Renovation under way, but Jaganmohan Palace to be reopened during Dasara

The Jaganmohan Palace of Mysuru was built in the 1860s and has a lot of historical and heritage value.

The Jaganmohan Palace of Mysuru was built in the 1860s and has a lot of historical and heritage value.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

Jaganmohan Palace, which houses the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery with 2,000 exquisite antique collections spanning four generations of maharajas, will be reopened to the public during the Dasara celebrations.

The art gallery, a must-see in the tourist itinerary of Mysuru, has been closed for weeks as a major repair and renovation project is under way, with 90 persons working round the clock.

“This will be my tribute to my father-in-law and the last maharaja, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar (July 18, 1919-September 23, 1974), marking his birth centenary celebrations,” said Pramoda Devi Wadiyar, chairperson of the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery Trust.

The building was constructed in the 1860s and has a lot of historical and heritage value. For, the Jaganmohan Palace housed the royal family after their wooden palace was destroyed in a fire and the new palace was still being built.

In 1881, the first representative assembly was held when the then Maharaja of Mysore Chamaraja Wadiyar X convened a meeting of commoners — the Assembly of Representative Ryots and Merchants from all the Taluks of the Province of Mysore — under the presidentship of the then Dewan, C.V. Rangacharlu.

Ms. Wadiyar told reporters on Sunday that this was the first such renovation work at Jaganmohan Palace since its construction in 1868. “Almost 60% of the repair work has been completed. We will throw [the palace] open to the public during Dasara even as the repair work will be in progress, so people can apprise themselves of the kind of repair and restoration that is under way,” she added.

The aim is to bring back the look and feel of ancient glory to the palace by removing layers of paint from the wood and walls. It is taking more than 900 man hours a day by skilled workers to remove the layers of paint from the intricate wooden doors and frames, said Ms. Wadiyar.

The work is being funded by Ms. Wadiyar and carried out by the Wadiyar Heritage Centre under the High Highness Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation. However, she refused to divulge the cost.

The technical partners in the restoration endeavour are G.N. Heritage Matter and its team of conservation architects headed by Sharatchandra Boyapati.

At present, the focus is on the architectural part of the building. But restoration of antiques such as the French Clock (one of the only two in India), a few other clocks, and the rare drum organ is also under way. Conservation of other antique collections will be taken up in the second phase of the works.

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Printable version | Mar 26, 2020 2:01:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/renovation-under-way-but-jaganmohan-palace-to-be-reopened-during-dasara/article24962858.ece

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