KRS ( Krishna Rajendra Sagara ) as it is popular known as the Brindavan gardens and Dam is dedicated to the king of the times Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The KRS dam was constructed under the guidance of Sir Mokshagundam. Visvesvaraya ( 15th Sept 1860 – 15th April 1962 ). Sir M.V was awarded the highest civilian award of Bharat Ratna in 1955 just a few years before he passed away. The KRS dam was completed in 1924 with automatic crest gates to control the release of excess water.
Prologue : The history of the reservoir ( KRS ) seems to futuristic thinking on part of the rulers to prevent flooding and harness the clean waters of the reservoir for drinking purpose. A group of villages surrounding Kannampadi was obviously relocated to higher plateau to enable construction of the KRS dam. The population of the villages may be around 2500 villagers or 500 families.
RELOCATION OF KANNAMBADI HOYSALA TEMPLE :
When we were just waiting for lunch after ordering, i happened to glance a news item which mentioned an ancient Hoysala temple was submerged while the KRS dam was being constructed. This temple was taken up for resurrection by the Khodays group. The temple is being redesigned to suit the landscape and availability of skilled manpower. Majority of the original pillars and stones have crumbled to a large extent. We were able to photograph some of the remains on the bank of the river cauvery.
The location of this temple under reconstruction gives a bird’s eye view of the expanse of the cauvery river and its expanse. Some of the old stones and pillars are being used to reconstruct this massive temple. Artisans have been working day and night for 4 years and it is scheduled for completion in its modern avatar in 2010. A visit to the new Kannampadi town is a must to unravel the beauty of nature and mankind. One thing which beats the mind of any common man why is that KRS was not harnessed for hydroelectric power generation.
Brindavan Gardens :
The concept of building the Brindavan Gardens goes to Sir Mirza Ismail, who was the diwan of Mysore. ( Chief Financial Officer ) . Brindavan garden has been fashioned in the footsteps of the Shalimar gardens in Kashmir. The work of landscaping began in 1927 with its chief architect, G.H. Krumbigal, the superintendent of Parks and Garden in Mysore Govt. The landscaping is an ongoing process, however the initial process was completed within 5 years.
The garden is laid out in three terrace formation. One on, the right hand side garden, across the small lake houses the musical fountain. This can be crossed over by ferry or by walk on the small bridge constructed for nature lovers. The main tourist attraction is the musical fountains which played every day for 1 hour from 7 to 8 pm and on holidays an extra 30 minutes, wherein the light and sound along with water fountains dance literally to the music. Alisa Chinoys Made in India is an evergreen number which still continues to echo in the sound bytes generated.
The garden is spread over 60 acres, with fruit orchards, two horticulture farms, Nagavana and Chandravana. The garden is laid out with various species of fauna and fountains. Some of the popular ones are Celosia, Marigold and Bougainvillea. There is a children playing area with small rides created for their entertainment. There are various dummy sized animals in the childrens area consisting of Seated Gorilla, Giraffe, Bison, Lioness, Grizzly Bear, Tortise, etc. The complex also contains an Acquarium which is charged @ Rs 5 per head. The speciality of this acquarium is a Malayasian breed of fish which is known as Arona ( costs Rs 40 K ).
The original passage of tourist from over the dam, has become a relic of the past. I remember distinctly the walking across the dam and going by the Police jeep sometimes, over the bridge courtesy my uncle. The pristine glory of the past can be relived by visiting the gateway in one has the time and inclination. The archway is a beautiful sight for photography. In view of the terror threats photography of the dam is prohibited. One can literally view how much water is stored in this reservoir, which is cause of heartburn between people of T.N and Karnataka for over a decade. One should silently pray to the Kaveri goddess, that people of both the states should be blessed with plenty of water flow, so that there is no scope of dispute.
Food Stalls :
There are plenty of food stalls in the enterance of the gardens, and inside the premises there is 5 star accommodation run by Balaji Group and a restaurant run by KSTDC. The KSTDC provides a reasonable option for budget family. The rooms of KSTDC are currently under renovation, wherein the tariffs will be subject to escalation.
The tourist inflow to Brindavan gardens has been affected tremendously causing heartburn to the organizers. On an average at least 5 thousands visitors used to visit Brindavan garden which was favourite film shooting spots for most erstwhile bollywood movies. The terror threats and recession has taken its toll on the tourist destinations. It is time for the organizers to sit and plan better facilities for the tourists who are bound to return in due course. The Cauvery Niravari Nigama and KSTDC are jointly managing the entire premises. There is unauthorized toll collection at the enterance, for vehicles, which I feel the govt should ensure abolition. There are some goonda elements involved in collection of Toll, I hope the cops arrest them for cheating the public.
Epilouge : Imagine if tourists are able to cruise across the cauvery river in a battery operated boats to the newly constructed constructed Venugopalaswamy temple. Maybe in future people will be served sumptuous banana plantain leaf meals with private canteen operators. Inorder to attract more tourists an artificial falls can be created with no soaps allowed like in Tirumala and recycling of water ensured. The current rush of tourist in the evening should be disbursed throughout the day with all day package. The park should be thrown open for sunrise and set points from 6 am onwards. There is scope for Solar power harvesting if installed intelligently. The state govt needs to generate revenue from current 5 crore level to 50 cr