Mysuru: The nearly 350-year-old historical Gopura on Mysuru-Nanjangud Road is under threat of collapsing following the road-widening work.
The work on the four-laning of Mysuru-Nanjangud Road by the Public Works Department (PWD) is underway. A problem has cropped up, as the park near the Lorry stand on the road which houses a 16th century historical Gopura (tower) has become very fragile due to the road-widening work.
About hundred years ago, this place was a huge lake called the Devaraja Kere (Dodda Kere). In the middle of the lake, a Gopuram was installed. In the later years, due to encroachments the lake disappeared. In 2002, the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) had built a park at a cost of Rs.2 lakh.
Due to the drainage next to the park, people avoided entering the park because of mosquito menace and the stench from the drainage. This resulted in the park lying neglected.
The PWD now has taken up the Mysuru-Nanjangud road-widening work converting it into a National Highway connecting Ooty and Kerala. The work is going on at a brisk pace. Already, mud around the Gopura has been removed using JCB machine. This has caused the weakening of the foundation of the Gopura.
After the completion of the National Highway work, the movement of heavy vehicles on the road will increase. Due to this constant movement, the foundation of the Gopura might develop cracks, opine the experts.
16th Century Gopura: It was during the reign of the 13th ruler of Wadiyar dynasty, Dodda Devaraja Wadiyar (Dodda Kempa Devaraja Wadiyar) that he built a lake and a beautiful park around it in 1650. In the later years, it was called ‘Devaraja Kere’ and became popularly known as Dodda Kere, said former Mayor Sandesh Swamy.
Care has been taken to see that no harm comes to the Gopura while taking up the road work. Even the PWD has reiterated that no damage would be caused to the Gopura.
Protection of monument vital: It is very important to protect this 350-year-old historical monument.
The Gopura is very artistically designed with very intricate works and it is the duty of everyone in the city to maintain such monuments, feel the citizens.