Mysuru: The statues of a Postman and a Soldier (Sepoy), located on the Race Course Road in front of KARP Mounted Police Headquarters leading to Chamundi Hill that have earned the attraction of every motorist passing by, is all set to complete 111 years and move on to the 112th year. Sadly, the pedestals of the statues have been damaged due to road widening works.
These heritage-value statues were to be shifted to a better and a safe place last year itself following a report to the District Heritage Committee headed by the then Deputy Commissioner D. Randeep. Somehow, the work to shift the statues did not take off.
The District Heritage Committee had felt the need to shift the statues as they are facing a threat due to a lot of pressure on the road, thanks to high vehicle density. The statues were planned to be shifted within the Mounted Police Headquarters and placed at a vantage points so that their visibility is not obstructed.
Erected in 1907, the statues are of great heritage value and they recall the contribution of Postman Basappa and Police Constable Bhujangarao Jagadale.
The statue of the postman is probably the only one in India. It has been erected in honour of Postman Basappa or Anche (post) Basappa who was a postman during the reign of Maharaja Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar.
The Maharaja recognised Basappa’s contribution in delivering posts to the doorsteps of people and he installed his statue. Historians say that Anche Basappa was an athlete who later became a postman. Rain or shine, he used to run to the doorsteps of one house to the other to deliver posts without fail.
He used to deliver every post in time to the addressees by walk. Basappa, who never took leave during his service, became famous as ‘Postmama’ for his unique style of delivering posts.
While delivering posts at the doorstep of every house, Basappa used to hear the problems, if any, of each house and tried to find solutions for the same. As such, the people considered Postman Basappa as one among their family. Children too were very fond of this Postman and often shared their moments with him.
The Maharaja also installed the statue of Bhujangarao Jagadale, a Constable known for his baritone voice while doing the guard of honour for the Maharaja. The Policeman’s statue was installed close to the statue of the postman.
Bhujangarao Jagadale served as a Mounted Guard of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1907 and later became the head of a small group of Mounted Police Force. He was a member of the erstwhile Mysuru Rulers Polo Team and had earned accolades for his Polo skills.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Prof. Rangaraju, a heritage expert of the city, said that the Committee of heritage experts had recommended the Mounted Police to shift the statues at the gate entrance to deep inside the premises so that they can be appropriately conserved and maintained.
“But the Office of the Mounted Police said that they cannot relocate the statues and that they had no objection if the District Heritage Committee itself came forward to shift them,” he said.
Even as the two statues have been attracting the motorists and pedestrians passing by, the pedestal of the statues have been damaged due to road widening works, thus posing a threat to the conservation of the statues in their original form.
Coming to know of the history behind these over century-old statues, people have urged the authorities concerned and the people representatives to conserve these historical structures.