A walk down the calm residential locality of Jayamahal and Nandidurg Road will remind one of old Bangalore. Covered with lush green trees, you will almost be tricked into believing that it’s untouched by commercialisation. But one look at the number of complexes and office coming up in the two areas would prove you wrong.
Located in the heart of Bangalore, it is no surprise that Jayamahal and Nandidurg are two of the most sought-after areas by most people. Close to the Bangalore Palace, J C Nagar, Palace Grounds, Sadashivanagar and Malleswaram on one side and Miller’s Road, Benson Town, Vasanthnagar, Fraser Town, Shivajinagar, Bamboo Bazaar on the other, the two areas are located less than a kilometre away from the Bangalore Cantonment.
According to most residents, Jayamahal Road is one of the few areas in Bangalore that has remained unaffected by commercialisation. Unlike other roads burgeoning with eateries and brand outlets, this road is lined with huge bungalows that lend it an old-world feel. “This is one area that has remained beautiful in comparison to other pockets thanks to the strong residential associations present here,” says Sangeetha Ghoushal, owner of an advertising agency in the area.
Unlike Jayamahal, Nandidurg Road is quite congested especially during the peak hours of the day. In the 70s and 80s, the road had very few houses and was a very green and quiet neighbourhood. However, today Nandidurg is burgeoning with many offices and apartments. “Those days, there was a mangrove at the end of the road where children used to play,” says Achala Maulik, one of the oldest residents of the area. ‘We could see the silhouette of Nandi hills from our terrace but now it’s difficult to even see the sun rise,” she adds.The Jayamahal-Millers road junction houses many residential quarters for Government servants as well as the gigantic house of the Archbishop of Bangalore.
Jayamahal Palace Hotel
One of the most beautiful hotels in Bangalore, the Jayamahal Palace Hotel is situated adjacent to the Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station. The heritage hotel spans across 22 acres of land and consists of 37 rooms including luxury suites, a restaurant and bar. Covered with plenty of trees, the hotel consists of a huge parking lot and lawn. The hotel is a favourite amongst old Bangaloreans who consider it as the best hotel in the City.
Originally constructed in 1900s by a British resident of Bangalore as a palace, Jayamahal Palace was recently converted into a hotel. “Most of the things from the palace have been retained. The only new addition to the heritage hotel is the multi-cuisine restaurant,” says Babu, Front Office Assistant of the hotel. “The luxury suites consist of old royal paintings and architecture will make you feel like you are living in a palace,” adds he. The beauty of the hotel makes it an ideal venue for marriages and parties.
The Jayamahal Sarbajanin Durga Charitable Samiti
The Jayamahal Sarbajanin Durga Charitable Samiti established in 1954 is one of the oldest among the Durga Pujas celebrated in Bangalore. “Initially, the pooja used to be held at Kurgee Hall in Vasanthnagar. Then it moved to Mysore Lancer in Kavalbyrasandra. For the past 21 years, The Ladies Club grounds opposite Jayamahal Park have been holding the celebrations,” says Himadri Nandi, the secretary of the association.
Places to eat and shop
Jayamahal and Nandidurg are two of the few roads which are not bombarded with eat-outs and supermarkets. Elements, the multi-cuisine restaurant on Jayamahal Main Road is known for its classy interiors that lend an earthy feel to the entire place. Eat-outs serving fastfood such as temptations and lychees are a great hit amongst the college students. Then there is Shanghai Junction on Nandidurg Road and the ever-popular Cafe Coffee Day which is abuzz with youngsters the entire day. Supermarkets like Fab Mall and the good old Janatha Bazaar on Jayamahal Extension cater to the needs of the residents.
Places of worship
Bande Sri Sathya Anjaneya Swamy Temple is located on Nandidurg Road and has been around for years. Starting off as a small place, the temple is a highly place of worship amongst the residents today. Festival celebrations of the temple during Diwali and Dasara are well-known. There is a beautiful chapel at the end of Nandidurg Road as well lending an old world charm to the area.
Masjid e Khadria
The Jayamahal - Millers Road junction plays host to one of the most beautiful mosques in the City — Hazrath Khuddus Sahib Idgah - Masjid e Khadria. The holy place of worships was renovated recently and stands tall lending an air of serenity to the busy stretch. An estimated number of 500 to 1000 people visit this place every day with the numbers mounting up to 10,000 and 15,000 on Fridays. In fact, every year, during the Haj season, the mosque holds a Haj camp where in people going to Mecca for a pilgrimage are trained about the significance of Haj and it’s dos and don’ts. They also have stalls where religious items like the Holy Quran and similar books, the ‘hijab’ etc are sold.
Hazrat Peer Hyder Shah Qadri
Located in M R Pallya, Jayamahal, this is the ‘dargah’ (tomb) of Hyder Shah Zilani. “People from all the communities come and pay respect to the tomb,” says Syed Abdul Ali from Jumma Masjid Trust Board.
Khuddus Sahib Burial Grounds
The Muslim burial grounds span over a huge piece of property facing Jayamahal Road towards the North and Nandidurg Road in the South. Covered with trees, it’s calm and peaceful. “In Arabic, it’s called Qabrastan meaning Muslim burial ground,” says Syed Abdul Ali. Every day, the ground receives five dead bodies on an average. Over 300 years old, the grounds also houses the Khuddusiya Masjid.
Jayamahal Road plays host to one of the most beautiful parks in Bangalore. One of the oldest parks in the City, the park was given a facelift recently and has been an even bigger hit amongst the residents. “A walk around the park is close to a kilometre,” says Nahida, an ex-resident of the area. The swings, fountain and sculptures of animals and birds inside the park not only add to the beauty of it, but also make it a favourite amongst the children.