'Thumbs up to Cauvery statue but not in KRS'

Some people in the region are opposed to the proposed 350-feet tall statue of Mother Cauvery at Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam in Srirangapatna of Mandya district.

Chandrika Sudhir, former president of Innerwheel Club of Mysore Central, said, if the government builds a 350-feet tall statue of Mother Cauvery, the lifeline of the southern part of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, it is welcome.

“In metres, it will be 106.68 m. Thus it will become the fourth tallest statue in the world, only after Laykyun Setkyar (115.8 m), the statue of Gautama Buddha in a village of Khatakan Taung near Monywa, in Myanmar. It will beat Ushiku Daibutsu (100 m), built in 1993, to commemorate the birth of Shinran, founder of Jodo Shinshu, in Japan. However, KRS dam is not the place for it. It should not damage the serenity of the KRS dam and the Brindavan Gardens, which are landmaraks for over a century,” she said.

Suma Rajkumar, a magician and ventriloquist, said, “Even I was excited when Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy announced the proposal to develop KRS dam on the model of Disneyland in USA in his July 5 Budget. But, now, if given a choice, I want the Brindavan Gardens, which I have seen over the years. I have an emotional attachment with it. It has a heritage connection.”

“The project seems interesting as there will be an amusement park, theme parks like Penguin Park, Aromatherapy Park, a street with replicas of historical monuments, hotels, food courts, wax museum, etc. But, they can be built anywhere. It should not be a problem for the government to find a site for the project. Besides, the government can develop a new tourist destination without harming the existing one,” she said.

H S Vaagdevi, an assistant professor with St Philomena’s College, said, with the formation of each new government, a new project comes up. “The previous Congress government had decided to beautify the KRS and Brindavan Gardens at a cost of Rs 1,300 crore. Now the JD(S)-Congress government has come up with the Disneyland project at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore. Agreed, they are coming up with newer and advanced projects. Still, the shelving of older projects and introduction of newer projects every time a new government comes in, smacks of something fishy,” she said.

Gouri Satya, a writer and historian, said, a statue of Mother Cauvery is a part of the original structure of the KRS dam facing the Brindavan Gardens. “It is already worshiped by people. Even chief ministers offer puja to it when they come to offer bagina, when the dam reaches its full capacity. There is no need for a new statue or new additions to the Brindavan Gardens,” he said.  

“Already the KRS dam attracts over 30,000 tourists on weekends and holidays. During peak Dasara season, over one lakh people visit the place. The Brindavan Gardens is a celebrated beauty spot, famous for its symmetric design. It is one of the most beautiful terrace gardens, modelled on the Shalimar Gardens of Kashmir, in the Mughal style. It has a number of terraces, parterres, fountains, running and cascading water-channels, water chutes, lush green lawns, flower beds, shrubs and trees. Illumination of the gardens and the dam and musical fountain add to its grandeur,” he said.

“Inspired by the then king Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar and dewan Sir M Visvesvaraya, dewan Sir Mirza Ismail
visualised the Brindavan Gardens. Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, a German botanist and garden designer, laid out the plan for it. His granddaughter Alyia Phelps-Gardiner Krumbiegel is still in touch with people in India, especially Mysuru and Bengaluru. She has already written a letter to Chief
Minister H D Kumaraswamy, in July, expressing her displeasure over the ‘proposed defacing’ of the creation of her grandfather,” Satya pointed out.

It has to be recalled that Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel has designed various avenues and gardens, including the Lalbagh in Bengaluru, under the patronage of the erstwhile Wadiyar kings of the Yadu dynasty.

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