RK Narayan’s museum evokes little interest among tourists

May 9, 2017

MYSURU: Celebrated English writer R K Narayan’s house at Yadavagiri, which was in danger of being demolished not too long ago, was converted into a museum. Yet, tourists are not flocking in large numbers to see the novelist’s memorabilia.

Eight months after it was inaugurated, but with little promotion, hardly a couple of people visit the house which wears a deserted look most of the time.

On July 23 last year, the two-storeyed restored building and museum of the Malgudi creator was inaugurated by chief minister Siddaramaiah. There are more than 100 collections of RK Narayan’s photographs and belongings including his coat, Padma Bhushan certificates, his collection of books and spectacles he used for reading and writing.

The government had also decided to come up with an interpretation centre at the museum but it is yet to become a reality. The building is called ‘RK Narayan’s House’, but does not have catchy display boards to attract the masses.

RK Narayan moved into this bungalow in Yadavagiri in 1952 and lived there for a few decades before moving to Chennai in 1998. After his departure, some of his relatives and cousins lived here, but they too left.

Following this, Narayan’s family decided to sell the building, and it was to be demolished in September 2011, when locals began staging protests demanding that the government preserve the building.

Based on this demand, then urban development minister Suresh Kumar too showed interest and later, it was then corporation commissioner Betsurmath who played a major role in revamping the building and turning it into a museum.

 The government took over the building and handed over Rs 2.4 crore to the family, and later spent Rs 30 lakh to renovate it, and an additional Rs 5 lakh for landscaping.