The 130 year old Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry, Mysuru needs urgent restoration and conservation!

The Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry,

 The Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry, Mysuru.

Mysuru city is one of places in india which is dotted with more than  500 plus heritage buildings and many of them are the legacy of the Mysore ruling family.  Among them about 150 are officially notified whereas the rest are  waiting for the heritage tag. Since such old buildings have relevance with the past the connectivity needs to be safeguarded. Unfortunately, it is not so in many sites across india, The Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry is an old heritage site and it has to be repaired and restored for the posterity. This way we can protect the ethos of this city and its cultures.  

The Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry on Vinoba Road,  Mysuru  built 150 years ago and earlier, was maintained by the Municipal Administration and is a famous landmark in this city.  Now it is being  managed by Sri Nanjaraja Bahadur Chatra Managing Committee under the Muzrai Department. The Choultry was built with a view to providing affordable lodging facilities  to thousands of tourists who visit this place.

Built on a 10-acre land in the way past,  it is under the control of the state government  and way back in 2018 the Congress government had a proposal to build a hostel  for the for the Maharani’s Women’s Arts College as this site is just across the college. 

The president of the Sri Nanjaraja Bahadur Chatra Managing Committee categorically stated that “The Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry will not be demolished at any cost as it is a heritage structure. We will retain the building and utilise the space behind the Choultry to construct the Hostel.   There was a rumor that a proposal was on the anvil to construct a College Hostel upon demolishing the old  Choultry. That “There are no demolition plans'' is a good news for the heritage enthusiasts.  

illegal bldgs. the Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry, Mysuru.

The Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry, 130 year heritage structure and the adjoining land, are being poorly mismanaged by the government officials.. Some pieces of lands were leased out to the private traders who pay poor rent Even the government Cooperative Milk Federation for its outlet (100 sq ft) pays about Rs.4400 rent pm. So is the private  hotel  that took out roughly  16800 sq.ft of land on Jhansi Rani road was  paying peanuts - just Rs.3000 pm. The hotel's  30 year  lease ended in 2009 was extended  for 10  more years for a small monthly rent; it is a total rip-off. 

According to officials this site  houses  many tenants who pay low rent. They are:  Mayura Hotel run by the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC), a Garage, two service stations-cum-petrol pumps, the Information Department,  and an old weighbridge. Besides, there are  a few houses being  occupied by  members of State Government Employees Association, 

The crux of the matter is parts of the site have been on lease with the government since 1975 and some are facing legal litigation. Sri Nanjaraja Bahadur Chatra Managing Committee is keen to take back the land and have already  sent a proposal to the government ''not to renew any lease,” said the president of the committee

Inscription on the wall,  Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry, Mysuru

The President of the Committee Sri Krishnappa  mentioned that the  hostel for Maharani’s Women’s Arts College (established in 1902)  will come up on an one acre plot   behind the Choultry which will be retained as it is a heritage structure. The unauthorized buildings, etc  behind it  will be removed legally to work on the hostel project. The Congress ministry agreed to hand over one-acre of land behind the Choultry to build the hostel.

Way in the past, when there was a fire mishap in the palace in 1897   some of the important items   were stored here while the royal family of Wadiyar shifted their residence to Jaganmohan palace.

The present Choultry (Chatram) near the railway station  came on the site  where Sachithnanda Chatram on the banks of JK -Jeevaranya katte stood. It was demolished to build a similar building to cater to the needs of the public for comfortable stay.  On June 1883, the administration of the 10th Chamaraja Wadiyar issued the order for the construction of a chatram. Of the total construction  cost around Rs.63000,  Nanjaraja, son of 10th wife of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar made a solid contribution Rs.50000 toward construction cost. In 1890 first portion of the building on a 10 acre plot was built. Nanjaraja Bahadur was the chairman of the committee. It came under the erstwhile  Mysore city council and later under  the management of Religious Endowment Dept - Muzarai.

Preparations were underway to remove encroachments to develop this site in the prime area.  There are proposals to build commercial complex by the committee to get sufficient regular income from this site to maintain the heritage structure and the adjacent places.