Spaces Homes and gardens

The chronicles of Hatworks

Do you sometimes wish the world of Narnia were real? That there was an ordinary door you could walk through into an strange, wonderful world? Well, something similar happens on Cunningham Road. The Hatworks Boulevard seems nothing more than a billboard on the outside but when you walk in, you discover a whole new world.

The chronicles of Hatworks

Initially, the home of the Maneckjee family, now a cottage and a commercial space for various stores which deals in clothing, beauty, crafts, desserts and art, this bungalow is over 200 years old. Stone pathways paralleled with luscious greenery, high roofs of Burma teak, French windows, tall original wooden door frames, Italian floor tiles moulded into fleur patterns are some of the architectural elements that makes this place a walk to remember.

The chronicles of Hatworks

Rishad Minocher, oldest grandchild and one of the owners of the colonial-era house, says: “This is my family’s ancestral home. The property belongs to my grandfather who went to the UK to study hat making and returned to set up the business.” The imperial hatworks specialised in making hats for the armed forces, polo and horse riding, and also for the Maharaja of Mysore.

They were the pioneers in making the sola topee in India, which provide the wearer protection from the sun. They also made skull caps, velvet hats and other kinds of headwear, he adds.

The chronicles of Hatworks

The chronicles of Hatworks

“My grandfather was the first to develop the pre-tied Mysore peta donned by the Maharaja of Mysore” says Rishad. The business continued until the early 80s. In 2004 Imperial Hatworks was changed to Hatworks Boulevard.

The chronicles of Hatworks

The chronicles of Hatworks

“I am a firm believer that the house has a life of its own,” Rishad says. The Minochers have done their best to preserve the building. The original stone gate posts, high-raised Mangalore tiled roofs and a blue roof are some of the elements preserved. The tiles used here have also been used in the Mysore Palace and the Bowring Institute as well.

The house also boasts of the Poliphone, an ancient musical instrument, preserved as a show piece. There are some grand old trees at Hatworks Boulevard including mango, banana, raintrees, gulmohar and tamarind.

Where we discover hidden and not so hidden nooks and crannies of the city

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 11:17:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/the-chronicles-of-hatworks/article24192628.ece

Next Story