Bombay has always been a metropolis which has attracted and continues to attract people from all over the country. People come to this vibrant city in search of employment and to seek better livelihood. This was certainly true about some enterprising Brahmins from South Kanara District of Karnataka who made their life’s journey to Bombay during the early 19th century. Sometime during 1920 these migrant Brahmins felt the need to come together under one roof to help each other, promote education and culture, help the needy amongst them and provide employment assistance. With these objectives as guidelines, the Bombay South Kanara Brahmin Association [ now known as BSKB Association] was formed by 6 persons in the year 1925. The membership rose to 60 by the year end with a membership fees of Rs 3 per year per head and Rs 100 for permanent membership.
A committee was formed with the following office bearers.
- President : U.B.Narayan Rao
- Vice President : Bappanadu Subba Rao
- Hon. Secretary : B.S. Tantry
- Hon. Treasurer : C. Keshavayya
The meetings used to take place in one of the houses of the office bearers. Cultural activities, fellowship, employment assistance, scholarship to the needy students were organized in a manner that laid the foundation for an institution. A small Kannada Library was started at the President`s residence. Distinguished people like Dr V. Rama Rao, Sir P. R. Rao, Dr.Daranwachar were invited and cultural programmes involving Music, Bhajans and Harikathas were organised frequently to attract more members. Dr U.R. Rao and R.K. Karanth were successive Presidents, stalwarts in their own right who tried to strengthen the Association.
In 1944, Kudpi Bhujanga Rao became the President and the Association became very active. The Association celebrated the Independence Day in 1947 in a grand manner. It felicitated some doctors who came to attend the medical conference. His Holiness Sri Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt was accorded a grand reception and was presented with a purse of Rs 12123/- towards building fund of Samskrit College of Udipi.
An Education Trust named as South Kanara Brahmin`s Education Trust, Bombay was formed in 1949 and registered with following Trustees:
Bhujanga Rao, U. Raghavendra Rao, V.B. Narayana Rao, K.S.N. Hebbar, H. Srinivas Rao, R.K Karanth, A. Venkat Rao, C. Murali Bhat.
In 1951, a strong need was felt to have our own building. His Holiness Sri Sri Vibhudesha Teertha Swamiji of Admar Mutt promised his full support and a firm decision was taken to collect funds vigorously for the building with a Krishna Mandir by its side. A sub-committee headed by U.B. Narayan Rao and K.S.N. Hebbar was formed with five more members for fund raising.
On 1st March 1953, the Association celebrated its Silver Jubilee. That year the membership of the Association rose to 500. The celebration held at Dwarakanath Hall, Wadala was well attended. His Holiness Sri Sri Vibhudesha Teertha Swamiji of Admar Mutt and Dr U. Krishna Rao, Minister of Govt. of Madras were the Chief Guests. During this celebration, a firm decision was taken to purchase a plot for construction of our own building.
On 28th March 1954, a Board of Trustees was appointed comprising K. Bhujanga Rao as Chairman, U.V. Upadhya as Vice Chairman, K.S.N. Hebbar, Dr U. Raghurama Rao, Dr U.B. Narayan Rao as members. Within a year, this Trust purchased a piece of land at Sion [ current place], admeasuring 1189 sq. Yards at a cost of Rs 35670/-. The highest donation of Rs 25000 was contributed by Kudpi Bhujanga Rao for this project.
Under the leadership of Dr U.B. Narayan Rao and K.S.N. Hebbar blue prints were prepared and approval sought for a building and a temple of Sri Krishna. Foundation stone was laid on 13th May 1956 by Dr U. Raghurama Rao. Members contributed generously and the building was constructed at a cost of few lakhs. It was inaugurated on 17th April 1959 by Their Holinesses Sri Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji of Pejawar Mutt and Sri Sri Vibhudesha Teertha Swamiji of Admar Mutt with good wishes and blessings from personalities including Dr S. Radhakrishnan, the then Vice President of India.
This was the beginning of Gokul. The Association has completed 90 years. The Gokul building is now 54 years old and is iconic. The association, with a membership of over 4000, is considered to be one of the well managed institutions in Mumbai, promoting socio- religious and cultural activities.
Plot No. 92, Sector 19, Nerul (E), Navi Mumbai – 400706.