President inaugurates museum celebrating life & achievements of General Thimayya

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(Eds: Add quotes) Madikeri, Feb 6 (PTI) A museum celebrating the life of former Army Chief General Kodandera Subayya Thimayya, housing a variety of antique weaponry and war relics, was inaugurated on Saturday by President Ram Nath Kovind.

'Sunny Side', the erstwhile ancestral house of General Thimayya, who served as the Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961, has been renovated and converted into the museum here in Karnataka's Kodagu district.

The President said the museum has preserved special aspects of the extraordinary character and contribution of one of the finest soldiers in the Army's history.

'The memorabilia at 'Sunny Side', once the residence of General Thimayya, highlights the sterling features of our brave forces,' Kovind observed.

'District Kodagu has the honour of having enriched our Armed Forces with stalwarts like General Thimayya and Field Marshal Cariappa.I am sure that this museum will inspire our youth to carry forward the legacy of General Thimayya,' he said.

A statue of the General from Kodagu in uniform greets as one enters the museum, which also showcases a slice of Indian military history.

To guide the visitors, there is a first person narration, explaining the articles and artifacts kept there.

Reflecting on the humility of the great son of the soil of Kodagu, or the erstwhile Coorg, there is a picture showing him riding a Lambretta scooter.

There is also a mural showing Field Marshal Claude John Eyre Auchinleck, who was a British Army Commander during the second World War, coming down to 'Sunny Side' to meet General Thimayya.

The museum also acknowledges the contribution of General Thimayya's siblings, including two of his brothers, who too were Army officers, and his wife Nina, who was bestowed with 'Kaiser-e-Hind' award in recognition of her work in public service.

Key attractions on the premises of this war memorial include a battle tank, one of those used by the Army during the war with Pakistan in 1971.

Decades-old arms and ammunition, Army guns and rifles and a decommissioned MiG-21 fighter jet, besides a collection of artwork featuring the valour of soldiers on the battlefield, books and articles are among the things on display.

'General Thimayya is the pride of Kodagu and the memorial museum aims to retell the life-story of the General in an inspiring manner,' a local official said.

The President also paid his respects at the war memorial.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat was among those present at the inauguration.

Earlier, Kovind visited Talacauvery, the origin of the river Cauvery, in the district and offered a special 'Pooja'.PTI GMS RS BN ADMINISTRATOR BN ADMINISTRATOR