Kolar Gold Fields has the distinction of being the first Gold mining industry in India. However sad to say that KGF is now part of history and is little known by the rest of India.
My book KOLAR GOLD FIELDS DOWN MEMORY LANE is my small way of preserving for posterity, not only my memories of that once glorious vibrant place called Kolar Gold Fields, but also record its cultural history which has not been documented till now.
This is a book of national importance as it pertains to history, art and cultural heritage of a glorious period in the history of Indiaand Old Mysore Sate / Karnataka in particular. It deals with a period of history that many people in India are not aware of. More over till now no one has ever brought out a book on KGF that focused on the social and cultural aspect of the place.
Kolar Gold Fields, affectionately known as KGF is a small mining town in Karnataka about 110 kms from Bangalore. It was originally owned by the John Taylor and Sons Company, a British Mining Firm for almost a century since 1852. Kolar Gold Fields, had a very sizable European and Anglo-Indian population who lived and worked there for generations. It was well known for its Colonial ambience with elegant bungalows replete with huge gardens, green lawns, and many Clubs with Tennis and Badminton courts, Golf courses, Dance Halls, Swimming Baths, etc.
It was called “Little England” and was unique for its secular and egalitarian society not found anywhere else in the world. It was one of India’s earliest industrialized towns, which had electricity supplied to it from a captive power plant, good water supply, well-equipped hospitals, schools, etc. as early as the 19th Century.
The 19th and the early 20th century saw the KGF mines booming and flourishing and it employed almost 4500 employees in its hey days. In what was once a desolate, waste, rocky terrain, a large and flourishing town sprang up which was provided with most of the conveniences and comforts of life at that time. All this was possible due to the perseverance and foresight of a group of British pioneers who were successful in their quest for gold.