This vintage picture post card is titled ‘Kellogg Memorial, Mussoorie’. The reverse has printing ‘B. Dayal & Sons, Photographers, Landour, Mussoorie, Printed in Berlin’. It houses a language school where a lot of American students and diplomats visit to learn the Hindi language. This card is archived at the AZIMVTH Ashram Museum in Haridwar India.
A stone’s throw away from AZIMVTH Ashram in Haridwar is the small campus of ‘Nagari Pracharani Sabha’, a centre for teaching and propagating the Hindi language. It was originally founded by Swami Satyadev as ‘Satya Gyan Niketan Ashram’ in the year 1936 and was willed to the Kashi Nagari Pracharani Sabha in 1943. He wanted to establish a library and start a publication ‘Byakhan Mala’. Later 6 books written by Swami Satyadev were published.
The premises are now in a rundown condition. A plant nursery is situated inside it which is quite popular. There are several fruit bearing trees harvesting of which is contracted out. In season, one can stop at the entrance and buy freshly plucked mangoes, amla, jamun and other fruits.
Landour Language School
Teaching of Hindi is flourishing in Landour, Mussoorie, a hill resort town about 75 km away from Haridwar. The name Landour is drawn from Llanddowror, a village in Carmarthenshire in southwest Wales, UK.
Gulshan Dhingra used to teach Hindi there. The image to the right shows a group-photo at the school in 1964.
The Landour Language School (LLS) has been involved with Hindi learning since the mid-1800s. Originally, there were a number of schools in Mussourie where foreign diplomats, British officers, missionaries, and curious travellers came to learn Hindi. Now diplomats, NGO directors, graduate students from around the world, UN personnel, people living in India because they love being here, artists, museum curators, missionaries, and business folk from America, France, England, the Netherlands, Australia, Switzerland, Vietnam, Poland, etc. are the typical students there.
(Images above – (c) Mrinalini / USIEF)
Some of the USPs of LLS are – learning culturally correct way of speaking by moving about and interacting with the locals and co-learning with students from various countries.
By 1903, all the various schools in Mussoorie were consolidated and classes began in the newly constructed church that was renamed as Kellogg Memorial Church after Kellogg, a linguist and an American Presbyterian missionary.
Rev. Samuel H. Kellogg
He was ond of the first linguist to make a distinction between Urdu and Hindi and integrate 14 different languages and dialects to create modern Hindi. He authored ‘A Grammar of the Hindi Language’ that was published by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trunbner, and Co., London, 1893. The complete can be downloaded (pdf 23 mb) by clicking the button given below.
Kellogg Memorial and Nagari Pracharani Sabha
Edwin Greaves was the first Principal of the Landour Language School. He collaborated with Hindi scholars such as Shyam Sunder Das and Ramchandra Shukla of Nagri Pracharni Sabha (Society for Propagation of Nagri Script) who created the encyclopedic, 11-volumes Hindi Shabd Sagar (the Sea of Hindi words) published in 1929. The Preface of this great work, contributed by Shukla, became Hindi’s standard history.
‘Aurobindo Yog Mandir’ is situated exactly opposite to the Nagari Pracharini Sabha in Haridwar. Some remains of Sri Aurobindo are enshrined here. This centre was established many years before the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Delhi. Prof. Inder Sen, one of the persons who propounded the idea of integral education played a role in it.
Arya Samaj / Vedas
Adjacent to the Aurobindo Yog Mandir is situated the main unit of the Vanprasth Ashram that was founded by Swami Shraddhanand, a follower of Rishi Dayanand Saraswati who was the first person to translate Vedas from Sanskrit in to Hindi. No translations were made in to any Indian language before that however translations in to languages like Latin and German had happened years ago. Swami Dayanand himself had visited the place during one of the Kumbh festivals.