Elgin Fountain to be restored instead of beautification project worth Rs. 1.20 crore
Mysore/Mysuru: A meeting of the Heritage Conservation Sub-Committee was held at the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage in the Exhibition Grounds premises yesterday that was chaired by Deputy Commissioner Dr. K.V. Rajendra where a wide range of topics came up for discussion.
Prominent among them was the issue of MCC taking up the beautification of the heritage Fountain Circle at the entrance of Mysuru city from the Bengaluru side. The meeting directed the MCC to drop the beautification project and instead spend money to conserve the heritage structure.
The Committee members told the DC that this artistically designed fountain located at the Circle is one of the oldest fountains in Mysuru city and is of huge historic importance. It was initially erected at the present K.R. Circle and was called the Elgin Fountain.
The fountain was erected in honour of visit of Lord Elgin, the Viceroy to Mysuru on November 20, 1895, to console the royal family on the bereavement of Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar on Dec. 28, 1895, Prof. N.S. Rangaraju, retired Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology, Mysore University, told the DC.
“The fountain was shifted from there to the present Dhanvanthri Road Circle where Dewan’s Road meets after the statue of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar was installed at K.R. Circle. The fountain was again shifted from there to the present place on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Road and was named ‘Rajendra Prasad Circle’ to mark the maiden visit of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India,” Prof. Rangaraju explained.
The MCC is planning to beautify this Circle at an estimated cost of Rs. 1.20 crore. The Heritage Committee expressed their concern over the MCC move and suggested that the Circle should be conserved for future generations.
Responding to the demand, DC Dr. Rajendra asked the MCC to drop the proposal for the beautification of the Fountain Circle and instead conserve it as-is and preserve its heritage value.
Maharani Statue at Millennium Circle
The Committee members also suggested the installation of a statue of Maharani Kempananjammani Vani Vilasa Sannidhana at Millennium Circle (LIC Circle) in Bannimantap. Maharani Kempananjammani Vani Vilasa Sannidhana is the wife of Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X and the mother of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar.
The members felt that the statue will be a befitting tribute to the visionary Maharani who initiated several welfare measures including the construction of Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru, the present Mysore Palace and the Shivanasamudra Hydroelectric Power Project.
It may be mentioned here that in 2018, the Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA), under the Chairmanship of D. Dhruvakumar wanted to install the statue of the queen in the Millennium Circle but the project did not see the light of day. The MUDA had even prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on this.
The DC asked the MCC to take the DPR from MUDA and prepare another project proposal as per the suggestions discussed at the meeting. Prof. Rangaraju suggested that sculptor Arun Yogiraj, who sculpted the Adi Shankaracharya statue at Kedarnath and the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate in New Delhi, should be given the task of sculpting the Maharani’s statue.
After the meeting, the DC, the members of the Conservation Sub-Committee and officials visited the Wellington House on Irwin Road near Sub-Urban Bus Stand which houses the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS). The Wellington House is undergoing restoration and the works have been taken up by the Department of Archaeology and Museums.
The DC was told that the restoration works are being taken up following all the guidelines of heritage conservation and this method must be followed while restoring all the other heritage buildings in the future.
Commissioner of Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage Devaraju, Deputy Director Manjula, MUDA Commissioner G.T. Dinesh Kumar, retired SJCE Principal and former VTU Dean Prof. Syed Shakeeb Ur Rahman, officers and engineers were present.
Pathetic. Why not beautify an iconic heritage circle just at the entrance of the city? Does the Heritage Committee think it is unnecessary due to its location or the people living around it do not deserve it?
I welcome the decision of the Heritage Committee and congratulate Dr. N.S. Rangarajan for pressing to retain and improve the Elgin Fountain freely making use of the points I had mentioned about the historic significance of my article in Star of Mysore some time back. I also thank the DC for favouring it and recommending it to the MCC.
@Gauri Satya should note that these so called heritage structures like this fountain, Lansdowne building and Dufferin clock tower, indeed have been the reminders of the British Raj, and the extent of power the Viceroys wielded over Wadiyars .
These Viceroys were invited to visit Mysore , which was obligatory by the Wadiyar who was allowed to rule Mysore then, were feted and lauded for their generosity by their faithful subordinate- the Wadiyar of the day.
Pleased with the blessings of the Viceroy who thus inspected the state of the Wadiyar’s rule, the Wadiyar of the day gladly commemorated the visit of their master the Viceroy : Lord Elgin/Lord Lansdowne/Lord Dufferin with structures like this fountain/the Lansdowne building/Dufferin clock tower.
Yes, these structures are heritage structures in the sense that THEY HERALD THE POWER HELD BY THE VICEROYS DURING THE BRITISH RAJ , AND IN PARTICULAR THE REMINDER OF THE SUNBSERVIENT ROLE THE WADIYAR PLAYED UNDER EACH VICEROY, HIS MASTER!
Sir, What Mr. Rangarajan says is very well pertinent. Why MCC is sitting idle since 30 years to restore the Heritage Lands down And Devaraja Market Buildings. This shows Apathy of Mysore City Corporation Office. The Rangarajan And Members should strictly Instruct or Order MCC to revive and restore both the above Heritage Buildings. THESE are all Unesco Importance GLOBALLY