Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Note on Smallarms of the Indian Army

My background research for the Mysore hill forts article (see Lewis 2012) required that I learn about the early 19th century arms and equipment of the East India Company’s (EIC) army. This work soon broadened to include several of the more common smallarms of the Indian Army, which is the direct descendant of the EIC army (Menezes 1999).

As I studied what the Indian infantryman carried into battle over the past few centuries, two weapons stood out, the India Pattern musket and the .303 Lee-Enfield. Both were in service for a half century or more; both were important British Army weapons and were used by armies elsewhere in the British Empire; and hundreds of thousands of both weapons were issued to Indian soldiers. In short, the India Pattern musket and the .303 Lee-Enfield, more than any other smallarms, played significant roles in recent Indian military history. Continue reading

The old Hotel Metropole in Mysore

I have fond memories of Mysore’s Hotel Metropole as it used to be. The new incarnation of the hotel is pleasant enough, but the soul of the Metropole is gone. No longer is it a charming place of deep verandahs, outdated furnishings, an antiquated restaurant, and an often equally antiquated staff.

The building was constructed by the Maharaja of Mysore to house his European guests in the early 1920s. It eventually came into the hands of the state government, which leased it to a private corporation to operate as a hotel. The State of Karnataka grew dissatisfied with the corporation’s performance and successfully sued to regain control of the hotel, which it soon closed. Following extensive renovation, it reopened in 2004 as part of the Royal Orchid chain of hotels. Continue reading