Recreating Malgudi: A Peek Into The Old Houses Of Basavanagudi

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Whether you’ve read the collection of short stories by RK Narayan or watched the popular TV series {first telecast on Doordarshan} based on the fictional work, you’d probably be familiar with Malgudi Days. From the nine-year-old boy, Swami’s adventures to stories about the people of the town, the tales give us a glimpse of life in Malgudi.

While the town maybe fictional and its exact location still a matter of speculation, we know, from the author himself that the name is a combination of two of his favourite areas in Bangalore — Malleswaram and Basavanagudi. Retaining some of that old-world charm, these neighbourhoods still have heritage homes and age-old buildings, which might remind you of Malgudi, along with equally interesting stories from the past. Structures replete with character, architecture and rich history, these are spots worth bookmarking. Guided by Mansoor Ali from Bengaluru by Foot {a city-based walking tour venture}, we set out on a stroll through Basavanagudi, exploring its old houses, all in the hopes of recreating the imaginary town in the 21st century.

A Touch Of Royalty

Stately with a dose of nostalgia, the house once belonged to Sir M N Krishna Rao, former acting Diwan of Mysore. Currently owned by his grandson, MR Narendra, the 108-year-old home instantly takes you back in time with its spacious front garden and architectural details. Walk in and there’s everything from red oxide flooring and a 90-year-old planter’s chair to an Ansonia wall clock {made in 1871} that gives you a peek into the past.

Where: 56, Kanakapura Road, Basavanagudi

Shop In A Heritage Space

Built almost 115 years ago, the heritage family home of M Mahadevan {who worked for the Survey Of India, the country’s oldest mapping agency} is currently a private residence and isn’t open to visitors. While you might not get to admire the house in its {almost fading} splendour, make way to the outhouse {right next to it, so you can also take a peek at the main house}, which has been renovated to make space for the lifestyle boutique, Basava Ambara.

Where: 93, Kanakapura Road, Basavanagudi {next to New Generation School}, opposite KR Park

Contact: 080 26561940

Timings: 10.30am-7pm

Find them on Facebook here.

The Perfect Model

Take a stroll along the Model House Road lanes in Basavanagudi and you’d hardly get to see any of the original structures that the streets were named after — model homes built by the government, way back in the 1940s. But, keep an eye out and you might come across the few remaining houses, with simple facades and marked by age. We had a total Malgudi Days #throwback moment when we first caught sight of these houses.

Where: Off KR Road, Basavanagudi

Art, Art Everywhere

A 100-year-old building that houses an art space, bringing together handmade art, performance and discussions, Bimba The Art Hut is worth looking around. Whether you choose to appreciate the age-old structure {carefully retained by the folks at Bimba} and its surroundings or to browse through the artistic goodies, this one has a yesteryear charm that is hard to ignore.

Where: 42, Ratna Villas Rd, Basavanagudi

Contact: 080 26622639

Timings: 10am-9pm

Find them on Facebook here.

Bengaluru by Foot organises similar walks, called Houses of Malgudi, in Basavanagudi and Malleswaram. To join them or know more about upcoming walks, find them on Facebook here.


Absolute bookworm, self-confessed chocoholic and daydreamer, Roshni enjoys bingeing on movies when she isn't lost in a novel or indulging her sweet tooth. Relatively new to the city, she loves its quirks and chaos just as much as its fun side.