Vasantha Mahal Palace, Mysuru, if not saved by the state government now, it'll be lost forever

damaged Vasantha Mahal Palace, Mysuru, KA

Vasantha Mahal Palace, Mysuru, KA

 The heritage city of Mysuru, as days go by, loses its prominence  as no month passesby without some heritage building or structure developing major structural problems or facing threats of demolition by the city authority. Endowed with so many heritage structures the city fathers, it is a matter of regret no serious steps are taken by them to save  building of past era for the next generation of people.  Nestling amidst a green lush land of 36 acres about 3.5 km  from Mysore Railway Station, Vasantha Mahal Palace was built in 1842   in Tuscan Style of Architecture by the ruling family of Wodeyar Dynasty of Mysuru. The palace  later was converted into a special school for the princes of Mysore.

Presently it houses the state-run District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) though the heritage mansion is in poor condition primarily because of official negligence for a long period without any periodic maintenance. It is quite strange unwanted people and  antisocial people enter the premises and causes damages to the walls and windows in spite of the presence of an educational institution. This kind of barging by miscreants and punks   vitiates the atmosphere of an academic institution. Earlier it was  converted into a grand hotel and in the later years  it was  closed.

Vasantha Mahal Palace, Mysuru, leaky ceiling. KA

Complaints were made to the police about the unsavory  activities on the premises, but  no action was taken by them. Persistent neglect pushed the condition of the building to such an extent that during rains in the monsoon seasons  in many places the it  becomes leaky damaging the concrete and limestone portions; soaking of water caused parts of the wall to disintegrate slowly and the broken chips fell off.  On the terrace at  corners of the building the accumulating rainwater got absorbed by the wall and began to  leak. The living and the dinning rooms are not in good shape with weak ceiling and wet walls. On the upper floor the balusters  in some are  broken and are in a poor state of condition. 

The entire palace, right from the large portico to the interior parts including the first floor are in dilapidated state, the visitors will be appalled by the pathetic condition of this structure that once served as a palace of pleasure and recreation for  the royal family of Mysore. Another  reason for the poor state of the building is due to tussle among various government departments with respect to maintenance.  

The Department of Heritage, Museums and Archaeology or the Department of Public Instruction, that runs the DIET compete with others over the rights to control the building. In this unwanted conflicts and confrontation that never seem to come to an an end, further escalated by redtapism  the building is left high and dry. At stake is the survival of the heritage structure that seems to become weak as time goes by with no solution in sight to the conflicts among the government agencies that are deep in slumbers. 

Once the structure was under the Trust  in the name of Rajkumari Meenakshi Devi Trust formed by formed by Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, the first Governor of Mysore State. Later he became the governor of Madras in the 1960s. Subsequently ownership changed and the state government bought the trust property which came under the DIET.

The listed heritage building Vasantha Mahal Palace was  damaged to such a large extent that needed urgent attention.  Understanding the urgency to repair it at the earliest, the Heritage Department  had written  a proposal (Dec. 2021) to repair it at an estimated cost of 2.79 crore  and sent it to the state  government with recommendation from  the  Department of Public instruction.  It never yielded  any positive result. So far  nothing has happened. Image credit:

The onus is on the ruling government to save  this palace, a legacy of the  Wadiyar royal  family, for the posterity.