“We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us,”so said Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England and one of the great wartime leaders of all times.
This adage perfectly fits the City of
Bangalore and more appropriately this
was one of the few cities that the young Churchill lived and wooed his
sweetheart at the iconic Waverly Inn in Whitefield, near . Bangalore
Legend has it that Churchill courted Rose Hamilton, the daughter of the inn keeper, James Hamilton. The young soldier that Churchill was then, frequented the inn regularly. Waverly today is one of the oldest houses in the area that still stands. It was owned in 1882 by James Hamilton who owned many properties in Whitefield.
Churchill might have been saying the adage about the building about the
in Whitefield. But this adage today is more appropriate to describe old and
heritage buildings in Bangalore such as the Kayangadi
Papanna Massage Institute in Akkipet, which is perhaps one of the oldest
message and bone treatment centres of .
The origin of this building is shrouded in the past which goes back to more than 150 years.
was then just a small city and the Pete and Cantonment were two different
areas. The Pete then comprised of old localities such as Akkipet, Cottonpet, Nagarthpet,
Balepet, Chickpet, Ranasinghpet, Doddapet and all the petes had their own
Garadi manes or wrestling centres. Bangalore
It was sometime around 1860 and Tipu Sultan had died on May 4, 1799, leaving the British to meddle with the
. The British always had an eye
on Mysore Kingdom
and they coveted the city. However try as they might, they failed to get the
Mysore Wodeyars to permanently hand over Bangalore
to them. Bangalore
The only way in which they could lay their hands on a piece of
was by setting up a Cantonment to station their garrison. When the Cantonment
came about, the British began systematically destroying everything Indian and
this included indigenous sports, industries, education system and even the
social and religious fabric. Bangalore
Wrestling or Kusti soon went into a tailspin as the British encouraged golf, polo, cricket and football. The number of garadi manes in
and there were only a handful of people who took to wrestling. Besides, most of
the wrestlers shifted to Bangalore
as the Wodeyar Kings were patrons of Kusti. Mysore
’s best known pehalwans or Kusti
exponents was Kayangadi Papanna. This wrestler initially eked out his living in
selling coconuts and he also had a shop in Akkipet selling coconuts. Bangalore
According to a local legend, Papanna honed in his wrestling skills at the garadi manes and took part in many contests. A remarkably strong person, Pappanna soon earned renown as a foremost wrestler of
His fame spread far and wide and he displayed his skills before the Mysore Maharaja in
where he defeated more fancied opponents. The then Mysore
Maharaja, Chamarejendra Wodeyar, the tenth, conferred the title Ustad on
Pappanna in 1876. Mysore
By then, Pappanna had set up his own Garadi Mane and even a small clinic to treat injuries that wrestlers got while fighting or practicising.
Slowly, Pappanna retired from wrestling but the reputation of his clinic only began growing. Every year, saw more people flocking to the clinic to get their injuries treated. Over the years, the clinic transformed itself into what is now known as Kayangadi Papanna Massage Institute.
The institute was set up sometime in 1860 and it is today a well-known landmark of
OTC Road in Akkipet. The institute is
located just after another iconic building- the Tawakkal Mastan Darga.
Papanna learnt how to make oils and tie bandages from a Muslim of the Pete. Initially, he treated his shishyas or budding wrestlers but his treatment became so popular that people began flocking to his clinic.
Even today, the descendents of Pappanan operate the institute and treat people suffering from a variety of bone ailments. There is no fixed charges but a box is kept nearby where patients are supposed to donate whatever money they can.
The institute has had celebrity patients, including two former Chief Minister D. Devaraj Urs and R. Gundu Rao, a Maharaja who had backache and several other distinguished people.
Strangely, neither the buildings nor the OTC road itself which commences from BMP headquarters and goes all the way to
Road, have changed in the last two centuries. It
is on this road that the is situated and it
is here that the famed Karaga commences. Dharmaraya
Today, the institute has four branches and all of them are named after Kayangadi Papanna. However, the pone I am writing about is the Ustad Kayangadi Papanna’s Massage Institute in the Pete area. The address is 276/4,
UKP Building Akkipet Main Road
(2287-5156). The timings are: Monday to Saturday
8.30am-1.30pm and 4 p.m., to 8p m. Sundays 9 a. m., to 1p.m.
Churchill’s adage is an apt comment on the building that houses the institute. The institute today is much better known and more popular that the people who practice bone setting and provide a cure for other ailments. Want to check it out. Then head for the Pete and take in a slice of Indian history and culture. Mind you, the treatment is ayurvedic based and ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world.