The Archeological Survey of India had declared Madikeri Palace as a ‘Protected Monument’ way back in 1920. The Palace was constructed by the Haleri rulers.
With this, the row over ownership of the Palace has received a new twist.
H C N Odeyar, claiming to be the descendant of Haleri rulers had recently written to the Deputy Commissioner claiming the right over the ownership.
He had even questioned the ownership of the Palace. According to the available documents, the fort compound wall, and two huge artifacts of elephants belong to the ASI.
There is no reference to the ownership of the Palace. The land where the Palace is constructed is a paisari land (government land).
Hence, it had created confusion on the ownership of the Palace.
In the backdrop of Odeyar’s letter, Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tiwari had directed the Archeological Survey of India and Department of Archeology and Museum to produce the documents related to the Palace.
Accordingly, the ASI could get the notification of Coorg Chief Commissioner dated November 26, 1920. According to the notification, the Fort and two artifacts of elephants are protected monuments under Ancient Monuments Protection Act -1904.
To give a large space to the office of the Coorg Chief Commissioner, the palace was dropped from the notification of protected monument.
The notification on the Palace was denotified in 1924.
The DC has directed the ASI and Department of archeology and museum to procure documents on the handing over of the Palace and issue a fresh notification.
Deputy Commissioner said that the the Deputy Commissioner’s office and Zilla Panchayat office which are now functioning from the Palace building will be shifted shortly.
Once all the government offices are shifted, then the Palace building will be developed as a heritage site.
The ASI has been directed to prepare a blue print for the development of the Palace.