Bofors Gun at ‘Sunny Side’
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Bofors Gun at ‘Sunny Side’

Host of Indian Army weapons to be displayed at  Gen. K.S. Thimayya Memorial Museum in Madikeri

First it was an Army Tank that arrived at ‘Sunny Side’, Gen. Kodandera Subayya Thimayya’s house in Madikeri that is being converted into a museum. Next is the turn of weapons used by the soldiers of Indian Army to arrive at the house. And all these have arrived as per the directions of Chief of Army Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat.

During his visit to Kodagu on Nov. 4, 2017 to unveil the bronze statues of Field Marshal Kodandera M. Cariappa and General Kodandera S. Thimayya at Cauvery College in Gonikoppal, South Kodagu, Gen. Rawat had promised to deliver vintage weapons to increase the value of ‘Sunny Side’ so that it can be a major military attraction.

With works to convert ‘Sunny Side’ on G.T. Road in Madikeri into a memorial museum, weapons have started arriving as promised by Gen. Rawat. First it was an Army Tank that was transported by road from Kirkee War Cemetery at Khadki, a town near Pune in Maharashtra, to the General Thimayya Museum.

The weapons that were used by the soldiers of Indian Army in the past during many operations have been donated to the museum. The weapons include Light Machine Guns that are over 60 years old, Medium Machine guns, Self-Loading Rifles, 7.62 and 303 Bore rifles, rocket launchers, 32 mm rifle and 38 mm rifles, among others.

With the shipment of weapons reaching the museum, preparations are underway to assemble the spare parts of the weapons, according to Army Officials. Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa-General K.S. Thimayya Forum Convenor Major Biddanda A. Nanjappa said that visitors will get to see a cannon used by the Indian Army which is being transported from Madras Regiment of the Indian Army.

“Army Chief Gen. Rawat had provided a list of 1,400 guns and the Forum members were asked to choose any 45 guns from the list. Accordingly we prepared the list of the arms that we wanted for the museum and sent it to the Army Chief,” Maj. Nanjappa told Star of Mysore.

But as the arms and their spares were deposited at different arms depots across the country, there was delay in the shipment of arms to the museum at Madikeri. Later, the Forum presented a memorandum to Major General Kodanda P. Cariappa, who is working in the Military regiment of the President of India, who in turn formed a six member team headed by Hawaldar Sarjit Singh to despatch the arms.

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The Medium Machine Gun that will be displayed at the museum has the capacity to easily kill an enemy soldier who is at a distance of two miles. The Light Machine Guns were used by a platoon to rain bullets on the enemy while Bazooka Rocket Launchers blew enemy posts and bunkers at the border to smithereens. Even some of the personal arms used by the soldiers in one-on-one combat will be displayed.

Maj. Nanjappa further said that Gen. Rawat has agreed to provide a Bofors gun in the museum premises. As the Bofors gun is a huge one, the Madras Regiment has been entrusted with the responsibility of transportation and installation. The Bofors gun will be among the main attractions at the ‘Sunny Side’.

The arms and ammunition will provide a galaxy of information to the younger generation on old-time war guns and machinery and the Museum will also inspire the youths to join the Armed Forces, he said. “Visitors can actually feel the guns to understand the battle-line difficulties and how modern weaponry has made India to fight the enemy effectively,” he added.

‘Sunny Side’ is being renovated and artworks featuring the valour of Indian soldiers on the battlefield will occupy the centre stage. Other main attractions of the museum will be the articles used by Gen. K.S. Thimayya, military uniforms, books and information on Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.

Besides, there are plans to design a park and install a statue of K.S. Thimayya on the two- acre plot. It may be mentioned here that the State Government had announced the opening of Gen. K.S. Thimayya Memorial Museum.

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Subsequently, the Kodagu district administration had submitted a Rs. 5.5 crore proposal to the State Government for approval. So far, Rs. 3.5 crore out of the total estimate of Rs. 6 crore has been utilised for renovation and other expenses related to the museum, according to officials, who also said that the Museum will become one of the major tourist attractions of Kodagu.

March 12, 2019

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