C. P. Belliappa's Column

C.P.Belliappa’s book reading on Coorg Princess at Leeds fest

“Book Reading at Ilkley
(By: C.P. Belliappa)

In October 2011, I was invited by Dr. Nima Poovaya-Smith, Founder-Director of Alchemy, for a reading of my book: Princess Victoria Gowramma: The Lost Princess of Coorg, at the Ilkley Literature Festival, Leeds.

Alchemy is a well-known organization based in U.K., and is involved in promoting cultural confluence between nations and across nationalities (

Dr. Nima Poovaya-Smith, a brilliant scholar, did her post-graduation in Mysore University during late 1970s; and Prof U.R. Ananthamurthy still considers her as one of his best students. She went to University of Leeds on a scholarship for her doctoral degree.

The Chairman of Alchemy is the eminent David Lascelles, the 8th Earl of Harewood who is the great-great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria. Princess Victoria Gowramma was the god-daughter of Queen Victoria; and it was significant for me that the Earl of Harewood was present at the event to hear my narration of the almost forgotten story of the Princess from Coorg.

Thanks to Dr. Nima Poovaya-Smith, we had an opportunity to visit Harewood House, the stately home of David Lascelles located in their 10000 acre estate near Harrogate. History of Lascelles family goes back more than 900 years and their collections of artefacts are stunning.

The book reading was enhanced by musical interludes by famous fusion-music duo: David Wilson and Inder ‘Goldfinger’ Matharu. Two musical scores titled:
‘Lost Princess’ ( and
‘Victoria’ ( )
were specially composed by the musicians for the occasion.

David Wilson and Inder ‘Goldfinger’ Matharu are slated to perform at London Olympics during one of the cultural events.