As a child, I was always amused by anecdotes of how the Britishers had captured a part of Bangalore (now Bengaluru) and how they recreated the charm of countryside architecture in Bangalore. Hailing from central Bangalore, the cantonment area of the city was always a place on the outskirts of the city. Exploring that part of the city had always been on my checklist.
Recently, I got an opportunity to visit Richards Town, an integral part of the cantonment area in Bangalore and I grabbed it with both hands.
Though my visit to the place was completely for academic reasons, I thoroughly indulged myself in the beauty of the place. On a sunny Wednesday morning, driving through the noisy and busy streets of Shivajinagar and Frazer Town, I reached Richards Town in the company of one of my friends.
Glancing at the wide roads with exquisitely laid footpaths, the magnanimous avenue of trees, the beautiful colonial bungalows, and the picturesque Richards Park aroused a feeling of admiration and deference for the architects of the cantonment area.Walking through the whole area, I realized that it had been structured around Richards Park as a central node with the roads laid out in a gridiron pattern. The division of plots with adequate spacing between the bungalows in the form of conservancy lanes gave me an insight into the British way of planning. Each plot had a centrally located colonial or classical bungalow surrounded by a well-landscaped garden area. The intricate trellis work, the eye-catching monkey tops, the complex parapet designs, the high compound walls and the sloping roofs of the bungalows were aesthetically alluring. Sadly some of the bungalows have made way for high-rise apartments, partly diminishing the beauty of the place.
We then headed towards the eminent Holy Ghost church complex.This architectural edifice had a soothing influence on us and the interiors of the church had a serene atmosphere and whisked us away from the hustle and bustle of daily life for a while.
Another significant centre of religion was the Mizpah Telugu church which had an interesting roofing system in the interiors.The sturdy columns, the madras tile roofing and the complicated patterns of the column capitals were a beauty to admire.
After walking around the area for about two hours,we sat in the serene beauty of Richards park and soaked our fatigue with a bite from a nearby bakery.The bandstand in the park is an interesting structure where many people relaxed and enjoyed the nature.
After taking one last stroll in the park, we headed back home with many indelible memories of the short excursion.On my way back, I couldn’t stop thinking about the beautiful bungalows and their architecture.This short trip to the cantonment has surely widened my horizons of how we should create more public spaces in a neighbourhood to enhance our quality of living.