Friday, December 18, 2009


MG ROAD or Mahathma Gandhi road has a special place in Bangalore. During the raj days it used to be called South Parade and Indians were not allowed in this stretch of road. After independence it got the present title. As I write this article MG Road is getting irrevocably transformed and process started about two decaded earlier. At this present moment pillars for the Bangalore metro are being erected.

MG Road technically starts from Trinity circle and could possibly end at the beginning of Kasturbha road or at the Victoria statue. What a stamp which cannot be effaced have the British left on this city and any child born and reared in this city becomes a world citizen and a very knowledgable and affable person with a global view of things as in any developed city of the borld; this phenomena has its advantages and disadvantages vis-a-vis other cities in this country. Mayo hall is a very important British monument on this road. BPL company had an exlusive office which was a two storied outfit with a showroom in the front and was at the place where the present Barton centre stands. It was a very impressive office which was demolished to build the present structure somewhere in 1990.

Typically in the 1980's the initial stretch of MG Road had victorian style houses on either side possibly inhabited by british officers serving in india. Any englishman living at present who has any recollection of having seen or stayed in these houses are welcome to contribute his memoirs or observations of these times. With the MG Road slowly growing into a commercial hot-spot many of these victorian style houses were demolished without mercy and business offices began to take shape. Victorian syle houses can be seen on brunton road which is atributary of the MG Road.

The coffee house and Plaza theatre were key joints on this road. Plaza theatre used to exclusively screen english movies and stopped operation some where in 2006. Coffee house used to serve good vegetarian snacks and was possibly the only eat out on this road.

In the 1970's a walk on MG Road was like walking through a park with occasional pedestrians taking a stroll and with time the road began to look like a railway platform with scores of people using this stretch of road. As children many times my father used to bring me and my brother sunil for a visit to town and this road.

MG Road slowly seems to be slipping into being another road of bangalore with the growth of many arterial and connecting roads being built around bangalore and the airport being shifted out of the city. Defanitely every traveller of Bangalore who uses the metro and has a ride on MG Road must remeber he is traversing on a stretch which was priceless and unique at a time when bangalore city was just beginning to establish itself as a city in its own right. Like many Bangaloreans I cannot forget the M G Road and would love to see it in a new format post metro.

Infosys, Wipro

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