Madikeri: In the middle of the town, atop a hill, is the historical fort of the Rajas of Coorg. In the north-east corner at the entrance are two lifesize masonry elephants. They were reputedly built by Veerarajendra Wodeyar, who ruled the province from 1791 to 1809 CE, in penance and reparation for the brutal killing of the royal elephants.
The two majestic replicas are the star attraction for the tourists. The fort as a whole bears witness to the old rule of Ganga, Kongalva, Hoysala, Vijayanagar, Belur and other rules, with distinct marks. However, in spite of the significance of this tourist spot which has been declared as a protected monument, there is no proper security. The label of ‘protected’ monument seems to be only on paper. While there are guards during daytime, there is no security in the night.
Earlier during the fortnight, a tusk of one of the elephants was found broken. On first look, it appears to be an attempt with the mistaken thought that it was real ivory. Although there is a steel enclosure around the monument, the miscreants appear to have jumped across to do a reality check on the tusks.
They may have gone back disappointed but the citizens are far more distressed over the damage which has ruined the beauty of the masterpieces. The guards suspect that the act took place sometime in the night of Dec 25. The elephants are crying for attention and protection so that the future generations would also know the history of Kodagu.