Madikeri Gaddige (royal tombs) gets a new look
The Gaddige at Madikeri, one of the historical monuments of Kodagu, has got a new look following a beautification drive launched by the Madikeri Urban Development Authority.
Over the years, Gaddige, the mausoleums of the former rulers of Kodagu, had become a haven for anti-social elements, land-grabbers, and vandals. Miscreants had burnt the doors of one of the mausoleums last year.
The monuments built in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture by the Kodagu Rajas with domes and turrets, tower over the scenic Madikeri town.
Much of the grounds around the Gaddige were encroached by illegal occupants who were encouraged by politicians to gain their votes.
Following the beautification drive which is almost under completion, a butterfly garden, a lotus pond and flower gardens and lawns have come up on the four-acre land at an estimated cost of around Rs 60 lakhs.
To prevent tress-passers from the neighbouring Azadnagar, a huge gate has been erected at the entrance. The area has been fenced to keep out motorists, cattle and children playing cricket. The authorities eventually plan to introduce tickets for entry.
Lingarajendra’s tomb was built in 1820. There are also the tombs of a Raja’s priest and that of two army commanders. A commemorative
plaque, eulogizing the bravery of General Biddanda Bopu who fought
Tipu Sultan has been recorded by Dodda Veerarajendra in an inscription.
EDITOR’S VIEW: The Kodagu district administration should be complimented for beautifying the Gaddige which has been in neglect for many years. But the authorities should not rest on their laurels. In the past also such beautification drives were undertaken without much effect.
First and foremost, the security around the Gaddige should be stepped up to keep away tress-passers from the neighbourhood. Entry should be through tickets. This way, all unauthorized persons could be barred entry.
Finally, the government should evict encroachers who have occupied the Gaddige lands after re-locating them elsewhere in the town. This is critical for restoring the monument for posterity.