'Garrison Hospital would have been palace'

A History enthusiast has claimed that the now defunct Garrison Hospital would have originally been a palace of Chikkadevaraja Wadiyar, one of the greatest kings of the Yadu dynasty.

A S Dharmendra Kumar, a Civil Engineer-turned History researcher, said, he often visits Srirangapatna, since his return from the Gulf, to study the site of the Garrison Hospital on the basis of various factors. “I will seek more information on the structure, under RTI Act, from the state Archeology department. I will also urge the government to take up more research to ascertain the fact that the structure was originally a palace of Chikkadevaraja Wadiyar,” he said.

Gananguru Nanjegowda, a chronicler, said, Chikkadevaraja Wadiyar, the 14th ruler in the Yadu dynasty, who ruled over the Mysuru from 1673 to 1704 AD, with Srirangapatna as capital, was one of the greatest kings. “Besides expanding the territories of Mysuru, he was an able administrator. The East India Company officials and later the British Crown officials were good in recording History. So, documents are available to establish the life of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. Such documentation is not available about Wadiyar kings, who ruled from Mysuru, from 1399 to 1610, and also from Srirangapatna, from 1610 to 1796. Only from 1796, when Chamaraja Wadiyar IX died, to 1799, when Tipu Sultan died, there was no king,” he said.

It has to be mentioned that after the coronation of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1799 in Mysuru there have been proper documentation.

Dharmendra Kumar said, the British did not build any building, either in Srirangapatna or Mysuru, unlike in Chennai or Kolkota, as they were not their seats of power.

“Thus, they would not have built the Garrison Hospital, meant for soldiers. They would have occupied an existing building. Captain Francis Annesley has mentioned in his book ‘Analysis of the Works of Voyages and Travels’ about the palace, beside an armoury in 1802. Now, the place is in a neglected state, even though the Archeology department has erected a board, declaring it to be a protected monument,” he said.

Nanjegowda said, the Wadiyars have built a number of palaces, across the island of Srirangapatna, over various periods, and this could be one of them. “For various reasons, the period of Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, from 1761 to 1799, is highlighted and glorified. However, each stone in Srirangapatna has its own story and history. Right from the Ganga rulers of Talkad, to the Vijayanagar chieftains, controlled from Vijayanagar, to the last king Jayachamaraja Wadiyar of the Yadu dynasty, many have contributed to the rise and fall of Srirangapatna. There is a lot to be researched and documented. But, the officials concerned and also the people are yet to wake up from a slumber,” he said.

He said, Chikkadevaraja Wadiyar was a contemporary of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. “After several attempts to win Bengaluru from the Marathas, he buys it from Aurangzeb. It has to be mentioned that Shivaji’s half brother Ekoji, controlled by Bijapur Sultans, was ruling Bengaluru from Tanjavur. Once Aurangzeb trounced the Sultans, it came under his control,” he pointed out.

Dharmendra Kumar said, in the ruined structure, there is a space which resembles a huge hall, which would have been the durbar hall.

“There are many such factors, which give an impression that the structure is an ancient palace,” he said.

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