State secretariat to house museum on culture, history

If all goes well, the State secretariat will soon have a museum depicting the State’s rich culture and history. It will also chronicle significant political events of Karnataka. 

That’s not all. Weekends will be witness to sound and light shows that educate viewers on the State’s heritage, outside the north wing of the Vidhana Soudha (facing Raj Bhavan). The north wing has a wide boulevard where seating arrangements can be made for visitors.

Deputy Speaker of the Assembly N H Shivashankara Reddy recently submitted a proposal to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah over setting up the museum. Siddaramaiah has asked Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee to study the proposal and report to him. 

Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa and Council Chairman D H Shankaramurthy, who have both welcomed the project, were given a powerpoint presentation on the concept of the museum. Mukherjee would also be invited for a presentation soon, Reddy said.

A private company which has prepared the blueprint for the museum has estimated that the project will cost around Rs 18 crore. Reddy said that he was impressed when he visited the Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Memorial in Ahmedabad and thought that a museum on similar lines could be set up. 

“There is ample space in the basement of the Vikasa Soudha and below the flight of stairs in the Vidhana Soudha (the grand stairs facing the Karnataka High Court). Engineers, after a preliminary study, have said that it is technically possible to utilise the space for the museum,” Reddy said. 

The Vikasa Soudha has three levels below the ground floor and they are mainly used for parking vehicles. They also house a unit of the government printing press. Reddy said that the minus three (-3) level of the Vikasa Soudha was relatively unused and the space could be utilised to set up the museum. The space behind the flight of stairs in the Vidhana Soudha has a cycle stand which was earlier used by employees to park their bicycles. But now, it is being used to dump old furniture, sources in the State secretariat said. The museum could come up at either of the two places.

According to the proposal, the museum will trace the empires and dynasties that ruled Karnataka over the last two millennia in an interactive, multimedia mode. It will depict the various cultures and traditions in different parts of the State. The political wing of the museum will trace the history of the State secretariat, the profiles of various chief ministers and will also have a timeline on important developments since the birth of unified Karnataka. The museum will also have a mini auditorium to screen short films. 

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