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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kolar Gold Fields - Down Memory Lane .....Jonnathan Manley writes from Australia

Kolar Gold Fields. Jonnathan Manley writes from Australia

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 9:43 PM
"Bridget kumar"
Dear Bridget,
I have just finished reading your book, Kolar Gold Fields, Down Memory Lane. Oh Bridget! I am a grown man now, of 65 years of age, who left K.G.F. in 1957 aged 12, and your book has brought tears to my eyes, which are swelling up now as I write this. There were so many memories that flooded back, many I had forgotten years ago. Thank you Bridget for your wonderful, wonderful book. have asked me to review it. Just wait until you read that. My sister Fleur who lives in Kenya is also writing to you, as she has also read it.
The British Lady named Molly Manley you wrote about on page 24 was my mother, sadly she died in 2001. I wish she had been here to also read your book. After we left K.G.F. in 1957 mum would tell us stories about the place and people. I feel sure she would have recognised many of the names you mentioned. My father William Thomas Manley worked as the Chief Accountant for the mines for 33 years. We left in 1957, ten years after independence. Dad was asked to remain on longer, but as most of our friends had already left, we did likewise. I recall my father telling us that the Indian man who inherited his job after we left, had retired to Bombay, having made his fortune in about two years, when my father had not been able to do so in thirty-three.
Here are some interesting facts you may not have known about K.G.F., and some of my recollections.
I recall the church, Saint Mary's, which was demolished by the rock-burst you mentioned in page 34. I used to attend Mass there as a small boy, and went to school in a building where the priests house is today. My mother told me that when the rubble was cleared away after the rock-burst, a 'Consecrated Host' was found in the rubble near what was the front door of the church; that's how strong the shock wave was.

The Mr. W.T. Hocking who signed the document reproduced on page 48 was a family friend. The day before he left K.G.F. for England, my father walked us three children round to his house, which wasn't far from ours, to wish him and his wife Connie farewell. Hocking had a reputation as a man with a short 'bad' temper. On arrival in England, he caught a taxi from the wharf to wherever he was traveling, and for some reason he got off-side with the English Taxi Driver. The driver took offence to Hocking, and drove him and his long suffering wife, straight to a police station, where Hocking was charged, and locked away for some time to cool off. He couldn't get away with in England, with what he had in India!!

My mother told me that in the early days, whenever a new English person arrived at K.G.F. the established families would send the female new arrival an invitation to visit. This would read something like, 'Do call on me at your convenience. I look forward to meeting you and your family. Next Tuesday at 2 p.m. will be fine'. The new arrival would usually turn up at the time as suggested, in the back of one of those horse drawn carts you talked of, 'Jatkas'. It was customary for all the British to have calling cards. Upon arrival calling cards were exchanged. If there was an eligible male in the family, the left top corner of the card would be turned down, and if a female the right. Nothing was ever said about the eligible person, but one would know the situation. Protocol must be followed!!

You mentioned the company dairy, not far from the cricket ground. It was run by a Mr. King who had a daughter named Daphne, who was my age, about 7yrs. at that time. One day on the playing field near the tennis courts at Oorgaum, I told her I thought she was horrible, I can't recall why, and that when she grew up no boy would marry her. She took great offence to this and cried, and told her mother what I had said when she got home. When my mother heard of this, I was marched around to the King's house, and made to apologise to Daphne, who lauded it all over me from that day on. I really was a nasty little individual, then not now!!

What is now the'School of Mine's in Oorgaum, was the house we lived in. It is just in-front of what is now 'Our Lady of Mines Church'. I have been back to K.G.F. twice in the last 20 yrs, and still love the place. I traced my Ayah, Theresa, down to an address in Delhi. She threw her arm around me and wouldn't let go; cried and cried and carried on. I eventually had to prise myself free. She asked to see my teeth. I have two crooked teeth in the front of my mouth. When she saw them she nodded and said "Yes, you are indeed Jonathan Manley, my baby boy". I was about 45 at the time. We had a long talk, and I sang for her the Tamil songs she taught me as a child, and which I still remember. Sadly she also has passed on.
I could keep this up forever Bridget, but you must be getting bored so I will sign off. Once again, I loved your book; it wasn't long enough. Please keep in touch.
Best regards,
Jonathan Manley.

The Jatka / Tonga or the Horse drawn carriages in KGF in the early years

Excerpt from the book KOLAR GOLD FIELDS - DOWN MEMORY LANE by Bridget White

When we were children, public transport was very limited in KGF and there was no local bus facility to take us around the mines and to Robertsonpet. The only buses that passed through the Nandydroog Mine, were the long distance buses that came from Bangalore and Kolar via Bangarapet. These buses were either Express or Non stop Services, so they didn’t stop enroute to Robertsonpet. The few ordinary service buses were quite infrequent so no one really depended on them as a means of local conveyance.

KGF also didn’t have a regular Taxi service in those days. There were only one or two people like Mr. Parker, or Mr. Das from Robertsonpet who ran their old cars as Taxis. The ‘Jatka’ Service was the only means of conveyance for many, many years. People either traveled in the Jatkas or else just walked to wherever they had to go to.

The Jatka / Tonga or the Horse drawn carriages came into existence in India, in the middle of the 18th century through the traders of East India Company in Calcutta. It was originally conceived and built for use of the Company but spread to other places in India and soon became a popular means of transport for the common man. The Jatkas and Tongas were the only mode of local conveyance in KGF from the early 1900s till the late 1970s. These Jatkas were fondly called ‘BANDIES’ by the Anglo-Indians which was an Anglicized version of the Tamil word “WUNDIE’.

Besides being the mode of transportation in KGF, the Jatkas were also used as a means of advertising the latest film releases in Town. Before a new film was released, posters of the hero and heroine in some catchy pose would be stuck on to Tattie or Bamboo sheets and tied on the sides of the Jatka. Inside the jatka, a gramophone with a loud speaker would blast the title songs of the Movie, and a person with a megaphone would announce in which Picture House the film would be running.

All the small urchins would run behind the Jatka and pick up all the pamphlets that were dropped by the person doing the announcing in the jatka. These ‘advertisement Jatkas’ would go all around KGF covering every street and Miner’s Line so that everyone would know about the latest release. This was a very effective advertising tool in those days

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kolar Gold Fields had many firsts to its credit

KGF and its Many Firsts

Kolar Gold Fields had many firsts to its credit. In 1894, the Mysore Government financed the construction of a branch railway line, 10 miles long connecting all the five mines between Mysore Mine (Marikuppam) and Bowringpet Junction (Bangarpet) to connect KGF to the Bangalore Madras Railway line.

The Kolar Gold Fields Sanitary Board was constituted in September 1899 with three ex-officio members and four non-official members nominated by the Mining Board. The KGF Police, a special body with 50 officers and 279 men, under a separate European Superintendent, largely composed of Sikhs, was formed in April 1900, with jurisdiction over Bowringpet, Malur and Mulbagal taluks.

In 1902, the Mysore government established the first major hydro-electric generating station for commercial operations at Shivanasamudram. The longest transmission line, at the highest voltage in the world, was constructed to meet the power needs of mining operations at KGF. The erstwhile Mysore State became the first state in India to establish such a huge hydro-electric plant and KGF was the first town to get hydro-electric power.

In 1903, the British government constructed a lake in Bethamangala to supply water to KGF and surrounding townships. Arrangements were made for filtered water to be supplied to the mines through huge pipelines from the Government Water Works at Bethamangala, five miles away from KGF and the underground water source of the Pala River. Soon Bethamangala became a popular sailing and picnic spot for the British population in KGF

Tale of two thriving townships

Robertsonpet, established in 1902, was named so in memory of Sir Donald Robertson, who was the British Resident of Mysore at the time. Two years later, Andersonpet was set up next to the mining areas of Champion Reefs and Marikuppam. Bridget White-Kumar walks down memory lane.

Kolar Gold Fields was once a mining town in the erstwhile Mysore state. Known as ‘Little England,’ it was unique for its secular and egalitarian society. It was well known for its colonial ambience with elegant bungalows replete with huge green lawns and gardens and many clubs with tennis and badminton courts, golf courses etc.

The late 19th century and the early 20th century saw KGF mines flourishing under the stewardship of John Taylor and Sons Company. It employed 4500 employees in its hey days, and in what was once a desolate, waste, rocky terrain, a large and flourishing town sprang up. This was possible because of the perseverance and foresight of a group of British pioneers who were successful in their quest for gold.

Robertsonpet and Andersonpet

By the end of the 19th century, a sprawling British township was in place in the Kolar Gold Fields mining area, with elegant bungalows replete with huge gardens and green lawns, and many clubs with tennis and badminton courts, golf courses, dance halls, swimming baths etc. It resembled a typical English town and it came to be known as “Little England”.

With so much activity going on in the mining region, the need was felt for an area that was apart from the mines where individuals who were not employed in the mines could live and own property and carry on business.

Accordingly, in the year 1902, the township of Robertsonpet was established to house the Kolar Gold Mines related tertiary sector populace. It was named Robertsonpet by the then Maharaja of Mysore, in commemoration of the memory of Sir Donald Robertson, who was the British Resident of Mysore at the time.

Sir Donald Robertson was also responsible for launching the first hydro-electric plant in Shivanasamudram which supplied electric power to the KGF mines. Thus, the success of the mines led to the growth of a thriving town named Robertsonpet situated in an eastwardly direction of the Kolar Gold Mines. Several trades people such as manufacturers, bakers, printers, confectioners, contractors, printers, outfitters, timber merchants, jewellers, haberdashers, pawn brokers etc set up their business in the town of Robertsonpet.

A huge market place with many shops and stalls was constructed to house the businesses that sprang up to meet the needs of the mining employees and others. The shandy day on Sundays in Robertsonpet proved to be a boon not only for the miners who shopped here for all their requirements but for people from the surrounding villages as well. This market was later named Mahatma Gandhi Market after the Father of the Nation.

Robertsonpet was considered to be one of the first planned residential areas in modern-day India. The township was planned and built to accommodate the increasing population of the city of Kolar Gold Fields. A Town Hall was built in the Victorian style of architecture with huge canopies and arches with a huge garden and sprawling lawns.

This Town Hall was named King George Hall after King George of England and was the venue of many cultural, literary and social functions. The King George Hall Cosmopolitan Club was started on the same lines as the KGF Club in Oorgaum and offered facilities for tennis, badminton, billiards, snookers, cards, carrom etc.

A Town Municipal Council was set up to oversee and govern this new township by the Mysore government. All basic amenities such as electric power, water, etc was provided by the government. A large Civil Hospital was built to cater to the medical needs of the populace of this tertiary town with all amenities. A Maternity Hospital was also established.

A melting pot

Robertsonpet thus became the “Town” for the mining areas and quickly became an important commercial centre. People of different communities and regions came to live here, including the British and other Europeans, Anglo-Indians, people from neighbouring states, Muslims, Marwaris and the local Kannadigas.

The Marwaris were migrants from Rajasthan who settled in Robertsonpet and established their business there as private bankers or money lenders, pawn brokers, textile merchants and jewellers. Home to a mixed population, KGF had many places of worship such as churches, temples and mosques. Each mine had a Catholic Church and there were many Anglican and other Protestant churches as well which came under the Church of England. The St Theresa’s Church was established in Robertsonpet in 1929.

Robertsonpet also became home to many temples including the Lakshmi Venkateswara Temple. It is a very old and famous temple in Robertsonpet was and is still famous for its annual jaathre or fair celebrated over a week, in the month of March. People from all the neighbouring places would flock to KGF to be part of this event. This jaathre or fair was celebrated in a very grand manner in the old days and it is still celebrated every year with the same grandeur.

The Order of St Joseph of Tarbes started the St. Theresa’s School in Robertsonpet in 1933 which had both the English medium and Tamil Medium sections. To cater to the ever-increasing Marwari population in Robertsonpet, an exclusive Hindi Medium School named The Sumathi Jain High School was started in Robertsonpet.

Andersonpet: The ‘beer shop’

Two years after the establishment of the township of Robertsonpet, another township, Andersonpet, was established in 1904, just next to the mining areas of Champion Reefs and Mysore Mine/ Marikuppam to cater to the needs of the people living in these places. Andersonpet was also known locally as ‘beer shop’ because it had the only Government Licensed Liquor Store in the whole of KGF to sell beer in those days.

As per the Imperial Gazetteer of India - Mysore 1907-1909, “The right to vend and sell liquor throughout the province of Bangalore, Mysore and Kolar Gold Fields was only through individual shops under what was called the ‘separate shop system.’ The three breweries situated in the civil and military stations in Bangalore supplied beer or ale to the only tavern or ‘separate shop’ in Kolar Gold Fields situated in the new township of Andersonpet.”

The tavern later got a license to sell foreign liquors, brandy, wine and also the locally brewed liquor or arrack. Andersonpet is still called Beer Shop by people who don’t even know the origins of its name!

Picture houses in the twin towns

Towards the late 1920s, when the era of black and white talking motion pictures came into existence, picture houses or talkies came up in Robertsonpet and Andersonpet, which screened movies in local languages. Initially, these picture houses were just tents with basic or no infrastructure.

The Gay Talkies, Olympia Talkies and the Krishna Talkies were among the first picture houses to come up during this time. The Tamil Film ‘Kalidas’ was produced in 1931 and a big hit in KGF. Tamil films and other regional language films screened in those days were based on themes and characters derived from traditional folk tales and ballads, mythology, local politics, etc and were enjoyed by the masses and played to full houses in KGF.

Kolar Gold Fields played a very important part in the prosperity of the British Empire under the management of the John Taylor and Sons Company. It was the successful quest for the precious yellow metal by these British pioneers, which resulted in the creation of this vast industry.

(Bridget White-Kumar is the author of Kolar Gold Fields- Down Memory Lane)

The Birth of 2 townships in KGF - ROBERTSONPET AND ANDERSONPET

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Date:04/11/2010 URL:

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Remember the time
“Kolar Gold Fields – Down Memory Lane” undertakes a nostalgic journey of almost 150 years, beginning with the historical and mythological origins of the Kolar Gold Mines. The book focuses on the progress through the years under the John Taylor and Sons Company, the gradual decline, and final closure of the once prosperous Kolar Gold Mining Company, in 2003.
Authored by Bridget White-Kumar, born into an Anglo-Indian family, who lived in KGF for many generations, the book recalls the cosmopolitan life led by the tiny vibrant Anglo-Indian Community in the early days of KGF. It also focuses on the author's childhood memories of growing up in KGF in the 1950s and 60s.
Kolar Gold Fields was well known for its colonial ambience and was called ‘Little England' due to its British and Anglo-Indian population. It was one of India's earliest industrialized towns and was unique for its secular and egalitarian society. The book succeeds in capturing and preserving the ethos and nuances of a bygone era. The book is available online at Author House UK Ltd, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Water Stone, Xulon, Tesco etc. The book is also available on Kindle.
For copies of this book contact Bridget Kumar Email: or call 9845571254, 9844044236. You could also visit / http://anglo-indianrecipes.
You could also contact John White in Chennai (Email: or call 9941841157, 44 25595008. The book is also available at Gangarams Book Bureau.

© Copyright 2000 - 2009 The Hindu

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Official release of Book on KGF - KOLAR GOLD FIELDS - DOWN MEMORY LANE

My book on KGF, entitled KOLAR GOLD FIELDS - DOWN MEMORY LANE was officially released by Mr. Kenneth Powell, on 26th October 2010, during the recently held Anglo-Indian Reunion - Jamboree 2010 at the Bangalore Palace Grounds

Wednesday, October 13, 2010




The thrilling mission to rescue and save the miners trapped in a Chilean Mine for 69 days has prompted me to write a small account about such similar instances in KGF.

There were several instances of tragic and fatal accidents inside the mines that left many workers physically handicapped and incapacitated. Several times, there was loss of lives due to the Rock Bursts or Air Blasts. The Rock Bursts during the 1920s and 30s and the massive Rock Burst in 1952, claimed many lives as quite a few miners were buried alive.When the Air Blasts occurred under ground, several miners would get trapped inside the tunnels and die due to suffocation and injuries. The passages and tunnels get blocked due to landslides.

The John Taylor and Sons Company   formed a dedicated rescue team which would immediately get into action to rescue workers trapped underground due to mining accidents and disasters such as rock bursts, fires, explosions, cave-ins, flooding of the mines etc. The KGF Mining Rescue Team was thus established in 1923. The Rescue Station was housed in a building quite close to the Oorgaum Station Railway crossing a short distance away from the Nandydroog Mine Offices. 

The Rescue Team was always on call 24 x 7, to attend to any emergencies both underground and on the surface. The team was well versed in all rescue procedures and specially trained to rescue miners trapped underground with minimum time loss. They were fully trained in rendering timely First Aid and in the use of the Proto Safety equipment, SABC Breathing sets etc, especially when the miners were suffocated due to lack of oxygen on account of landfalls, fire, smoke, toxic mine gases, etc.

The KGF Rescue Team was soon considered to be the best mining rescue team in the country and won many awards and citations. A picture of the team which won the Barraclough Challenge Shield in the All India Mines Rescue Competition in 1955 is appended hereto.

In the event of a fire breaking out or rock falls /caving in of the earth underground due to Rock Bursts, the workers would break small glass bottles of Eucalyptus Oil immediately. The strong smell of eucalyptus would quickly spread through all the tunnels underground thereby warning the miners working in other tunnels to quickly rush to higher safety levels, from where they could come up to the surface safely.

The Mines rescue team would then get into action to rescue the trapped workers. However, despite the best efforts of the Rescue team, sometimes flooding, fire outbreaks  and other accidents underground claimed many lives before the Rescue Team reached the spot. The family members of the workers trapped underground would wait for several hours outside the shafts, keeping their fingers crossed, to know the fate of their loved ones. The agony and mental suffering on their faces just couldn’t be explained in words.
However, as mine rescue is a particularly dangerous work, the rescue crews also risked their own lives to save their fellow workers. Sometimes they also suffered serious injuries and burns during their Rescue missions.

As children living in KGF Rock Bursts or Air Blasts were quite common occurrences for us and we learnt to live with them. We normally didn’t get frightened or worried when there were small ones. We just carried on with whatever we were doing at the time. However, sometimes these air blasts were quite huge in their intensity and they caused much damage to buildings and houses and also caused massive rock falls underground, sometimes even causing fatalities to the miners. We’d then rush out of the house to safety. Some times, buildings or houses got damaged during severe air blasts and people also suffered minor injuries because of the debris falling on them.

When I was about 5 years old, I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of shattering window panes and bits of the roof tiles falling on my bed. My mum bundled us up in our cardigans and we ran into the garden and stayed there till the rumblings stopped. She would then make us all a hot drink of Bournvita and tucked us all back into bed. The next morning we could see all the debris that had fallen from the walls and roof due to the tremors of the air blast.

When I was studying in the 6th Standard in the St Joseph’s Convent School, there was a massive Air Blast at around eleven in the morning, and this caused a lot of damage to the school building. Bits of the ceiling fell down on us and huge cracks began to appear on the walls. The teachers quickly evacuated all the students and we assembled on the Basket Ball field in no time. Since the rumblings continued for a long time, the school declared a holiday and the school buses and vans were organized to take us all home. Due to the severe impact of the Air Blasts the school building was damaged quite a bit. The nuns undertook some immediate repairs and we were back in school in no time.

Every time there was an Air Blast, my mum would make us kneel down and say a prayer for the safety of the Miners trapped underground. Quite often my dad, who worked as an Underground Engineer in Nandydroog Mine, would also be on duty at the time of the Air Blast, and we would be quite tense till he returned home safely.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


This is an old newspaper clipping showing pictures of the devastation caused by the massive Air Blast / Rock Burst in 1952. St Mary's Church, the Priests House, The Convent and school of St Joseph of Tarbes which were all housed in the same compound were completely destroyed. The Church was later rebuilt and renamed as Our Lady of Victories Church while the St Joseph's Convent was shifted to the Bungalow of Mr Arthur Taylor in Champion Reefs where it is still in existence.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Kolar Gold Fields is a small mining town in the erstwhile Mysore State (now known as Karnataka) in India. It was owned by the John Taylor and Sons Company, a British Mining Firm for almost a century. It was well known for its Colonial ambience and was called ‘Little England’ due to its British and Anglo-Indian population. It was one of India’s earliest industrialized towns and was unique for its secular and egalitarian society.

“Kolar Gold Fields – Down Memory Lane” undertakes a nostalgic journey of almost 150 years, beginning with the historical and mythological origins of the Kolar Gold Mines, its golden progress through the years under the John Taylor and Sons Company, its gradual decline, and the final closure of the once prosperous Kolar Gold Mining Company in 2003. Thus ending a golden chapter in History, which now lies buried in the annals of time.

It recalls the glorious and cosmopolitan life led by the tiny vibrant Anglo-Indian Community (a living legacy of the British Raj) in the early days of KGF, who lived in sprawling bungalows with beautiful gardens and domestic helpers at their beck and call. It recalls the grand Christmas Balls and Dances held at the Skating Rink and the Jam Sessions and Pound Parties in Buffalo Lodge.

It finally focuses on the author's childhood memories of growing up in KGF in the 1950s and 60s, and of life’s many simple pleasures – home, family, school, playmates, entertainments, games, etc. It recalls memories of old familiar haunts and landmarks of KGF and the people who were an indispensable part of life in those days. The book succeeds in capturing and preserving the ethos and nuances of a bygone era

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Big Tree

This is the Big Tree near BEML. It was a famous picnic spot when we were children. Most of our school picnics were here. It seemed a huge tree to us when we were kids. It doesn't look so big now. Most of us have fond memories of this picnic spot.


This is a collage of some of the Shafts in KGF.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Oorgaum Hall

In the early 1900s a separate Picture Hall was built in Oorgaum quite close to the KGF Gymkhana Club and named as the Oorgaum Hall to screen only English Movies and Documentaries once or twice a week,

The Oorgaum Hall was just a basic Hall with a large white screen and a hand operated Projector and wooden benches for seating. This picture halls screened all genre of English Films and was a favourite haunt of all the youngsters in KGF

This is a picture of the Oorgaum Hall in the early 1900s when it was initially built.The Oorgaum Library, Telephone Exchange, etc were built later on.

Monday, June 14, 2010


The township of Robertsonpet was established in 1902. It was named as ‘Robertsonpet’ by the then Maharaja of Mysore, in commemoration of the memory of Sir Donald Robertson, who was the British Resident of Mysore at the time. Sir Donald Robertson was responsible for launching the first Hydro-electric plant in Shivanasamudram which supplied electric power to the KGF mines.
Robertsonpet was considered to be one of the first planned residential areas in modern-day India. The township was planned and built to accommodate the increasing population of the city of Kolar Gold Fields.
A Town Hall was built in Victorian Style Architecture with huge canopies and arches with a huge lawn and a sprawling garden. It was named as the King George Hall after the King of England. Robertsonpet thus became the “Town” for the mining areas and quickly became an important commercial centre.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


The oldest club in KGF was The KGF Golf Club which was established in 1885 and has the distinction of being the 4th oldest Golf Club in India. In those days, it was totally out of bounds for the Indians, and only the British and Europeans could become members. This club was and still is affiliated to Indian Golf Union and is affiliated to all the major clubs in India.

Because of the hilly terrain of KGF, the golf course was /is located in picturesque surroundings in the midst of a small natural forest. Unlike other Golf courses where the Putting Green’s grass is cut very short so that a ball can roll distances of several yards, this facility has browns constructed of river sand in place of greens. The golf course had a number of natural canals cutting across the fairways lined by huge trees planted more than a century ago, giving it the setting of a British Country side.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Appended below is the letter dated 28th November 1956, that the John Taulor and Sons (India ) Private Ltd wrote to the Superintendents of all the 4 Mines. 28th November 1956 was the last day they were owners of the Mines. The Government of India took over the Mines on the 29th November 1956. This letter was addressed to the Superintendent of the Nandydroog Mine and a copy of the same was endorsed to my dad Sydney White and to all the other Officers and Covanented Hands of the Mines. It was signed by Mr W.T. Hocking the then Managing Director

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The New Imperial Bakery and Victory Confectionery Stores, Champion Reefs, KGF

We (as well as a lot of other families from KGF) got our just baked "Daily Bread" home delivered every day at 4 PM from this Bakery in Champion Reefs opposite the KGF Hospital. Payment was made once a month and the baker kept an account of the number of loaves each family bought in a long note book.

Every year on Maundy Thursday, freshly baked Hot Cross Buns were delivered as per advance orders for Good Friday.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Unique Feature of buildings that were constructed in the early 1900s in KGF

A distinguishing and unique feature of most of the buildings that sprung up in KGF in the early 1900s was that granite stones of the finest quality was used to construct them. The most outstanding feature is their solidity, Some of these buildings that have stood the test of time and are still in fairly good condition even after a century are:
1. All the Main Offices in all the mines,
2. The Cauvery and the Kolar Mines Power Stations or the Electricity Departments in Oorgaum, pictured above.
3. The original building of the KGF Golf Club.
4. St Mary’s Church which was later renamed as Our Lady of Victories Church in Champion Reefs.
5. Part of the main building of the Mining Hospital in Champion Reefs
6. The St Micheal’s and All Angels Church in Oorgaum.
7. Part of The Oorgaum Dairy.
8. The Government Civil Hospital and the Government Maternity Hospital in Robertsonpet.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Childhood in K G F was blissful. We had no luxuries like the present generation but never the less we were happy with simple pleasures and entertainments.

There was a huge open ground or ‘Maidan’ behind our house and all our friends would join us there to play after school and on holidays and weekends. The games we played in childhood were Hopscotch or Butch, Football, Throw ball, Spinning Tops, Rounders, Seven Stones, “ L O N D O N”, ‘I Spy”, Running and Catching, Robbers and Police, Kabbadi, Kho-Kho, Gilly Danda etc and many other simple games. Cricket, Hockey and Tennis were also part of our repertoire of childhood games.
Kite flying was another exciting game for us. Besides having a lot of fun flying our kites, we had a lot of enjoyment making the kites ourselves with Broom sticks or Bamboo sticks, kite paper, newspapers etc. We’d make a paste of flour and water to stick the paper to the kite frame and then settle down to make the Manja. Making the Manja for the kite string was a well kept secret. The “Manga” is a mixture of glass pieces, flour paste etc which is smeared on the kite sting to make it sharp, so as to cut the strings of other kites midair.
Besides all these above mentioned games, we also played our favourite childish games of Police and Robbers, Doctor and Nurse, Hide and Seek, Running and catching and of course the very girly game of ‘House House’ We had a lot of pots and pans or ‘Chapus; for this game. The Chapus were either made of mud, metal or plastic and we had tea parties with the dolls, cooked over our little stoves with our pots and pans, and hosted dinner parties with the dolls and teddy bears. We also played a number of board games like Chinese Checkers, Ludo, Chess, Drafts, Bagatelle, etc These games are indigent and native to India, but nonetheless played by us with much enthusiasm
All these games seem so outdated now. Apart from playing Cricket, Hockey, Tennis etc which are part of the School games curriculum, Children hardly play outdoors nowadays. Instead, they play with high tech video games, play stations and other fancy gadgets and I’m pretty sure they don’t experience the same capacity of happiness and the joys of the simple and inexpensive games that we played as children.
We really enjoyed our childhood!!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Government Maternity Hospital, Robertsonpet KGF

The Government Maternity Hospital in Robtersonpet KGF where my brother and sisters and I were born. It hasn't changed in all these years. A new annexe has now been added.