Two centuries later, Bangalore claimed it and Malleswaram aka North Extension was born in 1895 under the rule of the Wodeyars. Our guide Poornima Dasharathi points out that we were at that moment in the oldest part of Malleswaram.
One of the temple’s earliest patrons was the Maratha king, Shivaji’s half-brother, Ekoji in 1669. Many patrons and donations later, the temple is a far cry from what it once was and has added colourful gopurams and easy to clean floor tiles. The sanctum sanctorum is all that remains untouched and has been retained exactly as it was originally built.
|Kaadu Malleswara temple|
An IT engineer for eleven years, Dasharathi got the opportunity to travel around the world. The heritage walks in London and Melbourne left her impressed. After a stint with INTACH, she started Unhurried in January 2012 and has since then organised walks and tours to niche places as she believes there is more to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu than just Hampi and Mysore. A storehouse of information on history, architecture, customs and anecdotes, Dasharathi’s storytelling skills come into play during the walk.
The area’s earliest residents were the Telugu-speaking workers at IISc, the Saraswat Brahmins employed at Raja and Minerva mills, and high ranking government officials who were mostly Iyengars. Dasharathi led us past a row of new bungalows which now belong to the descendants of one of Malleswaram’s first residents, HV Nanjundaiah, the first Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University.
|Scientist CV Raman's bungalow|
The walk was wrapped up at the Central Tiffin Room, now known as Shri Sagar, on 7th cross. Digging into some delicious benne dosa (butter dosa) with her family was musician and actor, Vasundhara Das, who is just one of the area’s celeb residents. Others include badminton player Prakash Padukone and his daughter, the Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone when she is in town.
|Poornima Dasharathi, Unhurried|
Other walks around Bangalore at Unhurried include the Pettah Walk and Cantonment Walk. They also organise tours to explore the eco trail in Banawasi, the culture-rich South Canara and Kodigeri near Ooty where John Sullivan first discovered the verdant Nilgiris. You can contact Dasharathi through the website www.unhurried.in.
By Anuradha Prasad/ Raintree Media Features/ www.raintreemedia.com
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