Greatgrandpa Scindia’s family picture

Recently I chanced upon an interesting article in the online archives of the The Hindu newspaper’s Metro Plus Bangalore. By A. Jayaram and dated March 2002, it is about Kankanhalli, a place that we now know as Kanakapura.

A few lines from the article particularly caught my attention.
“Of the many roads that led out of Bangalore, Kankanhalli Road was among the famous — the roads to Mysore, Tumkur, and the two links with Madras. It might be because of the eminent Bangaloreans who had built palatial homes along it in Visvesvarapura and Basavangudi — Ramachandra Rao Scindia, S.V. Srinivasa Setty, Dr. S. Subba Rao, Kota Kamakshayya, Sir M.N. Krishna Rao, Bombay Ramaswamy, K. Matthan or Dr. T. Seshachalam. … … … …
… … … … 
Kankanhalli Road started from Sajjan Rao or Visvesvarapura Circle. Today, a stretch of the road is renamed Vasavi Temple Road.
Hardly known today is the fact that though called Kankanhalli Road, it did not take one to Kankanhalli (Kanakapura) proper. It was the road to Arkavathi.”

For those interested, the article can be seen here (online link) or here (saved pdf).

M. Ramachandra Rao Scindia was my great-grandfather. To be precise, he was my father’s mother’s father. He was in the construction business and I am told that along with his father Muthoji Rao Scindia, he was closely associated with the construction of Victoria Hospital, among several other buildings in Bangalore. In 1941-42 he served as the 12th President of the Mysore Chamber of Commerce, now known as Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FKCCI). In a 1949 report about education in Mysore State by Dr C.R. Reddy that can be read online here, his name is listed as one of those interviewed. He was also known to be very generous, a philanthropist in every sense. Many years ago I came across a newspaper report that mentioned his name in connection with saving one of the old institutions of the city through his timely donation, but I have not been able to trace it since.

M. Ramachandra Rao Scindia occupies the central space in this family picture of 1931. The photographer N.G. Vasu (who has signed at the bottom of the picture) has thankfully named everyone, very helpful for descendants like me. The small spelling errors (the Scindia name misses the ‘c’ and the ‘jee’ in the names were really spelt ‘ji’) can well be ignored.

The picture, maybe, was taken at the so-called “palatial home” that finds mention in the newspaper article.

M Ramachandra Rao Scindia family, 22-6-1931 (Photographer: N G Vasu, Bangalore City)
M Ramachandra Rao Scindia family, 22-6-1931 (Photographer: N G Vasu, Bangalore City)

Scindia family

My grandmother, Muthu Bai, was the second of Ramchandra Rao’s ten children, four daughters and six sons. Both she and her elder brother Muthoji, were named after their grandfather Muthoji, the ‘M’ in Ramachandra Rao Scindia’s name.

This picture hung, among many others, on the walls of my grandmother’s house at Sajjan Rao Circle for several years, but we never did pay much attention to any of the pictures in those days. Not until one day, when my dad came home with this one. The picture was taken in June 1931, and dad was born in September of the same year. So in this picture my grandmother was pregnant with my dad, her seventh child. (She had six others subsequently.)

Dad said that Amma, as we called my grandmother, had always told him that he too was in this picture. That day she had given it to him to keep. The picture now hangs prominently in our home in Bangalore, complete with original frame!

2 thoughts on “Greatgrandpa Scindia’s family picture

  1. Arjun Kothakota Shankar August 8, 2019 / 6:16 pm

    Hi Arathi,

    This is a beautiful article and happy to see the Sindia House which was at VV Puram. Actually, I am Arjun a young Architect and resident of VV Puram. I have been tracing the oldest residents list and old images of the layout as its been 100 years to the layout (2018) as per records and not much of interest has been shown by anyone to understand the history, culture and heritage. I also came across Sindia’s house( which is currently an apartment- IHFD, and hope i am correct) while documenting the existing old ones..
    I have been meeting the oldest residents and trying to understand couple of things about the layout and also later share it to everyone in the layout.

    I would request you to share on some more things, if possible:
    1. Other old images of the House elevations/ views etc.
    2. History about the construction of the house.
    3. Year of construction.

    I have also made an FB group (Bygone VV puram- understanding History, Culture & Heritage) in which old and current residents are part of. You may also get in, if interested and curious to know more about the locality and old residents.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Arjun KS


  2. Arathi Manay August 8, 2019 / 8:54 pm

    Dear Arjun, Thank you for your message. Nice to know that you are documenting old houses in the area. I don’t have any more information or pics, but I can connect you with my aunts and cousins who may be of help. Pls mail me at and we can exchange details.


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