Fraser Town, Bangalore

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Fraser Town
Pulakeshinagar
Suburb
Fraser Town is located in Bengaluru
Fraser Town
Fraser Town
Coordinates: 12°59′41″N 77°36′50″E / 12.9947°N 77.6138°E / 12.9947; 77.6138Coordinates: 12°59′41″N 77°36′50″E / 12.9947°N 77.6138°E / 12.9947; 77.6138
Country India
State Karnataka
District Bangalore Urban
Metro Bangalore
Government
 • Body BBMP
Languages
 • Official Kannada
 • Spoken Kannada, English, Tamil, Urdu
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 560005
Lok Sabha Constituency Bangalore Central
Vidhan Sabha Constituency Jayamahal
Original Planning Agency Bangalore Civil & Military Station Municipal Commission
Established 08 March 1907

Fraser Town (sometimes corrupted as Frazer Town, officially Pulakeshinagar),[1] is a suburb of Bangalore Cantonment, in Bangalore North-East, spread over 4 km2. It was established in 1906 and is named after Stuart Mitford Fraser (1864-1963), who was the tutor and guardian of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, Maharaja of Mysore.[1] Fraser Town was established to de-congest the growing Bangalore Civil and Military Station (otherwise known as the Bangalore Cantonment).[2] The foundation of Fraser Town was laid in August 1910 by Mrs. F J Richards, with a commemorative plaque on the corner of Coles Road and Mosque Road [2].[3] Fraser Town is a residential and commercial suburb, the prominent roads being Promenade Road, Netaji Road, Madhavraya Mudaliar Road (M M Road), Haines Road, Spencer Road, Wheeler Road, Mosque Road, etc. The suburb is known for its communal harmony with Hindus, Muslims and Christians living side by side in peace.[1]

Before being known as Fraser Town, the suburb was called Mootocherry by the locals.[4] In 1988, the BBMP renamed Fraser Town as Pulakeshinagar, after an ancient King which ruled the Deccan.[5] However, the name has not caught on and continues to be popularly known as Fraser Town.[6][7][8][9]

Coles Park[edit]

Coles Park [3] (corruption of Cole's Park) is one of the popular parks in Fraser Town, located West of St. John's Hill, enclosed Promenade Road, Haines Road, Kemp Road, St. John's Church Road and Sauders Road.[10] Coles Park is named after Arthur Henry Cole (1780-1844), British Resident of Mysore (1809, 1812),[11][12] who went on to become the Member of Parliament on return to Ireland, representing Enniskillen between 1828-1844.[13] Arthur Henry Cole paid an important role in getting the support of the Maharaja of Mysore for the construction of St. Bartholomew's Church in Mysore.[14] Covering an areas an area of 27,280m2, Coles Park was established in 1914.[15] Coles Park was once in its peak of glory with a bandstand and 3 tennis courts. The Band of the Bangalore Rifle Volunteers, played at the bandstand every first Saturday of the month. YWCA used to run of the tennis courts.[10][11] The park is fairly maintained, even though there is some encroachments. Coles Park is officially known as the Freedom Fighters Park, however still popularly known by its former name.[10][15] The Park is open between 5AM to 11PM, but the Nursery is closed except during the Lalbagh Flower Show. The Madras Sappers Regiment has a memorial for fallen Indian soldiers in various conflicts, including the Kargil Conflict.[11]

The Wesleyan Tamil Mission was established in Bangalore by Rev. Elijah Hoole and James Mowatt in April 1821,[16][17] in the location where the Goodwill's Girls School and the Wesley English Church is presently located, North of Coles Park. Elijah Hoole in his book Personal Narrative of a Mission to the South of India, from 1820 to 1828 acknowledges the help rendered by the British Resident in Mysore, Arthur Henry Cole, in getting the support of the Maharaja of Mysore (p. 73, 74, 84, 85, 86, 207).[16] It could be possible that the park adjacent to the Wesleyan Tamil Mission could have been named after Cole, to acknowledge this support. If that's the case, then Cole's Park has been known by that name for nearly 200 years.

People and culture[edit]

Fraser Town, Street Flex on Cleveland Road

Like in other suburbs of the Bangalore Cantonment, Fraser Town has a large Tamil population. 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. Fraser 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.[2][18][19][20][21][22]

Fraser Town is home to a large Christian population, dating back to the days of the British Raj.[23][24] Majority of the Christians were converted from Tamil speaking Hindus in the 19th Century, and have contributed towards building the Bangalore Cantonment.[25] Economically well off Muslims of the Bangalore Cantonment prefer to live in Fraser Town.[26] The suburb serves as an best example for unity in diversity.[1] Hindus and Christians do not play loud music or cause disturbance during the time of breaking the Roza (fast) during the Muslim Holy month of Ramzan.[27] Muslims also reciprocate by co-operating and during the St. Marys's Feast (observed by Christians and Hindus of the Cantonment),[28] and Christmas Celebrations[29]

There are around 7 to 8 Muslim restaurants on MM Road, catering to middle- to upper-class clientele, serving Muslim cuisine such as Mughali, Nawabi or Hyderabadi.[30]

Colonial Heritage[edit]

The streets of Fraser Town, like that of most in the Bangalore Cantonment, are named after European civil servants, military officers and missionaries. Coles Park and Coles Road after Arthur Henry Cole (1780-1844), Resident of Mysore. Haines Road named after Lt. Col. Gregory Haines, Superintendent of the Bangalore Division under Sir Mark Cubbon. Saunders Road named after Charles Burslam Saunders, the Judicial Commissioner at Mysore, who succeeded Sir Mark Cubbon as Commissioner of Mysore, serving between 1875-1877. Robertson Road, named after Col. Donald Robertson. Wheeler Road, Cleveland Road and surrounding Cleveland Town named after General John Wheeler Cleveland, who along with his wife is buried in the Kalpalli Cemetery. Richard's Park and surrounding Richard's Town after F J Richards, President of the Bangalore Civil and Military Station Municipality between 1908 and 1912, who is credited with starting the Dairy Farm and Veterinary Hospital on Queen's Road, and improving the Ulsoor Lake. Neighbouring Cooke Town is named after G H Cooke, President of the Bangalore Civil and Military Station Municipality between 1928 and 1934, with the Mayo Hall being constructed during his tenure. Further Durbar surgeons Sir. John Colin Campbell has Campbell Road named after him, and Dr. P H Benson has Benson Town named after him.[31]

Inscription[edit]

Fraser Town Foundation

Inscription on the commemorative plaque on the corner of Coles Road and Mosque Road [4], reads

FRASER TOWN
called after
THE HON M S M FRASER ICS CIE
RESIDENT IN MYSORE
christened by
MRS F. J. RICHARDS
AUGUST 1910

[32]

Landmarks[edit]

Albert Bakery[edit]

Fraser Town, Albert Bakery

Albert Bakery [5] is a popular Bakery on Mosque Streets, attracting large crowds,[33] open between 3 pm and 9 pm, famous for its snacks, pastries and non-vegetarian food,[34] and during Ramzan, Albert Bakery is famous for its "bheja" or goat brain puffs.[35] Albert Bakery was founded in 1902, by a Muslim, who felt that giving his bakery an English name would appeal to the cosmopolitan and European clientele in Fraser Town and named it after Prince Albert.[36][37] Albert Bakery initially operated from a godown and was located in Sangam Lane, off Kamraj Road, and moved to the present Mosque Rd. premises in 1912.[38]

Haji Sir Ismail Sait Mosque[edit]

Fraser Town, Sir Ismail Sait Mosque

Haji Sir Ismail Sait Mosque [6] (named after Haji Sir Ismail Sait, a prominent Gujarati speaking Kutchi Memon merchant of Bangalore Cantonment who built the mosque), is located in the posh locality of Fraser Town. It was built at a time when there were only a few Muslims in the suburb. Haji Sir Ismail Sait arrived in Bangalore in 1870 from Cutch, Gujarat with his parents. After the demise of his father, he started a small business on his own in 1874, and prospered expanding his business around Bangalore and also Madras, trading in goods and Kerosene. At the same time, he was involved in philanthropy and charitable work. Haji Sir Ismail Sait was honoured by the Mysore Government with the title ‘Fakrut-Tujjar', and the British Government knighted him at the Buckingham Palace in recognition of his philanthropy. Haji Sir Ismail Sait also served as a member of the Madras Presidency Legislative Council in 1911. Sir Ismail Sait also founded the Sir Ismail Sait Government Urdu Model Primary Boys and Girls School [7], an Urdu Primary School on Mosque Road and the Gosha Hospital [8] at Shivajinagar.[39][40][41][42][43]

Bangalore East Railway Station[edit]

Bangalore East Railway Station. The original British period stone building.

Bangalore East Railway Station[9] is an old British Era Railway Station surrounded by Pottery Road, Kumaraswamy Naidu Road, Murgesha Mudaliar Road and Kenchappa Road, is a small quaint station located in Fraser Town. This station is very convenient for residents travelling towards Kolar Gold Fields or returning from Madras or KGF. Express and Mail trains did not stop here till the 1920s. The station is now renovated with a larger platform. Adjacent to Railway Station, there is the Bangalore East Football Grounds, which nowadays is more used for playing Cricket.[9] Well known cartoonist Paul Fernandes remembers as a young boy befriending train drivers at this station, and getting grease for his bicycle.[4]

aPaulogy[edit]

aPaulogy - Gallery of Curious Memories [10] is located in the neighboring suburb of Richards Town. Has paintings by well known cartoonist Paul Fernandes, of the life in Fraser Town, and Bangalore Cantonment in general. St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral and St. John's Church (called as Sigapoo Oosimatha Koil or Red Church by the locals) predominating the skyline. A traffic jam near the Fraser Town Police Station, Everest Theatre, Dewar's Bar with its waiters attired in 'veshtis', Thom's Café, etc.[4][44]

Other issues[edit]

The Government First Grade College and a Tamil Primary Government School, is located at Robertson Road, near the Old Ashoka Theatre. The College is badly in need of a new building, with around 300 students at present being cramped into 5 rooms.[45]

Gallery[edit]

Notable institutions nearby[edit]

St. Aloysius High School, Bangalore
St. Aloysius PU College, Bangalore

Other notable landmarks[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Frazer Town". My Bangalore. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Dasharathi, Poornima (23 July 2008). "Cantonment: colonial past, multicultural present". Citizen Matters. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Rizvi, Aliyeh (21 September 2014). "Say a little prayer" (Bangalore). Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Rizvi, Aliyeh (5 July 2013). "No apologies for memories here" (Bangalore). The Hindu. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Prashanth, G N (14 April 2011). "It's all in the new name" (Bangalore). Times of India. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Bigg, Margot (15 Mar 2011). Moon Living Abroad in India: Living Abroad Series. Avalon Travel. p. 328. ISBN 9781598807424. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
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  13. ^ Fisher, DR (2009). The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832,. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
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  15. ^ a b Patrao, Michael (17 December 2013). "When parks were a lark" (Bangalore). Deccan Herald. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
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  17. ^ Missionary Register. London: Seeley, Jackson, & Halliday. 1822. p. 77. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
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  26. ^ Christophe, Jaffrelot; Gayer, Laurent (2013). Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation. HarperCollins Publishers India. p. 416. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
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  28. ^ "St. Mary's Basilica". St. Mary's Basilica. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
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  30. ^ Wikipedians (2014). Bangalore: The Silicon Valley of India. PediaPress. p. 60. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
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