Mangaluru: Renowned heritage conservationist and antiques collector Vijaynath Shenoy passed away this morning at 11:30 a.m. at his residence in Manipal. It is learned that he died of old age and had been keeping feeble health for about an year. He was aged 83 years and is survived by his wife Manjula and two children, son Srinivas and daughter Anuroopa, their spouses and grandchildren.
Shenoy best expressed his passion for old houses in an interview to Outlook Magazine: “I love houses in which six or seven generations once lived and breathed, designed not by architects but by people themselves—in line with their needs, social requirements, and the climate.”
Vijaynath Shenoy was earlier employed with Syndicate Bank as a manager and his initial foray into this field was self funded by his savings and he had even exhausted all the loans he was eligible for as a bank employee. He wife Manjula who also worked in the same bank also pitched in here savings and available loans for funding his passion.
His bigger project, Heritage Village was built with public funding, including aid from the Finnish and Norwegian embassies. Among elegant old structures to be found there are a 400-year-old Bunt Guthu House, the 500-year-old Kamal Mahal (which once belonged to a vassal king of the Vijayanagar empire), monasteries that once housed followers of Advaita and Veerashaiva faiths and a century-old trading house-cum-residence.
All these structures were saved from imminent destruction and transplanted to their present site brick by brick, and the entire process too has been documented.
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