Vas Villa, Bangalore – Then and Now

Day 22 (V) ~ #BlogchatterA2Z

All artwork is done by Seema Misra, Copyright Lonely Canopy.

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Vas Villa was a crumbling old house, with a blue rusted Hillman Minx parked in the porch. Many years ago, on the way to Bangalore Film Society screenings at Ashirwaad, I would pass by this house. It always had this strange intriguing air about it that made me stand and stare at it. Some of my local friends used to tell me that the house is haunted.

The house has weathered brown walls, eight inter-connected rooms, and precious statues scattered around. Daredevils who snoop inside find it furnished with books, chairs, medicines, and other personal belongings that are slowly disintegrating. The floor is said to be strewn with old rum bottles and lots of new Old Monk ones as well. Any pulp horror story could be based in this setting, and the multitude of stories only add wings to one’s imagination.

Some facts about the house:
This house, named Tera Vera, was built by an Anglo-Indian, E J Vaz in the 1940s for his daughters, Vera Vaz and Dolce Vaz. E J Vaz was a high court lawyer from Bombay. Vera and Dolce, his daughters, worked as tutors, the former taught English and the latter the piano. They lived peacefully in this house most of their lives.

On September 4, 2002, Dolce was stabbed to death. She was 75 years old. Vera, the elder sister was 80 and suspected her family of murder. Eventually, Vera was persuaded to relocate to a safer place. Some say she went to Australia.
Since then, the house has been steadily decaying. And people have created many stories about it. The circumstances surrounding the murder are also unclear.

The ghost stories are standard edition – piano music in the middle of the night, black magic and an inverted cross on the property, and the presence of a malignant spirit.


Whenever I passed by, it felt like any other house. There’s a sadness to it because one can glimpse a past glory beneath the dirty crumbling structure. And, if anything, the murder of an old lady over property just reiterates the greed of human beings.

I haven’t been by St. Marks road for a long time. However, I remember reading in the newspaper that it has been demolished to make way for a new construction.

To me that is the deepest tragedy, brick by brick, the old Bangalore is disappearing, to make space for a new urban jungle. It’s the spirit of that old city calling out from such houses, abandoned or occupied. And, we all are too busy to stop and notice.

Newspaper articles:

46 thoughts on “Vas Villa, Bangalore – Then and Now

  1. There’s no way of knowing what transpired there. But hats off to you to notice, and get all the information and then write it up so well πŸ™‚ It compels the reader to ponder about the house and the story it has to tell and much more! Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. what a strange connection. i was reading a supreme court decision which mentioned Hotel Terra Vera and was curious to know what happened to it . was i surprised that the house is being portrayed as haunted and abandoned.. no..on the contrary it roused suspicion. if you read the judgement the house belonged to Mrs Primrose Mary Vas, wife of E J Vas, Advocate and there was a dispute between her three daughters as to its succession. the House was a hotel having even permanent boarders and the owner had given it to all three sisters equally. i was surprised that this fact dint find mention anywhere. obviously there was a property dispute here, and i am certain someone must have gained by making it infamous as a haunted house.

        there is no mention of the third sister in any of the accounts, the property belonged to her equally under the mother’s Will as per the Supreme Court decision.


  2. My hometown is Bangalore, but I confess I have never seen this place. What an eye for detail you have. Indeed it is sad how heritage buildings are taken down for newer apartments and such stuff. People don’t value heritage anymore. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True, Meena.
      I’m hoping this is changing – I see lot of heritage travels these days. And, the level of preservation at Hampi makes me very happy.

      Travel accompanied by reading, is a good way to learn about historical places. If travelers just take selfies and move on – well then they never saw the place.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Your naration is impeccable Seema; I was so lost into this tale and was wondering if you would go inside and explore it more. Its sad to see older sections of the cities giving way for newer constructions but that is the way of life. The older dies while the younger lives in the present till he too gets old and is replaced. With increasing populations, we need more space. Plus the old buildings are in ruins and pose a safety hazard too. Either they be repaired and tended to by their owners or they are razed to make way for newer things.
    But yes in this whole thing, the character of cities as we know them as is getting lost!

    V is for Vinyl Cafe #atozchallenge

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How true. The old does make way for the young. I have walked around the house a bit, but somehow I didn’t want to trespass into someones past. I’m glad you enjoyed the narrative πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I must say you are blessed with a pair of sharp eyes, which can penetrate within the darkest. You always take us for a memorable trip.
    Though we can’t stop giving way to the new architecture, but let’s vote to preserve the heritage too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wasn’t aware of this place though I lived in Bangalore for 10 years. It does have a haunting past but it’s glorious too, sad to know it’s demolished . We may see a swanky restaurant in its place

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lovely narration with a beautiful sketch . Had been to bangalore twice and not sure of any places there. So this is something new for me that i can comment on. But i love thee details and the way u put into words. Especially brick by brick, the city is disappearing making way for a new urban jungle.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I stayed in Karnataka for a little over 12 years, out of which 7 years were spent in Bangalore. I remember reading and hearing about this haunted house. But my concentration in St. Marks Road would always be on the restaurants in that area. The tale would always be forgotten the moment I entered Koshys or HRC. Kudos to you for actually doing an article on this. And I am a big fan of your artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a delightful read . I’m haunted by the imagery created by the crumbling walls and a crumbling lifestyle. Our old cities are changing beyond recognition with new structures that smack of brassiness and glitz . I remember our Anglo Indian teachers who had a different kind of charm . This post brings back memories of an India that is fast fading


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