Prof. Rao maintained links with Ballari

The house of Srinivas Achar, which Prof. Rao frequented as a student.  


Padma Vibhushana Udupi Ramachandra Rao, popularly known as U.R. Rao, never forgot his link with Ballari, a place where he spent his formative years.

He was a student of Wardlaw High School in the early 1940s. After a brief gap, he returned to Ballari to join the Veerashaiva College in 1947 to study intermediate in physics, chemistry and mathematics.

As a student, Prof. Rao was a frequent visitor at the house of Srinivas Achar, who is well known as Meenakshi Seenappa, an owner of the once famous Meenakshi Bhavan. At their house in a lane behind the Kannika Parameshwari temple, Prof. Rao would play with Achar’s children. When his parents were out of town, he would have lunch at Achar’s house. The children would frequently visit Meenakshi Bhavan as well.

Just last year, in September, Prof. Rao wrote to Achar’s son K. Seetharam, an advocate, recalling how the latter’s father helped him pursue studies and become a space scientist.

Prof. Rao maintained links with Ballari

Prof. Rao visited Ballari many times over the years. Despite being busy, he made it a point to visit his old jaunts. He would also visit Achar’s house and spend time with Mr. Seetharam and his family. “Whenever he came to Ballari, he was always very cordial and would invariably lunch with us. He would go down the memory lane and would recount instances. The time he spent in Ballari was still fresh in his mind,” Mr. Seetharam said.

K. Krishnamurthy, Achar’s elder son who now resides in Bengaluru, reminisced about growing up with Prof. Rao. Speaking to The Hindu over phone, he said: “He was a dear friend and we grew up together. As students, we played many sports together, including football and kabbadi, with out friends at Wardlaw High School grounds.” Over the years, he said he and Prof. Rao would meet occasionally and exchange pleasantries.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 11:00:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/prof-rao-maintained-links-with-ballari/article19341692.ece

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