State's pride to be showcased in city park

Gandabherunda was the emblem of the erstwhile Wadiyar rulers, official symbol of State

When the regal Amba Vilas Palace continues to attract tourists in hordes, Gandabherunda, the royal emblem of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom is quietly taking shape at a park in the city.

Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) is developing a park after Gandabherunda, next to Jaya Govind Convention Centre (Jayamma Govinde Gowda marriage hall) at Kuvempu Nagar, here. The project is taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakh.

What makes it significant is, Gandabherunda is in use since 505 years, beginning with the Vijayanagar empire. After the abolition of the princely rule in Mysuru, the elected government adopted Gandabherunda as its official symbol of the then Mysore State and it is still in use, especially on Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses.

S Balasubramanya, popular as ‘Snake’ Shyam, a corporator from Ward 17 under whose jurisdiction the park is coming up, told Deccan Herald, “It is a first of its kind initiative to dedicate a park to the Wadiyars, the erstwhile rulers of Mysuru. A 15-ft tall cement statue of Gandabherunda will be installed at the centre of the park as the main attraction, besides setting up a games arena for children”.

 Depicting Shyam’s love for snakes, the arch of the main entrance will be adorned with replicas of snakes made in cement.

MUDA Commissioner Y Mahesh said, “The remaining works will be taken up after the elections to the Zilla and Taluk Panchayats scheduled to be held in the second phase on February 20”.

The originGandabherunda is a two-headed imaginary bird in mythology, depicted as ‘Clutching talons and beaks demonstrating its immense strength’, according to historical records.

It was first used on coins during the Vijayanagar empire in 1510 AD. If it is assumed as the period of its origin, Gandabherunda continues to fly high even after 505 years.

16th centuryThe Wadiyars are believed to have adopted a red cloth as ‘rajadhwaja’ or State flag and Gandabherunda as ‘royal emblem’ in the mid-16th century. The bird was surrounded by Shardulas (an animal with elephant-head and lion’s body) to make the emblem complete. 

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