Tandalam Lakshmana Rao
Tandalam Lakshman Rao is the youngest of the seven sons of Rai Bahadur T. Gopala Rao. Born on the 16th December 1880 at Kumbakonam, he spent his early years there and had his education in the Town High School and Government College till he passed his F.A. Examination. For his B.A., course he came to Madras and studied under Principal Stone and Professor Jones. After graduation in 1902, he first entered Government service as Librarian in the Office of the Government Botanist, Madras (1906). When his officer Dr. C.A. Barber was made Economic Botanist, Lakshmana Rao followed him to Coimbatore and took up the post of Librarian at the Agricultural College. In this capacity he served till 1910, when he was taken over as Assistant into the Agricultural Chemistry section. He took study leave for two years from 1922, during which time he qualified himself for the Diploma of the Imperial College of Science at London. On his return to India he was made Assistant Agricultural Chemist and continued as such till his retirement in 1935.
In his official career, Lakshman Rao has earned the distinction of being a “Methodical and precise worker.” He has made several researches, chiefly in soil chemistry, but much of his work still remains unpublished. Among his investigations special mention may be made of the methods of improving jaggery manufacture, investigations into the betel vine disease, the manufacture of invalid foods, and the soil survey of the Lower Bhavani Project areas.
Lakshman Rao is a man of sterling worth and unblemished character. He is simple in his habits, and has varied tastes. He is interested in photography as an art, radio and painting. He is a Free Mason and takes a keen interest in all social activities of Coimbatore, where he lives in his retirement.