Reliving Bangalore's tryst with the Indian Army

Reliving Bangalore's tryst with the Indian Army

An exhibition of rare photographs of old and new Bangalore, especially relating to the Cantonment areas and the Indian Army, will bring alive memories of the Army in the City when it celebrates the 66th Army Day on Wednesday. 

The display organised by the Headquarters, Karnataka and Kerala Sub Area (Army), in association with the Rangoli Metro Art Center (R-Mac), MG Road, will showcase Bangalore’s historic tryst with the military. 

The stunning exhibits include photographs of a unique torpedo, several bridges built by the Army, buildings like the Oriental (now called the LIC building), the BRV theatre built by the Madras Sappers in 1911, the first motor car to ply in the City on St John’s Road and many more.
 “We are responsible for administration in and around Karnataka, and since we are located very close to the Rangoli Metro Art Center, we are usually in touch for various things. We are a very integral part of society. Our basic role is on the border, but we are also known to care for our heritage. The photographs being put up at R-Mac on the occasion of Army Day are some of the very rare and precious ones which the public will see for the first time. The exhibition is about how the army has evolved with time and our contribution to society,” said a senior officer from the K&K Sub Area, who preferred not to be named.

The exhibition has pictures of how the uniforms of the soldiers evolved from 1780 to 2002. “Images of the past and present of Madras Engineer Group, Army Service Corps, and Parachute Regiment Training Centre are there. People usually think that the Army is all about fighting wars, but actually, most of Bangalore is built by the Army. Structures and super-structures at the Ulsoor Lake, the Oriental building which is now called the LIC building on St Mark's Road, the BRV theatre and many others are  fine examples of the design and construction work done by the Army. This is the first time that these pictures are available for public viewing," said Surekha, curator of R-Mac.

 Two movies, “Quiet Performers” and “Tololing,” will also be screened at the Vismaya Gallery simultaneously with the photography exhibition, strengthening the feeling of patriotism.

 “Tololing” is about the Kargil war. “Quiet Performers” is a film about the Madras Engineer Group, informally known as the Madras Sappers.

The exhibition is a virtual storehouse of the military history of Bangalore. 

Rare photographs giving a glimpse of 60-year glory of the Parachute Regiment, the pipe band of the ASC Centre (South), construction phases of the BRV theatre, a 1912-picture of the drummers and pipers performing at the Manekshaw Parade Ground, construction of the Bangalore Cirder bridge in 1913, building the war memorial, will be on display at the exhibition.

The spic and span Ulsoor Lake is also a result of the determination, sweat and love of the Madras Sappers. This central and most coveted lake in the City has been maintained by the soldiers for decades.

A philately exhibition of the journey of the Army is also on show at the Vismaya Gallery from January 15 to January 27. The Army pipe band will perform and children from the Army Public School, Kamaraj Road, and ASC Centre (South) will present a cultural programme on patriotic themes at the Rangasthala, R-Mac, on January 15 and 16. 

Entry is free. The exhibition is open during the day. The cultural programmes are between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm.

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