It’s official. The State Government has dropped centenary celebrations of Amba Vilas Palace as planned earlier, with the royal scion Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar sceptical about the existing palace completing 100 years of existence.
In an exclusive freewheeling talk with Deccan Herald on Sunday, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar came out with his own substantiating assertions in contrast to the issue. “The construction of the palace began in 1896 and was completed in 1943. I have photographs to disprove that the works on the palace completed in 1912”, claimed Wadiyar.
The grihapravesham (house warming ceremony) may have taken place in 1912, Wadiyar added further. Continuing, Wadiyar said he has conveyed the facts to the Palace Board, the official caretaker of the Palace.
When this reporter wanted to know whether he (Wadiyar) was aware of the plans of the board to celebrate a festival in the name of his father and last Maharaja of Mysore Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, instead of centenary celebrations, Wadiyar claimed innocence.
When asked, what if the board continues to host the celebrations, Wadiyar quipped: “Its stupid”.Following Wadiyar’s outbursts, this paper went deep into the claims of the royal scion.
Going by a few photographs and paintings published in ‘Mysore Palace Celebrating a Century 2012’, a book brought out by R G Singh of Ramsons Kala Prathishtana, there could be truth in Wadiyar’s claim.
A caption of a painting of the Palace by Balu K Sadalge in 1912 reads as follows: “The new palace, having a porch of three arches.” Since then, the facade of the palace has underwent many changes.
In 1930, the Palace was extended by a protruding balcony — the new public durbar hall. An arcade of five equally spaced arches, supported by six huge stone pillars, became the new facade. It means, the porch of three arches had been removed to make the changes.
The book mentions: “The facade underwent a facelift in mid-1930s. Administrative blocks on the south of the Palace, which protruded out eastwards, was demolished.
The arcade was reworked to accommodate 10 pillars supporting seven large and two small arches flanking the central arch. In 1939, finally a second tower on either end of the facade (as seen now) was added along with reworking of the orioles”.
Deputy director of Palace Board T S Subramanya said the government doesn’t want to go ahead against the sentiments of Wadiyars.
Instead, it has been decided to celebrate the birth anniversary of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar on July 18, besides 150 years of local body and 60 years of assembly.