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Friday, April 4, 2008

Mayo College

Main Building

Lord Mayo, Viceroy Of India

Mayo College is a public school founded by Richard Southwell Bourke, the Earl of Mayo, who was Viceroy of India from 1869 to 1872 and was popularly known as Lord Mayo in India.Bourke was born on February 21st, 1822 and died on February 8th 1872.
The school is located in Ajmer, in the state of Rajasthan, India.The architecture of the school buildings evoke the grandeur of Rajasthan.
With a view to providing the leaders of the princely states with an education at par with British standards the British Raj proceeded to construct a school, house students and impart education to the Indian elite, particularly the princes and nobles of Rajputana.
The idea for the college was first proposed on May 28, 1869 by Colonel Walter. The school was founded in 1875 and Col. Sir Oliver St. John became its first principal.
The founder's intention was to create an Eton of India. Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, Viceroy of India said in a speech on campus in 1879:
" The idea was well expressed long ago by Colonel Walter in an excellent and most suggestive report which may have influenced Lord Mayo when he founded the present college. In that very sensible report Colonel Walter pointed out that what was then most needed for the education of India’s young rulers and nobles was an Indian Eton. Ajmer is India’s Eton and you are India’s Eton boys.”
Mayo College is often considered as one of the best boarding schools in the country.Students from the school refer to themselves as Mayoites.Mayo College has a well established exchange programme for students to travel overseas to enrich their studies.
The architecture of the school buildings evoke the grandeur of Rajasthan.
Mangal Singh from Alwar was the first student to be admitted to the institution in October 1875. The second student was Mahatab Singh of Nindar.
A number of illustrious Principals have guided the schools since its founding, but the most noteworthy is J. T. M. (Jack) Gibson, Principal from 1954-1969, who gave Mayo College its current post-independence identity by hiring young faculty, upgrading the curriculum, and persuading families other than the nobility of Rajasthan to send their sons to the school.
One of the finest schools in India and founded by the British Viceroy Lord Mayo, the College is famous not only for its education but for its architecture as well. Designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the state engineer of Jaipur, Mayo College is built of white marble. Founded in 1875 as a school for Indian princes, its first pupil was the Maharaja of Alwar. Keeping tradition and royalty in mind, the prince arrived at the college perched on an elephant along with a massive entourage of servants, camels, trumpeters and whoever wished to come along. College Groomed Princes to Behave like a British gentlemen.
Rudyard Kipling’s father designed Mayo’s coat of arms, and the college’s students normally proceeded to Oxford or Cambridge universities after being groomed on how to behave like `British gentlemen’. The college premises also have a hospital and a museum with portraits of its illustrous alumni and souvenirs from princely pasts.
The school befitted princes, with its huge gardens and rooms for their servants to live. Not to be outdone, some princes built their own mini palaces within the school premises. Today, Mayo College is no longer restricted to children of the rich and famous. Although the British left India 50 years ago, Mayo College still retains its Imperial aura.
Coat Of Arms
This was composed from the design furnished by Mr. Lockwood Kipling, a former Principal of the School of Arts, Lahore and father of the famous Rudyard Kipling.
In the Upper Centre of the Shield are Mayo Arms, and Quarterings, a Lion Rampant and an Open Hand. On the right and left are the Sun and the Moon, typical of Suryawanshi and Chandrawanshi, the two great families of Rajputs. Below are the Panch Rang, the five sacred colours of the Rajputs, Red, Gold, Blue, White and Green. In the centre of which is a Rajput fort - two towers connected by a curtain. The Supports are on the right, a Bhil warrior with string bow and quiver full of arrows. On the left a Rajput, armed at all points, wearing a steel helmet with three plumes, a shield on his back, a dagger and quatar in his belt, and a suit of chain covered with embroidered cloth and gauntlet on his hand.
The motto is " Let there be Light ". The badge is a peacock, the sacred bird of Rajputana, standing on a two edged, two handed Rajput Sword Khanda.

School Stamp

On April 12th, 1986, the post and telegraph department of the government of India released a special stamp of Mayo College with the magnificent Main School building on its face recognizing the school's pre-eminent role in the field of education.

Some facts about the school:
.Mayo's first student, H.H. Maharaja Mangal Singh of Alwar, arrived at the school gates in October 1875 on the back of an elephant accompanied by 300 retainers and a menagerie of tigers, camels and horses!
.One of the school's long standing traditions is meeting for tea in the lawns known as Mughal Gardens immediately after the Annual Prizegiving Ceremony; it is believed that Mr. MN Kapur (who subsequently went on to become one of Modern School New Delhi's most respected & beloved principals) did away with the act of using a rope to divide English guests and Indian guests at this ceremony.
.The Annual Prizegiving, one of the oldest ceremonies at Mayo, has seen many a respected and well known individual presiding as Chief Guest including Lord Irwin, Viceroy of India, Lord Chelmford, Governor General of India, Dr.Rajendra Prasad, Ex President of India, HH Maharaja Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur, HH Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur, Mrs Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Dr Zakir Husain, Ex President of India, Dr Karan Singh, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Ex Prime Minister of India, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, H.H. Sayyid Faher Bin Taimur of Oman, HM Birendra Shah, King of Nepal, Sardar Khushwant Singh, HH Madhavrao Scindia, Sir Peter Ustinov, Mr Jasant Singh, etc.
.Other traditions at Mayo include an Annual Horseback Parade by the students and a number of Sporting fixtures between Old Boys and Current Students (including a Polo Match).
.Mayo College has Sports Facilities of the highest standard for students and staff consisting of many playing fields for Football, Hockey and even a picturesque Cricket Ground with a view of the Aravali Hills and a beautiful old Red Sandstone Pavillion. The Squash Players may choose between the Modern Glass Backed courts or the Historic Fanshawe Courts, open to sky. Currently, a Golf Course is being constructed on campus.
.Visitors to Mayo College often stay in the heart of the sprawling campus in the Oman Guest House located in close proximity to the Principal's Residence and the Basketball Courts.