About Us

  ‘The Bangalore Printing and Publishing Company’, a public limited company, was established on the 16th of August 1916 with the patronage of the then Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar and the leadership of Bharat Ratna Sir M. Visvesvaraya and with Sir K.P Puttanna Chetty as the first Managing Director. The company has grown for over a 100 years and ventured into various segments of printing and publishing.


Commonly recognized as ‘THE BANGALORE PRESS’ the company has become a household name for all people of Karnataka, with its publications, in particular, its calendars, diaries & Panchanga. Having survived for more than a hundred fruitful years, it is doing a much-needed job of educating the modern generation about our rich cultural heritage.


Tipu sultan had a desire to bring a Printing Machine

Printing machine came to India in the year 1556. The motivation for this was the Portuguese. It was brought for the purpose of printing the Bible, and Indians were denied access to know details about the printing machine. Tipu Sultan had tried to establish contact with other nations with the purpose of getting Independence, and he had sent his Ambassador to France in 1787. One of the agreements signed was to bring a printing machine to the Mysore province. However, the British came to know about this and stopped his efforts. Diwan Poornaiah, who made an attempt to bring a printing machine to Mysore province, knew the history of the printing machine. The British who resented this idea made a rule that Mysore province should never have a printing machine.


Advent of Printing machine through Private parties

Printing era started in the state in November 1840 when Weslian Press was established in Bangalore Cantonment area. The first book published here was “Canarese & English Instructor”. The second press viz., Columbian Press was started in Bangalore. Initially only eight books were published over a period of 10 years. Holakal Narasimhaiah started the “Vichara Darpana Press” in the year 1862. After a decade, i.e. in 1872, V.B. Subbaiah started the Mysore Book Depot Press. It is found from the records that before THE BANGALORE PRESS was established, 37 printing presses were functioning, like the Chamundeshwari Press, established by M. Rudrappa, Vageeshwari Press, Hariraya Misa’s Town Press, Vajapeyam  Govindaiah’s Bangalore Book Depot (BBD), Cox Town Press, Reliance Press, Vijayalakshmi Vilas Press, B.S. Iyengar Press etc., to name a few. Public primary schools were started only in the year 1830. At that time, the number of literates were very few. In those days, books like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Yoga Vasishta, Vratas and Devara Namas were being published in large numbers.

To help in their administrative matters, the British Government established the Government Press in the year 1850 at Tippu Sultan’s Palace near the Bangalore Fort. Within a short time, it was shifted to Nrupathunga Road. In the beginning, the press had only hand machines for printing. Later, leg-operated machines came into existence. Gas engines were also in use for a certain period of time. It was only in 1907 that printing machines operated by electricity made an appearance.

Contribution of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar

Although Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar was appointed as Prince of Mysore province, the British had not given him any administrative powers. Without getting prior approval of the Viceroy, the Government was not allowed to implement any changes. Princes had no authority over Army, Unions, Railway, Telegraph and minting. It was imperative that whatever they wanted to do, this should first be brought to the notice of Mr. Gordan, who was the appointed resident. As per the agreement made previously, there was a restriction that printing presses should not be established.

Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar was born on June 4, 1884. He had acquired command over Kannada, Sanskrit and English languages. He had a deep inclination towards Arts, Literature and Music. He had appointed sincere and efficient Diwans like P.N. Krishnamurthy, V.P. Madhava Rao, T. Ananda Rao, Sir M. Visvesvaraya and Mirja Ismail. He was an ideal administrator and had laid down the foundation of democracy in the state. In appreciation of the service rendered by him to the all-round development of the people, Mahatma Gandhi called him “Rajarshi”. The development of Mysore province was wholeheartedly appreciated by a British philosopher Paul Buenson, and also by an American erudite John Gunther. Indian educationist Madan Mohana Malaviya had called the Mysore province as a ‘Model state’.

Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar visited London in 1914, along with Sir M. Visvesvaraya. After detailed deliberations with King George V, he got the consent to start a printing press in the state of Mysore. Although the “Independent Administration Agreement” was evolved, it did not come into effect, as it was not signed by the British Government. Moreover, the financial position of Mysore state was not conducive to implement the functioning of the Press.

Visionary Sir M. Visvesvaraya

Born in a poor family on September 15th, 1880 at Muddenahalli in Chikkaballapur, Sir M Visvesvaraya studied B.A. at Central College and then graduated in Engineering at Pune. Having worked as an Engineer at Mumbai and Sindh Provinces, he visited Japan and China. He then travelled to Egypt, Canada, USA and Russia in 1908, and got a vast experience in engineering. He was appointed as Chief Engineer of Mysore Province in 1909. Having successfully completed several projects, he was appointed by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar as the Diwan of Mysore. He established the Chamber of Commerce in 1916. He brought a revolution in the industrial sector. His reign was called the “Golden Age”.

C. Hayavadan Rao – a multi-dimensional personality

Kancheevaram Hayavadan Rao was born on July 10, 1865 at Hosur in Krishnagiri Taluk. Having completed his initial education at Bangalore, he studied at Madras Presidency & Christian Colleges, and got the B.A. degree in 1897 and the B.L. degree in 1903. Even during his schooldays, he showed interested in Journalism, and had written prolific articles in many newspapers. Consequently, he became the editor of a newspaper ‘The Leader’. Complying with the request of Sir M. Visvesvaraya, he became the editor of ‘Mysore Arthika Patrike’ in 1914, and then in 1942 became the editor of ‘Mysore Gazzetier’. He brought out 5 volumes with a comprehensive history of the Mysore State. Another contribution of his were the 3 volumes of “History of Mysore” (1399-1799) comprising of about 2800 pages. These works are considered as an invaluable reference material even today. He also wrote  ‘Srikara Bhashya’ (885 pages), explaining the commentaries of Sripathy Panditacharya’s Brahmasutras, published by ‘Bangalore Press’. He established the Mysore Chamber of Commerce, Mysore Sugar Company, Amco Batteries (Bangalore). He was responsible for implementing Kannada medium in the Mysore University; and starting the system of free education for women. In 1911, the British Government awarded him the title ‘Rao Bahadur’; and Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar offered him the title ‘Raja Charita Visharada’. It is worth noting that he worked as Secretary of ‘BANGALORE PRESS’ for 30 years.

Sir K.P. Puttannachetty

Diwan Bahadur Sir Krishnarajapuram Palligode Puttannachetty was born on April 29, 1856 in Krishnarajapura. He studied at Bangalore Weslian Mission School and after that at Central College. He served as the Assistant Commissioner in 1896 and Deputy Commissioner in 1898. Having recognized his services, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar offered him the title of ‘Rajya Sabha Bhushana’ and he was offered the title of ‘Rao Bahadur’ by the British Government. As requested by Sir M. Visvesvaraya, he became the Municipal President of Bangalore City from 1913 to 1920. He was the President of City Improvement Trust Board from 1915 to 1922. Since the establishment of the ‘BANGALORE PRESS’, he served as its Managing Director for 22 years till his last breath, and was instrumental for its growth. He contributed immensely towards the improvement of Bangalore City. An example of this is the Town Hall, which was inaugurated on 11.9.1935 by the then Maharaja Sri Narasimharaja Wadiyar. Being a philanthropist, he donated liberally to many social causes. A significant example is ‘Puttannachetty Outpatient Ward’ of Victoria hospital, Bangalore. He expired on July 23, 1938, just three days after the inauguration of Veerashaiva Free Student Hostel at Bull Temple Road.



Sir M. Visvesvaraya constituted a Managing Committee comprising of 18 eminent personalities. While Sir K.P. Puttannachetty was the Founder Chairman, C. Hayavadana Rao was the Secretary of ‘The Bangalore Printing and Publishing Company Ltd.’, which started functioning from August 16th 1916, in a rented building on Avenue Road. Later, it was shifted to the present location on Mysore Road. Within a short span of time, it became popular as ‘THE BANGALORE PRESS’. Initially its activities were confined to printing documents required by the Mysore Province. When the demand increased considerably, a branch office was started at Mysore on March 17, 1936, located near the Mysore Palace.


Time-keepers to the State
Bangalore Press Calendars

Even before the concept of Calendars, there were various almanacs. They were designed conforming to regional and community needs. But none of them were considered authentic by the administration. In the Sindh Province, a system of calendar was evolved in 1908 which contained the Government holidays in addition to all religious celebrations. Having observed this, Sir M. Visvesvaraya had dreamt of bringing out a calendar like this. However, there were certain obstacles in realizing this dream. Mr. H.A. Cob, Mysore Resident, was not favourable to the regional development of Mysore Province. In addition to this, he was well-versed in petty politics and got Sir M. Visvesvaraya entangled in a conspiracy regarding the reservation policy. Disgusted by this, Sir M. Visvesvaraya went on leave on December 9, 1918. When the situation did not improve even after he returned from leave, he officially tendered his resignation on June 9, 1919.

After retirement, Sir M. Visvesvaraya began working as an advisor for THE BANGALORE PRESS. It was then possible for him to realize his dream of printing a calendar. It was his intention that the calendar, in addition to providing details of all religious celebrations, should include details of government activities. Having agreed to this, Hayavadana Rao got the consent from the Administration Board of the company. Likewise, printing of Calendar was started in the year 1921. Having a unique design, the calendar was soon recognized as an authentic source of data. It became so popular that the very name ‘BANGALORE PRESS’ was identified with quality calendars. Since the administrative language was English and that the number of people who were educated in Kannada was considerably less, BANGALORE PRESS initially started printing the calendars in English only. Gradually there was huge demand for the calendars, and requests for Kannada calendars increased. One among those who stood for bringing out the Kannada calendar was senior writer Masti Venkatesh Iyengar. He offered the copyright of all his works to ‘The Bangalore Printing and Publishing Company’ in 1932, with the sole condition that Kannada calendars should start being published. THE BANGALORE PRESS administration accepted this proposal, as a result of which printing of Kannada calendars was started from the year 1936. From the point of view of compilation of matter and the clarity in design, Bangalore Press calendars have earned the appreciation of being authentic even today.

Photos of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Chamaraja Wadiyar, Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar; and Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar used to be printed at the four corners of the calendar for two-and-half decades since inception, as a token of respect and gratitude to the Mysore princely dynasty. After Independence, photos of national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabha Bhai Patel were printed. When revolutionary changes occurred in 1960 in the Printing industry, there were certain changes in the designing of the calendar. With smaller fonts available, the amount of information provided in the Almanac increased, enabling inclusion of Rahukala, Gulika-kala and Yamaganda-kala timings in the calendar. In 1988, the newly introduced ‘Table Calendars’ became widely popular. In keeping pace with the changing times, the Company is now printing calendars which can be downloaded onto computers and mobiles.


“Mallige Panchanga Darshini” – a new type of publication

A general almanac (Panchanga) should contain five main parts to it viz., Tithi-Nakshatra-Vara-Yoga and Karana. Using of an almanac calls for a rudimentary knowledge of astrology. In this background, THE BANGALORE PRESS started to bring about a significant change in presenting the requisite information in an attractive format for the first time in 1990. With a view to utilize the back page of calendar (which was kept blank till then), THE BANGALORE PRESS started publishing useful astrological, monthly forecasts, details of utsavs and jatres and a brief introduction of important festivals information on the back side in 1994. Gradually, special articles on varieties of topics by eminent writers like Vidwan Ranganatha Sharma, Prof.S.K. Ramachandra Rao, Shatavadhani Ganesh, Mathoor Krishnamurti etc., were published, which became very popular. The topics covered in these articles did not confine to religious matters: they extended to include various fields like science, education, sports etc.

Entry into Digital Age

THE BANGALORE PRESS entered into the digital age with another new product - the e-calendar. This e-calendar can be freely downloaded throughout the globe. Being user-friendly, there is an option to convert it to a ‘Personal calendar’, by adding important personal events to it. Now, THE BANGALORE PRESS has also opened a Facebook account through which it offers comprehensive information -- accessible through computers and mobiles -- pertaining to festivals and celebrations of all religions, in all regions and in all regional languages. The fact that the page has more than 12,000 followers is a proof to the popularity it has gained.

Bappco Diaries – Widely (culturally) Accepted

THE BANGALORE PRESS started printing various types of Diaries ranging from Pocket diaries to Executive diaries as early as 1930, in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and English languages. The quality and design of these diaries were even appreciated by British dignitaries. In 1987, the Company decided to give a new look to its diaries. As a result, it brought out several professional diaries containing relevant information pertaining to various fields like Advocates, Doctors, Engineers, Managers etc. The first 40 pages of these diaries contain information regarding latest developments in the respective fields. Apart from this, the company is bringing out Heritage Diary in English, Samskriti Diary in Kannada which contain, apart from daily cultural events, special articles regarding the heritage. Besides this, the company has devised special Diaries like the Bhagavad Gita, the Vishnu Sahasranama and the Lalita Sahasranama diaries, catering to different segments of varied inclination.

The Wonder World of Bappco Books

Publication of books was the main purpose of many printing presses started in the 19th century. In the initial stages there was no concept of publishers - writers and editors themselves used to publish their literary works. With the advent of the 20th century, we came across official publishers. Vajapeyam Govindaiah (at Avenue Road) and Satram Chandrashekharaiah (Jumma Maseed Street) were great scholars. Both of them had their own printing press and were publishing religious books. By this time, T.S. Krishnaiah Setty, along with his brother T.N. Sreenivasa Setty, started ‘Saraswathi Ratnakara Book Depot’. They published varieties of books like Amara Kosha, Jaimini Bharata, Satika Jnnasindhu, Stories of Bhatti Vikramaditya etc. As far as publication of literary works and Management Books are concerned, there was a dearth of Publishers. With this in mind, Bappco Prakashana, a division of Bangalore Press, came into existence. In 1919 ‘Nature in Windows’ by Woodro Wilson was published by Bappco. As has been mentioned by Sir M. Visvesvaraya himself, out of his six significant works, ‘The Planned Economy’ published by Bappco in 1934 occupies a prominent place. This is the first book regarding Indian Economic system. It discusses the 10-Year Plan, based on which the concept of 5-Year plan was evolved.

Sir M. Visvesvaraya was the backbone of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, which was established in 1915 in Bangalore. Bappco started publishing Kannada literary works only after 1932, starting with ‘Sahitya Prerane’ by Masti Venkatesha Iyengar. Having appreciated the quality of printing, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar said in Preface that “henceforth all my works will be published by Bappco”.

Bappco has published 370 prolific works, significantly contributing to Kannada literature. Some of the major works that we can note are

*Rigveda Samhita (6 Volume series) by Prof.H.R. Wilson (1926)

*By Indra’s Aid by Frank R Sell (1934)

*Ramayana and Lanka, by Justice Paramashiva Iyer (1940)

*Srikara Bhashya, authored by Sripathi Panditacharya and edited by C. Hayavadana Rao (570 Pages, 2 Volume in Devanagari). Though voluminous in size, the way it is published in light weight is a specialty.

*Paataaladalli Papacchi, by Na. Kasturi

*Mumbai Vaasada Nenapu, by V. Seetharamaiah

*Prakruti, by U.R. Anantha Murthy

*Singaravva mattu Aramane, by Dr. Chandrashekhar Kambar

*Hettodalu, by M.K. Indira

Footprints of Bangalore Press in the field of Education too

Dr. Mathoor Krishnamurti, Director of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, was a contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi. Even though Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan had started Schools all over the country, it did not have one in Bangalore. To overcome this, it tied up with THE BANGALORE PRESS to start the ‘Bhavan-Bangalore Press School’. This was the dream of Dr. Mathoor Krishnamurti, who was deeply concerned with our rich cultural values. The School, located at 6th Cross, Chamarajpet, has offered learning opportunity to over 1200 students every year, especially for students hailing from socially backward classes. This has been implemented even before RTE came into effect.