Golden Memories-Good Old Belgaum of the 1950’s

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by Bhau Deshpande

Random memories of life in Belgaum(Now Belagavi) in 1950’s at times could be distorted.

Evening long walks from RPD corner to Rex talkies via Deshmukh road, Congress road, then the Mahadeo Darshan, then Globe, Bogarves and a halt at the Grand hotel for special Uppit with cashew nuts aplenty and covered with grated fresh coconut.

On the way at times a halt near Railway Station for watching a big hockey match with Internationals Bandu Patil and Shankar Lakshman in full action. Occasionally an English matinée starring Clarke Gable, Awa Gardenar, Rock Hudson and so at the Globe or the Rex if the pocket money permitted.

Katayya in camp for made to order footwear and tailoring from Borges. Hair cut from Lords opposite Krishna theater (Kirloskar road), a cricket crazy owner updating the score card on the make shift black board on the wall, with a running commentary on radio by Bobby Talyarkhan bringing the game to life- road almost blocked.


The owner of the Light of Asia washing company opposite Bara Ghadghade bhavi/ vihir proudly displaying his credentials “London Returned”.

Puri Bhaaji at “Paranjape yanche Pharalache Dukaan”- market and corner of Kadolkar Galli. MASALE DWASI at Jolly restaurant near BK Model high school or at Cafe light.

Early morning on way to railway station a halt at Meenaxi Bhavan /Amba bhavan for Shira or bread bhaaji, Kadli gida as a pastime during the evening walks. Alipaak with juice from Sugar cane crushed between two wooden logs by the bullock going merry-go-round in the paddy field along the Congress road. Addressing the waiter as “Swamy” or Rayare”;


Cricket matches for Latthe shield,;Public meetings addressed by Shri Baburao Thakur, Shri Anantrao Chikodi; early morning discourses by Patwardhan Bua at the Maruti temple.

On Wednesdays listening to Ameen Sayni’s Binaca Geetmala in Shanta Niwas/ Mohan restaurant as radio was a rare house hold gadget.

Spray painting of laundry washed clothes during typical Belgaum monsoon while walking on the Angol Road, Fort road. Palekar brothers of Hindustan washing Co. taking care of soiled clothes. And what not? Morning hawkers of Sevanti phulanche male or Ghya Dahi?



It was a pleasure if you get Tonga No.1 ride driven by a beautiful majestic white horse, very often used for ceremonial processions- marriage etc. Then there was no such concept as public telephone, one could make local phone calls mostly from hotels free of cost through the operator: only coin box telephone was at the Railway station and when one raised the handset, the operator used to advise “Please drop a two anna coin”.

So much to call back; dwarfing the life when peeped through at this distance of life!

Maps courtesy: Google Maps


0 thoughts on “Golden Memories-Good Old Belgaum of the 1950’s”

  1. Uday,

    Oh , those memories! …it is so precise , so heart touching, my childhood days…i have lost them somewhere….same city but different phase, same people but different generation…

  2. Bhau Sir You have been lucky to live in that era & it is worth cherishing those memories. I hope you must be having friends of that time & must be discussing the best time in Belgaum which certainly brings lots of happiness.

    Well for us it is a different Belgaum, but still better than other cities because at least it has a legacy to cherish about.

  3. Really nice. I too remember the craze & love for cricket at Lords Saloon, Ali paak Nagori Mithai, Brindavan, Paranjape’s puri bhaji,Chakli,etc and Paranjape’s used to give us fresh Malaidar Tak( Lassi/Majjige. Lovely times.

  4. on a similar note, do think of reading any or all of the following books/novels ( marathi ) by Prakash Narayan Sant

    vanvas,sharada sangeet, pankha & zumbar. They should be available on flipkart..

    You will almost get to live you childhood in Belgaum


  5. this article has brought me back in to those days.a nostalgia. all that is in the article i remember.I happen to belong to the paranjape family in the hotel business. my father owned the paranjape yanche pharalache dukan at kadolkar galli. now when i visit belgaum i try to locate the past things but in vain.i still cherish those moments

  6. It’s nice to come across this beautiful article. It recalls my memories of past.I was born in Belgaum and in civil hospital.At that time there were no maternity home and the only luxry was to get admitted in civil hospital as generally,one use to get the child delivered at home with the help of some one who is older lady in the family or nearby. Belgaum at that time was most beautiful,calm and rich.

    • Mr. Bongale, I am so happy to hear about the Belgaum that was. Would you happen to know which were the hospitals that existed in Belgaum in 1950?

  7. Wonderful memories danced before my eyes. I used to visit all most all the places mentioned in the article. I feel Belgaum is the Best Place on Earth to reside. The books written by Prakash Narayan Sant are a wonderful treat to mind and soul. I have read these books a number of times and whenever I think of Belgaum, I take out any of these books and read and my mind goes in the Golden Era of my Childhood days. It becomes very difficult to come back to present tense. Hope to read more from Mr. Bhau Deshpande or Suhas Deshpande.

  8. These are refresh moments of my childhood. Most heavenly place. Those three months rainy season and school days. Since I was living near vaccine depo , and playing cricket, hockey, football, was great memories. Band Patil used to come and play with us,as he was living near by.

  9. I have great memories of Belgaum & Thalakwadi. I recollect all these places, hotel’s, cinema halls, Alipak , etc. Still every year go to Belgaum to eat alipak. Since living near vaccine institute,and playing cricket,hockey,football on the vaccine depo ground. Rainy season was three months and what a greenery.

  10. In karnatak Belagavi is the best city,its climate as compared to Bangalore is same.It is famous as kundanagari.Now it is developing very fast & selected for smart city by central Govt.There is no doubt, in the near future Belagavi will be recognized as one of the international figure.It is good news for those who are staying in Belagavi since many years.

  11. I can trace every place in the article with precision. We are blessed to have enjoyed those golden moments in the beautiful city of Belgaum. I remember,we used to rush to lords hair cutting saloon for Cricket updates during our school lunch break. thankyou for the visit to our cherished memory lane.

  12. All these things We also enjoyed during 6Os at the time of our childhood.Really very sweet memories.Thanks for the article which has taken back to our childhood.Kabbina Ghaanas along Shahapur road worth to remember.Damanis at Rly station still I remember.Going to Bijapur during vacation via Shedabal by train we cannot forget .Travelling further to Bijapur in a handle stater bus is also our nostalgic memory.

  13. Almost every place mentioned in the article revived my memories of Belagavi of 1960s,when I was studying in the college. As college student during my stay in the hostel room provided by the RPD College, hotel Cittaranjan at the RPD junction was a popular place for tea and nashta. Other places not mentioned in the article which were my favourites were Mitra Samaj and Hotel Elite which were located near Bogar ves on the road towards Lingaraj College. My attraction towards Mitra Samaj run by Mr. Pai was for the delicious Mysore Pak and for really crisp Masala Dosa. Nowhere else masala dosa was so tasty and crisp and it used to cost just 25 paisa. Hotel Elite was a
    boarding house providing excellent meals. The manager Mr. Datar used to be very friendly with all the boarders. The monthly package for lunch and dinner used to be Rs. 50. How can anyone forget Azad talkies in Tilakwadi where choicest old films of those days used to be screened.

  14. Awesome , belgaum our belgaum doesn’t matter whether belgaon ¥ belgavi it has been a paradise of so changing lifestyles yet this article Bhau Sir is mesmerising, I belong to generation of 80’s yet this read bought a flash in brain as how life was colorful and simple then, if possible share any pictures if you have of good old history now

  15. Hotel sanman , Milan , ramdev & khade bazar Chitra hamsa rupali Krishna, balkrishna theatres . Sherman catholic school ?. All unforgettable.

  16. Thanks for this write up, Mr. Bhau Deshpande ji, for Reviving old memories of good old Belgaum(now Belgavi)for those who actually spent their childhood days here perhaps schooling or college goings in the forties- fifties like this humble self who considers himself to be a fortunate resident of Belgavi in that era. Yes Sir, I have spent my childhood days schooling in St. Paul’s High School, Camp and later my man-hood days at the Lingaraj College between the period 1942 to 1957 before locating myself for greener pastures to this present city of Pune(Old Poona), Maharashtra state. Everything said about Belgaum is true, even nowadays also,as I observed, in my last visit in Dec.2016, to attend the 160 yrs. anniversary celebration of my St. Paul’s High School,camp Belgavi and also an Official Successful attempt made on 17 December 2016, to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest gathering (Re-union) Of Ex-Students (3638- official count) of our school(St. Paul’s High School,camp Belgavi)) on one day ,at one place (School ground) and at one time.(17 Dec.2016). Well that’s something to talk abt. However Bhau saheb, in your narration abt. Belgaum, you missed out Nagori’s mithaiwala’s- a small shop located opp. the Bara Ghadhgade Bhavi(Vihir–Well) selling Yummy Sweets made in pure ghee as we used to get in those days and mostly, In Camp Area, there used to ply the famous Dumneys(Drawn/pulled by pair of bullocks( transporting A whole large family of persons closeted inside.) AH !! Those were the days !! Woh Bhi Din The !!!!!!


  18. Yeah, I also still Remember Rani Bagicha,Chunamari & Shegha with my Grandfather, Tomato omlette with my uncle at New Grand,Ritz Talkies, Radio Talkies, Raswanti Grahas, with Alipak , Nagori Sweet Mart Kunda , Anand Bhavan Puri Bhaji, Cutlets of Brindavan75 to 80, s et el

  19. This is the second time I am writing this. Earlier I had written on Sept 13, 2014. Now Belgav is undergoing drastic changes as it is becoming a Smart City. Whenever I read any article on Belgav, I simply become “Mad Anand’ from a just Anand (like mad Lampan alias Lampya). I have written an article on my Belgaum stay in ‘Marathi’ in 2005. Whenever I feel lonely/disturbed, I either read Prakash Sant written books or the details of my childhood memories written by me. I have also got a couloured road map of Belgaum city. To open that map and travel on those roads and visiting the places is my favourite passtime.
    My humble request to Shri Suhas Paranjape to kindly Write his Marathi article in this blog else ask Shri Uday to arrage to put that in AAB.
    Thanks a lot ALL OF YOU.

  20. Dear Mr. Suhas Paranjape-ji,
    With reference to your article of August 14, 2017, I herewith request you to kindly send the memories of 1955-1970 to me. If possible do write on my email address given below.
    I have been anxiously waiting to read your article (Marathi) in AAB.
    I would like to contact you.
    May I have your contact number please?
    [email protected]
    ( I also wrote my childhood memories of Belgav in Marathi (1956 to 1964) after reading Shri Prakash Sant’s books in 1994 onwards.

  21. Awesome Very Well Written , Went Into The Imaginations. It Took Me Deep Into That Era… I Am Not Born in That Era. But Made Me Remembered My Childhood Days, A Kid Of 90’s.Hope Everyone has A Same Story And Enjoyed Reading.

  22. Great to read the best of Belgaum once again. All Belgium’s Cricket lovers forgot about Saraf Shield Tournaments held at Union Gymkhana. I had played in one of the matches from my collage. Government Polytechnic. My High school was G.A.High School. And had great year’s watching Lingraj Collage Sports compitations . They were conducted at par with National Standards. Cycling was most used comuting way. No tiredness and it used to be great fun riding from Tilakwadi home to Polytechnic near chennamma circle. Still many more memories of Belgaum. Mohan Naik


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