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Karnataka: Historic Lingaraj Desai wade is in dire need of restoration | Mysuru News – Times of India

SHIRASANGI(BELAGAVI DISTRICT): Shiransangi Lingaraj Desai was a great philanthropist. He had an annual income of about Rs 5 lakh in 1900. He donated his thousands of acres of land to poor people, educational institutions. He had introduced scholarships for students and former CMs B D Jatti, SR Kanthi and SR Bommai were among the beneficiaries. However, Desai’s wade (palace) in Shirasangi, Savadatti taluk, Belagavi district. is in pathetic condition for years. Roof is about to fall and furniture is breaking.
The Navalgund-Shirasangi Trust, which was formed in 1906 as per the wish and will of Desai, is now under the government. Desai’s followers allege that neither trust nor government is protecting Wade.
Ramjan Darga, a senior writer, told TOI that the Trust has land of about 3,000 acres in Shirasangi, Navalgund and other places. “Apart from Shirasangi, it has Wades (palaces) at Navalgund, Savadatti, Belagavi. Some properties are allegedly being used by some vested interests. Desai has constructed a Lake in Navalgund. Desai helped poor students irrespective of caste and creed. When we brought it to the Minister MB Patil in 2019, he had assured of protecting them. But no action has been taken there” he regretted.
Ravindranath Doddameti, a social activist, recalled that there was a lesson on the life of Desai in the textbook of class 7 in 1967. “Our teacher Junjappanavar had taken us to the Shirasangi Wade and had taught the lesson there itself. Desai was adopted by Jayappa Desai, who was the ruler of Shirasangi province. As Lingaraj also had no wards, he donated all properties to the society.” he mentioned. He stated that he had met HD Kumaraswamy and Basavaraj Bommai during their tenure as CM demanding makeshift of Shirasangi Wade.
Harshavardhan Sheelavant, an environmentalist, said that the Trust is celebrating the birth and death anniversary of Desai but it is doing nothing to protect his properties.
Shivaji Shindhe, Vice President, Sri Tyagaveer Lingaraj Smaraka Samiti in Shirasangi, asserted that some furniture works are started at Wade but locals are unaware about works being taken up by the government. “Even centenary hall, built by the government during the birth centenary of Desai, is defunct. If it is handed over to the local Gram Panchayat, villagers are ready to make good use of it” he added.

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