Madikeri Old Fort in a shambles

Madikeri Old Fort in a shambles

The roof of the Old Fort main building is on the verge of collapse in Madikeri.

The lack of basic amenities is haunting several tourists places in Kodagu district. The Madikeri Fort,  referred to as ‘Palace’ situated on the heart of the city, should have attracted a large number of tourists. However, the crumbling structure is disappointing tourists. 

The roof of the fort is on the verge of collapse. The walls have not seen whitewash or paint for several years. The rooms, where soldiers were staying during the king’s reign, have collapsed completely. Weeds have covered the fort premises.

With the damage to the roof, rainwater enters the fort. Plastic sheets have been used to protect it from rainwater. With this, the history of Madikeri fort will soon disappear.  

Historians have expressed concern over the lack of maintenance by the Archaeological Department. They fear that a few remaining traces of history will soon enter the pages of the history. 

Haleri ruler Mudduraja built a mud fort and palace in the 17th century. Later, Tipu Sultan rebuilt it using stones and renamed it as Jaffarabad. In 1790, Dodda Veerarajendra conquered the fort. In 1834, the fort came under the reign of the British. 

The palace that was built by Linga Raja Wodeyar II  houses government offices. With the increase in the density of people, the palace is in a deplorable condition. The Zilla Panchayat office, MLA’s office, Agriculture Department, district library, court complex and Bala Mandira are functioning from the palace itself. 

Chandan, a tourist, said “Hundreds of vehicles visit the fort premises daily. Due to the pressure, the fort is losing its identity. Without any maintenance, the huge doors are losing charm. The visitors have also disfigured a few of the carvings. Even the cannons are not preserved. We are disappointed by watching this fort.” 

An officer said, “We fear to work here during monsoon. The Zilla Panchayat and the court complex will be shifted shortly.”

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