Tipu sultan's relocated armory at Srirangapatna railway station is again in a mess!!

No country across the globe  has a vast store house of mind-blogging and inspiring monuments that showcase the impact of various Indian dynasties besides colonial rulers covering more than 1800 years. They are all both archaeological and architectural assets that are impossible to rebuild because they are richly imaginative embodying  a multitude of expressions over time and space. Frozen in time, they represent our cultural ethos and legacy importing  certain measure of  historical continuity. It is sad  across many states in the past neither the people nor the respective state governments understood their values and  made periodic maintenance. Only in the last one and half decades an awareness has been created across the land to safeguard such rich monuments that are being encroached upon by fast urbanization. Now, many governments are taking steps to save such monuments  which are actually historical documents   that  have  everlasting relevance to contemporary Indian society.  A preponderance of India’s  heritage sites - be  they temples, colonial or historical  structures remain unprotected and in some places without any strong barricades. To begin with special efforts must be made to put up a strong fencing to prevent the entry of vandals, drunks and hooligans'. 

Tipu's armory, in new location. Srirangapatna. deccanherald.com

Above image: Tipu' armory, Srirangapatna railway station; Under the ASI, though located to the new location in 2017, the armory is in decrepit condition. With no information board at the site the surrounding area is in a mess with the growth of wild grass, weeds, etc., empty liquor bottles and trash strewn all around. hooligans and anti-social people use it as a public toilet and the stench, according to media reports, is unbearable. Roughly Rs.14 crore was spent on relocation of this armory and it is a waste. The ASI owes an explanation to the public. A heritage site is again in a shambles after its recent restoration and relocation. ......................... 

Inside, Tipu's armory srirangapatna wolfehousebuildingmovers.com

shfting Tipu's armory, Srirangapatna.deccanherald.com/

Tipu Sultan of Mysore, a great warrior and who gave nightmares to the English company that was keen to grab the southern parts of India in the 18th century had build several armories during his reign primarily to store his arms and ammunition, including his famous Mysorian rockets, gunpowder and guns. The erstwhile ruler built as many as 10 such underground armories commonly referred to as Grand magazine. They  were close to the forts and were placed away from the  residences and these armories play a major rule during his battles with the EIC's army.  He designed it such a way  the interior part of the Armory is just a hollow space roughly 12 foot x 30 foot in dimension and will have a depth of roughly 20 feet below the ground  with one or two  small windows for ventilation and light. His armories are in  Bangalore, at Srirangapatna, Manjarabad, Pavagada, Madhugiri and Sultan Bathery. karnataka.

Tipu Sultan, Bangalore Mirror.

With reference to the one close to the Srirangapatna railway station in Mandya district way back from 3 to 11 March 2017, after long deliberations  1000 ton armory was translocated about 20 meters away to another place at the cost of Rs. 13.66 crores. It was done primarily to facilitate the Bengaluru-Mysuru railway track doubling works. The armory was  close to the proposed railway track. 1.7 km rail line work was pending roughly for a couple of years  

This  Armory, a square-shaped structure has a dimension of  about 12 meters wide and 12 meters tall made of brick-lime mortar mixed with egg shells and jaggery, and  played a vital role during the last Angelo -Mysore war. Tipu used this armory to use the ammunition against the British.

This translocation work involving 228 year old structure, was a tough job done in collaboration with an American company; an Indo-American joint venture company PSL-Wolfe Private Limited was involved. Now, the 18th century armory in a new location appears to be neglected and there is no semblance of periodic work. With weeds and shrubs growing all around the site, irresponsible people  are conveniently using it as public toilet and dump yard for liquor bottles, waste materials, etc. Th compound wall around the site is tall but is not provided with sharp pointes grill or barbed wires atop. The grill gate is wide open and as it is not well protected it looks shabby and drunks and grass-smokers may have easy access and abuse the armory- once the symbol of Tipu's valor and military knowledge.  

Media reports point out  due to lack of poor upkeep saplings are growing on the Armory and if they develop strong roots they may promote seepages through cracks making the newly relocated and restored armory structurally weak. 


Srirangapatna, KA.mapsofindia.com

What is surprising is there is no information board in front of the site about the historical importance of the armory built by Tipu. According to the railway officials, the protected  site belongs to the ASI and it is their responsibility to put up an information  board at the site and maintain it periodically.  The ASI  should act immediately and protect Tipu's armory near the Srirangapatna railway station. Their dereliction of duty is highly deplorable.