An open letter to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy

Dear Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy,

I read today with dismay that the iconic Brindavan Gardens is to be redeveloped on the lines of Disneyland USA.

The dream project of the Mysore’s teenaged King, Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar was to construct a dam across the Cauvery for human benefit and he appointed Sir M. Visvesvaraya as the chief engineer. The Brindavan Gardens, located just a level below the dam, earlier was called Krishnaraja Terrace Gardens.

The Inspiration came from the Mughal Garden of Kashmir — The Shalimar Gardens. This achievement goes to the then Dewan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail and my Great Grandfather G.H. Krumbiegel, Superintendent of Parks and Gardens of Mysore the man behind Bangalore’s Lalbagh and largely credited for the title of The Architect of The Garden City.

They completed this 60-acre garden in a period of 5 years (1927-1932). Isn’t this short synopsis of the history wonderful? And can Disney compete with it? May be it will  in the short term!

A photograph of Brindavan Gardens shot by Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel.

The Tourism Minister will want international tourists to come to experience the HISTORICAL vibrant city of Mysore during the most famous Dasara festival of Karnataka started in 1610 by Raja Wadiyar in honour of     Goddess Chamundeshwari.

Most international tourists are hoping to experience such heritage, why travel halfway around the world to see a theme park just like those back home?

India is a land replete with cultural, historical and religious artefacts, which draw a sense of wonder for the visitors and certainly makes every Indian feel proud of this valuable possession. The Brindavan Gardens is of International value and must be treated following the ICOMOS guidelines.

It is also about the very spirit of the place that just has to be preserved; the so called “genius loci” Disneyland would put the whole idea, the concept of a representative garden,   “ad absurdum” – a total neglect of history.

I would be only too willing to meet you to discuss alternative restoration for this most iconic landmark.

Regards,

Alyia Phelps Gardiner Krumbiegel, London

View Comments (15)

  • Well Said Madam. Tourism minister should not be destroying the heritage of this great city. Who will make him understand Disney land is there everywhere in the world and there one and only beautiful Brundavan garden! It is a natural beauty, no makeup needed.

  • And all these unwanted projects are to loot tax payer’s money as much as possible when these policticians have power. I don’t see any good intention behind all these sick projects.

  • We want the same as it is present, Brindava gardan, and some more colour full flower plants that make more richer than (Disney land).

  • Well said madam , don't spoil the historic city. ....If realy want to build Disney park n attract tourists ...find sum other land ...Bt nt krs ....
    During the construction ...It may harm the dam also .......n it snatches away the natural beauty of garden ...

  • Thank you all for your support
    People should value the historic environment as part of their cultural and natural heritage. It reflects the knowledge, beliefs and traditions of diverse communities. It gives distinctiveness, meaning and quality to the places in which we live, providing a sense of continuity and a source of identity. It is a social and economic asset and a resource for learning and enjoyment “
    Being a great Grand Daughter does give me the right to air my opinion on my ancestors visionary works,
    Great Grandfathers legacy belongs to everyone his Heritage belongs to me

  • Thanks to SOM, we are having an interesting debate on a very important topic of "developing" our beloved Brindavan gardens along the line of Disney Land. There are many issues involved.

    A comment questioning the "right" of the grand daughter reminded me of a similar comment by the advisor of Trump in the US this week. When the famous basket ball player Lebron James commented on his divisive racial policy of Trump. there were derogatory comments that Lebron does not have any competency to make political comment just because he can put ball in the basket efficiently. He was advised to go back to "dribble" the ball where he is good at. What a shame!

    I am surprised that when the minister made the Disneyland comment, thousands in the city did not stand up to comment why it is a disastrous thing. It was a letter to HDK which started the debate in our city. When one paper called me to get my comments on the budget, I had criticized the concept of developing along Disneyland. But it did not create even a ripple. Yes, developing at along Mughal Gardens or some famous gardens in the world like golden gate park in San Francisco ( actually Brindavan is much better looking), or Hyde Park in London, Park Gueli in Barcelona or Luxemborg Park in Paris etc. But for heaven sake not like Disneyland!!.

    I am even more surprised that leading lights of our city which were praising the budget of HDK did not have any thing to comment on the minister's comment of Disneyland.

    Finally when our schools and colleges specially government are in poor shape, should not we think of developing them rather than diverting crores to develop a park along the lines of Disneyland requiring thousands of crores? Do we really need crores to develop Brindvan? Has the minister even discussed with his advisors the quantum of money required to develop into a Disneyland?

    It is good that there are comments made about the motivation of the minister to take up such projects. Huge projects involving crores can generate substantial amount of kickback. Finally it is such kickbacks which are the real attraction and not any great objective of attracting tourists or bringing back the glory of Brindavan gardens.

    May I request SOM to publish a thought provoking article on how to restore and maintain Brindavan garden to bring back the old charm. There must be experts in Mysuru who can give good advice.

  • Mr CM. Brindavan doesn't need ur so called development and we know your dev plans very well. Are you trying to build this Disney Land for ur grand kids?? Come out of Parliament n have a state trip to understand what the people of Karnataka going through. Bangalore is not the only city in Karnataka there are plenty of places which badly in need of development please try to spend our tax money for such work. Please modernize ur thinking not by making Disney Lands. We don't need Disney Land we just want our nature, our heritage sites, national parks, lakes, forests in good condition. And a good infrastructure.

  • Hi Alyia,
    That's a good writing about Heritage.
    A Question to CM - How much time have you taken to see things around your state to keep clean and good for your people. Let's focus on what is good for our state and people and work towards it rather spend time in things which is already set well and u just want to make changes and add things to it? It's a waste of time for your position you hold.

  • Why people are taking it so serious, there is nothing going to happen even after 5 years, just relax, do not worry, nor Bridavan will be improved nor there will be Disney land. It is just a hoax to make people happy like how Modi said he will make Mysore as Paris.

  • Pl don't privatize KRS and leave it as it is forever.
    We love Disney - why don't Government think of bringing Disney Land to dry lands of North Karnataka. It will serve many purposes - Government focus on North Karnataka, improve tourism, better road connectivity and bring water to dry lands.
    This is just an idea for you Kumaranna - go for IT!