Robertsonpet is a township located at the Kolar Gold Fields, India, established in 1902 and named after Sir Donald Robertson the British Resident of the Princely state of Mysore. It is considered to be one of the premier well planned townships in Modern India.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the mining industry expanded under the John Taylor and Sons Company. In its peak period, it employed 4500 employees, and the waste rocky terrain was developed into a township. The township was first established in 1901 as New Town, to house the population working in the KGF Mines. On 15 August 1903, the township was renamed as Robertsonpet. The Town got its name at the insistence of the Maharaja of Mysore, who named after Sir Donald Robertson the British Resident of Mysore. As the township grew, several tradesmen such as bakers, confectioners, jewellers, pawn brokers, barbers, timber merchants, tailors, etc. migrated and set up shop in Roberstsonpet.
A town hall (similar to the town halls in country Australia) was built in the Victorian architecture with arches, canopies and large garderns, and was named as the King George Hall. The KGF Club in Oorgaum and the The King George Hall Cosmopolitan Club were established providing faculties for badminton, tennis, cards, carom, snooker, etc.
Sir Donald Robertson is credited with started the hydro-electric plant at Shivanasamudram, which supplied electricity to the KGF Mines. Sir. Robertson served as the British Resident of the Mysore Darbar in the 1900s, and during his tenure drafted the Constitution of the princely state of Mysore. He worked towards providing amenities to the population of KGF, even to those who were not employed by the mines, and is largely credited for establishing the KGF mining towns. In recognition of his services, His Highness, the Maharaja of Mysore Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV renamed New Town as Robertsonpet. After retirement from government services, Sir. Robertson joined the mining M/s John Taylor and Sons Company. He died on 13 October 1930.(p.291)
Tamil people form a majority at KGF, even though the Kolar district itself has a majority Telugu population. In the census of 1901, Tamil people constituted 61% of the population of KGF, and 58% in 1921, rising to 67.51% in 1971. In the mining towns of KGF, the Tamil population according to the 1971 census was at 81%. Most of the Tamil population trace their ancestry to the labourers brought in by the British from the North Arcot, Chittoor, Salem and Dharmapuri districts of the Madras Presidency, during the late 19th century. The migration was necessary, as the local villagers refused to work for the British.
There is also a substantial Anglo-Indian population at KGF, descendants of the English mine supervisors. Roberstonpet is a melting pot of cultures with people of different communities -Anglo Indian, Tamil, Telugu, Marwari, Kannada Muslims, etc. living in the township.