Staff Correspondent

It will be made an attractive tourist spot

Guides needed to apprise visitors of history of the palace

Transport and toilet facilities for visitors sought

Madikeri: The Kodagu district administration will take steps to beautify the historic Nalknad Palace at Yavakapadi village near Kakkabe in Madikeri taluk, to make it one of the most attractive tourist spots in the district.

This was disclosed by headquarters assistant to the Deputy Commissioner Akram Pasha at a meeting here recently.

The palace was renovated sometime ago by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art, Culture and Heritage).

A majority of the members at the meeting suggested converting a portion of the palace into a museum, where exhibits of Kodagu art and culture could be displayed.

Air Marshal K.C. Cariappa (retd.), one of the members, suggested that the empty space around the palace be converted into a garden.

Architect Anupa Mandanna asked Mr. Pasha to arrange for Kodava folk dances and art forms on a particular day in a month at the palace. A display of handicrafts would be an added attraction, she said.

Committee

The members also suggested the constitution of a committee comprising the local people to manage the affairs of the palace.

Gopal, Director of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Karnataka, said that plans to beautify the palace would be drawn up once the keys of the palace were returned to the department by INTACH, which was entrusted with the renovation work.

He urged the district administration to provide transport and toilet facilities for visitors to the palace. Mr. Gopal said that guides needed to be appointed to apprise the visitors of the history of the palace. Palecanda M. Aiyanna, a Kodagu representative in INTACH, said that the Gaddige mausoleums of the former rulers of Kodagu in Madikeri needed to be renovated.

District Information Officer Vinodchandra and Assistant Conservator of Forests Shankar Bhat gave suggestions for improvement.

Air Marshal Cariappa felt that the palace should be looked at from the perspective of a heritage site than a tourism spot.

Mr. Pasha said that he would visit the palace again next week to assess the extent of renovation to help the district administration prepare a detailed plan.

Those present included Mallikarjun from INTACH; Gangadhar from the Department of Archaeology and Museums; Dhanalakshmi, Assistant Curator, Department of Archaeology and Museums; Damodar, Assistant Director, Department of Kannada and Culture; and R. Yahsoda, tahsildar of Madikeri.

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