The BANGALORE RING is Ring 177 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, USA – the world’s largest organisation for magicians and for people interested in the magical arts. Founded in September of 1964, it is the third oldest Ring in India and the oldest one active.
Located in Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka State (India), Ring 177 has nearly 50 members from all over the country and other parts of the world.
The Bangalore Ring meets on the second Sundays of the month. In the COVID-stricken world, we have moved our meetings to virtual platforms, enabling more of our members to join and participate from wherever they are.
IBM Ring 177 was originally founded by a group of enthusiastic magicians led by Magician S K Vasantha Kumar in Bangalore in 1964. An author of many books on magic, including the acclaimed ILLUSIONSESEME, Prof. Kumar was also a prolific contributor to The Linking Ring magazine.
Prof. Kumar’s first contribution to The Linking Ring was in the year 1950, and his one-man parade “Hocus Pocus Parade of Illusions” in July 1963 won him an “Honorable Mention” in ‘The Linking Ring 1964 Awards’.
Here is how Eddie Clever introduces Prof. Vasantha Kumar in The Linking Ring, Volume 30, Number 5 (July 1950):
From the ancient land of mystery comes another magician to the PARADE. Prof. Kumar is from Bangalore, India. His interest in magic began when he was about 10 years old. Watching the street magicians of India excited his curiosity and he decided to learn their secrets.
When about 14 his father introduced him to a doctor at Kolar, whose hobby was magic. Vasantha became an apt pupil and soon he was performing the Miser’s Dream, card effects and many of the classics of magic. Later he met a Moslem magician, one Ghouse Mohiyudeen, who introduced him to many more of the inner secrets.
As time went on he progressed in the craft with the aid of Hoffmann’s books, Naldrett’s series and others. He also had the good fortune to meet Nikola, Chefalo, Carter and others who toured the Orient. Today his show runs for three hours and he is assisted by his brothers and sisters. Aside from magic his hobbies are illustrating and photography.EDDIE CLEVER, PARADE EDITOR, THE LINKING RING (JULY 1950)
IBM Ring 177 came into existence at Bangalore, India on September 27, 1964 thanks to the initiative of Benjamin J. Kleinman and the enthusiastic leadership of Prof. S K Vasantha Kumar. Mr Kleinman was a member of the New York City Ring 26 and the Associate Editor of Society of American Magicians M-U-M magazine.
Having been appointed the Goodwill Ambassador of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, USA, Mr Kleinman who was visiting India and Bangalore, met his friend Prof. S K Vasantha Kumar and held a series of meetings with like-minded local magicians to sign them up to the IBM and start the third oldest IBM Ring in India.
Read the fascinating full story of how the S K Vasantha Kumar Ring 177 came into being in 1964.
The charter for Ring 177 was presented to S K Vasantha Kumar – Ring No. 177 in Bangalore, India by the International Brotherhood of Magicians (USA) on the 15th of May, 1965.
In that 1965 charter, twelve members were recognised as the Charter Members of Ring 177:
- S K Vasantha Kumar
- Fred J Hemi
- C R Corera
- A S Pillai
- Vijay R Deshpandey
- N T Kasturirangan
- V R V Raghavan
- James W Baker
- Capt. M G K Murti
- K C Nambiar
- Charles Baldrey
- Bellare Bhanishanker Rao
IBM Ring 177 was at the forefront of magic activities in India till the late 1990s and fell into slumber after the passing of its dynamic founder, Prof. S K Vasantha Kumar. After a brief period of inactivity, Ring 177 was revived in June 2010 in a joint initiative by IBM members of Karnataka, led by Nakul Shenoy.
A fresh Charter was then awarded to IBM Ring 177 on the 28th of June, 2010. This new charter recognises the following twelve members as the Charter Members of Ring 177:
- Nakul Shenoy
- Uday Jadugar
- Prahlad Acharya
- Giridhar Kamath
- Praveen Kumar
- Sanjay Subramanyam
- Shankar Junior
- Prof. Shankar
- Kuddroli Ganesh
- Magician Subash
- Karun Parthasarathy
- Raj Muthaiah
With nearly 50 members from across India and abroad, The Bangalore Ring meets on the second Sunday of every month. In these pandemic years, these meetings are being held virtually over Zoom. For more details, contact us.
From the Ring Archives
With the kind permission of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (USA), we have collated a dozen articles from The Linking Ring magazine archives that highlight the journey and influence of IBM Ring 177 since 1964.
Ring 177 felicitates magician and lecturer D.A. Tayade