Wellington Lodge, Mysuru, more a government building than a memorial for Duke Wellington

 In India there are three  memorials for Duke Wellington one in Mysuru, the second one is Wellesley Bridge across the   Cauvery  river at Srirangapatna   and the other being in Mumbai Wellington Fountain.  The one in Mysore does not deserve to be called a memorial. It has  neither proper design or some kind of embellishment nor does it have a bust of Lord Arthur Wellesley on its premises. In comparison to stately colonial buildings in Mysuru, this structure does not inspire the visitors. Literally, it is stark. and lacklustre..

Wellington lodge, Mysuru.commons.wikimedia.org

Looking very simple without boasting of any European style architectural features, the Wellington Lodge with a ground floor and first floor  close to the KSRTC Bus stand in Mysuru city,  is  one of the earliest colonial structures in this part of Karnataka. As to its origin,  clear details are not available, historically speaking, it is called  Wellesley Lodge  primarily  because Arthur Wellesley, after his successful campaign against the mighty Tipu sultan and his demise in the final war in 1799, had  used it as  his  residence from 1799 to 1801. This is confirmed by the information on  a plaque fixed  on the front hall of the first floor.

More than 200 years old,  this  structure devoid of any special structural design   puzzles the visitors  who are at a loss to know why and for what purpose it was built. It looks  like a  sort of warehouse or factory with poor ventilation.  It looks unimaginative without look as if it had no life.  Access to the ground floor halls is through the porch and to the first floor through a pair of stairways on the east side. 

Wellington Lodge, Mysuru, KA mysore.ind.in

After the fall of Srirangapatna, the English company was in the process of transferring Mysore kingdom to the original rulers the Wodeyar royal family from whom Tipu's father seized the kingdom.  The kingdom of Mysore was annexed and divided between the Madras Presidency and the Nizam. The  rest became the  a Princely State; then the  five-year-old scion of the Wodeyar family, Krishnaraja III, became the ruler with Purnaiah as the Diwan (equal to Chief minister). 

Wellington Lodge, Mysuru,facebook.com

The British being shrewd and suspicious,  put the princely state of Mysore on Subsidiary alliance to have a grip on the Maharajah and his associates and  to prevent them from  turning against the English company. They exacted  a tribute and subsidy for maintaining  a standing army in Mysuru.  As for foreign policy, the kingdom had no rights and the control was with the EIC.

Coming back to the Wellesley Lodge, the purpose of the construction was  for the comfortable temporary stay of  Arthur Wellesley who was sent  by the English co as  a  political agent to oversee the settlement of Mysore ruler after a pretty long gap.   Apparently this structure came up in haste close to the Mysore palace. Having  served as the Commissioner of Mysore for two years till 1801, upon orders from the EIC, he left for the Deccan on a war campaign;  this time against the powerful Maratha Peshwas. He used this place as his office and wellington lodge was the first  Commissioner's office in Karnataka. It was a sort of stopgap abode till a govt. house came up later across this place. In the later years, Wellington Lodge was used as a government  office and also as a store associated with the Government House.

In 1805 Arthur Wellesley e commanded the British army against the French led by Napoleon and came out victorious. Same  year he bought a  big house in Hyde Park Corner in London called Apsley  and lived there for 35 years. In 1814 he became the first Duke of Wellington and in 1828 the prime minister of United Kingdom., representing the Tory Party.  

This building was in  ruins in the past and later repaired. The Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya. undertook the restoration work without disturbing its old values using old construction  technique. They have an office  and is engaged in  the preservation of traditional Indian art and culture. There is  small  Govt. museum is functioning in the building.