Q1. Who founded this Wodeyar dynasty?
YADU RAYA - in 1399. This dynasty ruled continuously till 1950, excepting for a brief period of interruption by Muslim rules between 1766-1799. They ruled the regions comprised of Mysore and its surroundings. Not much is known about the pre 1766 Wodeyars and the post 1799 wodeyars begins with KRISHNARAJA III who came to power and ruled upto 1868. By then the British had established their control and thus the Wodeyars had to function as a "Princely State" under the British and until independence.
Q2. Mention a few of the famous Wodeyar dynasty rulers?
CHAMARAJA WODEYAR - 1868-1894 - He ascended the throne in 1868 after Krishnaraja Wodeyar III and had to remain a de facto ruler till 1881 as the British were having direct administrative control over the region. However, in 1881, the Privy Council of UK, restored the direct dynastic rule installing Chamaraja Wodeyar IX as its ruler, after making certain geographical adjustment of territory which later to become the present day Karnataka. During his tenure he was instrumental in-
i) Sponsoring Swami Vivekananda's journey to Chicago in 1894 to participate in the World Congress of Religions;
ii) Industrialization, development of agriculture, Dassera Indutrial Exhibition and associated festivity;
iii) Landmark structures at Bangalore and Mysore;
iv) Patronising of arts and music. Unfortunately, he died at a very young age of 31, due to Diptheria at Calcutta in 1894.
H.H.VANI VILAS SANNIDHANA - 1894-1902 - She was the queen of Chamaraja Wodeyar IX and acted as the Regent for her son Krishnaraja Wodeyar who was 8 years old then.
KRISHNARAJA WODEYAR IV - 1894-1940 - He assumed the throne in 1902 after becoming a major, as an independent ruler. His tenure was considered as one of the best among the past and contemporary rulers of India and he had the following credits to him:
a) Gandhiji called him "Rajarishi" and his rule as "Rama Rajya";
b) He was the founder of the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore by donating the entire land.
c) During his regime, Bangalore city became the first Asian city to have electric lights;
d) His state, Mysore, was considered as the best administered state in the world during his time. This was mentioned by Lord Sankey in the Round Table;
e) Mysore state became the first state to generate hydro power in Asia;
f) Dr.Raja Ramanna, the famous nuclear scientist of India, an accomplished pianist, was a regular performer in the court of this Wodeyar ruler. Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV died on 3rd August 1940.
JAYACHAMARAJA WODEYAR BAHADUR - 1940-1950 - He was the 25th and the last of the Wodeyar dynasty of the Princely State of Mysore. Assumed as the Maharaja on 8.9.1940 and remained till the merger with the Indian Dominion on 26.1.1950. He had the following credits to him:
a) After the reorganization of the States, he became the first Governor of the unified state of Mysore from 1956-1964 and then as Governor of Tamilnadu from 1964-1966;
b) He was a noted philosopher and writer and has penned a few books;
c) He was an ardent sports lover. He was instrumental in helping Ramanathan Krishnan to participate in the Wimbledon, London. On another occasion, he was responsible for the famous off spinner Erapalli Prasanna to visit West Indies as his father was reluctant.
d) He was connoisseur of both western and Carnatic music of India. As a music lover, he helped the western world discover the musical talent of a little known Russian composer Nikholai Karlovich Medtner, by financing the recording of a large number of his compositions.
e) He was the first President of the Philharmonia Concert Society, London in 1948.
f) He was honorary fellow of the Trinity College of Music, London in 1945. He patronized all the great musicians of his times. He died on 23.9.1974.