Mysore Wadiyars’ history reveals interesting unknown facts
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Mysore Wadiyars’ history reveals interesting unknown facts

July 16, 2019

Mysuru:  The Third Edition of Mysuru Literature Festival organised by Mysuru Literary Forum Charitable Trust and Mysuru Book Clubs-2015 saw an interesting set of panellists at the Kannada sessions on Sunday.

In the first session titled “Mysuru Wadiyara ‘Pari’ Loka Paalakara ‘Maadari’ which is about the role of Wadiyars, the rulers of Mysore, three writers — Gouri Satya, Echanur Kumar and Dharmendra Kumar Arenalli — dwelt at length about the royal family and their significant contributions to the development of the State.

Dharmendra, who has written a book titled “Marethuhoda Mysurina Ithihasada Putagalu,” said that prior to the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 which is well-known and written about, there is actually the first Sepoy Mutiny that occurred in 1807 in Srirangapatna. The British soldiers were given tent allowance to erect tents for the soldiers involved in the war. Tipu was killed in 1799 but the tent allowance was disallowed. The soldiers who fought against the British turned violent and demanded the allowance. Then they were receiving it till 1807 much after the death of Tipu,   the writer recalled.

He also reflected on the contribution of Maharani Lakshmi Ammanadevi, grandmother of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, who had sent 2,000 soldiers to contain the Mutiny. 

Writer Gouri Satya, who himself has written a few books (Mysuru Memories, Prapthi and Mukthi) said that Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar was the one who faced several challenges to protect the Mysore kingdom from the British. However, sadly his contributions have not got the recognition that is due to him, rued Gouri Satya, who writes a column titled Mysuru: A Look at its Past for Star of Mysore.

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When moderator Prof. C. Naganna asked him about how sometimes history can misinterpret and asked Gouri to highlight about who is the actual ruler in whose name the title was coined, “Krishnaraja Bhoopa, Mane Mane Deepa,” he said the title was given to Mummadi and not Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar.

Mummadi was the first ruler to introduce street lamps during his reign. As many as 21 lamp posts were installed and every day a man would come with a ladder, clean the lamp and replace the wick, while another would come and pour oil and light the lamps. Thus the people gave him that title.

However, this was attributed to Nalwadi. But it could be said that this is also true because of his contribution towards the electrification of the city.

Dharmendra then said that the Mahatma Gandhi hydro-electric project at Jog Falls in Shivamogga district was supposed to be named after Nalwadi (as it started functioning during his tenure) by Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. However, due to the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi at that time, he (Jayachamaraja Wadiyar) decided to name the project after Gandhiji. “Today, the place does not even display the photograph of  Wadiyar,” he lamented.

Lauding the Wadiyars who even today are close to the hearts of Mysureans, writer Echanur Kumar said that it was because of the concern shown by the Wadiyars towards the people. Right from Yaduraya, the first king of Mysore dynasty till Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, who passed away in 2013, to the present scion of the erstwhile royal family Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, they were always with the people. 

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He also said that Praja Prathinidhi Sabha, the people’s Council was first introduced by Chamaraja Wadiyar X and the members were the common people of the State. Nalwadi was the first to introduce the concept of Janata Darshan when he ascended the throne on August 8, at Mysore Government Guest House, he added.

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