Mysuru: The plans of opening the renovated and refurbished 157-year-old Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery to the public for Dasara is delayed as the signboard pasted on the entrance gate to the famed Gallery reads that it is temporarily closed for the maintenance and repair work.
As a result the Gallery, which was open to the tourists in spite of the renovation work going on, has now been closed since the past three weeks. Another concern is that the Dasara season is just a month away and the tourists this year will probably be deprived of visiting the gallery which incidentally has gone hi-tech with audio guides guiding the visitors through the various fascinating art objects.
Speaking to Star of Mysore here this morning, Pramoda Devi Wadiyar of the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, however, said, “The conservation, restoration and refurbishing work is going and at least a portion of it will be open for Dasara. I have not mentioned that it is closed for two months. Only thing I can assure right now is that the Dasara tourists will not return disappointed.”
“The whole idea of doing this restoration is to see that it regains its past glory. I want to pay a tribute to my father-in-law Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar as it is his birth centenary year.
“He was born on July 18, 1919. This is the best tribute that I as a member of the erstwhile royal family can pay to a person in whose name the ‘Sri Jayachamajendra Art Gallery Trust’ is formed,” she said.
The work is being taken up by the Heritage team of H.H. Sri Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar. Anywhere from 50 to 70 people are working round the clock and the whole idea is to restore it to its original glory, in short, the way it was built in 1861, she said.
Hence, all the art objects have been packed very carefully and stored, the layers of paints from pillars and rafts have been completely scrapped, she said.
“I do not think when the Palace was built, there was any paint used on the pillars and rafts and so I wanted to restore it to its original looks. As a result it is taking lot of time. I hope the Gallery will be almost ready by the time Dasara starts,” she said.
Once the gallery is ready, the whole work will be uploaded on the H.H. Sri Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation website, she said.
The royal family had made the art gallery their abode for a couple of years when the old wooden Amba Vilas Palace had caught fire in the 1900s. The coronation of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar had also taken place in this famous Gallery premises.
Earlier, the Dasara cultural programmes were being held in Jaganmohan Palace built in the Hindu style of architecture in 1861, for many years.