Coffee table book on ‘Raj Bhavan’ presents interesting facets of history
Governor H R Bhardwaj on Monday released a coffee table book titled, The Raj Bhavan Karnataka through the Ages.
The book that is a compilation of many interesting facets tracing the history of the Raj Bhavan and its occupants from 1843 includes facts on how the philosopher king Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV of Mysore was seen by the British philosopher Paul Brunton as living the ideal. On how he was described as the Raja Rishi or the saintly king by Mahatma Gandhi or that Lord Bowring, the British Commissioner of Bangalore in 1862, purchased the Raj Bhavan on behalf of the Mysore government, which was earlier a private property of the previous commissioner Sir Mark Cubbon. It also states on how the Raj Bhavan has its own hair salon where former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao and former presidents R Venkataraman and K R Narayanan got a haircut.
Some interesting facts about Raj Bhavan
The Raj Bhavan is spread over an area of about 18 acres overlooking the Vidhana Soudha at the southeast corner, the Legislators Home at the north-west and the All India Radio Centre towards the north-east. About two and a half acres of the area is occupied by the buildings. The Residency has a treasure of royal furniture, top class tapestry, specially designed crockery and cutlery, lovely oil paintings with gold gilded frames, hunting trophies, an excellent billiards table, an ornate piano, and above all, a large collection of antiques and books.
The Raj Bhavan garden has a history of over one and a half centuries. This garden is what is left of a vast, undulating and imperial garden known in the late 19th and early 20th century as the ‘Residency Park’ measuring around 92 acres. Earlier called ‘the Commissioner’s Bungalow Garden’, the original garden was designed and developed during the period of Commissioners Mark Cubbon, Lewin Bowring, John Meade and James Gordon. The garden is a contemporary of the State Botanical Garden - the Lalbagh. Dr. Cleghorn of the Forest Department, Col. Puckle of the Public Works Department and Capt. Cunningham, Secretary of the Commissioner, evinced keen interest in beautifying the garden with graveled footpaths, cisterns, pergolas and rare species of the Cookpine tree.
The Raj Bhavan is a treasure trove of art and its art collection has a legacy from both the West and the East. Its artifact collection includes some superb works of masters from the West like Herbert Parish and Woover Brankt, as also some traditional works of the Mysore, Tanjore and Bengal Schools done in wash method. Among the treasures of the Raj Bhavan are a number of copies of Ajanta murals and a good number of beautiful and rare artifacts and metal sculptures which date back to the 19th century. These can be categorized under three main groups, namely, paintings, sculptures and prints numbering about a hundred and thirty.
Source: Indian Express