Mysuru: If all goes according to the plans, the tourists visiting Mysuru Palace may get a chance to smell a whiff of sandalwood. Plans are afoot to set up Sandalwood Museum on the premises of the palace. It will also be having the privilege to present country’s first Sandalwood museum to the visitors.
Karnataka Forest Department especially Forest division of Mysuru is involved in the promotion of ethical sandalwood plantation in a big way by encouraging farmers with saplings.
As an addition, the forest department has set up sandalwood museum at Government Sandalwood Depot on the premises of Aranya Bhavan, the office complex of forest department at Ashokapuram in the city.
District incharge minister S T Somashekar who inspected the museum on Monday was of the firm opinion that “the museum may better be shifted to Palace premises for want of a bigger space. It will also help in generating more revenue as the tourist footfalls at Palace is also more”.
Minister also collected information about the exhibits at the museum and also its benefits to the farmers.
APCCF Jagat Ram, Conservator of Forest T Hiralal and DCFs Alexander and K C Prashanth provided the information.
Later the minister told media persons, “Sandalwood is a synonym for Mysuru and Karnataka. The rich history and importance of the precious wood should be conveyed to the public and tourists and mainly farmers. In this wake forest department has set up a small museum here. However lack of free access to the museum has come into notice and hence we are planing to shift the museum to Palace premises. I will discuss with chief Minister and Forest Minister Anand Singh in this regard”, he added.
DCF Prashanth Kumar told that “Sandalwood cultivation promises high income for farmers. As per estimation one hectare of sandalwood plantation assures a revenue of not less than Rs three crore to Rs four crore in 25 years. Now, forest department is supplying saplings from its own nursery. The farmers are being given proper guidance and promotional grants, which will be definitely helpful to farmers”.
Prashanth Kumar also mentioned that “we have displayed 20 different parts of sandalwood tree. Following the shortage of supply of Sandalwood, we are encouraging farmers to grow sandalwood. Sandalwood was auctioned in February, generating a revenue of Rs six crore to the department”.