Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Historical Deputy Commissioner's office, Mysore, a colonial ethos of Mysore

Deputy Commissioner's  office, Mysore. thehindu.com/
Among  colonial buildings of Mysore  city, the one  with commanding setting that included  a nice park,  the statue of Sir. James Gordon, British Resident and grand steps, saw many political events that had certain impact on the Mysore kingdom and the royal family of the Wadiyar dynasty. The historical building is now known as DC office.

DC office building, Mysore. citytoday.news/
The District Commissioner's office building played a vital role in the history of Mysore. Soon after rendition in 1881, the administration was transferred to the Mysore ruler from the British. The transfer of power was not an easy one and it was widely debated in the British Parliament and also in the British media.  The two-story ornate building with a floor area of 30000 sq.ft came up for the residence cum office of the British representative who would supervise the administration of the state for the ruler by a Diwan appointed by the British rulers.   The foundation stone  for the building was laid on the 20th June 1887 & the building formally opened in 1895 with a vast land around it about 92 cares of open land; now it has come down to mere 2 acres. The building had 27 big rooms and the construction cost was Rs. 1.75 lakh. The open space space was called James Gordon Park after Gordon who also happened to be the Guardian of the Mysore ruler -  Maharajah Chamaraja Wadiyar.

This colonial style building, that has a frontage of roughly 300 feet is characteristic of arches of varying shapes round headed & flat segmented, each with a floral key stone together with Corinthian pilasters, open into the verandahs. Pediments with Corinthian pilasters end the wings. The key feature is  arcaded verandahs with Tuscan & Corinthian pilasters and molded motifs, running all around on both the floors & leading into high ceiling inner room and halls. The central block ends with a cut off pyramid, repeated in two wings, on which sits a wrought Iron tiara-like crown.The advantage of this type of design is it allows good ventilation and light and the high ceiling will keep the interior cool during summer days.
Mysore city map, maps of India
Many of the people may not be aware of the fact that this historical building was once the venue of the sittings of Mysore Representative Assembly which was set up  in 1881 by Dewan Rangacharlu and the young Maharajah  a few weeks after ascending the throne. The sittings were held initially at Jaganmohan palace and later shifted to DC building. There were two sittings annually. The Deputy Commissioner was the principal officer when the assembly sessions were held. This building was then called  ‘Representative Assembly Hall. After independence , the capital shifted to Bangalore and the sittings were held temporarily at the High Court building there until the vast Assembly Complex called Vidhana Soudha was built later. The credit goes to the then CM  Kengal Hanumanthaiah, CM 1952 - 1956.

The existing DC office is narrow, congested and does not have enough parking space. Many district offices have moved out of this 153 year old vintage building. There was a proposal to have a
new complex built else where for the entire DA offices for which they might need 14 acres of land with frontage and parking facilities. The new DC office, according to PWD officials, would cost around Rs. 100 crores.  Earlier the government had sanctioned  Rs.35 crores for the project  and asked the officials to look for suitable land with proper facilities. 
Tit-bits:
New DC office, Mysore. Star of Mysore

Above image: The construction of the new District Offices Complex at the German Press premises in Siddarthanagar on Mysuru-Bannur Double Road is in progress. As of July 2018  70% of the works  is completed. State PWD is taking care the building work. The  estimated cost is Rs. 59 crore (construction of building and civil works) on a 15-acre plot measuring 23,000 sq. ft. Pune baaed company Shirke Construction Technologies Pvt. is the contractor. The salient feature of the new building is its design is based on the model of Lilitha Mahal palace, Mysore..............