An initiative to showcase Mysuru’s lesser-known heritage

Mysuru Biennale is in the pipeline to host cultural events and showcase heritage monuments and open spaces in a bid to promote tourism.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

A new concept to expose the wider culture of Mysuru that goes beyond Dasara and showcasing the city’s built and natural heritage, promoting it as a centre for contemporary cultural activities, is in the offing.

It is in the nascent stages still, and though the district administration was keen to get the concept in place this year, the pandemic and the second wave of the COVID-19 put paid to the initiative. However, project consultants are at it and the authorities plan to reach out to the public and experts in various fields for suggestions.

The Mysuru Beinnale (as it is termed for now) entails showcasing the art and culture in the existing heritage buildings of the city and invoking the historic cosmopolitan legacy of Mysuru.

Taking a cue from the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kerala, the plan is to host events of large and diverse varieties to a range of audiences with common interests to enable visitors to grasp the overall culture of Mysuru and experience the lesser-known aspects and architecture of the city. “We were keen to get the concept started, but it is still in the planning stage because of the pandemic. It can help showcase the diverse range of Mysuru’s architecture and help in their conservation as well,” said Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri during an interaction with presspersons here last week.

The activities proposed include seminars, book launches, and hands-on learning experiences at different venues across the city, as opposed to Dasara which takes place in the heart of the city.

G.N. Heritage Matters, an architectural consultant firm which has made a presentation, opines that it will boost tourism without causing large expenditure on new attractions. The events will utilise the existing cultural resources of the city to create a new experience for visitors, and the expenditure will only be to develop management plans that aid in the execution of the event. According to the firm, a direct fallout of the initiative will be a reinvigoration of the derelict and unused structures through adaptive reuse so as to breathe new life into old structures.


The broad themes identified include the culture of Mysuru (showcasing the traditions unique to the region), Indian classical dance and music (which can be held at different venues in the city), art and architecture (showcasing the unique buildings of Mysuru that have heritage value), yoga, Ayurveda, and literature.

The sites for these have been divided into ‘the academic’, ‘the touristic’, and ‘the ecological’. The inventory of buildings and sites covers the three broad themes and includes some of the landmark buildings, parks and lakes of Mysuru, including Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, Crawford Hall, Oriental Research Institute, Cheluvamba Mansion, the DC’s office, Ursu Boarding School, Kukkarahalli Lake, Krishnaraja Boulevard, Town Hall, railway station, Gun House, Kuppanna Park, Dufferin Clock Tower, and Gandhi Square.

The ecological sites cover the Administrative Training Institute campus, Karanji Lake, Lalitha Mahal Palace and its surroundings, among others.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 3:26:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/an-initiative-to-showcase-mysurus-lesser-known-heritage/article34303615.ece

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