Murphy Town, Bangalore

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Murphy Town
Murphy Town is located in Bengaluru
Murphy Town
Murphy Town
Coordinates: 12°58′47″N 77°37′35″E / 12.9798°N 77.6265°E / 12.9798; 77.6265Coordinates: 12°58′47″N 77°37′35″E / 12.9798°N 77.6265°E / 12.9798; 77.6265
DistrictBangalore Urban
 • BodyBBMP
 • OfficialKannada
 • SpokenKannada, Tamil, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Lok Sabha ConstituencyBangalore Central
Vidhan Sabha ConstituencyC V Raman Nagar
Original Planning AgencyBangalore Civil & Military Station Municipal Commission

Murphy Town is a suburb located near Bangalore Cantonment, India. It is one of the oldest planned suburbs of the Cantonment, and was earlier known as Knoxpet, and was later changed to Murphy Town. It is located North of Ulsoor, with Murphy Road running along its periphery, and is also bounded by Old Madras Road and Kensington Road, with part of Kensington Road overlooking Ulsoor Lake Madras Sappers.[1][2]


In the early 1900s the suburb was known as Knoxpet,[1][3] named after Lt. Col. Stuart George Knox, who served as Resident of Mysore and Coorg between 1 November 1921 to 31 October 1922, and earlier as Resident of Baroda State.[4] The suburb was settled since 1865 by Tamil workers such as tannery workers, leather workers, pottery workers, etc. The houses at Knoxpet had poor sanitation facilities and generally poorly built, and resembled a slum. The Bangalore Plague of 1898, resulted in the government deciding to demolish, rebuild and re-settle the suburb. However actual process was started only in 1923. In 1937, the suburb was renamed as Murphy Town, after W H Murphy, MBE - Executive Engineer, Municipal Council, Bangalore Civil and Military Station.[1][5]

W H Murphy[edit]

W H Murphy, served as the Executive Engineer, Municipal Council, Bangalore Civil and Military Station for nearly 25 years. Murphy is credited with designing the sanitation works at Austin Town, and the underground drainage works at (then known as BlackPalli). He is responsible for designing and execution of some of Bangalore Cantonment's prominent buildings, such as Russell Market, which is named after T B Russell who served as Municipal Commissioner, Bangalore.[6] He also designed and built the Friend In Need Society and Colonel Hill High School, with buildings known as Cobb Home for the Aged (after H V Cobb, Resident of Mysore) and Girdlestone Nursing Home (after C E R Girdlestone, Resident of Mysore), inaugurated W P Barton (British Resident). Murphy was also credited with inventing the Dog Electrocute, which was used to kill stray dogs painlessly, and extensively used in the Bangalore Cantonment since November 1925.[5] Murphy was also one of the founding members of the Rotary Club of Bangalore (founded 27 October 1934).[5][7]

Town plan[edit]

Cantonment records indicate that 310 single homes and 108 double homes were built, with cement, bricks and Mangalore tiles. There were large open quadrangles, and the houses were around its periphery, and these open spaces provided space for community and social functions. Space was also provided for Temples, Churches and a Market[1][5] The housing scheme at Murphy Town was based on three defining principles. Firstly, the houses should be 'too good for the classes that occupy them'[8] - the intention was to people to grain self-respect. Secondly, 'the dull uniformity of barracks' must not be implemented - as it proved to be a hindrance to social elevation. Finally, the houses were built with scope for further expansion if economic conditions improved.

The Houses had an postal addresses named as "SQUARE" ( Instead of Lane, Street or an Cross ) based on 9 numbers of the Squares consisting of Houses making it a Proper square, with Each of the "SQUARE" having an Playground for recreational use of the Residents ( Hence you see the locality producing so many National level Footballers & Hockey Players even till date).[1]

Residents of Murphy Town[edit]

Like in other suburbs of the Bangalore Cantonment, Murphy Town has a large Tamil population with Kannada & Telugu speaking Residents too. They trace their ancestry to the large number of Tamil soldiers, suppliers and workers who were brought into the Bangalore Civil and Military Station, by the British Army, after the fall of Tippu Sultan.It is said that half of the Tamil soldier ancestors of the Murphy town residents were from The Madras Sappers. Murphy Town along with other suburbs of the Bangalore Cantonment was directly under the administration of the British Madras Presidency till 1949, when it was handed over to the Mysore State.[9][10][11]

Like other poverty stricken areas of the world, Murphy Town, along with Austin Town has produced many good football players, with the sport being very popular in the suburb.this town has produced national & international Hockey players, coaches. Even today Free Football & Hockey coaching is conducted for kids. Primrose Hockey Club One of the Oldest Private Hockey clubs in Karnataka was started here in 1959.[1][5] There are some 37 houses in Murphy Town where the residents pay a nominal rent to BBMP, with the rates staying low as fixed by the British Authorities of the erstwhile Bangalore Cantonment. After independence, the residents met Murphy to get ownership papers, however these 37 houses were left without proper land papers. According to residents, they are still looked down as immigrants by government departments, even though they have been living in Bangalore than most other people in the city. The Street names in Murphy Town are named after Mudaliars, who were prominent businessmen in the community. The Town Government School had produced several IAS officers,Doctors,Engineers ,scientists, politicians, teachers. Ex Municipal councillor shri. Bhaskaran was elected several times as councillor and was honorary Deputy Mayor of bangalore. Under his guidance hundreds of old Murphy Town residents got B.D.A sites in Indira Nagar and Neighborood areas, many moved away to these new development areas( but they do a mandatory customary annual visit to celebrate Ulsoor pallike with their relatives & friends), [8]

The local school bearing the plaque ‘1913 Elementary School’, used to a Tamil Medium School, which has now been converted to Kannada Medium. The school has an old dilapidated building called the 'Evelyn Barton Welfare Centre’, which has since been closed as its too dangerous. According to the Principal of the School, local residents prefer to give their children English Medium Education from the numerous other schools nearby.[8]

The Murphy Town Market is known for its Meat shops selling Chicken, Mutton, Beef and Fish.[8] One of the shops in the Murphy Town Market, VM Stores is 100 years old, and is one of the oldest stores in the Market.[3] Most of the shops 8x10 ft2, and the rent is minimal at INR 110. However, if a shop ownership is transferred, then the rent gets increased to INR 1000.[12]

Present state[edit]

In November 2014, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) decided to raze 18 old markets (including Murphy Town Market).[13] This move has been opposed by heritage lovers, INTACH Bangalore and other groups.[14][15] A campaign was being led by Kiran Natarajan, Bangalore's well known architect to stop the demolition of heritage markets.[16]

In 1998, the BBMP renamed Murphy Town as Hoysala Nagar, after an ancient Kingdom which ruled the Deccan.[1][3] However, the name has not caught on and continues to be popularly known as Murphy Town.[3][17]

Landmarks of Murphy Town[edit]

  • Good Shepherd Church ( New Church was built in place of the Old Church during early part of 2000 )
  • Murphy Town Market
  • Murphy Town Government School
  • Many Hindu Temples build around 1940's & 50's still exist.
  • Chariots Festival of Hindu Local Deities taken on Procession during Flower Bloom season in April month.
  • Murphy Town Play Ground ( also called as Police Ground or Ambedkar Play Ground )


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "An area of starkness" (Bangalore). Deccan Herald. 20 April 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  2. ^ Johnson, Ronnie. "Ulsoor, Murphy Town, Knoxpet, Ulsoor Lake, Bangalore". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d sujnaturelover. "A walk down Murphy Town". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Stuart George Knox". geni_family_tree. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e Harshitha, Samyuktha. "An Engineer who invented a dog killing machine". Suttha Muttha. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  6. ^ Raman, Afried (1994). Bangalore - Mysore. Madras: Orient Blackswan. p. 17. ISBN 9780863114311.
  7. ^ "INDIA-L Archives". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d Ramesh, Niranjana (8 August 2012). "Going to town with a colonial legacy" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  9. ^ Srivatsa, Sharath S (31 October 2007). "Bangalore calling: it all goes way back…" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  10. ^ Steve, Arul (17 April 2013). "Specialization On Social And Cultural Indifference Among Kgf Tamil Migrants". Word Press. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  11. ^ Harshitha, Samyuktha (1 June 2013). "The Mootocherry of Bangalore". Suttha Muttha. Blogspot, Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  12. ^ Kulkarni, Pavan (15 April 2015). "Murphy Town market gets into heritage list, BBMP won't redevelop it" (Bangalore). Citizen Matters. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  13. ^ Ramani, Chitra V (28 November 2014). "18 'old' markets to make way for new structures in Bangalore" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  14. ^ Phadnis, Renuka (13 December 2014). "INTACH campaigns against BBMP'sdecision to demolish 18 markets" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  15. ^ Aravind, Indulekha (20 December 2014). "Bengaluru's heritage markets to give way to faceless malls" (Bangalore). Business Standard. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Stop the plan to demolish 18 'old' markets and replace them with malls!".
  17. ^ Narasimhan, Sakuntala. "Road names change, roads don't". Citizen Matters. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  18. ^ Damodaran, Akhila (11 February 2016). "Bengaluru City's British Town" (Bangalore). The New Indian Express. Retrieved 12 February 2016.