Thursday 2 May 2013

A century old beauty

Bangalore has many relics of the past but some of them largely remain unknown. These relics form an important bridge to the past and they need to be preserved and protected and of course popularized among the people.
One such relic is the small but beautiful railway station of Nandi which is located on the Chikaballapur-Dharmapuri Railway line.  The Railways have played an important part in shaping our nation and the credit for outing India on the Railway map of the world should go to the British. Unfortunately, much of the nostalgia about Indian Railways even today centres around the steam engines and other things such as railway stations, railway bridges, railway equipments and buildings have been given short shrift.
Karnataka too has a long and distinguished Railway history but few are aware of it. Bangalore and Mysore State, in pre-Independence days, were lucky to have both the British and the Mysore State laying railway lines and building up railway infrastructure. The Mysore State, under the Wodeyar Maharaja, even had a separate railway department.
The British built the first railway line in the State from Cantonment to Jolarpet and it was in 1864 that the first train, Bangalore Mail, chugged past amazed Indians and fearful women and children. The train was initially operated by the Madras Railway, one of the dozen companies incorporated and developed by the British.
Next came the lines from Bangalore to Mysore and from Mysore to other destinations. The Bangalore-Dharmapuri line was also laid out several decades ago and the Nandi railway station was built in 1915 by the British.
The building is small but beautiful. Though it needs urgent upkeep, it still stands tall-a testimony to British Engineering and Indian work ethos.
Trains from Chikaballapur to Dharmapuri via Bangalore halt at Nandi station for two minutes. Even as the passengers take in the beauty of the building, the train chugs away. Both the morning and evening trains stop for two minutes each.
Though small, the station is the lifeline of several villages including Nandi itself, Kuppahalli, Deveshettihalli and other surrounding villages. These people makes use of the station to board trains to Chikaballapur or Bangalore.
The station is surrounded by several huge trees, including a  massive Banyan tree. The Railways had constructed staff quarters near the station and these buildings too are dilapidated. There is a small well near the quarters which the Railway staff dug to meet their water needs. 
Initially, this station formed part of the narrow guage line between Bangalore and Chikaballapur. The distance was 51.71 kms and the line was subsequently extended to  Kolar (102.30 kms).


  1. Excellent Read..another such station was Kadkola (KKD) before Nanjangud on the Mysore - Chamarajanagar Meter Guage Line..unfortunately i think if was demolished during the guage conversion and a new building built..the shimoga town station also shared a similar fate along with many others on the Mysore - Talaguppa line..
    Similalry, the small station of Hamunathrayanagundi (now Kengal) was recently demolished for the track doubling under progress on the Mysore - Bangalore Line...I dont understand why the railways are ignorant of Heritage..

    1. Yes, you are absolutely right. The Railways have unfortunately no sense of history. They could have preserved the stations, the locomotives, coaches, equipments, signals but alas.....