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GANGUBAI HANGAL MUSEUM, HUBLI,KARNATAKA


This is what INTACH Bangalore has to say about the project,
The late Smt Gangubai Hangal was a Hindustani vocalist of unparalleled repute. INTACH
Bangalore restored the vernacular style house where this music legend was born in 1913 and
where she spent her childhood. The building now houses the Gangotri Museum with exhibits on
Gangubai Hangal and on Indian classical music – a wonderful example of adaptive reuse of an old
building. The project came about when the State Government of Karnataka bought the crumbling
house in 2007 and decided to dedicate it to the life and times of Smt Hangal.
INTACH Bangalore was asked by the then District Commissioner of Hubli-Dharwad, S Srikar, to
undertake the restoration of this humble yet historic space.

Led by conservation architect, Pankaj Modi, the house was restored using conventional burnt
bricks and replastered in mud mortar.
The house in which Gangubai Hangal grew up has been converted into a museum, with her
favourite tulsi plant in place.
When she returned to her newly restored childhood home at the age of 95, Gangubai Hangal,
doyenne of Hindustani classical music, still vividly recalled her favourite places around her old
house – the tulsi plant at the entrance and the pillar in the centre of the house where she used to
practise her music for hours.
This was the house where she was born and where she had been initiated into the world of music.

The house was sold in 1957 and changed hands once again until it was eventually bought by the family of
Dasoi Kulkarni who lived here till the late 1980s.
Subsequently, the house remained locked and neglected for several years, years which took their toll on the
structure. Parts of the house collapsed. The heavy rains of 2005 did further damage, and portions of the roof
and more sections of the walls caved in.
Restoration Project :
The restoration project was executed by Nirmithi Kendra, Dharwad, under the guidance of the Bangalore
chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), which also oversaw the setting
up of the museum. INTACH worked closely with Manoj Hangal, President of the Hangal Music Foundation,
founder of the School of Indian Classical Music, Hubli, and the grandson of Gangubai.

 The house is a low rise structure with an entrance verandah having a tulsi plant and a
narrow passage with rooms on either side leading to a central hall.
 The building is narrow but deep, with rooms placed one after another.
 The rear portion of the house with the kitchen, store room and service area was covered
with a sloping roof with country tiles. There used to be a backyard with some coconut trees, of
which only a small area now remains.
 A narrow wooden ladder accessed the terrace where the windows from the attic opened.
 The house had mud walls with timber framework, mud plaster and mud roof on bamboo
reeds. These materials constitute the structure of this house.
At the entrance is a large portrait of Gangubai Hangal that invites visitors inside. In the entrance
passageway are two large photographs of the singer taken at different times in her life, both
showing her smiling, holding a tanpura.
Source : Deccanherald

Image source: Hubballionline


This museum is a clear evidence of keeping things simple by adapting the original style to a much broader
presence of style and design,yet honoring the ideals of traditional art.

The INTACH team did an astonishing job at accomplishing adaptive reuse with this project. We can see and
feel how homely a museum can be!