Rudyard Kipling's birthplace to become tourist attraction
The heritage bungalow in south Mumbai where author and Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling was born will be converted into a tourist attraction by the Maharashtra government, a minister has said.
Mumbai: The heritage bungalow in south Mumbai where author and Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling was born will be converted into a tourist attraction by the Maharashtra government, a minister has said.
The bungalow is situated inside the shady campus of Sir J.J. School of Art, close to the UNESCO World Heritage monument, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and other heritage buildings like Crawford Market and the Mumbai Police Commissionerate.
State Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde had proposed this week that the government would ensure the bungalow emerges as an important tourist hotspot and people get the opportunity to appreciate it.
All the artefacts in the house would be preserved and displayed with funding from the culture department which would also repair, restore and maintain the wood and stone structure, he added.
On cards is a Kipling museum, a library, literary and cultural events to attract domestic and foreign tourists to the birthplace of the author of classics like ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Kim’, and many poems like ‘If...’ and ‘Mandalay’. He was conferred with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 - the first English writer so honoured.
The site of the birth of Kipling, born on December 30, 1865 to English arts teacher, illustrator and curator John Lockwood Kipling and Alice Kipling, was actually another structure adjacent to the existing bungalow, which has been known as 'Kipling Bungalow' since over a century now.
The bungalow came up inside the campus of the Sir J.J. School of Art which was founded in 1857 after a handsome donation of Rs.100,000 by Mumbai businessman and philanthropist Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy.
The school was taken over by the government in 1866 and Kipling's father, appointed its first dean, lived in the bungalow on the campus.
The original bungalow where Rudyard was born was located barely a few metres from the existing 'Kipling House' was demolished and rebuilt and again crumbled away, while the 'Kipling House' which came up around 1882 underwent a restoration in phases from 2002-2008, besides an earlier restoration several decades ago.
Later, it became the Dean's Bungalow where subsequent heads of the prestigious School lived till around 2002, after which it remained locked and vacant and soon became dilapidated.
However, there is a metal plaque with the legend engraved "Rudyard Kipling, son of Lockwood Kipling, first Principal of Sir J.J. School of Art, was born here on 30.12.1865", and a bust of the author points at his historic and literary links with the campus.
He left for England after spending five years of his childhood in Mumbai, and later returned to Lahore at the age of 16, and subsequently, as a Nobel laureate revisited his birthplace in 1930.
He passed away in a London hospital in January 1936 at the age of 70.