The Raman Research Institute, set up by C.V. Raman, who passed away 45 years ago, remains testimony to his love for science and Bengaluru.
At the RII, an institute that remains testimony to his love for science and the city, archives show the overwhelming letters of anxieties and words of comfort that poured in after his hospitalisation following a heart attack in October 1970. A month later, on the morning of November 21, 1970, he passed away.
While Raman’s scientific achievement rings in every textbook of the country, his love for Bengaluru also becomes apparent. He harboured a desire to start his own institute, and eventually led to the formation of the RRI in 1948. “He spent a lot of money on this institute. While some land was given as a grant, he spent Rs. 75,000 to buy five more acres. The main building was constructed for Rs. 35,000 — all princely amounts,” says K. Krishnama Raju, who is with the RRI Trust.
An original brochure from Raman’s attempt to raise Rs. 10 lakh for the institute in 1934 starts off with the words, “In beautiful Bangalore”, and describes the to-be-constructed campus as being close to one of the historic Kempe Gowda towers (near Mehkri Circle) and with a “panoramic view of Bangalore” for miles.