Rs. 75 lakh to restore Government Guest House Arch Gate
Arch on Lalitha Mahal Road to be translocated by 30 feet
Mysore/Mysuru: The restoration process for Dodda Gadiyara, also known as the Silver Jubilee Clock Tower, constructed in 1927 near Rangacharlu Memorial Hall (Town Hall) in city, commenced this morning.
This iconic 75-foot-tall structure has shown cracks that raised concerns about its heritage value and safety. Cracks have emerged even in the vicinity of the bell located at the tower’s pinnacle. For the past 30 years, the 5.5-foot bell, weighing around 920-kg and of French origin, has remained silent.
The Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) is collaborating with the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage to undertake the restoration of this historic landmark. The estimated budget for this project is Rs. 43 lakh. Despite promises from multiple previous Mayors and MCC Commissioners, the long-awaited project has finally been initiated.
The ceremonial ground-breaking was conducted this morning by Chamaraja MLA K. Harishgowda, with Mayor Shivakumar, Deputy Mayor Dr. G. Roopa, MCC Commissioner Ashaad-ur-Rahman Shariff, Prof. N.S. Rangaraju (retired Professor from the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore and Member of the District Heritage Conservation Committee), Corporator M.D. Nagaraj, Development Officer Somashekar and others in attendance.
The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the restoration of Dodda Gadiyara has been prepared by the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, with funds allocated by the MCC.
Heritage Arch Gates
This morning, it was disclosed to the press that the DPR aimed at restoring the Heritage Arch Gate at the entrance of the Government Guest House in Nazarbad, renowned as the heritage North Gate Arch, has received approval. Additionally, an estimated budget of Rs. 75 lakh has been formulated for this project. Currently, the tendering process is underway.
Similarly, the Arch Gates, situated along Lalitha Mahal Palace Road, will undergo translocation, moving them up to 15 ft. on both sides (total 30 ft.) to facilitate road-widening. Presently, this particular arch gate acts as a bottleneck for traffic, necessitating urgent expansion. Following the completion of the translocation, the arch gate will undergo renovation, the Mayor said.
Similarly, the MCC is preparing an action plan to restore the arch gate on Ashoka Road (Gunchi Gopura or watchman’s tower near the Government Gunchi School) which leads to St. Philomena’s Church from the Fountain Circle at N.R. Mohalla. Another gateway that will be restored will be the Maharani’s College Arch Gate and these works will cost Rs. 3 crore and the process of DPR preparation has been set in motion, Mayor Shivakumar added.
Historical significance of Dodda Gadiyara
Referred to as Dodda Gadiyara, translating to big clock tower, this structure shares its location with the smaller Chikka Gadiyara or Dufferin Clock Tower, situated near Devaraja Market close to K.R. Circle.
The magnificent tower was installed by Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1927 to commemorate 25 years of his reign, and hence, the tower was named the Silver Jubilee Clock Tower. Installed on August 8, 1927, the construction cost of this structure was Rs. 7,500, and its construction was completed within six months.
The tower is adorned on each side with inscriptions (now deteriorated) in Sanskrit, Kannada, English and Persian languages, detailing the clock’s installation, date, month, year and more, in golden letters on marble stone.
Once audible from nearly two kilometres away, the clock’s bell is silent now. In times past, the chiming of the clock served as a timekeeping beacon for many, especially since most households lacked clocks.
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