By: B S Prabhurajan
Kodagu district known for producing large number of army persons including chiefs will have a best army weapons museum very soon which also be a another tourist attraction.
‘Sunny Side’, the legendary home of Gen. Kodandera Subayya Thimayya’s in Madikeri that is being converted into a museum.
General Kodendera Subayya Thimayya, was a distinguished soldier of the Indian Army who served as Chief of Army Staff between 1957 to 1961 in Independent India and in the crucial years leading up to the conflict with China in 1962. Gen. Thimayya was the only Indian to command an Infantry brigade in battle during the Second World War and is regarded as the most distinguished combat officer the Indian Army has produced.
Weapons used by the soldiers of the Indian Army have been donated to General Thimayya Memorial Museum on G T Road in this hill town nestled amid serene Western Ghats in Karnataka.
The State government in its recent budget had announced the opening of the Museum. Accordingly, the district administration had submitted a Rs 5.5 crore proposal to government approval. So far Rs 3.5 crore out of the total budget of Rs 6 crore has been utilised towards the museum, stated officials.
With works to convert ‘Sunny Side’ into a memorial museum, the weapons have started arriving as promised by Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.
First it was an Army Tank that was transported by road from Kirkee War Cemetery at Khadki, a town near Pune in Maharashtra, to the General Thimayya Museum.
The weapons were sent by General B P Rawat, the Chief of Army Staff, the weapons received on the premises of the DC’s office were placed in the strong room.
Army officials said preparations are underway to assemble the spare parts of 50 to 60-year-old light mission guns, medium mission gun, self-loading rifles, 7.62 and 303 barrel rifles, rocket launcher, 32 mm rifle and point 38 rifles and restore them
General Thimayya forum convener Maj A Biddanda A Nanjappa said that the visitors will get to see a canon used by the Indian Army which is being transported by the soldiers of Madras Regiment.
Gen. Rawat had provided a list of 1,200 guns and the forum members were asked to choose any 24 arms from the list. Major General Kodanda P Cariappa who is working in the military regiment of the President of India was instrumental in getting the armament.
The main attraction of the museum will be the articles used by General Thimayya. This include military uniforms, books and information on Indian Army, Navy and Air force.
Forum member Nanjappa said that there are plans to design a park and install a statue of Gen Thimayya on the two-acre plot.