President Ram Nath Kovind, who inaugurated Gen. Thimayya Memorial Museum at Madikeri in Kodagu district on Saturday, said it commemorates the services and valour of one of the greatest soldiers of India.
General K.S. Thimayya served as the Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961 and his ancestral house ‘Sunny Side’ has been renovated and converted into a museum. The museum showcases memorabilia, including weapons and military uniforms, and houses a battle tank at the entrance in addition to a fighter jet, MiG 21, both of which were used in the 1971 war.
The President, who went around the museum observing the war memorabilia on display, later wrote in the visitors’ book: “General Thimayya Museum preserves special aspects of the extraordinary character and contribution of one of the finest soldiers in the history of our army.”
“The memorabilia at Sunny Side, once the residence of Gen. Thimayya, highlights the sterling features of our brave forces. District Kodagu has the honour of having enriched our armed forces with stalwarts like Gen. Thimayya and Field Marshal Cariappa. I am sure that the museum will inspire our youth to carry forward the legacy of Gen. Thimayya,” the President remarked. Mr. Kovind also paid homage at the War Memorial which is on the premises.
The President, who arrived by an IAF helicopter at Madikeri, was received by Minister for Forests, Kannada and Culture Aravind Limbavali, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, and senior ex-servicemen from Kodagu.
Earlier, the President and his wife, Savitha Kovind, paid a visit to Talacauvery, the birth place of the Cauvery, and offered prayers.
Bharat Ratna sought
Veena Achaiah, MLC, urged the President to confer posthumously the Bharat Ratna on Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and General K.S. Thimayya. In a memorandum, she recalled that Gen. Thimayya was the only Indian to command an infantry brigade in the battle during the Second World War and after the Korean war, headed a U.N. unit to deal with the repatriation of prisoners of war.
She said Field Marshal Cariappa belonged to a family of farmers and is one of the only two Indian Army officers to hold the highest and five-star rank of Field Marshal and wanted the Bharat Ratna to be conferred on the two for their outstanding services.