Roads with British gentlemen names

Be it quaint bungalows or bakery goodies, Cox Town with its European charm has something in store for everyone. Suja Natarajan charts the suburb's gro
Last Updated 28 May 2015, 14:29 IST

Among the well-planned, posh suburbs that the British Raj created in Bengaluru, Cox Town is a part of the cantonment area. Christened after the last collector of the Bangalore Civil and Military Station, Alexander Ranken Cox, the suburb still has a distinct British influence. Be it the quaint roads with British gentlemen names, plush bungalows or beautiful surroundings, the neighbourhood has charmed residents with its cosmopolitan look. Even though this locality was renamed Sarvagnanagar, people still continue to refer to it by its old name.

Over the years, the posh locality has become a melting pot with a mixed set of people – those work in the public sectors, entrepreneurs and young professionals. A large Tamil population – workers, suppliers and soldiers who were brought by the British – co-exist along with the Anglo-Indians and the Parsis.

Cox Town has several extensions and blocks and has a large chunk of residential population in the locality. Being centrally located, it has quick and easy access to other upscale localities such as Frazer Town, Richard’s Town, MM Road, Cooke Town, MG Road, St Johns Road, Williams Town, Haudin Road and Wheeler Road. Cox Town is just one km alway from Bangalore East Railway Station and about 28 km from Bengaluru International Airport. It is also in close proximity to Ulsoor, Commercial Street, Sindhi Colony, Lingarajpuram, Shivajinagar and Banaswadi.

“A locality with European charm and easy access to all the facilities makes it one of the best residential areas to live in. Even with a lot of changes that have come by in the last few years, the broad roads, parks and greenery have kept the charm of old Bangalore intact,” says Vinod, a resident.

Connectivity matters
“The locality has decent road connectivity. It has close proximity to MG Road, Commercial Street, Ulsoor and the business district that is along the Inner Ring Road and Hennur Road, which connects areas like Manyata Tech Park, Kalyan Nagar, Banaswadi and Nagvara. The Cox Town flyover has eased the connectivity issues between Banaswadi and the city centre,” says Aswath Ruvala, a real estate agent in the area.

Some of the distinguished landmarks of the locality include Cox Town market, Russel Market and Moore Market. “Cox Town is renowned for its New Year Fair on New Year’s Eve, where the whole street and the adjacent alleys are packed with hawkers selling their wares. People from all walks of life throng the market haggling for the best deals on a variety of wares. The brightly-lit market becomes a frenzy when people start thronging the market from evening through the night,” says Mangala Suresh, a resident of the locality.

Another prominent highlight of Cox Town is the food festival on Mosque Road during Ramadan. “Hundreds of stalls -they keep increasing every year - sell some of the best street food in Bengaluru.

People from all over the city head to Mosque Road to savour the best Ramadan Iftar delicacies,” adds Suresh. “If you have a fetish for leather goods, then Moore
Market is your best bet,” says Mithun D, a resident.

Cox Town is specially known for its bakeries that dish out exceptional bakery products in the City. Thomson Bakery, Thom’s Cafe, Albert Bakery, Koshy’s Bakery and Patisserie Nitash are some of the top bakeries in the neighbourhood.

Thanks to an excellent social infrastructure, Cox Town is witnessing the launch of several commercial and residential projects currently. Reputed corporate houses, hospitals, educational institutions, and commercial spaces dot the vicinity. Prominent educational institutions include St Aloysius Educational institutions, Clarence High School, Mariam Nikethan, Vijayabharathi PU College, Goodwill Girls High School and St Germain High School. Hospitals like Santosh Hospital, Lakeside Hospital, Columbia Asia, Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, Meridian Medical Center, Vasan Eye Care Hospital and Dr Agrawal’s Eye Hospital are easily accessible from the area.

Realty talk
Being a niche residential locality with good social infrastructure coupled with connectivity to various parts of the City, Cox Town attracts many builders and investors. The cosmopolitan touch to the locality has made it one of the most preferred residential suburbs.

“The price has appreciated with the commissioning of the MG Road-Byappanahalli metro line. A site now easily costs around Rs 8,000 per sq ft and more if the property is closer to the main road,” says Ravindra, a local real estate agent. The average price value of a multistorey apartment in Cox Town was Rs 6,642 per sq ft between October-December 2014, which has now appreciated to Rs 8,000 per sq ft between January-March 2015. “The average rent for a two-BHK apartment ranges between Rs 15,000-30,000. 70 per cent of the locality has apartments, followed by independent houses, office spaces and PG accommodation,” he adds.

The downside
“This locality has lost its charm because of several apartments and shopping chains that keep cropping up in the vicinity. It has robbed the area of its tranquility.

Instead, we have killer roads, stinking garbage, overflowing drains, erratic water supply and innumerable civic problems plaguing the neighbourhood,” says Veena, a disgruntled resident. “The Cox Town flyover is perennially flooded during the monsoons, disrupting the traffic,” adds Suresh.

Most residents are irked with the of the Cox Town market by BBMP - a move that evicted several traders with the assurance of replacing the old market with a complex. That promise is yet to see the light of the day.

Some upcoming residential projects

* Purva Park - Puravankara Projects Limited
* Ishwerya Opal - Anubhava Developers
* Vantage Grove- UBR Realty
* Parth Kristal - Parth Group

(Published 28 May 2015, 14:29 IST)

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