Mysuru varsity move to hand over Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion opposed

Mysuru varsity move to hand over Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion opposed
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A section of academicians and heritage lovers expressed grave concern about a move of University of Mysore authorities to hand over Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion in Manasagangotri campus to Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada for a period of 30 years.

Mysuru: A section of academicians and heritage lovers expressed grave concern about a move of University of Mysore authorities to hand over Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion in Manasagangotri campus to Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Kannada for a period of 30 years.

The heritage lovers, academicians and activists led by historian Prof P V Nanjaraj Urs alleged that it is plot by state government department itself to grab the property. He said elected representatives of Mysuru have colluded with others to usurp Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion.

Speaking to this paper historian Prof P V Nanjaraja Urs said that the erstwhile king Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar's sister Jayalakshmi Vilas' son-in-law Sardar Basavaraj Urs agreed to hand over the mansion and vast expanse of 360 acres of land in the year 1959, when the then Vice Chancellor of Mysore University Kuvempu sought to establish Manasagangotri campus. Though the royals agreed for Rs 10 lakh, they returned Rs two lakh as a donation for the cause of education and took the remaining Rs eight lakh he said .

Speaking to The Hans India, former VC of University of Mysore Prof J Shashidhar Prasad said that the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion is like a crown of the varsity, but the Member of Parliament and Kannada and Culture Minister Sunil Kumar along with VC have hatched a plot to grab the land, having a scant concern for the conservation of heritage structure.

hashidhar Prasad who also raised a banner of revolt, voiced against giving the restigious property to Classical Kannada Study Centre. If they want to create the basic infrastructure, they can utilise the 4.2 acres land already allotted to the Centre, he added.

University former syndicate member Dr K N Mahadev said that In 2001, the varsity had a MoU with Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Murty to conserve the mansion at the cost of Rs 1.7 crore and renovated it. It was clearly mentioned in the MoU that, the varsity will maintain the Mansion. Now, the authorities are out to violate the MoU, and we are ready to move court.

As a tribute, the then VC prof S N Hegde had even planned to change the name of the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion to Sudha Murty Museum of Arts and Folk. But following stiff opposition from various quarters, the move stopped the bid to rechristen the renovated heritage structure.

Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace, which houses one of the oldest folklore museums in the country was constructed in the year 1905 at a cost of Rs 7 lakhs. The mansion has 125 rooms, 300 windows, 287 exquisitely carved doors and it was spread across 2.5 lakh square feet. There

are entrances on each side, different from each other. The entrance on the northern side has an extrusion on the stairs presumably to be used as alighting platform from cars and chariots.

The mansion is chiefly built of brick and mortar, timber and iron. Stone was dispensed with

considering the amount of delay it would have on construction if it were used. There are separated drainages for rainwater and used water.

But Mysuru University Vice Chancellor Prof G Hemanth Kumar ruled out any move to hand over the mansion to other institution. Speaking to this paper on Saturday, he said that the university syndicate meeting held three months back formally agreed to hand over a portion of mansion to Kannada and culture department. He said the move followed

by letter from director of department asking the whole mansion to its use. He said we UoM has already sent an estimation of Rs 26.5 crores to state government for renovating the mansion. He said no dialogue between department and university has been held so far. He said Syndicate is of opinion to hand over 30 per cent of the building if they renovate the whole. He said the university will not close the museum for any reason and the plans are still in premature state.

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