Sunday, 27 May 2018

Colonial Town Hall - Rangacharlu Memorial Hall, Bangalore - tribute to a great Diwan of Mysore

bangalore. The Rangacharlu Memorial Hall.Alamy
bangalore. The Rangacharlu Memorial Hall.TripAdvisor

If there is one city in India after Calcutta, Madras (Chennai) and Bombay, it is Bangalore that has countless colonial buildings and English and Indian statues. There are as many as 120 monuments in the city and adjacent areas. With some exceptions, many are them are fairly being maintained by the sate government. The monuments, regardless of their history, origin and purpose need to be preserved as the present is the continuity of the past and one can not break the continuum between the past and present.

The Rangacharlu Memorial Hall, also known as the Mysore Town Hall, located near the City Bus Stand and the famed Mysore Palace, is a beautiful building   built in the old Victorian style  and it never fails to emanate the old charm of the colonial past. This two-story heritage structure was built in 1880 in memory of C.V. Rangacharlu, first ever Diwan of Mysore after rendition in 1880. Earlier the kingdom of Mysore was under the direct control of the British Crown. The rendition was done after a lapse of 50 years as the crown and the British India officials were heavily criticized back home for the take over of the Mysore kingdom. 

When Chamarajendra Wadiyar was installed as the Maharajah of Mysore on 25 March 1881, on the same day itself. Rangacharlu, with his vast experience as a good administrator, was appointed as the Diwan of Mysore. Though he held the Diwanship for just two years, earlier he held many responsible positions and amazingly improved the quality of life in  the kingdom. To improve revenue and to cut down the administrative expenses, he disbanded many sub jails and other government offices. He joined the  the Mysore Civil Service way back in 1868 and his promotion was quick, he was promoted as
Comptroller of Mysore  Palace. (please refer: https://navrangindia. blogspot.in/2018/05/diwan-c-rangacharlu-eminent.html)

He introduced many reforms, one of them being the formation of a Sabha -  a council to listen to people's grievances.  Rangacharlu was was the first to constitute people's representative committee to know people's  views on functioning of the Government and how their grants, aids, etc reach the people. People could voice their view on civilian and public works related to agriculture, hospitals, roads, etc. In many places many Monarchs were autocratic   and lost the confidence of the people. Rangacharlu had an  Anglo Indian colony set-up at Whitefield. He stepped down from Diwanship on health grounds  and died in Madras on 20.1.1883.

The Town hall is one of the  major venues for hosting cultural events during the ten-day Dasara festival. Its foundation stone was laid  in April 1884 by Maharajah Chamarajendra Wadiyar who himself bore the construction costs. This Greece-Roman building on a raised platform has a nice facade with  Corinthian grand-columns, in four pairs supporting heavy roof. The front part has  windows with Roman arch with shutters  and  sun-rise glazing.  The parapet walls in the balconies are made of cast-iron and well-decorated.
 This elegant building a good tribute  to a man who by dint of hard work came up and finally held the most exalted position of Diwan of Mysore  with dedication and commitments and took the princely state out of wood and improved it vastly. His contribution to the state of Mysore was unparallelled in the annals of Mysore history.

The building was renovated in the  past in 2004 as  part of the ongoing drive to conserve the heritage structures in and around Mysore following the constitution of the task force.The renovation work planed to covert Srirangapatna and other areas surrounding Mysore.

Way back in the past the Mysore Area task force, in association with  with the Mysore chapter of the Indian Institute of Architects,  had identified the heritage sites in the city and the list included Attara Kacheri, the Deputy Commissioner's office, the Mysore Palace and surrounding areas, Devaraja Market, Railway Divisional Office building, K.R. Hospital building, Lansdowne building, the Oriental Research Institute, Crawford Hall, K.R. Circle, and Jaganmohan Palace.

However, such heritage buildings need care on a regular place. Further, they need to be barricaded  protected  from anti-social people and hooligans.
https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g304553-d4400973-r489849505-Rangacharlu_Memorial_Hall-Mysuru_Mysore_Mysore_District_Karnataka.html#

http://www.thehindu.com/2004/03/13/stories/2004031309720300.html