"Band House" 102 year old heritage structure will be preserved for the posterity , thanks to Mysuru Police

Band House, built in 1920, Mysuru starofmysore.com

Band House, built in 1920, Mysuru,.indiatimes.com

 In the midst of  various painful  media reports on the 'demolition spree' of old heritage buildings in Mysuru city, Karnataka  it is nice to hear the good news that  the famous iconic Band House on  Mirza Road in Nazarbad,  being under the custody of the police, will be spared and soon will be repaired and restored.  In the last several years serious debate is going on among the heritage lovers and like-minded people of  Mysuru  over the preservation of so many heritage structures that dot the city. Many of them are facing problems like poor upkeep, fund crunch, lack of interest to preserve their heritage, official apathy, etc. 

What is surprising is the police  personnel, despite their stressed duty to handle so many civil and criminal cases daily in and out have come together in unison to save the Band House. They do not want this structure to face the same fate as Lansdowne building and Devaraja market. The realization that past is relevant to the present has made them resolute not to lose the Band House, a legacy of the Royal Mysore Family who ran the administration of the Princely state till independence.  

The Band House which is about 102 years old and once housed the Office of City Police Commissioner, has an English-style facade with  an open balcony and gable-tiled roof.  With financial help  from Bank Note Paper Mill Ltd (BNPM), a joint venture of Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) — a Government of India Enterprise and Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Ltd. (BRBNMPL) — a Subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India  which has disbursed funds under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, steps are being made  to preserve the historical  Band House located in the heart of the city.

First introduced in 1868,  Mysore Police Band owes its growth to   Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in whose reign the Band House was built  on the road leading to Vasanth Mahal Palace in Nazarbad, now housing the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET). The road was later named after Dewan Sir Mirza Ismail. Its is well planed building with rooms for the players, instruments, concert hall, library, etc.

Built in 1920, Band House  was used for the stay of   musicians and band players who were assigned to the task of performing band music for the members of the royal family at the Mysore Palace on important occasions, particularly when high ranking foreign dignitaries or rulers of other states arrived here as the guests of the royal family. The musicians were mostly summoned to the palace during the visits. After independence,  this heritage site fell under the control of  Mysuru city police.  Members of the Mysore Police Band used to stay here.

he renovation work in may last year began earnestly amd bank Note paper mill had to make Rs.64 lakhs available for the renovation cost. Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage has taken the responsibility of renovation work, with careful use of old construction technique and not deviating from the original design. Once the renovation is over the Police Band along with a museum of rare musical instruments will be back in its original place bringing back the old world charm. 

In 1952, it was CM  Kengal Hanumanthaiah, one of the most popular Congressman in Karnataka (Mysore) who  brought the Palace Bands under the Police Department and created a  special wing of the Mysore City Police.