Krupalaya – a slice of history vanishes

The moribund Mysore Chapter of INTACH had grandiosely “ listed ‘ some 250 structures in and around the city as ‘heritage’ buildings and later the Mysuru City Corporation under the then Commissioner Raykar instituted a task force comprising of a handpicked team of ‘experts’ rehashed the INTACH report  which incidentally was prepared by late journalist Krishna Vattam.

After Raykar departed to board a new gravy train, the Indian Heritage Cities Network, the MCC under the then commissioner,  Dr. C G Betsurmath  with the ‘help ‘ of Raykar’s outfit got a ‘German expert’ to ‘study the Devaraja Market and make recommendations for its restoration.’ Lakhs of rupees were spent preparing the report  and before anything more could be done  the building had a fortunate collapse.

This seems to be jinx haunting every move of the MCC when it comes to conserving heritage buildings.

In fact, according to the MDJA (Mysore District Journalists Association) grapevine  the crony-infested Heritage Committee of the MCC has made another list of some 236 heritage structures in the city which is  awaiting ‘approval’ from the state government.

It is believed that in that list are several private properties.  Among them is the small mountain of rubble that has come up in the compound of House No. 677 on the Vasant Mahal road,  which was known as ‘Krupalaya.” It is believed that this mysterious list also includes several other now private buildings like Rukmalaya and Calladium Villa.  

It may be of interest to know that one of the earlier residents of the Krupalaya was the IAS officer J B Mallaradaya  who served Maharaja Jayachhamarajendra Wadiyar as his Huzur secretary. He was also a member of the Mysore State Legislative Assembly and after retirement stayed in Krupalaya from December 15, 1955 to March 3, 1958.   

It is believed that it was only after some persuasion that the Huzur Secretary finally vacated the bungalow.  The property then went under the possession of the Maharajkumari Kamakshi Devi Trust which soon filed a case for recovery of arrears and damages from Mallaradhya after he  failed to reply to three notices. More peace parleys later, the matter was settled  out of court on October 30, 1960 with a recovery of Rs 2019-31

After Mallaradhya vacated the house, Maharajakumari Sri Kamakshi Devi Trust, under the Palace Trusts, which was designated to take possession of the property, filed a case to recover arrears and damages of Rs 4,060.37 from the former huzur secretary after he failed to reply to three notices.

However, the case was settled out of court on October 30, 1960, with a recovery of Rs 2019.31 while a sum of  Rs 2311.12 was written off, following some clarification from Mallaradhya’s side.

The Palace Trust then sold the property to Farookh Irani ( of the iconic Jawa Motorcycle fame and of course Yezdi Breweries)  who  later on made Krupalaya their guest house.  A Mumbai-based businessman, Qureshi who was also a close associate of F K Irani acquired the property in an auction by Indian Overseas Bank for Rs 2.54 crore in the 1990s. Then it passed into the hands of a private property developer. Now soon the mountain of rubble will give away to some hideous monstrosity in glass and concrete which will forever by a class one eyesore.

Punters if there are any, would do well to make a book which building will go next. Rukmalaya which is just around the corner  and whose resident once was Thumboo Chetty? Indeed the mansion was named after Rukma-Philomena, Thumboo Chetty’s daughter.

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