State Bank of Mysore building -very first branch in Bengaluru - legacy of Maharajah, Krishna Wodeyar IV

State Bank of Mysore Bengaluru.

State Bank of Mysore,Bengaluru.

Above image:  What was known as the first branch of the Mysore Bank, Bengaluru opened in 1913, is now a busy bank merged with SBI. The credit goes to the the Wodeyar royal family and his Dewan Sir. M. Visvesvaraya who introduced the banking operations in this part as part of industrialization of the state. The local bank helped the natives a lot to meet their needs.  The Mysore Bank Circle gets its name from the fact that it was the location of one of the first banks in Bangaluru................. 

State Bank of Mysore,Bengaluru.

Among the banks started in the princely states  like Travancore, Hyderabad, Rajasthan, etc., in the colonial India the growth of banking sector in Mysore kingdom (now part of Karnatakaka) is an interesting one. The foundation was laid by the royal family of  Wodeyar and his Diwan  Sir M. Visvesvaraya. Both the Mysore ruler and the Dewan were progressive thinkers and visionaries.

The then  erstwhile ruler of Mysore kingdom Maharajah, Krishnarajendra Wodeyar IV, started in 1912  State Bank of Mysore in Mysore city  on the advice of his efficient Dewan and famous civil engineer  Sir M. Visvesvaraya. The ruler, being progressive and keenly interested in the quality of life of his subjects,  continued to give his patronage and the branch office was opened in Bangalore in the following year. Then called  Bank of Mysore Limited, the name of the location the Mysore Bank Circle got its name  from the first bank that came up in that area. Sir KP Puttanna Chetty was made the Chairman of the bank. By 1938 the Bank had made good progress and there were 20 branches operating at various places.  During 1953, "Mysore Bank" was appointed as an agent of Reserve Bank of India to undertake Government business and treasury operations, and  on March 1, 1960 the bank became an associate bank of State Bank of India (banking Act 1959) and renamed State Bank of Mysuru. Now the bank is an Associate Bank under the State Bank Group and the State Bank of India holds 92.33% of shares that were  listed in Bangalore, Chennai, and Mumbai stock exchanges.

Knowing the importance of banking operations and credit facilities for the business in the kingdom that was given a full thrust toward industrialization, Dewan (Prime Minister) Sir M. Visvesvaraya impressed on the ruler to start a state-aided  banking enterprise to encourage the locals to start business here.

Initially in 1913 the bank was operating in the Chamrajpet area of the Old City, then a commercial hub. The present impressive old building came up in 1923  and soon the bank started functioning  there. A historical fact is  the building was constructed on a site that was  a lunatic asylum before.

An important land mark of the city, the Mysore Bank circle bears testimony to many protests and  freedom struggle activities in the past. With the progress of the city and increasing vehicular traffic in the 2000s  public protests in that location declined and shifted 1 km from here to the   Freedom Park - the site of the former central prison of Bengaluru; now, it is a venue of public protests. 

 The old stone  building with a ground floor and first floor building  built in an Indo-European style, has projected windows on the first  as well as on the ground floors and a wide porch. Today it  stands as the vestige of the first branch of Mysore Bank in this location. It is now a progressive modernized bank operating within the confines of the old structure  that once witnessed slow-paced banking operation in tune with low-phase of life of the past era.  

The large main arcaded hall of the Mysore Bank building which is now well-lit has all the modern facilities. In the past in the 1990s it used to be somber-looking inside. There used to be a small museum called Nenapu or Memories which documented the history of the bank.

With the merger of  State Bank of Mysore not withstanding protests by more than 10000 employees  in April 2017, the old SBM building in Bengaluru stands as a legacy of bank's earliest operation in the city.  Its past existence is oblivious, but frozen  in Karnataka's glorious history.

Meera Iyer, the convener of the Bengaluru chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, has written an interesting book Discovering Bangalore. It will help those who want  to know more about the garden city and its heritage

SBM Bengaluru

Above image:  In the Hindu religion goddess   Lakshmi  is an embodiment of money and wealth.  Being a devout Hindu, the Mysore ruler had a marble statue of Lakshmi made in Jaipur and  installed in the fa├žade of the building  bank. During its long journey from 1913  with a humble beginning, the bank  progressed  well and had 1,074 branches -  over a span of 104 years. By 2014, SBM  has 772 branches (79%) in Karnataka State. The bank has regional offices in Bengaluru, Mysore, Mangalore, Mandya, Hassan, Shimoga, Davangere, Bellary, Tumkur, Kolar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi. In 2013-14 alone, the bank's turnover  was about  US$19 Billion and Profit about US$46 Million.

State bank of Mysore,

Above image: ''The Special Cover issued by the Karnataka Postal Circle, Bengaluru of India Post.  It shows on the Front left side a picture of the Heritage Building of The Bank of Mysore Ltd. Head Office -1913. On the top are portraits of “H.H.Shri Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar – Patron” and “Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya – Founder” In between the two portraits is the legend “Founded by Royalty, Inspired by a Visionary”.  On the extreme bottom is the logo of SBM followed by the name of the Bank “State Bank of Mysore” (mentioned in Kannada, Hindi and English). The Rs.5/- stamp is of Bombay Stock Exchange issued in 2016 – one of the 3 Stock Exchanges where the SBM shares are quoted. The Cancellation Stamp is inscribed “State Bank of Mysore” (in Hindi & English) on the periphery together with “Service to the Nation since 1913. The Cancellation is of Kempegowda Road P.O. and the Cancellation is dated 16.12.2016”.

 State bank of Mysore. Bengalore.

State bank of Mysore, Bengaluru.

State Bank of Mysore Market Branch