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Roopa Pai
Articles by Roopa Pai

The swimming sensation of Kempambudhi Kere

Bengaluru's rich swimming legacy dates back to the 1920s, with notable champions like Nisha Millet and Dhinidhi Desinghu leading the way.

Kensington Swimming Pool by the Ulsoor lake made swimming part of the city’s mainstream leisure and sporting culture (PictureArt -
Updated on May 07, 2024 08:12 AM IST

A magnificent Mysorean and his flying machines

India’s first aviator SV Setty dreamt of building India’s first aircraft in Bangalore, but WWI (1914-1918) put his plans on hold.

Srirama Venkatasubba Setty had enrolled at the engineering college at Guindy, Madras, from where he transferred to the storied Thomason College (later IIT Roorkee). (
Updated on Apr 26, 2024 08:18 AM IST

Desperately seeking water: An old Bengaluru story

Water security, not just for agriculture but also for drinking, became a serious priority for the Mysore government in 1880s

Residents of Ambedkar Nagar collect potable water from a private tanker in Bengaluru amid a severe water crisis in the city. (AP)
Updated on Mar 28, 2024 07:31 AM IST

A stadium located at (and in) the city’s heart

The win was also a nice tribute to the beloved stadium that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year

Royal Challengers Bangalore's batter Smriti Mandhana celebrates after scoring a half-century during the Women's Premier League 2024 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and UP Warriorz, at M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 13, 2024 02:26 PM IST

The dazzling 20/20 vision of Ram Krishna Baliga

In 1976, The Times of India reported on the vision of KEONICS to make Karnataka the 'electronics state.' RK Baliga played a key role in establishing Electronics City in Bengaluru.

In 1954, Karnataka already accounted for 30% of India’s total electronics production. (REUTERS)
Updated on Feb 29, 2024 09:00 AM IST

Books and the Ooru: A Valentine’s Day love story

Sudha Murthy reiterated that what had first drawn her to ‘Murthy’ was how voraciously – and eclectically – he read

Bengaluru hosted a series of events around the launch of a new book, IT pioneer NR Narayana Murthy and his best-selling author wife Sudha Murthy (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Feb 15, 2024 09:08 AM IST

Why Bengalureans have been good sports

Bengaluru’s vibrant sporting culture is not acknowledged as much as its podium-finish performances in other races, including IT, biotech, education, aerospace, microbreweries, or start-up unicorns

Last week, sports fans in India exploded with joy when Rohan Bopanna was crowned Men’s Doubles World No 1 at the Australian Open, making him, at almost 44, the oldest player ever to hold that coveted position. (AFP)
Updated on Jan 31, 2024 08:34 AM IST

Dehave Degula: The game-changing ideas of Basavanna

There is no denying the ever-present need to showcase Basavanna’s liberal, inclusive ideas in every kind of forum

Basava, so the story goes, rejected the trappings of his caste and left home as a boy to seek guidance at the feet of Ishanya Guru at Kudalasangama (AFP)
Updated on Jan 16, 2024 08:00 AM IST

An Anglo-Indian corner of a Bengaluru field

Whitefield was conceived as a home for Bangalore’s Eurasian and and Anglo-Indian communities

In October last year, the metro line connecting the far-flung eastern suburb to the city centre was finally completed. (ANI)
Updated on Jan 03, 2024 09:44 AM IST

In Bengaluru, ghosts of Christmases past

Once again, the old Cantonment churches will draw legions of the faithful to midnight mass to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.

Decorative item shops in front of St Basilica church on the eve of Christmas festival in Bengaluru. (PTI)
Updated on Dec 19, 2023 08:47 AM IST

Bangarada Manushya: The legacy of Dr Rajkumar

To Kannadigas, November 15 marks a bittersweet anniversary – it was the day on which, 23 years ago, their beloved Annavaru, ‘Natasarvabhouma’ Dr Rajkumar, who had been abducted and held hostage by the dreaded bandit Veerappan, was finally released

Dr Rajkumar (File photo)
Updated on Nov 24, 2023 07:18 AM IST

Remembering Rashtrakavi: A Kuvempu tribute

November is a good time to remember the greatest Kannada poet of the 20th century Kuvempu, who passed 29 years ago on the 11th of the month.

Kuvempu, the greatest Kannada poet of the 20th century passed away 29 years ago on November 11. (HT )
Updated on Nov 07, 2023 03:52 PM IST

A birthday history for a beloved state

The rise of Kannada as a prominent language and the movement for unification of Karnataka.

Happy 67th , Karnataka (File photo)
Updated on Oct 25, 2023 08:40 AM IST

A missionary, a palace, and the Bhagavad Gita

Dasara is almost here in Bengaluru, Karnataka, with the annual Nadahabba. The city's historic connection to Mysuru and the Bengaluru Palace is explored.

A missionary, a palace, and the Bhagavat Gita
Updated on Oct 11, 2023 08:04 AM IST

A Kannada humour magazine that is pure gold

Let’s dive into the journey of a small independent Kannada humour magazine Aparanji as it paces towards its 40th birthday on October 7.

The Kannada humour magazine Aparanji is set to celebrate its 40th birthday on October 7. (Mint Archive)
Published on Sep 26, 2023 01:15 AM IST

The man who engineered a revolution

Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, a celebrated Indian engineer born on September 15, is honored on National Engineer's Day for his contributions to the field.

The centralised air-conditioned railway terminal, named after eminent civil engineer Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, in Bengaluru. (PTI)
Updated on Sep 12, 2023 12:32 AM IST

The man who built a satellite in a shed

Let us shift our attention away from the lander to Chandrayaan-3, the satellite that carried it there, and to the story of India’s satellite dream, which began in 1972 in six rough industrial sheds outside Bengaluru

When UR Rao took over the satellite program, he was the only one on the team to have ever seen a satellite. (Photo credti: Isro)
Updated on Aug 29, 2023 02:15 PM IST

The Tragic Tale of the ‘Gandhi of the South’

The column talks about one of the first recruits for the Non-Cooperation movement from Karnataka, a38-year-old lawyer Karnad Sadashiva Rao, the scion of a prosperous family of professionals from Mangaluru

A 38-year-old lawyer Karnad Sadashiva Rao, the scion of a prosperous family of professionals from Mangaluru was one of the first recruits for the non-cooperation movement from Karnataka.
Updated on Aug 01, 2023 01:20 PM IST
ByRoopa Pai

The man who brought ISRO to Bengaluru

India's national space agency, ISRO, is in the spotlight for its efforts to land a spacecraft on the moon.

Roopa Pai.
Updated on Jul 20, 2023 05:28 PM IST
ByRoopa Pai

The little known origins of Kannada Press Day

A total of 7,850 copies of the MS were lithographed at the Basel Mission Press between 1st July 1843 and February 15, 1844

Roopa Pai
Updated on Jul 05, 2023 01:16 AM IST
ByRoopa Pai

Liquor into printing ink: A newspaper story

The column talk about the journey of Kanekal Nettakallappa Guruswamy from a liquor baron to a founder of Deccan Herald and Prajavani

The column talk about the journey of Kanekal Nettakallappa Guruswamy from a liquor baron to a founder of Deccan Herald and Prajavani (HT)
Updated on Jun 20, 2023 01:02 AM IST
ByRoopa Pai

The man who dreamed up Vidhana Soudha

The problem with being Bengalurean (a very different thing from ‘living in Bengaluru’) is that many of the benefits of being one can only be experienced, not articulated.

Roopa Pai.
Updated on Jun 07, 2023 04:43 PM IST
ByRoopa Pai

KC Reddy’s long fight for Prajaprabhutva

On 27th October, 1947, KC Reddy was sworn in as the first (non-elected) Chief Minister of Mysore after a long fight with the mission of installing a ‘responsible government’ in Mysore.

KC Reddy fought a long fight to become the chief minister of Mysore in 1947 (HT)
Updated on May 16, 2023 02:57 PM IST
ByRoopa Pai

How the Bengaluru airport got royally gamed

Mummadi’s reign began auspiciously enough; at the tender age of six, after Tipu Sultan’s death in 1799 CE, he was escorted to his hereditary throne by none other than Arthur Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington.

Roopa Pai (HT Archive)
Updated on May 02, 2023 12:33 AM IST
ByRoopa Pai

Bengaluru Karaga: When Draupadi comes to town

The temple was built by the Tigalas, a Tamil-speaking, water-worshipping, flower-growing people who believe themselves to be her descendants.

Roopa Pai (HT archive)
Updated on Apr 04, 2023 07:11 PM IST
ByRoopa Pai

The men who mapped the Mysore country

The link between MAP and the subject of today’s column is admittedly tenuous, but the acronym works as a good opening to a discussion of the first scientifically conducted surveys of the Bangalore-Mysore region, and the maps that resulted from them

Roopa Pai (HT)
Published on Feb 22, 2023 01:07 AM IST
ByRoopa Pai

The genesis of Bengaluru’s soaring success

By 1945, when control reverted to the Indian government, HAL had become one of the most reputed aircraft tinkering shops in the east, and the first batch of aeronautical engineers were readying to make their way out of IISc.

Columnist Roopa Pai (HT Photo)
Published on Feb 07, 2023 04:02 PM IST
ByRoopa Pai

Here’s to a happy, hoppy new year!

Beer is no stranger to India – the Vedas mention a beer-like drink called sura, and tribal societies have brewed, for millennia, some form of rice beer. European-style beer, however, came to India only in the 18th century

Roopa Pai (File)
Updated on Dec 27, 2022 04:08 PM IST
ByRoopa Pai

Edward Balfour and his house of fun

On the 1st of November, when Karnataka was celebrating her 66th birthday, another celebration was afoot in Mumbai’s Byculla – the 177th birthday of the legendary Grant Medical College (GMC)

Roopa Pai
Published on Nov 08, 2022 12:45 AM IST
ByRoopa Pai

Kannada Ekikarana: The great coming together

This ‘ekikarana’, or unification, had been campaigned for since the early 1900s; the sundering of the Kannada country itself, however, dated back to the 16th century.

Roopa Pai (HT Archive)
Published on Oct 27, 2022 12:35 AM IST
ByRoopa Pai
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