: A century-old building, where iconic artist Raja Ravi Varma gave life to some of his celebrated paintings, is craving for conservation near Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple here.
'Moodath Madam', owned by Kilimanoor royals,the ancestral family of Varma, is in a highly-dilapidated condition for long and has been reduced to a waste dumping yard now.
The ramshackle building does not have a roof at present and only its walls remain with overgrown weeds and plants, mute reminders of its art legacy.
According to historians, Varma came to the erstwhile Travancore here at the age of 14 to learn water painting from the palace painter.
He had stayed at the Moodath Madam, located at the westside of Padmanabha Swamy Temple, during the period.
Varma continued to stay in the Madam after his studies and created many of his master works residing at the house.
Though the Archaeology Department had plans to take over the structure years ago, the move was yet to materialise following legal hurdles.
"Moodath Madam was owned by Kilimanoor royals.When any member of Kilimanoor Palace came to Travancore, they stayed in the Madam," historian Malayinkeezhu Gopalakrishnan told PTI.
"According to records, Varma drew several of his paintings during his stay at the Madam."
"It is also mentioned as Moovedath Madam in old records," he said.
When contacted, Archaeology director J Rejikumar said steps would be initiated for the conservation of the heritage building soon.
"I have already sought details from officials and steps will be taken soon for its conservation," he told PTI.
Raja Ravi Varma was born at Kilimanoor palace in the erstwhile princely state of Travancore April 29, 1848.
Among his major works are 'Shakuntala', 'Arjuna and Subhadra', 'Jadayu wars with Ravana', 'The Maharashtrian Lady' and so on.
His untitled portrait of Damayanti sold for a whopping Rs 11.09 (approx)crore at Sothebys New York Sale of Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art last month.
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