Sunday, November 22, 2015

ET - Divya Shekhar Series - Krumbiegel Road

As I had mentioned earlier, in my meeting with Professor Chandan Gowda, he gifted me a book on a German-- G.H. Krumbiegel who had made contributions to Bangalore in several ways. Surprisingly, I found an article by Divya Shekhar on a road named after this very person. 

Here is the link to this article:

I reproduce below, the entire text of the article by Divya Shekhar on Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel for your ready reference.

Hermann Krumbiegel, the German behind a blooming Bengaluru

KRUMBIEGAL ROAD: Erstwhile emperors Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, who formed and developed the city's famous Lalbagh garden, are usually acknowledged as the forces behind Bengaluru's `Garden City' tag.Forgotten among the heavyweights is Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, a horticulturalist and town planner responsible for imaginatively conceived flower sequences that add soul to the garden all year round.His mention remains restricted to a nondescript road sandwiched between Lalbagh and Mavalli. 

Writer and cultural documentarian Aliyeh Rizvi told ET about the road's nomenclature through personal history . "The Krumbiegel Road is named after a German landscape designer and urban planner Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel who came here at the behest of my great grand uncle, the Diwan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail, and the Maharaja of Mysore, to be the director of Lalbagh and plan the Garden City ." 

Rizvi added that Krumbiegel also introduced a system called `serial planting' to ensure that all avenues in Bengaluru would be planted with seasonally-flowering trees so that the city would bloom all year through. 

Talking about how he walked past Krumbiegel Road as a child to get to National High School, art historian Suresh Jayaram said, "The Ashwath Katte (a platform-like shrine built around large Neem and Peepal trees that was also a community meeting point) is an important cultural landmark on the road." 

Jayaram, who also produced a book called `GH Krumbiegel: Whatever he touched, he adorned', tracing the horticulturist's legacy in Bengaluru, added that Krumbiegel faded away from public memory with even the naming of the road having no official an nouncement or publication."Incidentally , 2015 happens to be his 150th birth anniversary ," he said. 

In his book `The City Beautiful', TP Issar, former chief secretary of Karnataka and chairman of the Urban Arts Commission, said: "(Krumbiegel) was in the employment of the Maharaja from 1908 to 1932 and did much work of lasting value not only in developing Lalbagh but many other gardens in the city...Many of the lines and clusters of cassias, gulmohurs, tabebuias and bougainvillaeas, which we see today , are enduring manifestations of Krumbiegel's dreams of a blossoming Bangalore." 

Post 1932, Krumbiegel stayed on in the city as a consulting architect and advisor in horticulture and town planning till his death in 1956."He was the first to occupy the director's bungalow in Lalbagh," added Jayaram. "His cemetery can be found in the Methodist graveyard on Hosur Road." 

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