December 8, 2022


When the federal government not too long ago introduced plans to fund the Karnataka Samskrit College, it elicited some very sturdy reactions. The college, established in 2010, has been allotted land in Magadi. It at the moment features from the campus of the Sri Chamarajendra Sanskrit School in Bengaluru. The Sanskrit School itself has an attention-grabbing historical past of performing from some very uncommon locations earlier than it settled in its present location in Chamrajapet.

Journey again in time to about 150 years in the past and we discover that in Bengaluru, Sanskrit was taught in just a few temples just like the Kote Venkataramanaswami temple and the Bhoganandisvara temple in Nandi village, for instance. However for essentially the most half, Sanskrit studying was a person effort that occurred in just a few folks’s houses.

That modified when the Vani Vidya Pathasala was established in 1884. This non-public establishment obtained funds from a number of mathas round Karnataka and an annual grant from the Bengaluru metropolis municipality. In 1894, the Mysore authorities took over this establishment. It was renamed Sri Chamarajendra Sanskrit School, in reminiscence of Chamaraja Wadiyar who dominated over Mysore State from 1881 to 1894.

The faculty was initially beneath the Muzrai Division and later moved to the Training Division.

College students who joined the faculty got free training. However in its first few many years, solely Hindu Brahmin boys have been admitted. Within the early 1900s, when some non-Brahmins and Jains have been refused admission, Sir Ok P Puttanna Chetty, then a member of the Metropolis Council, voiced his frustration. Calling for a extra liberal spirit and a change within the order of issues, he stated, “The earlier this unreasonable barrier is eliminated, the higher for the reason for Sanskrit training.”

Starting within the early Nineteen Twenties, college students have been admitted no matter caste.

Uncommon deal with

In its early days, the faculty had a fairly uncommon deal with. For greater than 30 years, it was housed in an armoury constructed throughout Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan’s rule. The so-called Decrease Arsenal was positioned close to the place the Vani Vilas Hospital stands now. Having been unused and uncared for since about 1800, by the Nineties, it was in a ruinous situation.

The armoury, initially constructed to retailer weapons, was restored and suitably modified to accommodate the faculty. The dilapidated roof was strengthened. Previous doorways and home windows have been changed. To provide it the looks of an academic establishment fairly than an armoury, some ornamental touches have been additionally added to the Arsenal. An extra constructing was constructed subsequent to it to accommodate extra lessons. The nicely close by, which had fallen dry, was revived by deepening it to six ft!

In 1931, when plans for setting up Vani Vilas Hospital have been sanctioned, the Decrease Arsenal was demolished and the Sanskrit faculty moved to Tipu’s Palace.

It was solely within the mid-Thirties that the stately constructing you see at this time on Pampa Mahakavi Highway was constructed.

The world across the Fort showcases some fantastic public structure executed by the Mysore authorities together with three hospitals, Fort Excessive College, Vani Vilas Institute and Ok R Market. The Sanskrit faculty is without doubt one of the final public buildings constructed on this space by the Maharaja’s authorities.

Collectively, these buildings exhibit an evolution within the civic structure of the Mysore State, the event of an aesthetic that was monumental and was influenced by European types however was self-consciously completely different from them.

The 2-storeyed Sanskrit faculty constructing is nicely set again from the street. The bushes within the giant backyard present beneficiant shade and muffle the site visitors noise, instantly placing you in a quieter mind set.

“The doorway to the constructing is thru a central bay which is emphasised by projecting it out and having a big masonry dome on prime, topped with a finial,” explains Pankaj Modi, conservation architect with INTACH. There are 4 miniature domes adjoining to it.

A protracted colonnade with sq. stone columns and stone railings on each the flooring leads into the rooms that are organized symmetrically on both facet of the central bay. Every finish of the constructing is as soon as once more outlined with a smaller dome.

The The double-curved eaves on the primary ground and likewise slightly below the central dome are styled very very similar to these present in temples of the Vijayanagar intervals. Above the small central balcony, the sooner title of the establishment can nonetheless be seen written in Devanagari script: Shri Chamarajendra Sanskrit Mahapathashala.

(The author is the creator of ‘Discovering Bengaluru’ and the Convenor of INTACH Bengaluru Chapter)



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