Tipu guesthouse atop Nandi Hills turns into ghost house

Tipu guesthouse atop Nandi Hills turns into ghost house

Every year during Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary, the State government and voluntary organisations organise various functions and sing paeans to the Tiger of Mysore’s patriotism, valour and his contribution to nationalism.

However, the historical guesthouse atop the Nandi Hills in Chikkaballapur district, where once Tipu resided, is dilapidated and in a state of neglect for several decades. The building is covered with moss and weeds have grown around the structure. If the neglect continues, the building could even collapse, say sources. Miscreants indulge in acts of vandalism such as scribbling on the walls and the bas relief on the ‘veeragallu’ (inscriptions) installed around the guesthouse.

This despite a sign board installed by the Archaeological Survey of India at the site, warning that the monument is of national importance, and whoever destroys, damages, defaces or misuses it, shall be punishable with a jail term of up to two years, or a fine to the tune of Rs one lakh.

Nandi Hills, which is 4,850 feet above sea level, was called Ananda Giri (meaning the hill of happiness) during the rule of the Cholas. According to one legend, Yoga Nandishwara performed penance on the hills and so it was named after him. Another legend says the hill got its name from the 1,000-year-old Nandi temple situated on the hills.

Nandi is also commonly called Nandidurga (Fort) because of the fort built there. During the British Raj, Lord Cubbon made Nandi Hills his summer retreat. It is called Nandi Hills also because it resembles a sitting bull (Nandi).

The State government has announced that the entire Nandi Hills is being developed at a cost of Rs 17 crore. The Mahatma Gandhi and the Jawaharlal Nehru guesthouses will be renovated and various infrastucture facilities provided at the hills, sources said. However, the historical guesthouse at the entrance of the hills seems to have been ignored, says Ajith Koundinya, a lecturer at a local college.

Even though the guesthouse comes under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Survey of India, the State government should hold discussions with the Centre and take steps to preserve the structure, he said.

“There is no need to spend much on the protection of the guesthouse. More security personnel should be appointed to prevent vandalism,” he added. DH News Service

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