Doddagadiyara display board cries for attention

Doddagadiyara display board cries for attention

October 8, 2017

Mysuru: The city is touted as city of Palaces, heritage city, cultural city, pensioners paradise and a must-visit tourist destination. However, it is sad to see that there are hardly any sign boards that gives history and details about the place except in a few places. And, if there are sign boards or plaques they are in a pathetic condition with fading letters.

One display board, which is in a rundown condition is in the ‘Doddagadiyara’ or the Big Clock Tower precincts. The beautiful heritage clock tower installed by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1927 after completing 25 years of his rule and hence in its memory was named Silver Jubilee Clock Tower. It is 70 ft. in height. But the board installed providing detailed information has faded and rusted. Though the tourists are deprived of information as it is in such a sorry condition, it does not seem to bother the authorities concerned.

A laser show was held during the Dasara festivities and the officials of District Administration and others were present. In spite of this, it is a sad reflection, they have not thought to do something about it.

According to city-based Horologist M.S. Chandrasekhara Iyer the clock was installed on August 8, 1927. The construction expenses of this historical clock tower was Rs. 7,500, which was built in just six months. He said that on four sides at the tower, the clock establishment, date, month, year and other details were engraved in Sanskrit, Kannada, English and Persian languages in marble stone in golden letters. “When the clock was striking, the sound could be heard from a distance of nearly two kms. However, the chiming of the clock has stopped from many years,” he said speaking to Star of Mysore.

M.S. Chandrasekhara Iyer

Restoring a heritage monument

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A four-member committee was formed in 2005 to restore the heritage monument that included Mysore Agenda Task Force (MATF) member M. Lakshman, Maj. Gen. (retd.) S.G. Vombatkere, former SJCE Principal Dr. Syed Shakeeb Ur Rehman and Chandrasekhara Iyer.

The question that was asked was ‘When will Mysore’s Big Ben chime?’

Iyer told Star of Mysore that they had given suggestions to the Mysuru City Corporation to revive the clock. The expert committee had noted that 1) There would be no threat to the monument if chimes are restored, 2) Study suggested that the bell was not responsible for cracks. The team had suggested that re-wiring had to be done and fire-proofing of wooden floors was required. Finally, the report concluded that the 90-year-old structure was strong enough to bear the weight of the French-made bell, which is around 920 kg. Asked what happened to the report submitted twelve years ago, Iyer, 85, said in a wry voice, “Nothing has happened in all these years according to my knowledge. It must be gathering dust like any other expert committee report in government offices.”

At least now, the Mysuru City Corporation should wake up and restore the sign board using what is left of Dasara funds.


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