Thimmaiah Road

Road name: K.S.Thimmaiah road named after General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya (March 30, 1906 – December 18, 1965)

Road Location: It has many landmarks such as Bangalore football stadium, Bishop Cotton’s Boys school, etc. It is close to Mother Teresa road, UB city, Brigade road, Hosur road, etc.

Famous for/ Contributions to society: K.S.Thimayya was a distinguished soldier of the Indian Army who served as Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961 in the crucial years leading up to the conflict with China in 1962.


K.S.Thimayya served in the Indian Army. General. Thimayya was the only Indian to command an Infantry brigade in battle during the Second World War and is regarded as the most distinguished combat officer the Indian Army has produced. After the Korean War, Thimayya headed a United Nations unit dealing with the repatriation of prisoners of war. After his retirement from the Army, he was appointed Commander of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus from July 1964 to December 1965 and died in Cyprus while on active duty on 18th Dec 1965. He also helped during the partition of India.

Detailed Description:

Family and Childhood:

Thimayya was born in Madikeri, the district town of Kodagu (also known as Coorg), Karnataka, on 30 March 1906 as the son of a wealthy planter. On his father’s side, he belonged to the Kodendera clan to which India’s first commander-in-chief Cariappa also belonged. His mother Cheppudi Chittauwa was from the Cheppudira family. His wife Mrs Nina Thimayya was a recipient of the Kesar-e-hind for her philanthropic contribution during the Quetta Earthquake of 1935. His maternal uncle C.B. Ponnappa was in first batch of commissioned Indian officers from the Indore defence school and a batch mate of Cariappa. Desiring that he receive a good education, he was sent at the age of eight years to St Joseph’s College in Coonoor a convent run by Irish brothers. Later, Thimayya was sent to Bishop Cotton Boys’ School in Bangalore. After completing school, Thimayya was sent to the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College, a necessary stepping stone for a commission in the Indian Army. His elder brother Ponnappa (later joined INA) as well as younger brother Somayya (died in a mine accident in 1947-48 Kashmir operations) joined Indian army. Following his graduation from RIMC, “Timmy”, as he was affectionately known, was one of only six Indian cadets selected for further training at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1926.

Early life:

After completing his training, he was commissioned into the Army in 1926 as a Second Lieutenant and was attached to the Highland Light Infantry as was the norm then, prior to a permanent posting with a regiment of the British Indian Army. He was soon posted to the 4th Battalion of the 19th Hyderabad Regiment (now Kumaon Regiment) and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1928.

Appointed the regimental adjutant in September 1930, Thimayya honed his soldiering skills on that famous training ground in the Northwest Frontier (present-day Pakistan), battling recalcitrant Pathan tribals. In January 1935, Thimayya married Nina Cariappa (no relation to K M Cariappa), and was promoted to Captain the following month. On 20 March 1936, they had a daughter, Mireille. The same April, Thimayya was posted as an Adjutant at the University Training Corps in Madras, as a fitting example for young Indian undergraduates interested in joining the Indian Army, of what a good soldier should be.

Role in Independence:

He returned to India in 1947, during the Partition, as member of the committee to agree to the allotment of weapons, equipment and regiments that were to remain in India, or to be allotted to Pakistan. Soon after the commission was completed, he was promoted to the rank of Major-General in September 1947 and was then assigned the command of the 4th Infantry Division and also to take over the Punjab Boundary Force, dealing with the exodus and intake of refugees fleeing to their respective countries. In 1948 he was one of the active officers in the actions against the forces of Pakistan in the conflict over Kashmir. His next appointment was command of the 19th Infantry Division in Jammu & Kashmir where he succeeded in driving the raiders and the Pakistan Army out of the Kashmir Valley. Personally leading the attack in the forward-most tank, the surprise attack on Zoji La on 1 November 1948 by a brigade with Stuart Light Tanks of the 7th Light Cavalry, succeeded in driving out the entrenched raiders and Pakistan Army regulars and the eventual capture of Dras, Kargil and Leh. He established the best of relations with Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and even Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, but his pleas to give him three more months to drive the raiders back to Muzaffarabad fell on deaf ears and instead, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru went to the United Nations.

Thereafter, Thimayya served as the Commandant of the prestigious Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. The experience gained by him in Japan stood him in good stead when he was specially selected by the United Nations to head the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission in Korea. It was a very sensitive and delicate task dealing with unruly Chinese and Korean prisoners. Here again, through sheer charisma, impartiality, firmness and diplomacy, he completed this task to the satisfaction of the world body. He returned to India and was promoted to General Officer Commanding, Southern Command, with the rank of Lieutenant-General, in January 1953. In 1954, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan for Civil Service. He took over the reins of the Indian Army on 7 May 1957.


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