Nalwadi, Sir MV statues to adorn KRS Dam
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Nalwadi, Sir MV statues to adorn KRS Dam

May 30, 2020
  • Southern Gate of Reservoir to get complete facelift with matching marble stone designs
  • Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi apprises Pramoda Devi Wadiyar about the project that reinvents history

Mysore/Mysuru: In six months, visitors to Brindavan Gardens and the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam that attracts thousands of tourists every day will get to see life-like and life-size statues of Rajarishi Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the Dam’s Chief Founder-Patron and Sir M. Visvesvaraya (Sir MV), Wadiyar’s Dewan and Chief Engineer who built the Dam, a technical marvel that has stood the test of time.

The white marble statues are being installed at the Southern Gate of the Dam and works are under progress. The estimated cost of the statues is Rs. 8.5 crore and the tender of Rs. 9.71 crore has been finalised and handed over to Mysuru-based contractor H.S. Ramesh.

The project received technical approval in 2017-2018 and the actual works began on 5.3.2018. Works will be completed soon and the project is being undertaken by Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) that comes under the Water Resources Department.

Both the statues will be housed inside two Mantapas and will be of 22X22 metres length and width (22.387 metres X 22.387 metres). The statues will have a height of 9 feet and will stand on 2 feet pedestals.

Doddaballapur stones

The Mantapas will have content on the life, achievements and contribution of both personalities. The Mantapas with domes are being built with Doddaballapur stones and the statues are being built with white marble stone on the lines of the statues of Krishnaraja Wadiyar and Jayachamaraja Wadiyar that have been built in the heart of Mysuru City. 

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Speaking to ‘Star of Mysore,’ CNNL Executive Engineer (KRS) M.B. Raju said that the entire Southern Gate will get a facelift and the area elevation will change accordingly and the locale will be transformed. The Gate will be redesigned to match the white marble stone structures of the statue. “Works on the domes are under progress and already Rs. 1.23 crore has been spent. After the inter-State travel curbs are lifted, we will get skilled stone labourers from Tamil Nadu and continue the work,” he said.

“Works on the statues stopped from Mar. 24, 2020 and we will plan it in such a way that works are completed in the next 6 months,” he added. On an average, over 10,000 tourists visit KRS daily and the numbers see an increase during Dasara and peak tourism season. 

Demand for a museum

Though KRS holds such an important place in South India as it is the lifeline, there is no permanent physical structure or a facility to learn about its history, the idea behind it and the brain who built the mammoth structure and also the people who sacrificed their happiness to fund the Dam construction for the larger good of the society. 

Over the years, there has been a demand for a museum on Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar who funded the project and Sir M. Visvesvaraya, the Engineer-Extraordinaire who planned and executed the project. Realising the demand, the Karnataka Water Resources Department planned to establish the statues. 

Nalwadi chief patron

The statues will have great significance to Mysuru as it was Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar who mortgaged the Mysuru royal family’s ornaments to complete the construction of the Dam. Sir MV was the architect behind the massive structure that was built from November 1911 and completed in 1931-32 and the construction cost then was approximately Rs. 1 crore 34 lakh. It is a gravity dam of stone masonry with an approximate height of 131 feet and length of 8,600 feet. The maximum water level is 124.80 ft.

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[Pics. by M.N. Lakshminarayana Yadav]

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