Thursday, April 15, 2021

#AtoZChallenge - Mayo Hall

(This month, each day, except the four Sundays, I will be blogging about interesting features associated with Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, as part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge)

This is not a hall but a building. It gets its name from Lord Mayo, who served as the fourth Viceroy of India from 1869 to 1872. He was christened Richard Southwell Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo, and he was generally referred to as Lord Mayo in India.

His tenure as viceroy came to a tragic end when he was stabbed to death, while on a visit to the jail in Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, by a Pathan prisoner named Sher Ali, to avenge the death of his father in the First Anglo-Afghan War of 1839-1842.

Image courtesy: Bangalore Tourism

The two-storied Mayo Hall was built in 1883 and stood all alone in regal majesty atop an elevated plane giving people a panoramic view of the surroundings in the east of the city. It has since undergone multiple renovations. 

In 2011, a museum in the memory of Kempegowda, the 16th-century chieftain of the Vijayanagar Empire considered to be the founder of Bangalore, was opened on the first floor. But two years ago, it was temporarily shut following a dispute over which government department should administer and maintain it. Most of the lower floor of Mayo Hall houses the city and civil courts.

Here is a description of the Mayo Hall by Meera Iyer, convenor, INTACH Bengaluru, and a researcher, in The Hindu, Sept 27, 2019 

One characteristic of Renaissance Revival is the lavish ornamentation of windows. Each of Mayo Hall’s first-floor windows is a delicious confection. Each has either a triangular or arched pediment, with mouldings supported on curved consoles or brackets lovingly decorated with acanthus leaves. Each window is framed by decorative pilasters, a small floral scroll on top, and a balustraded ledge below. Ground floor windows are differently treated with flat hoods, simple pilasters and unpretentious consoles. The division between the floors is accentuated by a belt course decorated with a Greek meander, a popular geometric motif in Western art.

Today the building is overshadowed by the 25-floor commercial complex Public Utility Buildings on one side and the elevated metro rail running in front of it.

(Join me tomorrow, we head to a hill station)

19 comments:

  1. I didn't know about Mayo Hall until today. Thanks for the information. I was expecting that you may write about Mavalli Tiffin room for M.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Rajan.
      I did think about MTR. But I thought Mayo Hall was much less known. Maybe I could have made a mention of MTR in the post.

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  2. So much fascinating history. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. Hari Om
    Ah, so the urban sprawl reached its doors! But so good it still stands and is actively used. YAM xx

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    1. Hi Yamini - It's a challenge to restrict the march of "urban progress".

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  4. Interesting building. I wonder where the use of hall came from to mean building. It's not the first time I've heard it, but it never occurred to me to question it before.

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    1. Probably, someone in those days thought of it more as a hall, and later the building came to be known by the name of the hall. An interesting thought.

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  5. As I get ready to head over to the hill station tomorrow, I can't help but find satirical comedy in the tiff between two govt. departments over the upkeep of the museum.
    The history and that old image makes this a wonderful read.

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    1. Hi Arti - Anyway, it is the pandemic, and public places like museums are shut now.

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  6. Information of Mayo hall was interesting. Only knew that some courts were housed in it but have never visited the premises.

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  7. History is fascinating! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Hi Lynnette - History gives a new perspective to the present, doesn't it?

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  8. The description is outstanding.... would have loved to see those window pictures from the inside looking out.
    Cheers,
    Crackerberries

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  9. This reminds me of Chennai and all its buildings from the days of the British raj

    https://pagesfromjayashree.blogspot.com/2021/04/n-for-nimbus.html

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    1. Hi Jayashree - Chennai probably has more such heritage buildings.

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