A silver lining in heritage conservation in the ‘City of Palaces’ Mysore, is in The majestic bungalow that was the residence of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan when he was a professor and taught Philosophy at the University of Mysore has been restored to its original glory. The heritage home of Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was inaugurated recently, This is the first positive step on the heritage conservation front in a city that suffered the shock of the collapse of another landmark structure in Lansdowne Building early this year which was Over 100 years old.
The structure, popularly called Radhakrishnan’s Bungalow, at Saraswathipuram, is reckoned to have been in existence for more than 100 years and was constructed even before the University of Mysore came into being in 1916. N.S. Rangaraju of the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, the University of Mysore - who closely monitored the restoration of the structure said that all conservation norms and principles were followed. There was no replica for the original materials, including lime mortar and tiles used for roofing, and hence these were handmade to the original specifications at the site itself, said Professor Rangaraju. The structure was dilapidated the portico had collapsed and a portion of the ceiling was on the verge of collapse. The outhouse too had collapsed, while the pillars of the main building were damaged, Professor Rangaraju said.
But in view of the structure’s association with Radhakrishnan, it was deemed fit to restore the building and it was made possible due to the magnanimity of Dr. M.R. Doreswamy, Ex-MLC and Founder of PES Institutions. He contributed a sum of Rs. 78 lakh for the purpose. The university plans to convert the structure into a museum, besides establishing a research centre with a focus on the philosopher President.
From the university’s perspective, this is the second major conservation exercise associated with it. The Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, which houses the folklore museum, was restored in 2001-02 with funding from Infosys Foundation. Interestingly, the Professors’ Quarters, next to Radhakrishnan’s Bungalow, are also being restored. It will be the headquarters of the Indian Heritage Cities Network.
Mysore University Vice-Chancellor Dr. Hemanth Kumar recently felicitated, Dr. M. R. Doreswamy when he visited the Bungalow.