The Oval Lawn in Bangalore Club is quite unmissable. Located prominently between the Main Building and the Brigadier Hill Annexe, there is a driveway around it, and a green canopied walkway through it, linking the entrances of the two buildings.
A big brass bell can be seen mounted in this lawn space. The bell is a familiar fixture since our childhood days, having has been moved around within the club premises a few times, before finding this place.
During a visit to the club last summer, a foundation stone placed next to the bell caught my attention. While taking the pictures I was thinking to myself that it would be nice to find out something more about this stone and the people mentioned on it.
DOMLUR POLO PAVILION
THIS FOUNDATION STONE
19th JANUARY 1914
MAJOR C. RANKIN – HON-SECY
7th (Q O) HUSSARS
R. EVANS ESQR – ARCHITECT
7th (Q O) HUSSARS
B.V. VENKATASWAMI NAIDU
Sir Hugh Daly was a British Indian Army officer, who was the Resident of Mysore State from 1910 to 1916. He is said to have played an important role in the signing of the 1913 Treaty of Mysore which placed the Mysore Maharaja on an equal footing with the British Government. On behalf of Mysore State, he was also involved in negotiating with the Madras Presidency on the issue of sharing the Cauvery River water. The Daly Memorial Hall in Bangalore is named after him. (Source: Wikipedia) Lady Daly, who laid the foundation stone, was most likely Sir Hugh Daly’s wife.
The 7th Queen’s Own Hussars was a cavalry regiment of the British Army. In October 1911 the regiment was ordered to sail to India and proceed to Bangalore. They were to remain here till 1917, which was for most of the time during the First World War (Source: http://www.britishempire.co.uk). The two gentlemen mentioned on the stone were clearly a part of this regiment.
B.V. Venkataswami Naidu who is named as the contractor for the Domlur Polo Pavilion, is said to have had a shop, B.V. Venkataswamy Naidu & Sons, located at No. 10 Brigade Road (Source: http://www.children-of-bangalore.com/1920.htm). Venkataswamy Naidu Road, a long road in Shivaji Nagar seems to be named after him.
Coming to the “Domlur Polo Pavilion”. Logically it should be located in Domlur, which was a part of Bangalore Cantonment. In 1914, the present Bangalore Club was Bangalore United Services Club. Before that, till the 1860s, the premises was occupied by the Polo Club (Source: https://www.bangaloreclub.com). Using the internet alone for research, this is the only “Polo” connection I could make between Bangalore Club and Domlur Polo Pavilion. So what is the Domlur Polo Pavilion and where is it? Still have to find out.
Pictures taken at Bangalore Club, 30th April 2016
Addendum, 1st March 2017 – Information, thanks to the Bygone Bangalore group on Facebook: The Polo Club was located on Cambridge Road, in the area that is now Cambridge Layout. Opposite the Sai Baba Temple, there exists a portion of an old building which is said to be a part of the Polo Club.