We continue today with the announcement of another INTACH Heritage Award for 2017, this time in Private (Residential) category. The illustrious winner of this award is the gracefully-aged residence of Mr. Narendra in Basavanagudi. Mr Narendra lives in the house built by his grandfather, Dewan Sir MN Krishna Rao in 1907. The jury commended the owner’s vision that has maintained the 110-year-old building in its true form and originality.
The series of pictures here demonstrate why this building was the deserving winner in this award category. The award was received by Mr. Narendra, seen here in the last picture in the series, from Shri Harish Padmanabha, art aficionado.
Here’s what an upcoming book of ours on Bengaluru has to say about this wonderful old residence: “Diwan Sir MN Krishna Rao’s house is said to have been only the third house built in the locality. It still stands near the park, in almost pristine, unchanged glory.
According the MR Narendra, MN Krishna Rao’s grandson, the gruhapravesham (house-warming ceremony) took place on 7th Novmber 1907, at which point the ground floor had been completed. The first floor was added ten years later to accommodate the extended and growing family.
In the typical vernacular style, the house has a courtyard. Earlier, the large hall adjacent to it served as the dining hall. Rosewood staircases, Ansonia grandfather clocks, gleaming red oxide flooring, teak doors, an ornate swing, cherished pictures of the Maharaja of Mysore and many other memorabilia are all lovingly looked after by Narendra.” Not many today know that the formation of the neighbourhoods of Basavanagudi and Malleswaram (both of which came up simultaneously) were approved in 1898 after the plague hit Bangalore, taking almost 50,000 lives in its wake. Since the old city was most affected by the plague, city administrators believed that the new residential areas should be established at higher altitude. Basavanagudi is 3,035 feet above mean sea-level while the old city (Chickpete , Ulsoorgate, Krishnarajendra (KR) Market--a.k.a. City Market, etc.) are 2,900 feet above sea-level.
Pics by Aliyeh Rizvi, Sujatha Bhagat, and @peeveeads.