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Museum of memories

The Nenapu museum in the Mysore Bank building houses State Bank of Mysore memorabilia post its merger with SBI

When theatre artist, HT Rama, visited the Nenapu Museum, she was emotional. The museum was set up to house memorablia from State Bank of Mysore after its merger with State Bank of India in April 2017. “For decades I had an account at SBM, KG Road, although I stay in Girinagar,” she said. “I am so happy that the authorities have preserved memories with Nenapu, which means memories in Kannada.”

With a heritage tag, the 104-year-old SBM was established under the patronage of Mysore Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV. “I am happy to take forward the foresight of our Divan M Visvesvaraya to start a bank that would auger well for the welfare of Karnataka,” the king announced at the Economic Conference in 1912 when the decision to start the Bank of Mysore Limited (later changed to the State Bank of Mysore) was taken.

Museum of memories

This is just one of the many interesting details of SBM history displayed at Nenapu within the SBI premises at the Mysore Bank Circle, KG Road.

When the SBM merger was a few months away, some senior SBM executives, came forward with the idea of setting up a museum of SBM memories.

Some of the meticulously-sourced history of written records and memorabilia includes Bank of Mysore’s primary influence on the State economy, SBM’s appointment as an agent of RBI in 1953 to undertake government business and treasury operations, its transition to becoming a subsidiary of SBI in 1960, to its progressive growth and uninterrupted profits since 1913.

Museum of memories

The Bank of Mysore Limited was started with Rs. 20 lakh advanced as capital by Krishnaraja Wadiyar in its first building allotted in 1913 in Bengaluru. The SBM branch office operated in this historic stone building on KG Road till the merger. The Bank of Mysore shifted to the massive stone building with a beautiful porch constructed in 1923. Its 150-feet long hall is decorated with steel pillars and arches sourced from England.

Mysore Bank Circle too gets its name after the oldest bank of Karnataka and its 93-year-old historic building. The museum has a lot of curious visitors, said an SBI executive.

Museum of memories

“I had a 36-year-old connect with SBM. Our attachment pushed us into celebrating memories with a permanent museum.

It took 72 days to have the four rooms ready,” Suresh Savekar S, one of the SBM executives, said. Putting the collection together was not an easy task. Taking hints and direction from old SBM souvenirs, A Shashidhar, one of the Nenapu Museum team said, “we didnt leave any stone unturned to have our Nenapu in place.” Referring to Nenapu’s rare inclusions he said, there was an unused cheque by Kannada poet DV Gundappa and Sir M Visveswaraya’s chequebook among others.”

While the majestic Mysore Bank stone structure is declared a heritage building, the core Nenapu museum committee says, “The SBI’s Kolkata museum was an eye-opener for us in this endeavour.”

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 7:09:17 AM |

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