Is M.G. Road the world’s longest mausoleum?

Bangalore’s most prominent thoroughfare, Mahatma Gandhi road alias M.G. Road, looks more and more like Bangalore’s longest mausoleum, one iconic establishment after another dropping dead or lying comatose at the feet of fatcat chains and real-estate bandicoots.

Coffee house one day, Plaza the next, Brindavan the third, and now Gangarams, the book store.

Like the drunkard at the crematorium who is numb to the sight of death—and laughs at those who have a tear in the eye—the long line of accumulating casualties barely activates the lachrymal glands of locals who have “moved on” to a new world sans a sense of history.

But rest assured, they will be sitting at Koshy‘s and gassing about Notting Hill or You’ve got mail and tch-tching about how much concern westerners have for these things.

Also read: Oh god, what have they done to my M.G. Road

Saturdays, girlfriends, popcorn and other memories

ARAVIND ADIGA on Mangalore’s circulating libraries

External reading: Manney’s closes down in Poona

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17 Responses to “Is M.G. Road the world’s longest mausoleum?”

  1. Pooja Says:

    M.G. Road may not bee the longest Mausoleum; but Indian Railway is definitely the longest Toilet.

  2. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    How dispiriting that an avenue that shamelessly promotes all kinds of materialistic excess should be named for Gandhi, of all people.

  3. Anonymous Guy Says:

    Yeah time to move on. The MG road shops were overrated anyway.

  4. Brahmanyan Says:

    When did we notice the richness of our heritage of bygone era?Look at the ugly pillars of Metro Rail swallowing the Roads.
    We changed the names of roads, traffic circles and demolished
    our buildings of cultural heritage in the name of modernity. The beautiful garden city has gone into the history books.

  5. Nastika Says:

    In 21st century, 20th century buildings are mausoleum. Likewise, in 20th century, 19th century buildings were mausoleum.
    (Somebody must have written similar article on MG Road, ala South Parade then in April of 1912).


  6. Satya Says:

    as they say in kannada – “haLe neeru kochkondu hogi, hosa neeru barle beku” … I have fond memories of taking 2 buses from Malleshwaram and going to Gangaram’s in MG Road to buy books .. And after that, watch an english movie in blue diamond / blue moon or plaza or galaxy or symphony or rex ….

  7. Amit M Says:

    I’m not sure what we are supposed to do? Keep unviable businesses afloat simply because they are “heritage”? I’m not a big fan of the transformation of MG Road myself, I miss Plaza too, and yes it’s very sad that ‘Koshy’s’ has become the epitome of Bangalore’s ‘heritage’ for many people, but things will keep changing according to what people want. And as for the Metro, I don’t consider that a defilement at all, thank goodness it’s come finally! When completed, it will be such a boon, the most civilized way to travel in this city!

  8. A Journalist Says:

    I agree. Very very sad.

  9. vindy Says:

    MG road was/is nothing but a tamil sangha …good riddance

  10. saikrishnarao Says:

    Not too sad that Gangarams is closing. Their customer service started improving only after Crossword opened. Till then their attitude was one of we are doing you a favour! Plaza was one of the worst theaters in terms of comfort. Still saw a lot of movies there :)
    Have no regrets for these two establishments!

    If old Bangalore places like Cottonpet, IISC, Sankey tank, etc are thoughtlessly altered, then I would personally feel for it since they have been in existence for long. But M.G.Road is an out and out commercial area ruled by capitalism in which the free markets dictate the movements.

    Time to move on, Bangalore!

  11. M Says:

    Since the last 32 yrs of life since birth in B’lore I’m trying to figure out what makes MG Road so ‘famous’. One day while in high school, some of my seniors were discussing the the same thing and came to the conclusion that it was because of the foreigners who hang out there!

    Same is the case with Goa; whites come there for scenery and we go there for the ‘whitery’!

    IT wouldn’t have become glamorous if there was no stint in ‘white-land’

    Our IITs and IIMs are great because their graduates are picked up by white companies. It wouldn’t have been so if alumni were to be executives for ‘ Basappa and Sons’, ‘Kanti and Bros’ or ‘Shakambari Enterprises’.

    Because we Indians believe that ‘if its not white then it not right’

    P.S. Refined B’loreans refer to this gully as MG. Looks that churmuri doesn’t fit the bill!

  12. Anonymous Guy Says:

    M -> Without the whites, Bangalore would have been a akkithimmanahalli or chennammanpalya trying to hold off other nearby tribes. And you wouldnt be posting in English on the internet.

    Refined my **s.

  13. Nastika Says:

    @M, MG/Brigade Road is famous because, a PYT, her mom & her Grandmom, all turn up in frocks and this is since far as anybody can remember. Naturally there many curious looking men who hang around there.

    Sometime in April of 2112, there will an article lamenting the loss of ‘beauty’ of MG Road of 21st century.


  14. dr ramesh Says:

    MG road was and is a playground of stinking rich people who are Confused with what to do with excess cash. Its also an indicator of sleaze quotient of this city. So. More concrete and cement should not worry the elite fans of MG road. What about damages caused by irrational construction activities in jayanagar and basavanagudi?.

  15. DailyBread Says:

    >What about damages caused by irrational construction activities in jayanagar and basavanagudi?.

    Absolutely right Sir. We require more rational construction, i.e. high rises with basement parking. These old irrational environmentally unfriendly, box shaped buildings with PWDesque architecture are an eyesore. All that I get to see whenever I pass through the residential parts of these areas is cars covered with plastic sheets on both sides of every road, with no place for walking. There are very few trees on private properties……..

  16. Vinay (@wineye) Says:

    Cant believe even Brindavan is gone!! many a afternoons were spent on their unlimited meals.

  17. vinay Says:

    Thank you for your support . We have opened 2 two stores Gangarams church st no. 08025127888 (only Books) and Gangarams Indiranagar / domlur 08040383838 (BOOKS STATIONERY TROPHIES GIFTS MULTIMEDIA MOVIES TOYS.)

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