on. 66


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Among the various rooms in the Raj Bhavan, the most impressive is the central lounge. It is shaped like the nave of a church, with two sections intersecting each other to form a cross. The most spectacular feature of the central lounge is its plaster of Paris ceiling with highly decorative flowering patterns. The marble floor has a vibrant mix of geometric and floral patterns made from a variety of different coloured granite. These granite colours extend from speckled grey to black and red. The high walls of this room are adorned with photographs of past Governors, Prime Ministers and Presidents. At one end of the vestibule, a grand piano which has graced the Raj Bhavan from the time of Sir Mark Cubbon introduces a soirĂŠe-like atmosphere in this corner of the Reception Hall.

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If the central lounge is an architectural marvel, the dining hall of the Raj Bhavan is a study in subtle grandeur. The teakwood panelled walls and the pseudo half timber work higher up set the mood of the room which is dominated by a long glasstopped wooden table. Trophies of a tiger and a bison hunted a century ago by a sahib are mounted on the walls, while the glass-fronted china cabinet displays neat stacks of gleaming silverware, crystal goblets and porcelain. The straight-backed rosewood dining chairs serve their purpose with their elegant yet simple design. The granite-and-marble flooring gleams with the polished brass separators running between the tiles. Above the rosewood sideboards are displayed several exquisite and rare etchings - lithographs depicting the landscape around Bangalore and Mysore from the 18th century.

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The Durbar Hall is a visual treat, brightly lit with beautiful chandeliers, while the Tanjore paintings on the wall give it an air of vintage elegance.

The Durbar Hall, also called the Nandi Hall, with its excellent collection of Tanjore paintings, is a prominent part of the Raj Bhavan interiors and holds a deep significance for the place as an institution. The swearingin ceremony for the new Governor used to be held here earlier. The hall was also traditionally used for State dinners and continues to host them even today. Events like book releases, award ceremonies and cultural performances by famous artistes like Carnatic Classical vocalist Balamuralikrishna further take place within the well-lit space that makes up the Durbar Hall. Three highbacked armchairs look down on the assembly of carefully 70

arranged chairs, all basking in the diffused glow of art and history. A huge painting of Dasara celebration in Mysore acts as the pièce de rÊsistance of this hall. As a structure, the Raj Bhavan is a reminder of the colonial regime as well as a symbol of Mysore state’s cultural and historical heritage. Its finely crafted windows, well-polished floors and heavy ornate doors have not only served as the backdrop for momentous decisions which shaped present-day South India, but also unfold revelations about the vibrant art and culture of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore.


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GUEST ROOMS

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here are a total of nineteen rooms in the Raj Bhavan. The Governor decides the order of preference of allotment of the rooms. Apart from the President and the Prime Minister, Supreme Court judges, State and Central Ministers are also entitled to stay at the Raj Bhavan, depending on the availability of rooms. The VIP rooms are named after famous rivers such

as Bhagirathi, Mahanadi, Ghataprabha, Godavari, Pashchimavahini, Bhima, Narmada, while the VVIP rooms are named after hills such as Brahmagiri, Chamundi and Biligiriranga. On her visit to India in 1961, Queen Elizabeth II stayed at the Raj Bhavan, as did her brother-in-law Antony Armstrong-Jones, the First Earl of Snowdon and Princess Margaret’s husband.

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Illustration: Baadal C. Majumdar


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Chapter

IV

Gardens

“How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence!� Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881), British Prime Minister


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The lush green of the gardens makes a striking yet soothing contrast against the sparkling white of the building. 76


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striking feature of Bangalore is the ‘green crescent’ which starts at the Indian Institute of Science and cuts a swathe of emerald through the Palace Grounds, onto the links of the Bangalore Golf Club, the High Grounds, the Race Course, the Taj West End, the Raj Bhavan, the Vidhana Soudha and Attara Katcheri through Cubbon Park onto Lalbagh and ends in the garden nurseries in Siddhapura. At the heart of this green crescent, along with most of the heritage buildings in Bangalore from the British era, is the Raj Bhavan. The original expanse of the ‘Commissioner’s Bungalow Garden’ was 92 acres when purchased by the British Resident in 1862. Since then, a large number of institutions and buildings like the Vidhana Soudha have come up in this verdant expanse. All that remains now as part of the Raj Bhavan gardens is 16 acres. The Raj Bhavan’s colonnaded structure has a portico leading to terracing that merges with appurtenant gardens skirted by parapet walls and enhanced by metallic arches covered with flowering creepers.

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The formal garden just in front of the portico provides a fitting backdrop to the State events held there. The central pathway is flanked by a row of Royal Palms and presents an uninterrupted vista of green, a view that can also be enjoyed from the terrace of the guest quarters where Heads of State and other dignitaries might want to take in Bangalore’s well-known greenery.

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The Raj Bhavan gardens, which are maintained by the State Horticulture Department, are regular winners at the Lalbagh flower shows. 80


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Along the periphery of the formal lawns is an informal garden with fruit trees such as mango, sapota (chikoo), banana, papaya, pears, fig and starfruit (kamrakh). In addition, there is also a kitchen garden enclosed in a small section situated at the back which has alternate rows of cabbage and cauliflower. Behind the new, imposing fibre glass structure, there is a nursery for plants which has generated new plantings in pots as well as on the ground.

The nursery behind the glass structure 81


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Most of the greenery that abounds in the Raj Bhavan can be traced back to the Lalbagh (originally the Rose & Cypress Garden). This legendary garden was set up in 1760 by Hyder Ali as a ‘Royal Pleasure Garden’ in his family fiefdom in Bangalore which, after Tipu Sultan’s death in 1799, came under British control. In 1856, the Chief Commissioner of Mysore State, Cubbon, on the recommendation of Dr. Cleghorn, the Chief Conservator of Forests of South India, declared open the State Botanical Garden, later known as the Lalbagh.

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In tandem with the emergence of the British Empire, the plant wealth discovered on expeditions around the world found their way into British colonies and most of all, into India. Bangalore, which was built on a barren plateau, was a beneficiary of these crosscurrents of plant exchanges and the Raj Bhavan has a number of exotic plants which have had adventurous journeys from their far-flung native lands across the high seas. The exotic species include the New Caledonian Pine (Araucaria cookii) and Hoop Pine from Australia (Araucaria cunninghamii); the Cypress tree (Cupressus sempervirens) from Southern Europe and Mediterranean; trees from the world’s richest grasslands,

A solitary walk through the green arches, past the wooden benches, offers respite from state affairs. 84


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the Cerrado in Brazil, like the Primavera (Tabebuia donnell-smithii) of which Bangalore has only three specimens, and the Royal Palms (Roystonea regia) from Cuba, Florida and the Caribbean as well as various Eucalyptus species from Australia. In addition, there is the ubiquitous Raintree which was also brought in from the Caribbean and the magnificent towering Ficus benjamina, also known as the Java fig, which was brought all the way from Indonesia. These trees thrive in Lalbagh and the Raj Bhavan to this day and are much cherished as part of Bangalore’s flora. 85


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This mix of exotic and magnificent indigenous trees that one sees in the Raj Bhavan gardens is also found right across Bangalore today, with the exotic species tending to dominate the avenues and the major parks in the city. Prominent among the indigenous trees are two magnificent Banyan trees, one in the corner of the wall parallel to Vidhana Veedhi and the wall skirting the Raj Bhavan road, and the other near the Raj Bhavan main structure. There is also a well-grown sampige tree (Michelia champaka – Karnataka’s contribution to the world of Magnolias) and a stand of six grand Pinus longifolia or Chir pine trees behind the new block.

86


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This magnificent Banyan stands as a silent sentinel.


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The Raj Bhavan garden is home to a myriad species of flowering plants, like the snapdragon seen here, making it a nature lover’s delight. 88


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The Sharabha is a mythical creature from the Puranas, embodying the virtues of wisdom, courage and strength. 89


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Apart from these trees, there are also flowers, shrubs and creepers from all over the world, the most common and hardy of these being the Bougainvillea brought all the way from Brazil. The Raj Bhavan is dominated by the greenery of leaves and foliage; glabrous, fleshy, serrated and ridged, paper thin, heart shaped, sword and scythe shaped and in all tints and hues of green merging occasionally into blue – shapes and colours seemingly endless.

90


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91


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The emerald-hued lawn with the majestic domes of Vidhana Soudha forming the backdrop has been the site of many formal gatherings.

92


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During the swine flu outbreak in 2009, the Raj Bhavan staff made a bee-line to the herb garden to garner protection. Their magic potion was Amrutha Balli (Tinospora Cordifolia), a medicinal plant whose leaves and stem are known to be excellent defence against flu. 93


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An arresting sight in these gardens is the wooden seats which are carved wholly out of the trunk of a majestic Araucaria tree that fell due to heavy rains in 2000. These seats, housed inside the gazebo at the southern end of the main building under the towering Banyan tree, have been scooped out and shaped from a single piece of the trunk, while a table top made of glass rests on a cross section of a hollow trunk of the Araucaria with spear-like extensions of the branches turning inwards into the hollow centre.

94


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Gardens - The Raj Bhavan

95


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96


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In yet another similarity to Lalbagh, there is a large fibre glass structure as eye-catching as the Glass House in Lalbagh which was modelled on the Crystal Palace in London. This imposing structure is made of iron, aluminium and fibre glass. The overall effect is of light tumbling in and out of the structure; with the raised sidewalls, there is a free flow of air vortexing into the centre. The ground is carpeted by tough green buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides syn. Stenotaphrum secondatum), a heavy duty grass that can take the footfalls of the huge congregations which assemble here during functions hosted by the Governor.

97


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Col. Sir Oliver St. John (Resident, 1889-91) had a pet dog which was buried in the premises of the Residency. This grave is still being maintained in the Raj Bhavan. 98


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99


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100


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The Raj Bhavan gardens also have a fine collection of exquisite sculptures from the temples of the different ruling dynasties in the central western part of the peninsula. Traditionally, the monuments from which the sculptures have been brought were surrounded by sacred groves. These groves were often planted with fruting trees such as the mango as well as trees with fragrant flowers like the sampige. by VIJAY THIRUVADY Vijay Thiruvady is a trustee of Bangalore Environment Trust and conducts a green heritage walk each Sunday at Lalbagh. He is the author of ‘Heritage Trees In And Around Bangalore’ and ‘Deverakadus and Gundutopus’.

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Chapter

V

Artefacts

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life... and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. William Faulkner (1897 - 1962), American novelist


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Bharavahaka (load bearer from a pillar capital), an architectural fragment from Early Chalukyan period (8th century)


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I

n keeping with the hierarchy and function of the office of the Governor, the Raj Bhavan has a virtual treasure trove of colonial prints, Indian classical sculptures and paintings and artefacts. It is a site for many significant archaeological fragments in a variety of historical styles. Every collection reflects the taste of the collector and makes a statement about aesthetics and the act of possessing an objet d’art, a piece of history and many a time, diplomatic gifts that nurture friendships between people and countries. When State power is complemented with an aesthetic taste, we have a collection that is worthy of the location and which becomes significant enough to represent a historical legacy. Its privileged inhabitants have left an indelible mark on the Raj Bhavan. The treasures collected through the ages by the distinguished Governors, are a study in the tastes of the elite and the privileged class.

Chola-style Parvathi/Devi, reproduction by a skilled traditional Sthapathi (sculptor) 106


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Gopalakrishna, Tanjore painting 107


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Rural landscape, Hanumaiah

108


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View of eastern entrance of Fort St. George

COLONIAL INTERLUDE The British came with a new taste in interiors, and their interest in collecting from the colonies kept growing. The rich landscape was recorded as a curious postcard to send back home and the newly discovered territories were harnessed for the rich merchandise, like ivory, sandalwood, gold, silver and precious stones. The Company school etchings from the colonial period depict exotic landscapes and curious habits of natives, caste types and architectural edifices from a colonial perspective. The etchings in the Raj Bhavan are a record of the colonial gaze of the British artist who depicted Indian imagery in a new visual language of western European art. The genre of landscapes and botanical drawings are some examples. The prints are very specific and are a reminder of the days of the British colonial rule.

109


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Garden gate, Lalbagh, Srirangapatna

View from Bangalore GangadhareshwaraTemple, Company school print 110

Priest - South India, etching print


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View of Uttara Durga, Company school landscape print

Native soldier at Srirangapatna, print

View of Hoskote 111


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Rural landscape 112


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Another colonial influence is the hunting trophies of animals that dominate the interiors. These stuffed creatures once roamed freely in the forest of Mysore till the royal shikar made a game out of killing them. Sad but true, the British Raj and the Indian royals took great pleasure and pride in this pastime. The few oil paintings of celestial nymphs and still life complete the quintessential drawing room accessories for the British residents.

View of encampment, Kanjipuram, Company school landscape 113


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A view of Barah Mahal

Some of the most significant limited edition prints include landscapes that the British traversed during the conquest of Tipu Sultan. The collection of prints brings to life the landscape that the British army must have marched through in the 18th century during the period of increased traffic between the Madras Presidency and the Kingdom of Mysore. Later, these etchings would also serve as strategic tools for the eventual conquest of Tipu Sultan’s army. 114


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Temple ritual, South India

These landscapes reflect their interest in mapping the terrain for military and artistic purposes, making the landscape of Mysore and its surroundings historically significant. Among these Company school prints are also some rare prints of the local terrain - Srirangapatna, Lalbagh, Hosur, Kolar and other picturesque views of the conquered lands.

115


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THE ANCIENT INDIAN HERITAGE COLLECTION The Raj Bhavan garden is adorned with many exquisite sculptures that form a part of the lush, green landscape. The significant styles of these sculptures placed at strategic locations represent the different historical periods of Karnataka, like the Chalukya, Chola, Vijayanagara and Hoysala periods with their distinctive style of carving religious iconographic imagery into stones and intricate architectural details.

Vishnu with Sridevi and Bhudevi, Later Vijayanagara (17th century) 116

The collection includes a rare, free standing sculpture of a lion guarding the entrance, one of the many fragments of architecture collected by the residents as well as the Department of Archaeology & Museums. Among the most distinguished sculptures are that of Kubera, busts of female goddesses, a bharavahaka - a carved human figure that also acts as an architectural support for the structure above, and a classic Chola-style bronze. Needless to say, this valuable collection is priceless and of great artistic merit.


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Gaja Vyala, 7th century 117


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Architectural fragment, Later Chalukyan (12th century) 118


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Gandharva couple, Early Chalukyan 119


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Shalabhanjika Yakshi, Later Chalukyan (11-12th century)

These fragments of history are a proud reminder of the diverse art forms and styles that exist in the state and which have been relegated to the pages of a forgotten legacy - they are silent witnesses to the changing times. Vishnu, Vijayanagara 120


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Fragment of a Hero Stone, Vijayanagara 121


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Surya, Later Chalukyan 122


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Ranganatha with Lakshmi, Later Chalukyan (13th century) 123


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When historical works of art are collected and displayed, they also achieve secular status as a ‘work of art’ and cease to have religious connotations. This transformation of the object marks a paradigm shift. Further, their relocation from the original site into a high security zone protects them from the ravages of vandalism and theft, thus making it possible to preserve the historical legacy that they embody. Most of all, they have added the much-needed Indian historical heritage to a colonial edifice and their relocation testifies to the changing political landscape of a nation asserting its new-found freedom from colonial powers. Devi, Chalukyan

Wooden relief panel frieze of multiple Hindu gods and goddesses 124


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Devi, Later Chalukyan 125


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Somaskanda, Chola 126


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Jain Thirtankara, Later Chalukyan (12th century) 127


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POST-INDEPENDENCE CULTURAL DIVERSITY In the post-colonial situation following Independence, one can see a new emphasis on the regional painting styles of Mysore. The icon paintings that originally adorned pooja rooms and temples later became status symbols, and such paintings were avidly collected by patrons of art. A large collection of these religious narratives with the typical gilded gold leaf adorns the interiors of the Raj Bhavan, including the Presidential suite. Gajendra Moksha, Mysore painting 128


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Fine examples of Tanjore glass paintings and religious icons further add to the variety of these favourite collectibles from the turn of the century. These icon paintings have a significant history: they emerged from the Vijayanagara mural tradition and were later patronized by the local kings, Wodeyars of Mysore and Nayaks of Tanjore. Their unique characteristics are the use of gold leaf and embossing. While the Mysore style has delicate linearity and colouring with gesso decorations for jewellery, the Tanjore style is a variation with elaborate gesso work and the use of semi-precious stones. The unique glass paintings of Tanjore bear some secular themes and are fine examples of the reverse painting tradition of southern India.

Krishna, Tanjore paintings 129


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Kalinga Mardana, glass painting 130


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Nataraja, Tanjore painting 131


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The reproduction of the Ajanta cave murals was an exercise in preserving the originals. Many local artists were involved in reproducing the meticulous details of the Buddhist caves with scenes from the Jataka tales that preached the truth of Buddhism through popular anecdotes. The walls leading up to the Governor’s private residence flaunt a new collection of artwork loaned by the Kannada & Culture Department which includes a variety of picturesque landscapes by modern Kannada artists like S.N. Chandrashekar.

Navaneetha Krishna with consort, Tanjore painting

132


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The use of water colour is another colonial tradition nurtured by the locals. The transparency of colour and the layering was a skill much appreciated and practised by the locals who have since mastered the water colour technique. The images of Khedda, a technique to capture wild elephants, also bears a historical theme as a reminder of a popular royal pastime. Photographs of architectural monuments in the state are framed and exhibited along the corridors.

Rama with Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman, Mysore painting

133


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Interior of Madurai Temple 134


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The Raj Bhavan is an imperial setting that entertains heads of state, dignitaries and powerful political leaders and its rich collection of artefacts forms an integral part of this setting, helping shape its character and appeal as one of the most important institutions in the state. These artefacts are a delightful repository of history, each resonating with the echoes of a bygone time, each carrying a story of its own. Moreover, the significant collection of paintings, sculptures and photographs reflects the heritage, history and the changing tastes of the Governors and Residents who have inhabited this space. It is also an acknowledgement of the presence of the rich craft and eclectic skills of many unknown Indian artists. Most of all, it is a tribute to the diversity of a nation and a State. by SURESH JAYARAM Suresh Jayaram has an MFA from M.S. University Baroda. He is an art historian and former Dean of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. His area of research involves the history of Bangalore and contemporary Indian art. He has curated significant shows and is a recipient of the Charles Wallace grant from the British Council in 2006. His writings are part of important publications and he is involved in archiving the city of Bangalore.

135


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Chapter

VI

Behind the Scenes

Without labour nothing prospers Sophocles (496 BC - 406 BC), Ancient Greek playwright


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The central lounge of the Raj Bhavan


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His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj and First Lady Prafulata Bhardwaj 138


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THE RAJ BHAVAN AS A HOUSEHOLD

B

ehind the formal faรงade of the official residence of the first citizen of the State, a silent machinery is at work to keep the household running smoothly. Standard operating procedures have been established for all functions and the details are carefully implemented to ensure that the substantial network of rooms, along with

their innumerable artefacts and paintings, are spotlessly maintained. The traditions initiated during the time of the British are still evident in the efficiency of the staff. The management of the household is the responsibility of two Aides-de-Camp (ADCs), one drawn from the Armed Forces and the other from the Police service. Their task involves a careful coordination of the staff movement in tandem with His Excellency's activities. Under them is a manager who supervises about hundred employees on the campus.

His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj with his core team, (left to right) CSO A. Maruthi, OSD Vijay Kumar, ADC to Governor (Navy) Lt. Cdr. Navin Jacob, ADC to Governor (Police) K.C.V. Mane, Principal Secretary to Governor G.V. Krishna Rau and Private Secretary to Governor M.P. Tiwari 139


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The Raj Bhavan - Behind the Scenes

DIVISION OF STAFF The official staff at the Raj Bhavan are divided into four groups, namely Group A which consists of the Principal Secretary to the Governor, the ADCs to the Governor, a doctor and the chief security officer; Group B consisting of the household manager, the civil engineer, the electrical engineer and two police inspectors; Group C consisting of a sub-inspector, an assistant sub-inspector, chauffeurs, telephone operators, storekeepers and electricians, and Group D consisting of the cleaners, plumbers, pump operators, police constables and cooks.

The Raj Bhavan staff in full livery 140


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STAFF QUARTERS There are residential quarters for all the officers and the employees comprising of a total of 62 units spanning over an area of 25,000 square feet in the premises. The essential staff of the Governor and his family, who work in shifts, have been provided with accomodation inside the Raj Bhavan itself. There is a dormitory for the police personnel posted to the Raj Bhavan. There is also separate accommodation for the firemen, where they can reside in case of an emergency. 141


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DINING Meals in the Raj Bhavan are usually vegetarian as the current Governor is a vegetarian, though distinguished visitors are offered a choice of non-vegetarian fare for which ingredients are purchased fresh from the market. The quality of food and service can vie with that of a fivestar hotel. Hygiene is especially important in the kitchen, both in the Governor’s private section as well as in the pantries in the VIP and VVIP rooms. 142


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An everyday lunch or dinner would have a simple three-course menu while VIPs are served a five-course menu. The beverage of choice is tender coconut water with lunch and dinner. The manager supervises the preparation of food and service in the Raj Bhavan kitchen. The Raj Bhavan, like any household, has a choice of dinnerware and cutlery, depending on the menu. The serving staff are well-trained in both the English and the French ways of serving which is adapted to the lifestyles of their guests.

Parties at the Raj Bhavan are known for their attention to detail and the finest service. 143


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The Raj Bhavan - Behind the Scenes

DINING HALL AND DURBAR HALL The Raj Bhavan has a dining hall and a banquet hall. The dining hall doubles up as a meeting room while the Durbar Hall, also known as the Nandi Hall, is turned into a dining hall on special events, depending on the number of guests.

His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj and First Lady Prafulata Bhardwaj hosting dinner for President of Iceland, Ă“lafur Ragnar GrĂ­msson and the First Lady of Iceland, Dorrit Moussaieff 144


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The plush lawns are the perfect setting for banquets and feasts.

145


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Former Governor Khurshed Alam Khan enjoying tea with his wife

146


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FLEET The Raj Bhavan has a small fleet of vehicles which is maintained in a garage on the premises. There are a total of ten cars in the garage, of which three are maintained for the Governor. The rest belong to the other administrative officials working in the Raj Bhavan. 147


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THE SALON

CLINIC

The Raj Bhavan has its own salon or barber shop. Recent upgradations have seen the salon move from a small room equipped with only a wooden chair and a table mirror, to a comfortable sofa, a bright big mirror and a proper hairdressing chair. VVIPs who have availed themselves of a hair cut at this very salon include former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and his sons and former Presidents, R. Venkataraman and K.R. Narayanan.

The Raj Bhavan has its own clinic. The doctor and his staff attend to the Governor and his family, as well as other officials of the Raj Bhavan.

DAIRY There are nine Jersey-Holstein cows which yield a substantial quantity of milk each day. Between them, Ganga, Supriya, Kaveri, Aishwarya, Radha and their other handsome sisters yield 40 litres in the morning and 25 litres in the evening. This suffices for the needs of the household and excess milk is sold to the staff of the Raj Bhavan. The money from the sale is used to buy groceries- a sign of good housekeeping. For a few years, there was a poultry in the premises but it was shut down during the bird-flu scare in 2003-04.

148

POST OFFICE A campus post office is exclusively meant for the transactions of the Raj Bhavan. All the important documents for the Governor and his officials are posted and received by this post office.

PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT The State Public Works Department (PWD) is entrusted with the renovation, addition, alteration and maintenance of the Raj Bhavan buildings and its premises. Two engineers, one for civil and the other for electrical works, are posted along with their sub-staff for the upkeep of the Raj Bhavan. During the year 2009-10, major works such as the renovation of the central lounge and construction of the reception centre were taken up.


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LIBRARY The richly carved teak cupboards in the Raj Bhavan library contain a treasure trove of knowledge with over 10,000 books in English, Hindi and Kannada on a wide variety of subjects ranging from history, architecture, astronomy, philosophy, literature to culture. A whole section is dedicated to Gandhian and Nehruvian philosophy.

His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj perusing a book in the Raj Bhavan library 149


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The ceremonial Guard of Honour outside the Glass House

150


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During Governor Khurshed Alam Khan’s tenure, his daughter-in-law presented him with a dog. The dog was named Jack, after Sir Oliver St. John’s dog. The dog stayed on when Khan’s term ended, and lived there during the term of two more Governors. Governor T.N. Chaturvedi developed such a fondness for the dog that he took the animal with him when his term ended. 151


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SECURITY An Assistant Commissioner of Police is the chief security officer (CSO) of the Raj Bhavan and shares the responsibility of security in and around the premises with two police inspectors, three sub-inspectors and twelve assistant sub-inspectors. There are CCTV cameras assisting the security staff and a vehicle scanner at the main gate, while the reception also serves as the luggage scanner section. There are two guard rooms, one at each gate.

Regular fire drills safeguard the VVIP residents of the Raj Bhavan. 152


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Behind the Scenes - The Raj Bhavan

Entry to the Raj Bhavan is restricted due to security reasons and visitors are allowed only with permission. While Governors like V.V. Giri and V.S. Rama Devi were keen to give access to the public, it was considered inadvisable due to the security threats. Thus, an invitation to an event at the Raj Bhavan is held in high esteem, for that is when one gets to see one of the stately buildings of India in its verdant setting, resplendent in all its glory. 153


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Chapter

VII

Roll of Honour

[...] their remembrance (will) be as lasting as the land they honoured Daniel Webster (1782 - 1852), American statesman


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The Raj Bhavan - Roll of Honour

His Excellency Hans Raj Bhardwaj, Governor of Karnataka, taking the oath of office 158


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Roll of Honour - The Raj Bhavan

Article 153 of the Constitution of India enables the appointment of a Governor for each state.

�

The most important role of a Governor is to advise his ministers and to warn them of the possible consequences of any policy they may wish to initiate or any legislative measure they may decide to place on the statute book. In order to carry out his duty properly, the Governor, even though he may belong to a particular political party, must look upon himself as above politics and as a representative of all sections of the state. For this purpose, it is equally necessary that the ministers must be in constant contact with him, and must place all the relevant material and information before him. The Governor must not be looked upon as being apart and aloof, sitting in isolated glory in Raj Bhavan, and only required to put his signature on various documents which the Constitution requires should bear his signature, or for the purpose of perusing files dealing with matters which have already been disposed of and which are of no interest to anyone except to history.

�

M. C. Chagla Former Governor of Bombay Roses in December - An autobiography

159


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T

Former Governor Khurshed Alam Khan greeting Field Marshal General K.M. Cariappa 160

he role of the Governor in post-Independence India has been discussed vigorously all through the last 60 years of the working of the Indian Constitution. As noted by the Sarkaria Commission and endorsed by the Supreme Court, the Governor’s role is that of “a Constitutional sentinel and that of vital link between the Union and the State…Being the holder of an independent Constitutional office, the Governor is not a subordinate or subservient agent of the Union Government.”


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Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh with former Governor T.N. Chaturvedi

There were spirited debates in the Constituent Assembly about the role of Governors and there were suggestions that the Governor should be an elected head. Eventually, the Assembly settled upon the Governor being an appointee of the President of India. Over the years, the role of the Governor continues to evolve. The Governors can create a niche for themselves and act as advisors and conscience keepers of the government in power. 161


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Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is welcomed by former First Lady, Mrs Subrata Banerji. 162


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Former Governor P. Venkatasubbaiah with former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi 163


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His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj and First Lady Prafulata Bhardwaj welcoming Congress President Sonia Gandhi to the Raj Bhavan

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Former Governor A.N. Banerji with former President Giani Zail Singh

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Former Chief Ministers S.R. Bommai, H.D. Deve Gowda and J.H. Patel with former Governor Khurshed Alam Khan

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he historic 1994 judgement of the Supreme Court clearly laid out the role of the Governor, following the controversial dismissal of the S.R. Bommai Government by the then Governor P. Venkatasubbaiah on the basis of a head count done on the lawns of the Raj Bhavan. The apex court ruled that henceforth, the test of majority of the government was to be held on the floor of the House. Karnataka, in a way, has paved the way in settling the key question of a majority or otherwise of the Government by the Governor.

Former Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah with His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj 167


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Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar (middle seated) flanked by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former Chief Minister of Mysore state, B.D. Jatti Photo: Information Department, Government of Karnataka

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Queen Elizabeth II waters an Araucaria cookii sapling in the Raj Bhavan premises as former Governor Dharma Vira (right) looks on. Photo: Information Department, Government of Karnataka

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RESIDENTS FROM 1799-1842

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amanagara, a town 40 kms from Bangalore city on the MysoreBangalore highway, whose rocky terrain was the setting for the cult film Sholay, was renamed ‘Closepet’ after Col. Sir Barry Close. While the town’s name was later changed back to its original name, a quarry there still goes by the name ‘Closepet Quarry’. Col. Sir Barry Close was instrumental in ensuring a British presence in the administration in the aftermath of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore war which saw the eventual fall of Tipu Sultan.

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Col. Sir Barry Close Webbe. Josiah M. C. S. Webbe. Josiah M. C. S. Col. Mark Wilks Malcom, Sir John Malcom, Sir John Arthur H. Cole Arthur H. Cole Sir Mark Cubbon Col. Fraser, James Stuart Major R.D. Stokes

: : : : : : : : : : :

22 July 1799 to March 1801 31 March 1801 to 01 February 1803 23 October 1803 to 01 February 1804 April 1804 to November 1804 November 1804 to March 1805 April 1807 to February 1808 1809 to 1812 1818 to 1827 May 1834 October 1834 to January 1836 19 January 1836 to 31 December 1842

From October 19, 1831, Commissioners were appointed in addition to Residents. On January 1, 1843, the post of the Resident was abolished and the duties of the Resident were combined with those of the Commissioner in Bangalore.


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COMMISSIONERS Briggs, John Col. Morrison, William Sir Mark Cubbon Lewin Bentham Bowring, ICS Sir Richard John Meade R.A. Dalyell (Officiated) C.B. Saunders Sir James Davidson Gordon, ICS

: : : : : : : :

December 1831 to November 1832 February 1933 to June 1834 June 1834 to March 1861 April 1862 to February 1870 February 1870 to April 1875 April 1875 (for about a year) 1876 to April 1877 April 1877 to March 1881

B

owringpet in Kolar district, originally called Maramootlu, was named after LB Bowring. It has now been renamed Bangarapet.

The State came under the direct rule of the Queen in 1877. The Rendition of the State took place on March 25, 1881 and the Maharaja Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur was placed on the throne at Mysore. The Chief Commissioner of Mysore became the Resident in Mysore and Chief Commissioner of Coorg.

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RESIDENTS Sir James Davidson Gordon, ICS Sir James Broadwood Lyall, ICS Sir Dennis Fitzpatrick, ICS Gen. Sir Harry Prendergast, VC Col. Sir Oliver St. John Gen. Sir Harry Prendergast, VC Col. P.D. Henderson, CSI Sir William Lee Warner Sir William Mackworth Young Col. Sir Donald Robertson Sir James A. Bourdillon, ICS Sir Stuart Mitfford Fraser, CSI, CIE Lt. Col. Sir Hugh Daly Henry Venn Cobb, CSI, CIE, OBE Sir Williams Pell Barton, CSI, CIE Watson Charles Cunningham, ICS Stuart E. Pears, ICS Lt. Col. Burke, RJC Lt. Col. Plowden, CTC, CIE Col. J.H. Gorden, CIE, OBE, MC Lt. Col. D. de MS Fraser, CIE Lt. Col. P. Gaisford, CIE

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: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

25 March 1881 to June 1883 June 1883 to March 1887 March 1887 to October 1887 October 1887 to January 1889 January 1889 to June 1891 June 1891 to April 1892 April 1892 to February 1895 February 1895 to September 1895 September 1895 to December 1896 December 1896 to October 1903 05 November 1903 to 24 May 1905 22 November 1905 to 25 August 1910 26 August 1910 to 07 April 1916 07 April 1916 to 08 March 1920 08 March 1920 to 27 June 1925 15 March 1924 to 30 August 1924 29 June 1925 to 1930 1930 to 1932 1934 to 1937 1938 to 1941 1942 to 1943 1944 to 1947


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Governors of Karnataka reality. The Government of India recognised his worth, and appointed him as the Raj Pramukh. His only condition before he accepted the role was that he would rule from his magnificent palace in Mysore. Till the end of his tenure as Raj Pramukh and then the Governor, the Raj Bhavan was delegated to be the official guest house for VIPs while Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar held his office in his palace. The Maharaja, or His Highness as he was referred to, who enjoyed probably the longest tenure as the Raj Pramukh/Governor for almost 17 years oversaw the transformation of the old Mysore State. Though there was resistance to the merger of parts of the old Hyderabad State as well as erstwhile Bombay region and Madras state into the Mysore State, Wodeyar kept himself scrupulously out of controversies.

Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar 01.11.1956 – 04.05.1964

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he switchover from being the ruler of a princely state to a Raj Pramukh and then as the Governor was achieved by this erudite scholar and music composer effortlessly. At the dawn of Independence, though there were many rulers who resisted merging into the new Indian state, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, one of the benevolent monarchs, showed no hesitation in acknowledging the new

His benevolent presence and his decision to keep himself away from the political storms, despite some opposition from his close associates to the merger of parts of Hyderabad state, Madras and Bombay state, ensured a smooth transfer into the newly formed linguistic state of Mysore in 1956. Wodeyar, who saw seven Chief Ministers during his 17-year tenure, maintained excellent relationships with all of them, and gave no cause for any concern or controversy. As a former ruler, he enjoyed enormous goodwill among the people, and he used it to push for development activities in the nascent State. His penchant for music and arts, culture and his philosophical leanings, also helped him in towering above everyone else, and at the same time providing the much-needed stability and stature to the Governments. His modest temperament and his non-controversial ways established him as a model Governor of the young Indian republic. 173


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he former army General, who succeeded Wodeyar as the second Governor of Karnataka, had a very short tenure of less than a year. It was a period when Mr. S. Nijalingappa was the unquestioned Chief Minister of Mysore, and there was peace on the political front. Gen. Srinagesh carried the discipline of the Army to the Raj Bhavan, and also in performing all his duties as the Governor, which impressed the public. His punctuality and his uprightness were infectious and set high standards in the running of the Raj Bhavan, of which he was the first denizen in the post-Independence period. General S. M. Srinagesh 04.05.1964 – 02.04.1965

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r. Varahagiri Venkata Giri could be termed the first ‘people’s Governor’ of Mysore. He was also the first politician to be appointed to the post. His impressive credentials as a labour leader of national and international stature, apart from his experience as a politician with enormous experience in the Government and the party, preceded him. Having led an active life as a politician and labour leader, he was not to be cocooned in the precincts of the Raj Bhavan. He launched a cleanliness drive in Bangalore, which endeared him to the ordinary citizens. Being a man of the people, he opened up the doors of the Raj Bhavan to the common man who responded with great enthusiasm. As he hailed from the Congress party and was a close associate of all the national leaders of his time, he shared mutual respect and trust with the then Chief Minister Mr. S. Nijalingappa, thereby heralding a new equation in the Governor-Chief Minister relationship. Varahagiri Venkata Giri 02.04.1965 – 13.05.1967

His deep knowledge of agriculture saw him taking on the mantle of the champion of farmers in the State. His tenure as Governor lasted just over two years as he became the Vice President of India.

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he next occupant of the Raj Bhavan was another eminent personality who combined legal acumen with politics. Having been the Judge of the Allahabad High Court and later a Rajya Sabha member and the Union Minister of Law, Mr. G.S. Pathak, brought enormous experience to his post. During his tenure he oversaw the change of guard from the Nijalingappa era to Mr. Veerendra Patil’s first tenure as the Chief Minister. Mr. Pathak’s erudite presence ensured a smooth transition. It was coincidental that Mr. Pathak’s tenure as the Governor was also just a little over two years cut, as he followed his predecessor Mr. Giri, to the hallowed post of the Vice President of India. Gopal Swarup Pathak 13.05.1967 – 30.08.1969

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Mr. Dharma Vira stood up for the State, like no one else before him. The financial situation was difficult as the State had run up a huge overdraft with the Reserve Bank of India and he took up cudgels on behalf of the State. His forceful interventions with the Central Government, seeking a special accommodation grant of Rs. 60 crore to clear the overdraft, made him popular among the people of the State. Commenting on the incident and the stand he took, Mr. Vira had remarked, “In such circumstances, regardless of the consequences, it is the moral duty of the Governor to take cudgels on behalf of the State and its people. A Governor who does not do so, would not be ‘worth his salt’.”(Governor’s Role in the Indian Constitution, by Sibranjan Chatterjee, Pg.162, 163). This stand had further endeared him to the people of the State. Dharma Vira 23.10.1969 – 01.02.1972

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he 27 month tenure of this former ICS officer*, known for his no-nonsense ways, was the most significant and dramatic, among all the Governors. Mr. Dharma Vira was the first Governor under whom the State went into a rather prolonged spell of President’s rule, for the first time, between March 19, 1971 and March 20, 1972. For the people of the State, it was the first experience of President’s rule, and all eyes were on the Governor.

Mr. Dharma Vira’s role in the imposition of President’s rule, for the first time ever in the State, also has been a matter of many a study. His clear enunciation of the reasons for his recommendation for imposition of President’s rule, but without recommending the dissolution of the Assembly, is worth studying by every student of Indian Constitution and the use of Art.356. Incidentally, during his tenure, banquets in the Raj Bhavan assumed a richer hue and guests sat down to elaborate spirited meals. * ICS officers or officers of the Indian Civil Service under British colonial rule later came to be called IAS or Indian Admnsitrative Service. Civil servants are regarded as an elite body of highly educated and trained force.

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stalwart of the Congress party, Mr. Mohan Lal Sukhadia was the Chief Minister for a record 17 years in Rajasthan. His taking over as Governor of Karnataka had a special significance, as the President’s rule was about to end and fresh elections were to be held in the State in early 1972. Having been a Chief Minister himself, he had a good grip over matters of administration. A shrewd politician, he was handpicked by the formidable Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, who had by then successfully managed to split the Congress and had come back to power at the Centre with an overwhelming majority. The elections in Karnataka were therefore of great significance, as Mrs. Indira Gandhi was fighting the Congress (O), led by Mr. Nijalingappa and Mr. Veerendra Patil among others. Following the elections in the State, the Congress (R) government under Mr. Devaraj Urs, was ushered in by Mr. Sukhadia. It was also during his tenure that Emergency was declared in the country. Mohanlal Sukhadia 01.02.1972 – 10.01.1976

However, his role during the period never became controversial, as he preferred to keep a low profile. He relaunched the city cleaning drive in Bangalore, started by Mr. V.V. Giri, much to the delight of Bangaloreans. It was during his nearly four-year tenure that Bangalore also saw influx of people from his home State, Rajasthan, who continue to contribute to the trade and industry in the State.

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r. Uma Shankar Dikshit, was a veteran Congressman. As the country continued to be under a state of Emergency, and the state had the powerful Chief Minister Mr. Devaraj Urs at the helm, Mr. Dikshit confined himself to the traditional interpretation of the role of the Governor. He brought in a breath of fresh air as he was the first Governor to speak extempore on public occasions. His vast experience was shared with the audience much to their delight. Having been a Hindi journalist, he also took keen interest in the newspapers and was known to keep a close eye on the way stories were published, and would discuss it with journalists.

Umashankar Dikshit 10.01.1976 – 02.08.1977

His tenure was cut short, following the advent of Janata Party government at the Centre, after the Emergency was lifted in 1977. He was one of the many Governors appointed by the erstwhile Congress government who were summarily removed by the new Government.

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Mr. R. Gundu Rao and Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde in power, and had a spell under President’s rule, after he recommended the dismissal of the Devaraj Urs ministry. He was known to be a good administrator, backed by his varied and long experience at the Centre. Mr. Narain had the tough task of managing affairs when Congress split in Karnataka. The running battle between the Janata Party led by Mr. Devaraj Urs and the Congress led by Mr. K.H. Patil put him repeatedly in difficult situations as the Government came under pressure. Mr. Narain initially resisted the Centre’s efforts (Janata Party Government) to bring down the Urs Government and insisted on the Chief Minister testing his majority on the floor of the House. He, however revised his decision almost overnight and recommended President’s rule. Govind Narain 02.08.1977 – 15.04.1983

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ppointed by the Janata Party government in 1977, this former ICS Officer, who held senior positions in the Government of India, including the Home and Defence Secretary, had an eventful tenure as the Governor. Mr. Govind Narain’s tenure saw three Chief Ministers, Mr. Devaraj Urs,

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However after three months of President’s rule, Mr. Narain was to once again administer the oath of office to Mr. Devaraj Urs as the Chief Minsiter, after a thumping victory for the Congress in the elections. A couple of years later, he oversaw the change of government, from Urs to Mr. R. Gundu Rao. Later in 1983, he had sworn in Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde, amid much fanfare. He became the first Governor to give the oath of office to a Chief Minister and his cabinet on the steps of Vidhana Soudha, and not in the Raj Bhavan, as was the normal practice. Mr. Narain was, to date, the third longest serving Governor of Karnataka, as he completed five years and eight months in office.


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nother ICS officer who adorned the Raj Bhavan in Karnataka, Mr. A.N. Banerji brought to his post the dignity and demeanour attached to the officers of the British days.

Mr. Banerji maintained the correct position despite contentious debates between him and the then Chief Minister, Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde. It was during his tenure that Mr. Hegde resigned even before completing two years and decided to go in for fresh elections, after the Lok Sabha elections in 1984. At that point of time, the Governor decided to allow Mr. Hegde to continue as the care-taker Chief Minister. In fact, Mr. Banerji administered the oath of office to Mr. Hegde twice during his tenure, once after the mid-term elections and another after Mr. Hegde resigned due to internal politics of his party, and was persuaded to return after three days. A. N. Banerji 16.04.1983 – 25.02.1988

Mr. Banerji went on to complete his full five-year tenure without raising any serious controversies. He proved to be a popular Governor, as he went around the State and showed much interest in the affairs of the Universities coming under his Chancellorship.

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n terms of the Constitutional significance, the two-year tenure of Mr. P. Venkatasubbaiah, a veteran Congressman, as the Governor of Karnataka, stands out among all Governors. The beginning of the tenure of this Governor was a period of intense political turmoil in Karnataka. The Janata Party government headed then by Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde was undergoing severe intra-party pressures, which led to his resignation and Mr. S.R. Bommai replacing him. Mr. Venkatasubbaiah who administered the oath of office to Mr. Bommai, however went down in history, when eight months later, he dismissed the ministry. The method employed by him, which had been employed by many Governors all over the country till then, was to do a head count of the MLAs, supporting and opposing the Chief Minister and on that basis, to recommend the dismissal of the Government.

P. Venkatasubbaiah 26.02.1988 – 05.02.1990

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This dismissal was challenged, resulting in the Supreme Court laying down new procedures in a landmark judgement having great implifications for Centre-State relations. The Apex court barred any Governor from using the Raj Bhavan premises to do a head count, and ordered that the test of the majority could only be held in the legislative assembly. It also mandated that any dissolution of a State Assembly would have to be ratified by both Houses of Parliament.


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n appointee of Mr. V.P. Singh’s National Front Government, Mr. Bhanu Pratap Singh has had the shortest tenure among all Governors of Karnataka so far.

His eight months in office were, however quite eventful. It was during this period that Mr. Veerendra Patil, the Congress Chief Minister was summarily removed from the post by his party, which resulted in Mr. Singh recommending President’s rule in the State. Though the decision to impose President’s rule was controversial and was questioned by many political and Constitutional experts, Mr. Singh stuck to his decision as he had ensured that the Assembly was not dismissed but kept in suspended animation.

Bhanu Pratap Singh 08.05.1990 – 06.01.1991

Central rule lasted just about a week as the Congress party managed to find a new leader, Mr. S. Bangarappa.With the change of Government at the Centre, Mr. Singh also had to demit office.

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he longest serving Governor after Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, Mr. Khurshed Alam Khan’s tenure lasted nearly nine years, cutting across five Governments at the Centre, headed by Mr. Chandra Shekhar, Mr. P.V. Narasimha Rao, Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda, Mr. I.K. Gujral and Mr. A.B. Vajpayee. This is itself an indication of his ability to carry all parties and shades of opinions with him, which was the hallmark of his tenure as the Governor. Mr. Khan’s nine year tenure also saw four Chief Ministers in Karnataka, Mr. S. Bangarappa, Mr. Veerappa Moily, Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda and Mr. J.H. Patel, all of whom had excellent relations with him. The stability and grace he brought to bear on the Raj Bhavan and his post, after some volatile times that the hallowed precincts had witnessed, was much appreciated by the people of the State. Having been an educationist and nurturing Jamia Millia Islamia into an independent university, Mr. Khan took keen interest in his role as the Chancellor of the Universities. Khurshed Alam Khan 06.01.1991 – 02.12.1999

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He kept away from political controversies despite the change in governments, four times during his tenure. His scholarly disposition and mild ways were popular among the ordinary people, who were always welcome to the Raj Bhavan and to seek his help and guidance.


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he first woman Governor to take office in the State, she proved to be a text book Governor, during her nearly three years in office. Mrs. Rama Devi believed that Governors were mere figureheads, and it was the elected representatives who had wielded and should wield power in a democracy. (The Hindu, Aug. 21, 2002) In tune with this belief, she avoided publicity and preferred to avoid the media, and the only press conference she addressed was after she demitted office. During her tenure, she even undermined the powers of the Governor to appoint Vice Chancellors, saying that Governors more often should act on the advice of the council of ministers. In fact she assented to a Bill which whittled down powers of the Governor (Chancellor) in appointing the Vice Chancellors and even defended her decision. Not one for pomp and splendour associated with the high office, she tried to limit the expenditure on security and trappings of office of the Governor.

V.S. Rama Devi 02.12.1999 – 20.08.2002

As a special area of interest, she spread legal awareness particularly among women and weaker sections of society and also wrote prolifically on women and law, children and law and handicapped and law. A nature lover, she paid special attention to the gardens at Raj Bhavan. She also added terracotta figurines. She had an informal style and encouraged camaraderie amongst the staff through games and cultural activities.

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n appointee of the NDA Government, this former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), proved his credentials as a fair and unbiased Governor during his five-year tenure. He was the only Governor appointed by the NDA Government who was allowed to continue in office after the change of Government at the Centre in 2004. Mr. T.N. Chaturvedi stood up to the faith reposed in him, when he performed admirably all through the crisis which saw the Dharam Singhled coalition Government falling. This was followed by the withdrawal of support by a section of the Janata Dal(S). His decision to allow Mr. Singh to prove his majority on the floor of the House established his credentials further. His handling of the succeeding events which resulted in Mr. H.D. Kumaraswamy becoming Chief Minister, was also much appreciated by the Constitutional experts, as he stuck to the rule book. T.N. Chaturvedi 21.08.2002 – 20.07.2007

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Mr. Chaturvedi, thereby established himself as one of the fairest Governors Karnataka had seen, despite facing tumultuous political times during his tenure.


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veteran Congressman, he had the rare distinction of presiding over the affairs of the State twice under President’s rule in the less than two years that he was the Governor.

Mr. Rameshwar Thakur, who brought decades of experience as a loyal party man, was faced with one of the most volatile political environments Karnataka has witnessed, during his tenure. This resulted in a brief President’s rule for a month first, and then later for a more prolonged six months, before fresh elections were held in the State. Throughout this period, Mr. Thakur managed to stick to the rule book, even as he allowed political dynamics to take its own course. His decisions which were criticized by the affected political party passed the test of Constitutional experts. Rameshwar Thakur 21.07.2007 – 28.06.2009

During the latter spell of President’s rule, he laid stress on the developmental activities in the State, before he handed over the power to the elected Government.

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senior advocate of the Supreme Court by profession, Dr. Hans Raj Bhardwaj served as a Member of Parliament for 27 years. He was the Minister of State for Law and Justice from December 1985 to November 1989, Minister of State for Law and Justice and Company Affairs from July 1992 to May 1996, and Cabinet Minister of Law and Justice of the Union of India from May 22, 2004 to May 28, 2009. He is an ardent follower of Jawaharlal Nehru’s secular vision and believes in religious harmony. He is deeply interested in the multi-cultural and multi-dimensional core of Karnataka and has constantly advocated building upon these strengths. He is committed to protect the rights of the minorities in the State. He is highly accessible to the public as he feels it is his duty to listen to people of all shades and opinions. He is also a supporter of the ‘Watan Ki Sair’ series, an effort by the Armed Forces to integrate the children from far flung areas of Kashmir into the mainstream of society.

Hans Raj Bhardwaj 29.06.2009 – Till date

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Dr. Bhardwaj has taken a keen interest in the Universities of Karnataka as Chancellor, and has made it his mission to develop the Universities of the State into centers of excellence. He has also instituted the Dr. VKRV Rao Memorial Lecture series at the Raj Bhavan to promote academic excellence and has invited eminent speakers to deliver lectures at regular intervals. He has authored several books such as Law, Lawyers & Judges, Soul of India, Crime, Criminal Justice and Human Rights and India - A Fellowship of Faiths.


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OFFICIATING GOVERNORS Mangaldas Pakwasa

15.04.1959 – 01.07.1959 16.04.1960 – 02.07.1960 10.04.1961 – 24.06.1961 19.04.1962 – 20.07.1962 07.08.1963 – 07.10.1963

Justice A.R. Somanath Iyer

30.08.1969 – 23.10.1969

Justice S. Mohan

05.02.1990 – 08.05.1990

Justice S.P. Bharucha

30.05.1992 – 27.06.1992

Justice M.L. Pendse

01.12.1995 – 21.12.1995

Information collated by GIRISH NIKAM Girish Nikam is an independent journalist and columnist as well as a journalism educator and researcher. Originally from Mysore, Karnataka, he is currently based in New Delhi. He has been awarded by the Karnataka Media Academy for his contribution in the field of Journalism.

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Chapter

VIII

Memorable Moments

To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. Thomas Campbell (1777- 1844), Scottish poet


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Acclaimed violinist L. Subramanium (left) giving one of his captivating performances at the Raj Bhavan


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His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj and First Lady Prafulata Bhardwaj with differently abled children

His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj interacting with children 192


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His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj with the Archbishop of Bangalore, Most Rev. Bernard Blasius Moras, at the Raj Bhavan

His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj with British Prime Minister David Cameron

His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj and First Lady Prafulata Bhardwaj with Prof. Ramachandra Guha at the Dr. VKRV Rao Memorial Lecture series 193


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His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj with Sri Vishveshatirtha Swamiji (on left), the current Swamiyar, or pontiff, of the Pejavara matha

His Excellency H.R.Bhardwaj with the Premier of Quebec Jean Charest 194

A delegation of religious minorities calling upon His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj at the Raj Bhavan


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His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj and First Lady Prafulata Bhardwaj with the External Minister of China, Yang Jiechi (first from left)

First Lady Prafulata Bhardwaj with First Lady of Iceland, Dorrit Moussaieff

His Excellency H.R. Bhardwaj and First Lady Prafulata Bhardwaj with the Republic Day Celebrations (RDC) Contingent 2010, Karnataka & Goa NCC Directorate

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Former Governor Khurshed Alam Khan with former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher

Former Governor T.N. Chaturvedi with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin 196

Former Governor Govind Narain with former President Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, former Chief Minister of Karnataka Devaraj Urs and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Marri Channa Reddy


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Memorable Moments - The Raj Bhavan

Classical dancers Shridhar and Anuradha Shridhar at the Raj Bhavan

Cultural extravaganzas mark special occasions at the Raj Bhavan.

Parties at the Raj Bhavan are made livelier by the band. 197


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The Raj Bhavan - Bibliography

1. Author: Gundappa D.V. Mysurina Kaigannadi, Mysurina Dewanaru and Jnapaka Chitrashale. Mysore: Kavyalaya Prakashana, 1971 2. Author: Vikram Sampath. Splendours of Royal Mysore. New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 2008 3. Author: Lewin B. Bowring. Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan and the Struggle with the Musalman Powers of the South. New Delhi: Idarah-I Adabiyat-I Delli, 1893 4. Author: Major Dirom. A Narrative of the campaign in India which terminated the war with Tippoo Sultan. London: W. Bulmer and Co., 1793 5. Author: T.P. Issar. The City Beautiful. Bangalore: Bangalore Urban Art Commission, 1988 6. Author: M.C. Chagla. Roses in December – An autobiography. Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 2000

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Bibliography - The Raj Bhavan

7. Authors: Pranab Bardhan, Atul Kohli & Amrita Basu. The success of India’s democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001 8. Authors: V. Bhaskar Rao, B. Venkateshwarlu. Parliamentary Democracy in India. New Delhi: Mittal Publications, 1987 9. Authors: K. Matthew Kurian & P.N. Varughese. Centre-State Relations. New Delhi: Macmillan India Ltd., 1981 10. Author: S.R. Maheshwari. President’s Rule in India. New Delhi: Macmillan India Ltd., 1977 11. Author: Tirumale Tatacharya Sharma. Mysuru Itihasada Haleya Putagalu. Bangalore: Navaneeta Prakashana, 1996 12. From Residency to Raj Bhavan. Bangalore: Government of Karnataka, 1999 13. Karnataka Charitre - Vol. V, VI & VII. Hampi: Kannada University, 1997

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Raj Bhavan - Bibliography

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Credits Editor-in-Chief: Sandhya Mendonca Design: Mishta Roy Principal photography: Asha Thadani Photographs of events courtesy: Antony Anjee Illustrations: Jai Iyer Editorial & Design team: Rajagopal V, Raghunandan, Remuna Rai, Suresh G

GRATEFUL THANKS TO: G.V. Krishna Rau, IAS Principal Secretary to Governor of Karnataka Lt. Cdr. Navin Jacob ADC to Governor of Karnataka (Navy) K.C.V. Mane, KSPS ADC to Governor of Karnataka (Police)

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