Work on Mysuru palace’s Karikallu Thotti in full swing

Karikallu Thotti, a portion of the Mysuru palace, is being restored.

Karikallu Thotti, a portion of the Mysuru palace, is being restored.  

The Wadiyar foundation has roped in experts for the first major restoration work

H.H. Srikandatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation, Mysuru, an entity of the erstwhile Mysuru royal family, has taken up the first major conservation of Amba Vilas Palace (Mysuru palace) with the restoration work of Karikallu Thotti, one of the portions of the original palace structure, in full swing.

Karikallu Thotti, in the rear end of the main palace building, was in bad shape with a leaking roof. The erstwhile Mysuru royal family has taken up restoration with a specially-drawn team of heritage conservationists and architects.

Pramoda Devi Wadiyar of the erstwhile royal family told a press conference at the palace on Tuesday that the government had given its nod for the restoration work after the family wrote for its support. “We have taken up the work using our funds. Funds from the government had been sought. Presently, gate collections are being used for palace maintenance. The restoration cost can be reimbursed from the collections,” she said.

The civil work of the wood-rich Karikallu Thotti, which also includes Gandada Thotti, has been completed. The remaining works include wiring, camera surveillance and fire-proofing, which are expected to be done by July this year. Karikallu Thotti’s adjacent structures will also be restored, Mr. Wadiyar said, adding that structures are reinforced using wood and therefore needs a foolproof fire proofing.

She showed videos of Karikallu Thotti before the restoration work and said the leak in the ceiling had forced the family to shift the prized artefact. “It was in a poor condition in the absence of proper maintenance,” she said.“If heritage conservationists had been involved in maintenance, the condition wouldn’t have been this bad. The process of calling tenders and engaging people not familiar to conservation does not yield expected results,” she said.

To a question, Ms. Wadiyar said the government should engage people who are trained in conservation of heritage buildings. She, added that H.H. Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation was prepared to look after the maintenance of entire palace if the responsibility was vested to us. “Our interest is that the palace should be properly conserved. Some portions of the palace are also in need of immediate restoration,” she replied.

Varsha, heritage conservationist roped in by the foundation, said the damaged wooden pillars and the wooden rafters had been replaced, besides strengthening the walls and roof as per the norms.

Ms. Wadiyar said it was an expensive project. Karikallu Thotti, after conservation, will house the family-owned rare artefacts and also an armoury.

Some repairs had been carried out earlier at the palace as part of maintenance work but the work to conserve the palace portions has been taken up for the first time, she maintained.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:23:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/work-on-mysuru-palaces-karikallu-thotti-in-full-swing/article30853586.ece

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