Hunt for records on Wadiyar memorial in Kolkata
By Yathiraju | ENS | Published: 09th November 2012 09:11 AM |
To pay a fitting tribute to the erstwhile Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar, the Karnataka government is hunting for records and communications made with the then Kolkata administration by the Mysore rulers in connection with the maintenance of the Chamaraja Wadiyar Memorial spread across 30 guntas in Kalighat of Kolkata. The government wants to know whether the land was solely purchased by the Maharaja of Mysore or/and if it is still in the possession of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
If the government establishes that it was Maharaja’s property, then it will approach the West Bengal government to transfer the memorial to Karnataka for conservation.
Chamaraja Wadiyar, successor of Krishnaraja Wadiyar-III, died in Kolkata in 1894 at the age of 31 due to diphtheria during a visit to meet the viceroy. He was buried at Kalighat where a memorial was also built at Brindavan Building.
Though he ruled over Mysore for a brief period, he made major contributions to the Mysore Kingdom. Besides instituting the Representative Assembly of Mysore state in 1881 and sponsoring the trip of Swamy Vivekananda to Chicago, Chamaraja Wadiyar founded the Mysore Zoo, Maharaja College, Maharaja’s Sanskrit School in Mysore, Bangalore Palace, Lalbagh Glass House besides other contributions.
The state has been able to find only two records of communications, and has hence approached historians, researchers, Department of Archives, Gazetteer and the Wadiyar family.
Endowment Deputy Commissioner Prasanna Kumar said that he had visited Kalighat in the first week of last October where the memorial is maintained by the KMC. “We are searching for correspondence and have got a letter of grant released in 1908 by the Kolkata state. Thereafter, Rs 4,600 was released in 1918 as annual maintenance charges to the memorial and we have got a copy of this,” he said.
Farhan, a British agent, took care of the memorial. Later it became a haven for anti-social elements and it was confirmed by an official of the state who had visited it during the 1990’s. “I am approaching Dr R Gopal, director of Archaeology, historian P V Nanjaraje Urs, royal family members in Mysore and other departments to check for records of this memorial. If we have records, Nandakumar will approach the West Bengal government through our chief secretary,” he said.