It’s that time of the year in Bangalore, when petunias are pruned, roofs are restored and verandahs are waiting with bated breath; the Bangalore chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is inviting nominations for their second Heritage Awards. Here’s your cheat sheet to help judges make their final decision (yes, you nominate) or just to print and pocket for weekends when you decide to stroll around the city. Compiled with the help of INTACH’s co-convenor Meera Iyer and conservation architect Pankaj Modi.
Courtyards + An Orchard In The Backyard With A Well
Even old city houses followed the pattern of rural, rustic homes. Although they look quite regular from the entrance, they open up into a central courtyard that is usually decorated with wooden pillars and sits in front of a backyard with fruit trees and a well.
Sample: Cinnamon, the multi-label store is housed in such a building that began life in the 1870s as an orphanage and later became the offices of the RBANMS Educational Charity.
24, Gangadhar Chetty Road, call 41634220.
Jagglis or Sit Outs
Old Bangalore houses in the back lanes of Commercial Street have little sit-outs called ‘jagglis’ that are moulded to look like love seats with bolsters. They are usually embellished with heads of lions and tigers.
Sample: Ask for a takeaway coffee at Sri Saravana Bhavan on Ibrahim Sahib Street, and step out to the abandoned house next door to sit on the jaggli. Pair with hot chilli bajjis from the snack cart ahead.
89, Ibrahim Sahib Street, call 9448263625.
Old Bangalore houses in the back lanes of Commercial Street have little sit-outs called ‘jagglis’ that are moulded to look like love seats with bolsters.
High Ceilings and Large Verandahs
Old houses in the city were built with high ceilings and outdoor seating to allow pensioners to take advantage of the pleasant weather. They’d also provide for cross-ventilation and the illusion of being outdoors even when indoors.
Sample: Go for a guided walk through the National Gallery of Modern Art, housed in the 90-year-old colonial-style Manikyavelu Mansion.
National Gallery of Modern Art, Manikyavelu Mansion, 49, Palace Road, call 2234 2338, Wednesdays & Saturdays.
Rumour has it that this architectural feature built over windows was designated for monkeys to sit and eat fruit, instead of barging into a home. We aren’t sure if it worked but it does look beautiful.
Sample: Visit the Cubbon Park Police Station to see this architectural element or walk around Richard’s Park with writer and cookbook author Samar Halrankar to learn about other unique features of Bangalore’s cantonment neighbourhoods.
Email Samar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pitched, Tiled Roofs
Sloping roofs were built to prevent collection of water, but also to allow fruits to rolls down to the ground and into the hands of grinning children.
Sample: Paul D’Souza, Bangalore’s Mr. Fix-It-All, who repairs everything from cuckoo clocks to church organs, lives in a home called Perfect Peace, a 75-year-old bungalow that has beautiful sloping roofs. Maybe he will let you have a tour while he tinkers with your watch.
Email Paul at email@example.com.
The cosmopolitan nature of Bangalore is showcased in its varied pillar styles borrowed from architecture in India and around the world.
Sample: The Daly Memorial Hall, which opened in 1917 has Corinthian pillars at the entrance and a high sloping roof covered with Mangalore tiles. The Hall houses the Mythic Society, an academic club and library started by FJ Richards, collector of the Bangalore Cantonment Area.
14/1, Nrupathunga Road, Opposite Reserve Bank of India, call 22215034.
The commercial prospects of the city attracted a flock of migrants, who could eventually afford land and build houses. Most of them replicated existing city architecture but also added Chettinad elements like an open-air, pillared courtyards.
Sample: Villa Pottipati, a Neemrana property belongs to a family from Chettinad. You can stay in its five rooms named after South Indian saris.
142, 8th Cross, 4th Main Road, Malleshwaram, call 41280832.
Large, Ornamental gardens
German botanist Gustav Krumbiegel ensured that gardens are a big part of Bangalore homes.
Sample: Businesswoman Priya Mascarenhas’ 150-year-old bungalow in the corner of Cookson Road in Richards Town has won “'The Most Outstanding Ornamental Garden” of Bangalore for thirty-five years in a row. We hear that if you sweet talk your way, she might allow you to have tea in the midst of her award-winning roses.
Call Priya at 2547-1149.
Getting there: To nominate a private home or public institution for the INTACH Heritage Awards, click here.
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