Monday, August 23, 2010

Bus Day

Earlier this month, Bangalore Midday asked for a piece on lesser-known heritage spots in Bangalore that can be reached by Volvo buses. They published this on 4th August, Bus Day. A nice way of promoting the use of buses, I thought.

Here are some of the areas I wrote about for them.


If you know that Kempegowda founded the city of Bangalore, you’ve probably heard of the tragic tale of sacrifice associated with its establishment. The story goes that in 1537, when construction of Kempegowda’s fort was nearly complete, the king ran into a problem: each time the southern gate was constructed, it would collapse at night. Astrologers advised Kempegowda that a human sacrifice, especially of a pregnant woman, would solve the issue. But Kempegowda found this idea repugnant. Knowing her father-in-law’s predicament, Lakshmamma, Kempegowda’s pregnant daughter-in-law, decided to take matters into her hand and sacrificed herself to appease the gods. A distraught Kempegowda raised a temple dedicated to the courageous woman.

You can see this temple and a memorial associated with young lady in Koramangala 6th Block, near the Parikrama School. The temple has undergone extensive renovations and little remains to indicate its past history. The temple opens only on Friday mornings. The memorial lies in the pocket-sized Lakshmamma Park, half a kilometre from the temple. The BBMP-maintained park is also used as a burial ground.

Bus number: 411K


“Lalbagh? Been there, done that,” you scoff. But this wonderful botanical garden has more than spectacular natural heritage to boast of. The best-known monuments in Lalbagh are probably the iconic Kempegowda tower atop the 3000 million-year-old Rock, and the Glass House, built in 1889-90. Lesser known heritage structures in the garden include the 150-year-old building that once served as the cottage of the superintendent and now houses the Lalbagh Library. Also dating from the same period are bandstand and the old now-ruined Lecture Hall, which still bears the double-headed eagle known as ganda bherunda, the crest of the Mysore Wodeyars. The guard room at the entrance of West Gate also has an interesting history. It originally stood in front of the house of Dewan Krishnamurthy. It was to be destroyed in the 1940s but was dismantled and shifted here in the 1940s by Sir Mirza Ismail and HC Javaraya, the then superintendent of Lalbagh.

Bus numbers: 2, 356 Q

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