Sunday 17 March 2013

The history of an armoury

One of the most elegant buildings in Bangalore must be the BRV at the junction of Cubbon Road and Central Street.
In the decades before Independence and till the late 1970s it was a theatre that screened films. Till today, the building is known as BRV Theatre and it is recognized as such though the theatre was only one of the many avatars that the building wore.
The building was many things during the many decades of its existence but most seem to forget that it once housed the armoury of the Bangalore Rifle Volunteers or BRV. That is how the building got its name.
The BRV was under the administrative control of the Madras Army. This force was an army regiment of the auxiliary force of the British Indian Army. As the name suggest, it was a voluntary force that was first raised on November 21, 1884.  Their dress was Khaki drill and they were stationed in KGF, Mysore and Whitefield.
This unit was eventually merged with the Coorg and Mysore Rifles on April 1, 1917. It then became 6th Bangalore, Coorg and Mysore Batallion.
By the way, the original building of the BRV was demolished in 1905 and this structure was built in 1912. It once housed the armoury of the Bangalore Rifle Volunteers.
It then had a Billiards Room, Reading Room, Ladies Room and a Bar on the ground floor and the Regimental offices, stores and other rooms on the first floor. The building also saw many concerts and orchestras.
The main gallery is 120 feet long and 60 feet broad and it could easily hold a thousand people. The building is Tudor in style and even today it stands out as one of the most outstanding buildings in Bangalore.
Today, the BRV is home to sub area canteens and stores called Golden Palm Canteen. Entry is permitted only for defence personnel.

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