Museums with rare photos of Kannambadi village to add sheen to statue concept
Mysore/Mysuru: Over 80 percent of life-like and life-size statues of Rajarshi Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam’s Chief Founder-Patron and Sir M. Visvesvaraya (Sir MV), Wadiyar’s Dewan and Chief Engineer who built the dam, has been completed and will be ready for public-viewing in two or three months.
The white marble statues will be installed at the Southern Gate of the dam and works are in progress to complete the Mantapas — built on elevated platforms near the entrance to the reservoir — that will house the statues. The estimated cost of the statues is Rs. 8.5 crore and the tender of Rs. 9.71 crore has been finalised.
Both the statues will be housed inside two Mantapas and are 22×22 metres in length and width (22.387 metres X 22.387 metres). The statues have a height of 9 feet and will stand on 2 feet pedestals.
The Mantapas have been built with Doddaballapur stones and the statues are of white marble stone like the statues at Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, Chamaraja Wadiyar and Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circles in the heart of Mysuru city.
A rare museum below statues
Notably, below the ornate Mantapas, two rooms have been built with the same stone with which the Mantapas have been built and the rooms will house a museum that will feature rare photos of Kannambadi village before the construction of the dam. The dam in the local language is still called Kannambadi Katte.
Along with the photos of the village, the museum will comprise rare photos of Nalwadi, the royal family, Sir MV, construction scenes of the dam and artefacts and royal insignias and related paraphernalia associated with the dam, a technical marvel that has stood the test of time.
The museum will also depict the KRS Dam which holds such an important place in South India as it is the lifeline. Its history, the idea behind it and the brain that built the mammoth structure and also the people who sacrificed their happiness to fund the dam construction will be portrayed.
It was Nalwadi who mortgaged the Mysore royal family’s ornaments to complete the construction of the dam. Sir MV was the Engineer-Extraordinaire behind the massive structure, constructin of which began in November 1911 and completed in 1931-32.
Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) Managing Director Shankaregowda told Star of Mysore that the works had been delayed due to the COVID pandemic as skilled labour was in short supply. “Also, there was opposition from certain quarters to the installation of Sir MV’s statue there. We have got a clear-cut direction from the State Government to go ahead with the project to honour Nalwadi and Sir MV,” he said.
Jaipur sculpture work
When asked about the statue per se, Shankaregowda said that the project contractor H.S. Ramesh had handed over the white marble statue carving project to Jaipur-based sculptors in Rajasthan. “The statue of the Nalwadi is almost ready and required finishing touches while the works on Sir MV’s statue are pending and will be ready soon. They will be open for public viewing in two or three months,” he said.
The statue project is being implemented in consultation with the erstwhile Mysore royal family and has the approval of Pramoda Devi Wadiyar. “Valuable inputs and suggestions were provided by Pramoda Devi Wadiyar and the artisans and project engineers got access to rare photos to design the statues of Nalwadi and Sir MV. In addition, the museum concept has been planned well and will be a treasure-trove of knowledge to those who want to learn more about the dam,” Shankaregowda added.