Mandya: An obelisk (memorial) which could be the tallest in the region dating back to the 18th century, believed to be dedicated to British Colonel Bailey, is crying for attention at Vidyanagar, a small village in Darasaguppe of Pandavapura taluk in Mandya district.
Mysuru Heritage Committee member Prof. Ranga Raju, a retired professor of the department of ancient history and archaeology, says that the obelisk is dedicated to Colonel Bailey who was captured by erstwhile Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan during a war and died in captivity. The memorial was built by his nephew in 1817.
According to Prof. Ranga Raju, no such tall obelisk is found in the vicinity though there are many such memorials of British officers found scattered in and around Srirangapatna and Pandavapura taluks.
Officials of the department of archaeology, heritage and museums say that the obelisk might have been built to commemorate a meeting between Dewan Poornaiah and British officers at the place around 1806-07. However, the height of the obelisk is unmeasured so far.
Residents of Vidya Nagar say that the monument in their village was in excellent condition with railings for protection around it till the railings were taken away by unknown persons allowing people to damage the structure by writing on it. Archaeology officials told Deccan Chronicle on Monday that the obelisk is yet to come under their jurisdiction and correspondence is going on in this regard. Meanwhile, an NGO has made an appeal to the officials concerned to protect the structure before it is further damaged.