User:Arcot Narrainsawmy Mudaliar

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Dharmarathnakara Rai Bahadur Arcot Narrainsawmy Mudaliar – Founder of Rai Bahadur Arcot Narrainsawmy Mudaliar's Educational Charities and Rai Bahadur Arcot Narrainsawmy Mudaliar's Chattram and other Charities, belonged to an ancient and historic family.

Childhood And Youth[edit]

Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar (Kannada: ಶ್ರೀ ನರ್ರೈನ್ಸವ್ಮ್ಯ್ ಮುದಲಿಅರ್) was born at Arcot on 14th May 1827. Due to some family misfortune, his father Muniappa Mudaliar migrated to Bangalore with his three sons Narrainsawmy, Munisawmy and Muthusawmy. Muniappa Mudaliar passed away when Narrainsawmy was only ten years old. The youngster had to support his widowed mother and two younger brothers. He never had an opportunity to study English, but was well versed in his mother tongue - Tamil. During his formative years he studied and acquired a deep knowledge of ancient Tamil literature, which moulded his character and inspired his thoughts and outlook throughout his life. Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar married Govindammal in 1850 when he was 23.


Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar commenced his commercial activity initially as a travelling salesman transporting vegetables which were available at a low price in Bangalore, and selling them at Madras, where they were in great demand. After gaining considerable profit and experience from this trade, he started transporting salt from Madras and selling it in Bangalore. Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar's self reliance, resourcefulness and perseverance enabled him to earn considerable profit from this two-way trade. With this capital, he opened a grocery shop on Cavalry road and later a branch in the Infantry Barracks. In the year 1859, he was granted the Royal patronage of Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, the Maharaja of Mysore. As a token of gratitude to his Royal Patron, Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar named his Emporium on Cavalry road as ‘Mysore Hall’. Later, Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar ventured into a new line of business with Messrs. Wallace & Co. in partnership with Rai Bahadur Bansilal-Ramrathan, who had secured from Col.Sankey, Chief Engineer to the Government of Mysore, the contract for the construction of the New Public Offices or the 'Athara Cutcherry'. The contract was a success under the supervision of Munisawmy Mudaliar, the younger brother of Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar. This line of business brought him a large fortune. Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar set up the ‘Bangalore Agency’ at premises No.19 South Parade. This firm dealt with real estate, live stock, auctioneering etc., involving the army as well as the general public. Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar was also engaged in other commercial activities such as excise contracts, banking etc.


Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar was simple, pious and unassuming. He was deeply influenced by the lives of the Tamil Saints as evident from his munificence, humility and charity. He firmly believed that wealth was a trust to be utilised for assisting and uplifting the poor, and that diffusion of knowledge is philanthropy at its best - perennial, self propagating and showering its blessings on future generations. The then prevailing situation impressed on his keen and observant mind that the basic needs of the day were facilities for educating both boys and girls, training youth to enable them to commence their lives as useful members of the society and relieving the distress of the poor and ailing as well as the socially backward and downtrodden. During that period there were no schools for teaching poor children either in their mother tongue or in English, no technical or commerce schools, no schools for Panchamas and other backward classes, no schools for girls, no orphanages for destitute children nor hostels for students in Bangalore.


Deeply affected by the prevailing pathetic conditions, Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar embarked on his noble mission of social regeneration, providing for all classes and castes in the fields of education, social welfare and religion. His numerous charities include: 1. Subramanyaswamy Temple (1872) 2. Muthusawmy Mudaliar Choultry (1872) 3. Free English Primary School (1873), upgraded to a High School (1881) 4. Thirukulathar School, Halasur (1883) 5. Govindammal Girls School, Halasur (1886) 6. Technical School for Civil Engineering (1887) 7. Muniyappa Mudaliar Muniyammal Orphanage (1892) 8. Kannappa Mudaliar Balika Patasala, Kancheepuram (1898) 9. Thirukulathar School, Cantonment (1909)

It is remarkable that towards the end of the 19th century itself, without the guidance or example of similar institutions, Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar was able to plan and establish Centers of education, training and social-upliftment, similar to present day courses and movements such as; basic education, vocational and industrial training, girls' education, upliftment of the depressed classes and removal of untouchability.

Endowments And Their Administration[edit]

During the Great Famine of 1876-78, Mysore State Railways was one of the relief works undertaken with the primary objective of meeting the prevailing distress. Due to the famine, the revenue collection had decreased and public debts were mounting. Public loans were floated to undertake public works and provide jobs to the unemployed peasants. Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar invested in the Mysore Railways Debentures to provide security to the amount which he had already set-apart for the Schools established by him.

As the Debentures were nearing maturity, on 13th December 1891, he requested the Government to permit him to deposit with them an amount of Rs.75,000/- at the prevailing rate of interest. This was to ensure safety for the endowment as well as an assured income for the schools. The Government in their Order No.15034/12 April 25/28 1892 accepted the deposit of Rs.75,000/- at the same interest as paid by the Debentures, as a special case considering the charitable object of the donor. Later, on 18th May 1892, the Government authorised the Comptroller to receive in trust, an additional amount of Rs.40,000/- on the same terms. The total amount of Rs.1,15,000/- was paid to the Comptroller on 23rd May 1892. On 24th May 1892, Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar addressed the Comptroller requesting him to open separate accounts, that is, an endowment of Rs.90,000/- for Schools and Orphanage and an endowment of Rs.25,000/- for Chattram and other Charities. Subsequently on 21st June 1895, Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar deposited with the Government, additional endowments of Rs.24,200/- for the benefit of the Schools and Orphanage and Rs.14,000/- for the Industrial School. A total amount of Rs. 1,28,200/- (90,000 + 24,200 + 14,000) was thus endowed for the Schools and Orphanage and Industrial School between the years 1892-95.

Honours And Titles[edit]

On the occasion of the assumption of the Imperial Title of 'Kaiseri-Hind', by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, a magnificent Durbar was held at Delhi on 1st January 1877. In this Durbar, Lord Lytton, the Viceroy of India, conferred on Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar the Title of 'Rai Bahadur' in recognition of his spirited acts of charity.

In 1894, His Highness Chamaraja Wodeyar X conferred on Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar the title of 'Dharmarathnakara'.

Last Days Of Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar[edit]

Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar retired from active life and entrusted the management of his business activities and charities to his nephew Rao Bahadur Maigandadeva Mudaliar, who during his term as the Hon.Secretary of the Educational Charities brought them to the highest state of efficiency. After the death of Maigandadeva Mudaliar in 1910, Rao Bahadur Sundaramurthy Mudaliar, another nephew of Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar, continued the work of managing the various institutions. The Noble Founder had the satisfaction of witnessing his charities flourish during his lifetime. Devoted to his faith and of simple habits, sympathetic to the poor, admired and loved by all classes of people, this cultured and kindly man passed away on the 9th of February 1910 at the age of 83. The Hon'ble S.M.Fraser, the then British Resident and Pradhana Shiromani T.Anandarao, the then Dewan of Mysore, attended the funeral as a mark of respect to the departed philanthropist. A unique honour was accorded by the District Magistrate and President Municipal Commission, Civil and Military Station, in permitting the mortal remains of Sri Narrainsawmy Mudaliar to be interred in his own coconut garden, in premises No.6/57 Veerapillai Street. Later, a samadhi was constructed by his grand nephew, Sri Thangavelu Mudaliar, son of Sri Maigandadeva Mudaliar.


Extract from the speech delivered by the Founder Dharmarathnakara Rai Bahadur Arcot Narrainsawmy Mudaliar, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Free English Primary School on 24th April 1873.

"At an early period of my life when but very few schools were in existence in this town, it appeared to me that an Anglo-Vernacular School established in the Cantonment where a considerable portion of the native population reside and conducted on such principles as would ensure the imparting, to young boys of sound elementary education in their own vernaculars, would be of great help to hundreds of native youths. At present there are several schools in Bangalore in which both English and Canarese are taught, but they are for the most part at a considerable distance from the Cantonment. Owing to this cause and also some little inconvenience arising from the hours of attendance in these schools, many young boys do not go to them, while it is believed others do so with some inconvenience. To remedy this and supply a want long felt, is the aim of this Institution."

Dharmarathnakara Rai Bahadur Arcot Narrainsawmy Mudaliar's Educational Charities Trust[edit]

(Regd. 1892) Presidents 01. Rajadarmapravina T.R.A.Thumboo Chetty, Officiating Dewan of Mysore (Retd.) (1892-1907) 02. Dr. John Cook, Principal, Central College (1907-1910) 03. V.P. Madhavarao, Dewan of Mysore (Retd.) (1910-1914) 04. Rajamantrapravina Dewan Bahadur C.Srinivasa Iyengar, (1914-1921)

     Member of Council (Retd.), Govt. of Mysore

05. Rajasabhabhushana Dewan Bahadur K.P.Puttanna Chetty, (1921-1938)

     Member of Council (Retd.), Govt. of Mysore

06. Rajamantrapravina Dewan Bahadur K. Matthan, (1938-1948)

     Member of Council (Retd.), Govt. of Mysore 

07. Rao Bahadur Capt. A.Thangavelu Mudaliar (Retd.) (1948-1960) 08. B.Vasudevamurthy, High Court Judge (Retd.), Govt. of Mysore (1960-1964) 09. V.C.Ramachandran, District & Sessions Judge (Retd.), Govt. of Karnataka (1964-1980) 10. Major A.T. Sethu Narayan (Retd.) (1980-1984) 11. A.R. Ganesh Narrain (1984-1985) 12. A.R. Sampath Narrain (Protem) (1985-1989) 13. Major A.T. Sethu Narayan (Retd.) (1989-1992) 14. V.C. Damodaran, Dy.Chief Engineer Southern Railways (Retd.) (1992-2000) 15. A.S.Govindaraj, Joint Director of Town Planning (Retd.), Govt. of Karnataka (2000-2002) 16. T.V.Annaswamy, Joint Director of Town Planning (Retd.), Govt. of Karnataka (2002- ) Vice Presidents 1. Dr. John Cook, Principal, Central College (1896-1907) 2. Rajamantrapravina Dewan Bahadur C.S.Srinivasa Iyengar, (1910-1914)

   Member of Council (Retd.), Govt. of Mysore