These Four Magnificent Karnataka Buildings Tell Us A Lot About The Story Of India

Written By Ankit Prasad | Mumbai | Published:

All eyes on Saturday are on the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on account of the critical trust vote ongoing there and that is a good thing for more reasons than one as the Vidhana Soudha is, in Omar Abdullah's words, "the most stunning legislative complex in the country."

The majestic five-floored (one underground) building, which features domes, columns and a titanic Ashoka Chakra was constructed over four years and completed in 1956, costing almost a quarter of a million dollars (a King's ransom in those days!) Design inputs were taken from various western countries but it was primarily constructed in the neo-Dravidian style.

The Vidhana Soudha stands opposite another well-known and magnificent building -- the Karnataka High Court -- which was constructed during the Britishers' time and which Kengal Hanumanthaiah, the second chief minister of the state, had wanted to upstage by building the Vidhana Soudha.

The two buildings sitting opposite one another make the Dr Ambedkar Veedhi road one of the most picturesque representations of the grand democracy that is India.

However, in terms of majesty, there are at least two more buildings in Karnataka which may rival the Vidhana Soudha and High Court in Karnataka, and both of them are in Mysuru:

The first is also the oldest of the four. It is the Mysore Palace, the royal seat of the Maharajas of Mysore, also known as the Ambavilas Palace, which is grand in every possible way even when it isn't eyewateringly lit up each Dusshera.

And the fourth is a building that isn't normally open to the public. It is the Global Education Centre - 2 (GEC-2) building that is located at the corporate university of IT giant Infosys at its Mysore campus. The GEC-2, along with the smaller GEC-1 together have a classroom capacity of over 14,000. There is a library in the building which has a special elevator from which the dome can be accessed (not that regular Infoscions are allowed to enter it). There is also a musical fountain located outside.

So that's four incredible buildings that tell us a lot about the story of India:

  1. The Mysore Palace which was constructed at the time that India was ruled by many kings, princes, nawabs, sultans and such.
  2. The Karnataka High Court which was built under British Rule.
  3. The Vidhana Soudha which was built after India became a democratic republic
  4. The Infosys GEC-2 which was constructed by one of India's best-known corporates.