A Visit to Mysore By The Microbiology Club
what is the best part of being a member of any club?The ’visits’ of course!
So, we the members of the Sukshma srishti, planned on such a one day trip to Mysore. Though primarily , an educational one, nobody missed out on the fun aspect of it , and the outing was a perfect balance of both, and boy ,did we have fun!
We started off at 6:30 a.m., a team of 53 students accompanied by 3 faculty members.
We visited “The Central Silk Research & Training Institute’’, “The Mysore University” and last but not the least , “The Mysore Palace”.
Central Silk Research & Training Institute
Silk has always played a role in history from time immemorial. Once known to be the clothing of the kings and queens, but is now available and affordable to the society at large.
The visit to Central Silk Research & Training Institute, enriched us with the knowledge about rearing silkworms ,their different species present around the globe, the use of the best ones to manufacture silk and also the emergence of the role of recombinant DNA technology to collate the different important properties of the different species of silkworm belonging to different parts of the world , in to a single one, capable of producing the best variety of silk.
Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Mysore is the premier Institute par excellence with all modern facilities and infrastructure, which has made a mark as leading R &D institution on Tropical Sericulture in country and is well recognized as a centre for higher learning and advanced training on International front.. A total of 12 research projects mostly funded by DBT are being carried out on the areas like mulberry genome characterization, identification of QTLs for root traits and water use efficiency, cloning and characterization of epicuticular wax synthesizing genes, DNA markers associated with diseases and pest resistance in mulberry, transformation for drought tolerant mulberry, evaluation of transgenic mulberry for abiotic stress, cloning and characterisation of antiviral gene in silkworm, DNA markers associated with baculovirus resistance in silkworm, digital inventory of silkworm resources etc.
All of us were overwhelmed to visualize the specimen under the electron microscope. Wow!
Mysore University is the pioneer University in the state of Karnataka. The University has about 150 colleges affiliated to it. (April 2007) Established in the year July 27, 1916 by His Highness Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore. : The University is a member of The Association of Indian Universities (AIU).It has UGC recognition and is funded by the UGC grants. It is the first university of Karnataka to get the 5 star rating of NAAC.
This University lies in a picturesque area of 739 acres at the western end of the Kukkarahalli Lake. The University headquarters, the Crawford Hall, is located right across the lake on the eastern end. This inspiring locale of the campus was aptly named Manasagangotri (fountainhead of the Ganges of the Mind) by the poet-laureate, Dr. K.V.Puttappa (Kuvempu).
The visit of the Sukshma srishti club was mainly to the Department of Applied Botany and Biotechnology of the Mysore University.
Prof. K. M. Safeeulla established Downy Mildew Research Laboratory at the University of Mysore during 1970. This led to the creation of the Department of Studies in Applied Botany and Seed Pathology during 1982. Prof. H. Shekar Shetty is the founder chairman of the department from 1984-89.
Applied Botany deals with basic and applied aspects of emerging areas in Plant Science, which have direct relevance in crop production .Some of the recent works carried out was in the’ pearl millet’ which is a basic staple food in some areas of India and Africa and is prone to mildew disease,caused by the fungus Sclerospora graminicola. If the plants are infected at an early stage, their growth gets stunted and they die. Infection at later stages results in failure of grain formation and to huge crop cross and therby an economic loss to the farmers .The projects included inducing resistance in the pearl millet plant using using Bacillus spp and also by seed treatment mediated through BTH and CaCl2, both which were carried out by Dr Geetha, H. M of the biotechnolgy department
The last visit for the day was to the Mysore palace, a beautiful experience , and a wonderful journey into the past is how we would all recall it.
Mysore is a city of palaces, but the most magnificent of them all is the Mysore Palace sometimes known as the Main Palace as well. One of the most unforgettable images of the city is the image of the illuminated Mysore Palace against the dark black sky. It takes ninety seven thousand light bulbs to produce this enchanting image of the Palace. The Palace is situated in the middle of the city and is a reminder of the grandeur of a bygone era and is today an invaluable national treasure.
The Palace that stands today is the fourth one to be built in the same site. When the capital was shifted back to Mysore from Srirangapatnam, after Tippu Sultan's death, the Palace was hastily rebuilt with wood and mud, in a Hindu style. The Royal family moved into it in 1801. But this Palace was burnt down in a fire that broke out during the wedding of the oldest daughter of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar in 1897. The reconstruction of the Palace was undertaken immediately and the Royal family moved to Jaganmohan Palace. The English architect Henry Irwin designed the new Palace and it was completed in 1912 at a cost of about Rs 41 lakhs.
The Amba Vilasa Palace as the Mysore Palace is known, is an excellent combination of Dravidian, Indo-Saracenic, Oriental and Roman styles of architecture. The Maharaja's Palace is a beautiful three storied stone building of fine gray granite and rich pink marble domes, overlooking this structure is a five-storied 145 foot tower whose domes are gilded in gold. One enters the Palace through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll's Pavilion; this is a pavilion of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This collection also has a wooden elephant howdah (structure for carrying people on the elephant) that is decorated with 84 kilograms of gold.
There are seven canons in front of the Gombe Thotti and are used to this day to mark the beginning and the end of the Dasara festivities every year. Ahead of this is the elephant gate, this gate in the main entrance to the center of the palace. The Kalyana Mantapa or marriage pavilion has a central octagonal gabled roof that is covered with stained glass. This pavilion is in the south of the building. The floor of the Kalyana Mantapa has beautiful geometrical patterns created by using shining glazed tiles imported from Britain. The Ambavilasa or Diwan-e-Khas, is the hall used by the emperor for private audience.
There are twelve temples inside the Palace complex dating from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries and have varying architectural styles. The Palace is set in a carefully laid out gardens.
This visit was a lot more than just a good experience, It came out to be a “real ice breaker” ,enabling us to know each other better . As the popular phrase goes “all good things must come to an end” ,so did our visit, and we reached our respective destinations around midnight.
-By Princy Philip, Soumyakanti
Ghosh & Moumita Ghosh
Sukshma Srishti- The Microbiology