Cauvery Gallery may soon become a reality

Cauvery Gallery may soon become a reality

The Cauvery River Gallery, which was proposed to be established in the city, five years back, may finally be a reality with Chairman of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission and former chairman of ISRO K Kasturirangan announcing that he has spoken about the project with Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, in Bengaluru, recently.

The formation of the Cauvery Tourism Development Authority was mooted in March 2015 and the idea of the Cauvery River Gallery was discussed in the first meeting of the authority, chaired by then Tourism minister R V Deshpande, in June 2015. Neither of them materialised so far, even though the previous chief minister was a native of Mysuru district, the nucleus of the Cauvery River basin.

According to the annual report (April 2016 – March 2017) of the National Academy of Sciences of India (NASI), River Cauvery is among the most sacred rivers in the southern region of India and is thought to be the Dakshina Ganga, on account of its diverse characteristics and attributes.

“Originating from the Brahmagiri Hill in the Western Ghats and flowing towards the Bay of Bengal, the river travels along Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the southeastern direction. River Cauvery is well inscribed in Tamil and Kannada literature because of its sacredness. Bathing in waters of Cauvery is a traditional belief. The striking Shivanasamudram falls of Cauvery River is the second biggest waterfalls in the country. At the request of Minister for Higher Education and Tourism, Government of Karnataka, K Kasturirangan, Chairman of Karnataka Knowledge Commission, requested Manju Sharma, former president of NASI, to establish a Cauvery Gallery on the lines of Ganga Gallery and Brahmaputra Gallery. Manju Sharma, with the consent of the NASI Council, sent a preliminary intent proposal to establish a high-quality gallery that captures the etymological, ecological, cultural, heritage and social characters of River Cauvery,” the report states.

The Cauvery Gallery can be established with the help of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), Kolkata, and the financial support of the department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka. Interactive multimedia with diorama, animation, graphics and the 3-D display will be used to make the gallery interactive and interesting for visitors, the report states. At present, there is a gallery for River Brahmaputra in Guwahati, in Assam, and a gallery for River Ganga at Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh.

The gallery is expected to showcase the life, culture and biodiversity along the Cauvery River from its birth in Talacauvery of Kodagu district till it reaches the Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar (now Pombuhar) in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. It splits into two, twice, and forms the islands of Srirangapatna and Sivanasamudra in Karnataka.

Kasturirangan has said that he held talks with Chief Minister Kumaraswamy on setting up of the gallery on the Karnataka Exhibition Authority Grounds (Dasara Exhibition Grounds) in Mysuru and a detailed project report would be prepared soon.

In 2016 itself, Karnataka’s Tourism department and the NASI had signed a memorandum of understanding to set up the gallery at Mysuru. Then, the Tourism department officials and NASI experts had decided to establish the gallery on the premises of the Karnataka Exhibition Authority (KEA) complex. The project was scheduled to be completed in six to nine months and was expected to be a major tourist attraction in the city. The KEA complex is also yet to be constructed.