Jaganmohan Palace which houses Sri Jayachamarendra Art Gallery, is now closed for the public as it is under renovation. With Nada Habba Dasara just a month away, doubts are being raised about the completion of works before the festival and opening of the Palace for tourists.
The restoration and renovation works are being appreciated by art lovers who had been complaining of gross neglect of priceless paintings and artifacts for a long time now. But, the notice pasted on the main gate of the Palace, which says that the gallery is temporarily closed for maintenance and repair works, has disappointed tourists. Jaganmohan Palace is on the itinerary of every tourist visiting the Heritage City. It is one of the prime attractions, after Amba Vilas Palace.
A team of architects from Bengaluru are guiding and supervising the works that have been taken up. More than 30 workers are involved in the restoration works. The artifacts have been carefully removed from its place and packed to take up restoration of the walls. Worn out old roof tiles are being replaced with Mangaluru tiles. Water seepage, which had affected the building is also being addressed. All efforts are on to complete the works soon and Pramodadevi Wadiyar, member of the erstwhile royal family, is taking personal interest, said curator of the gallery.
Meanwhile, Pramodadevi Wadiyar had recently assured a section of the media that the works are being taken up on a brisk pace and at least a portion of it will be opened for Dasara.
The restoration works are expected to take a few more months to complete. With the art gallery closed, no tourists visit the place, so, around 20 shops on the premises are also closed temporarily.
Jaganmohan Palace was constructed in 1861 by Krishnaraja Wadiyar III. The art gallery houses the largest collection of paintings in South India. The collection of paintings include that of artist Raja Ravi Varma and paintings of different styles like Mysore, Mughal and Shantiniketan.