Restoration work on Karanth's house to be completed by July

Restoration work on Karanth's house to be completed by July

The first phase of the restoration work of  the house of Jnanpith award winner Shivaram Karanth at Balavana in Puttur will be completed by July, said Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim.

He was speaking at a meeting of the officials from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) and Kshama Rao, daughter of Shivaram Karanth, here on Friday. The government had released Rs 29 lakh for the restoration work. A sum of Rs 1 crore was announced for development of Balavana in the state budget of 2015-16.

The government had also constituted a committee with Kannada and Culture department director, Puttur MLA, Hampi Kannada University former VC Dr Viveka Rai, Chiranjeevi Singh, Kshama Rao, Ullas Karanth, B J Suvarna, DK deputy commissioner and Puttur assistant commissioner as its members to decide on the second phase of the restoration work.

Arvind, an official from INTACH, said the work on replacing the old teak wood rafters to support the roof deck, fixing of the roof tiles and strengthening of the wall of the house has been completed.

The work on the false ceiling, flooring (red oxide) and electrification is pending to be completed in the first phase.

He said, “The work on restoration of the house has been taken up. The same materials which were used to build the house 80 years ago have been used.

“About 60% of rafters have been retained. The cracks on the mud wall has been filled with the mud which has been pugged for seven days. Wherever the cracks on the walls were more, a wooden piece was inserted before filling the mud. No cement was used for plastering. Only ‘sunnadagaare’ has been used for plastering. The traditional labourers from Mysuru were brought to take up the restoration work. The old roof tiles were laid after the termite treatment.”

Karanth’s daughter Kshama Rao said, “my father had stayed in the house for nearly 45 years and the hilly area surrounded by trees had inspired him to write many of his works. The restoration work on the ‘Natya Shaale,’ situated adjacent to the house, will be taken up first in the second phase.  We want to develop it as a museum reflecting the theatrical and Yakshagana activities of my father under the name ‘Hucchum-anasina mukhagalu.”

The house, where the restoration work is in progress, has a verandah, dining hall, ‘thottilu kone,’ kitchen and a store room. Another building which is adjacent to the house has study room and bed rooms and want to convert it into a life style museum,” she added.

To a query on gym at Balavana, she said gym was set up at the audio-visual room adajacent to the Natya Shaale. “Balavana should become a centre for performing arts, and activities related to nature and not a centre for sports. The Kannada and Culture department has directed to shift the gym from the vicinity,” she said.
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