Scott’s Bungalow

The disclaimer first. This is not for the “typical tourists” to Srirangapatna. If you have a flair for a bit of history and legends of this place read further.

Who was Colonel Scott? He was one of those military officers who took part in the siege of Srirangapatna. Later , after the fall of Tippu Sultan and the reinstallation of the Mysore kings, Srirangapattana fort was converted into a garrison of the East India Company forces.Colonel Scott was the command of the garrison.
The Maharaja of Mysore even built a river front bungalow for his family to settle. Some 17 years later, in 1817 Scott lost his wife and two daughters suddenly due to Cholera.

Colonel Scott disappeared suddenly from the bungalow without a trace. The mystery surrounding the bungalow starts at this point.

According to the local legends, he charged the carriage himself , along with the horses, into the torrential Kaveri.

And for some curios reasons, the maharaja ordered to keep the house and furnishings intact, as if Scott would return one day suddenly. That did not happen. But the consecutive maharajas kept the tradition of Scott’s Bungalow.

What actually happened was entirely different to the local legends and beliefs. The grief-stricken Scott made it to England via Madras, without telling anythig either to his friends or to the servants. He died in England in 1933. But the Scott’s Bungalow still kept waiting for his return!

Much later his death, in 1875 a compilation of memoir and poetry titled “Lays of Ind” by Aliph Cheem suddenly evoked a lot of curiosity on this otherwise went into oblivion bungalow.

“Lays of Ind” contained a poetry on Scott’s Bungalow, aptly titled “The Deserted Bungalow”. According to Aliph Cheem, the poetry is “substantially true”.

The stanzas thus begin.

THERE stands on the isle of Seringapatam,
By the Cauvery, eddying fast,
A bungalow lonely,
And tenanted only
By memories of the past.
It has stood, as though under a curse or spell,
Untouched since the year that Tippoo fell.


Read the full poem The Deserted Bungalow by Aliph Cheem

By the way, the tombstones and inscriptions of Scott’s family is located in the Garrison Cemetery in Srirangapatna. The Scott’s Bungalow still remains as a historic monument in the island, though much less frequented by visitors compared to other “attractions”.

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