The 113-year-old government high school near B.H. Road here was inaugurated by the then Maharaja of Mysore Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV in 1900. The school has produced many a famous scientist, poet, politician and teacher.

The high school has imparted education to lakhs of students and continues to give education to the poor and rural students who cannot afford to pay donation for admission in private schools.

A junior college was started in 1968 and now, thousands of students are studying in I and II PU courses. More than 85 per cent of the students are from poor families and come from rural areas.

Seer of the Siddaganga Math Shivakumara Swami, playwright, writer and poet T.P. Kailasam, scientists Raja Ramanna and Rank Nazeer, MP G.S. Basavaraju, the former MLA Shafi Ahmed and the former vice-chancellor of Tumkur University Anantharamaiah are among those who studied in the high school.

Till 1955, this was the only high school for students in three districts — Tumkur, Chitradurga and Kolar.

Kannada poet and freedom fighter Huilgol Narayana Rao, who is known for his “Udaya vaagali namma cheluva Kannada nadu”, was the headmaster of the high school during 1956-57.

Gandhiji’s visit

Mahatma Gandhi visited the high school and stayed in the school in 1927. Gandhiji delivered a public speech on the high school ground on July 16 that year. The room where Gandhiji stayed is called Gandhi Bhavan. It is being renovated. Gandhiji, during his speech, thanked the reception committee and spoke about the headmaster of the high school.

This speech was reported in The Hindu of July 18, 1927.

Rajanna, who is the principal now, was also a student of the high school.