What does royalty mean in the 21st century? As Dikshu Kukreja progresses on his journey with design, he meets with His Highness Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the Maharaja of Mysore. With a shared interest in Indian heritage and culture, the conversation delves deep into the mystery and history of ancient architecture and the heritage of this country. And all this at the location touted as the Buckingham Palace of India – the Mysore Palace!
“Coming from a background where we are aware of our heritage every day, I think it is most intrinsic and we notice it permeating through all our society. We look at it as something at the core of our DNA, right from the colour of our eyes to our hair, skin, and even the behavioural patterns that we inherit from our parents. Everything is heritage when you break it down,” says HH YKC Wadiyar.
In a creative field, the learning that one draws is inspired by and grasped through one’s heritage. These ancient towns and edifices have been some of the most prominent aspects of our civilisation; they not only represent an era but also are a form of narrative which is expressed through their magnificent interiors, murals and the exteriors of buildings too.
As a scion of the Royal House of Mysore, the young Maharaja continues to uphold its rich tradition and culture and continues his passion to preserve the culture of the Deccan over its 600 years of presence.
“I have always been passionate about the identity of Mysore and the Deccan. I think it is a unique aspect of India which is sometimes, not necessarily to a great extent but not to the extent we would like, highlighted across India. When you think of the romanticisation of an Indian place or its design aspects, it’s either Rajasthan or Gujarat that comes to your head, and not necessarily the Southern side of the country. However, we have our own unique identity in this sphere. I think highlighting and preserving that part of the heritage as well lends towards bringing the country to a global stage,” shares HH YKC Wadiyar.
Just like us humans, our buildings require diligent efforts for their preservation, conservation and, at times, restoration. Diving deeper into the conversation, Dikshu and His Highness share thoughts on the fundamental aspect of sustainability and how the perception towards sustainability needs to change both at the national and the global levels. “Well, certainly, we can do more. The question is not if we are doing much; we have to do a lot more as it is a matter of our future generations,” says HH YKC Wadiyar, adding “If we are to leave the world as good as our ancestors left for us, then no doubt we have to look at being environmentally friendly and sustainable. And I think that ties into heritage and aspects of design as well.”
India holds a plethora of rich heritage on her land and we have been a pioneer in high rise designs with majestic shikhars, sthambhs, darwazaas and much more. Our country had been pacing ahead in time through its pioneering engineering reservations and astounding architectural imaginations than its Western counterparts.
“One wonders sometimes, were our engineering skills better than what they are today? Fundamentally, somewhere we have gone wrong in the way choices have been made, whether on the design side or on the construction technology side. We seem to have just put sustainability aside completely and that is something which now really needs to be looked at,” opines Dikshu when discussing geographically- and weather-appropriate architectural designs and layouts in comparison to the modern elements that hamper natural ventilation and light that play a more important role.
Can we use this vast knowledge available at our disposal to create a new paradigm of memorable architecture? Watch the entire episode on www.designwithdikshu.com to learn more about preserving our heritage and how it can be interwoven into future development models.
Join Dikshu Kukreja in his journey of creating awareness towards design by following him on Twitter (@DikshuKukreja) and Instagram (@dikshukukreja) and spreading awareness about design. You can also directly connect with him and find answers to your to your design-related curiosities by using the hashtag #designwithdikshu on Instagram or Twitter.
I have always been passionate about the identity of Mysore and the Deccan. I think it is a unique aspect of India which is sometimes, not necessarily to a great extent but not to the extent we would like, highlighted across India. When you think of the romanticisation of an Indian place or its design aspects, it’s either Rajasthan or Gujarat that comes to your head, and not necessarily the Southern side of the country. However, we have our own unique identity in this sphere.
— HH YKC Wadiyar, Maharaja of Mysore