The golden past of Mysuru’s Royal Family

A wax statue of the late scion of the Myuru Royal family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, at the Wax Museum in Mysore. File photo  

The adoption of Yaduveer Gopal Raj Urs as the heir to the Wadiyar dynasty was necessitated following the death of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar in December 2013 as the latter had no issues.

Srikantadatta’s death brought the curtains down on the longest ruling dynasty in the country as the family trace the origin of the Wadiyars (also called Wodeyars) to Yaduraya Wadiyar who ruled the Mysuru region from 1399 to 1423 as feudatories of the Vijayanagar rulers.

The disintegration of Vijayanagar Empire in the middle of the 16th century saw the Wadiyars establishing themselves firmly in the old Mysuru region. The dynasty came to fore when Raja Wadiyar ascended the throne in 1610 at Srirangapatana and revived the Navaratri festivties of the Vijayanagar rulers. This is a tradition that has been followed by the Wadiyars till this day and made Mysuru synomous with Dasara over the years.

There was a break in the rule of the Wadiyars between 1760 and 1799 when Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan wielded real power and took on the might of the British. The death of Tipu Sultan in the 4th Anglo-Mysore war in 1799 saw the restoration of the kingdom to the Wadiyars. The capital was shifted from Srirangapatana to the present Mysuru. But when Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar was King, the British took over the administration and ruled from 1831 to 1881 after which the kingdom was restored to the Wadiyars. (Yadvueer comes from the family of Maharani Lakshammanniavaru who struggled for the restoration of the kingdom to the Wadiyars).

The latter maharajas – especially Chaamraja Wadiyar X (1868–1894) and Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (1894-1940) laid the foundation of modern Mysuru but after independence and the abolition of monarchy, the institution of Maharajas came to an end. Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar was the last Maharaja of Mysuru and his son Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar (who died in December 2013) was the last Yuvaraja in the legal sense.

The adoption of Yaduveer as a heir will perpetuate the family lineage and helps continue the family traditions associated with Dasara as also its legal battle with the State over the acquisition of the palace in Mysuru.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 2:33:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/the-golden-past-of-mysurus-royal-family/article6886498.ece

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