Gen. K.S. Thimayya Statue at Madikeri collapses as KSRTC bus crashes on it
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Gen. K.S. Thimayya Statue at Madikeri collapses as KSRTC bus crashes on it

August 21, 2023
  • Fog blurs vision of speeding bus driver
  • Conductor thrown out of empty bus
  • Damaged statue shifted to ‘Sunny Side’ Museum
  • Statue will be rebuilt at same spot, says MLA

Madikeri: The landmark bronze statue of General Kodandera S. Thimayya at the entrance of Madikeri town crashed early this morning as a speeding KSRTC bus collided against it.

The impact of the accident was such that the statue fell onto the ground, toppling the granite pedestal on which the statue stood. The bus came to a halt inside the Circle that housed the statue. Reports said that the bus (KA-21-F-0043) was coming to Madikeri town from the KSRTC Depot and was heading towards the KSRTC bus station at

5.30 am and entered the Circle, commonly known as Toll Gate.

According to the Police, as the bus neared the Toll Gate, a speeding pick-up vehicle entered the main road from the Sri Omkareshwara Temple side (near Ganapathy Nursing Home) and the bus driver, who was also speeding, had difficulty seeing through thick morning fog that had engulfed Madikeri.

The driver, Kotregowda from Davanagere, lost control and, in a bid to avoid collision with the pick-up vehicle, rammed against the statue.

The KSRTC bus which crashed into the Circle early this morning uprooting the statue and the pedestal.

Police said that the conductor, Puttaswamy from Arasikere, was sitting near the driver and he was thrown off from the bus through the front windshield, shattering the glass. Puttaswamy sustained grievous injuries on his head and hip and has been shifted to the District Hospital.

After the incident, the driver too told the Police that he could not see the statue due to thick fog and his vision was blurred. Reports said that the bus did not have any passengers and only the driver and conductor were there and were heading to pick passengers from the bus stand. The bus was supposed to travel to Mangaluru at 5.45 am. A case has been booked against driver Kotregowda at Madikeri Traffic Police Station.

A view of the landmark Circle at Madikeri without the statue of Gen. K.S. Thimayya this morning.

Soon after the accident, a large number of people had gathered around the area causing a traffic jam. As the fog cleared, the damage became more visible. Residents of the town said that it was a sad moment for them to see the statue of the celebrated General lying on the ground. They told Star of Mysore that the statue was always there as a symbol of valour and the bus driver should have been more careful. They blamed reckless driving. 

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The fallen statue was shifted with the help of a crane to ‘Sunny Side’ that houses General K.S. Thimayya Museum, located at a short distance from the Toll Gate. As the statue fell on the railings, the sharp iron pierced the bronze statue at five places. As of now, there are no reports of cracks and only a close examination will reveal the extent of damage.

People of Kodagu are emotionally associated with the statue and it is one of the first well-known landmarks in Madikeri at the entrance of the hill town. The statue was made at Ranchi in 1972 and was brought to Madikeri then in a large truck.

It was unveiled on 21.4.1973 by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. 50 years have passed and it is for the first time that the statue has been damaged.

The damaged statue of Gen. K.S. Thimayya being removed from the accident spot with the help of a crane.

Unfortunate incident: MLA 

Reacting to the accident, Virajpet MLA A.S. Ponnanna, who is also Chief Minister Siddharamaiah’s Legal Advisor with the status of a Cabinet Minister, told reporters that the incident was unfortunate as the historic statue has been uprooted. 

“People of Kodagu have immense pride in the statue as Kodagu has produced many Defence personalities who have served and who are still serving the country. Prima facie, it looks like a case of careless driving and I have asked the Kodagu Deputy Commissioner to send a report about the incident. Action will be taken based on the DC’s report,” he said.

The statue of Gen. K.S. Thimayya without the pedestal temporarily kept at ‘Sunny Side’ Museum.

The MLA has said that the Statue Circle will be rebuilt along with the pedestal and the statue will be restored at the same place with immense honour. Even the representatives from the Kodava community have demanded that the statue be installed at the same place improving upon the old design of the Circle with modern architecture.

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Kokkalemada Manju Chinappa of the United Kodava Organisation (UKO) said that the statue was like a ‘Kalasha’ for Madikeri and it must be restored in the same place.  

Codava National Council (CNC) President Nandineravanda U. Nachappa has demanded a detailed investigation into the accident. Blaming over-speeding by the bus driver for the accident, he has demanded that the statue be restored at the spot with full honours.

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