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17. The Wodeyar / Wadiyar Dynasty
Wodeyar Dynasty

The Wadiyar dynasty (also spelt Wadiyar by the British) was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947, until the independence of India from British rule and the subsequent unification of Indian dominion and princely states into the Republic of India.

The spelling
Wodeyar / Wadiyar is found in most records and is used by the royal family members themselves. The spelling by modern transliteration rules from Kannada is Odeyar / Wadiyar.  The word is pronounced to start with a vowel sound and not with the consonant as present in the English spelling. Odeyar in Kannada means the king or the owner.

The dynasty was established by Vijaya, Vijaya took on the name and ruled Mysore, then a small town, from 1399 CE to 1423 CE. The Wadiyars of Vijaya's dynasty belong to the ArasuWadiyar community of Karnataka, which includes many of the noble clans of the region.

The Mysore kingdom was ruled by a succession of Wadiyar rulers for the next couple of centuries. However, the kingdom remained fairly small during this early period and was a part of the Vijayanagara Empire. Later, after the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565, the Kingdom of Mysore became independent and remained so until 1799. The Kingdom of Mysore came under the British during the reign of King Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (1799-1868). His successors changed the English spelling of their royal name to Wadiyar, and took the title of Bahadur. The last two monarchs also accepted the British decoration G.B.E

The Vijayanagara Empire disintegrated in 1565. The power vacuum created soon after was utilized by Raja Wadiyar, who ruled Mysore from 1578 to 1617. He expanded the borders of the Mysore kingdom and also shifted the capital from the city of Mysore in 1610 to Srirangapatna, a rare island formed by the river Cauvery , which provided natural protection against military attacks.

Subsequent famous rulers of the dynasty include Kanthirava Narasaraja I (ruled 1638-1659) who expanded the frontiers of the Mysore Kingdom to Trichy in Tamil Nadu. The dynasty reached its peak under Chikka Devaraja (ruled 1673-1704), who widely reformed the administration of the empire by dividing it into 18 departments (called Chavadis) and also introduced a coherent system of taxation.

Wadiyar Rulers of Mysore

  1. Adi Yaduraya (1399–1423)

  2. Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar I (1423–1459)

  3. Thimma Raja Wadiyar I (1459–1478)

  4. Hiriya Chamarajarasa Wadiyar II (1478–1513)

  5. Hiriya bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar III (1513–1553)

  6. Thimma Raja Wadiyar II (1553–1572)

  7. Boala Chamaraja Wadiyar IV (1572–1576)

  8. Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar V (1576–1578)

  9. Raja Wadiyar I (1578–1617)

  10. Chamarajarasa Wadiyar VI (1617–1637)

  11. Raja Wadiyar II (1637–1638)

  12. Ranadheera Kanteerava Narasaraja Wadiyar I (1638–1659)

  13. Dodda Devaraja Wadiyar (1659–1673)

  14. Chikka Devaraja Wadiyar (1613–1704)

  15. Kanteerava Majaraja Wadiyar (1704–1714)

  16. Dodda Krishnaraja Wadiyar I (1714–1732)

  17. Chamaraja Wadiyar VII (1732–1734)

  18. (Immadi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar II (1734–1766)

  19. Nanaja Raja Wadiyar (1766–1770)

  20. Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar VIII (1770–1776)

  21. Khasa Chamaraja Wadiyar IX (1766–1796)

  22. (Mummudi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (1799–1868)

  23. Chamaraja Wadiyar X (1868–1894)

    • Vani Vilas Sannidhana, queen of Chamaraja Wadiyar X, was Regent from 1894–1902.

  24. (Nalvadi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (1902–1940)

  25. Sri Jaya Chamaraja Wadiyar XI (1940 - 1947)

    • Rajpramukh of Mysore state, (1950–1956)

    • Governor of Mysore state (present-day Karnataka), (1956–1964)

    • Governor of Madras State (present-day Tamil Nadu), (1964–1966)

    • De-recognized as Maharaja of Mysore by the 26Th Amendment to the constitution in 1971. Died on 23-9-1974.

    • Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar, (b-1953, ascended the throne in 1974- though a private affair)

Heritage Palaces / Mansions
  1. Jaganmohana Palace
    Built : 1861
    By : Majaraja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III
    Purpose : Entertainment of the European Officers.
    Location : Opposite the western (Brahmapuri) gate of the Fort.
  2. Lalitha Mahal Palace
    Built : 1931
    By : Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV
    Purpose : Luxurious guest house.
  3. Rajendra Vilas Palace
    Built : Reconstruction of an old building 1822 and completed in 1938
    By :
    Purpose :
    Location : Cliff of Chamundi Hill
  4. Lokaranjan Mahal / Summer Palace
    Built : 1842
    By : Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III
    Purpose : Venue for the entertainment of European and Indian Guests during the Dasara, Birthday and other occasions. Later on employed as Royal School.
  5. Karanji Mansion
    Built : 1914
    By :
    Purpose : accommodate Krishnarajammanni the second daughter of Majaraja Chamrajendra Wodeyar X.
    Now Postal Training Department and in-house museum.
    Location : east of the Fort in Nazarbad Mohalla.
  6. Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
    Built : 1907
    By : Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV
    Purpose : Occupation of Jayalakshmi, the first daughter of Chamarajendra Wadiyar X and elder sister of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV. 
    Now Folklore Museum and some other offices of the Mysore University.
    Location : Two miles from the centre of the City to the west.
  7. Cheluvamba Vilas Mansion
    Built : 1911
    By :
    Purpose : for third daughter of Majaraja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X is known as 'Chaluvamba Vilas'. 
    Now The Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI)
    Location :
Heritage Buildings
  1. Government House
    Built : 1805
    By : French Engineer named Major  De Haviland
    Purpose : Guest house for high dignitaries visiting Mysore.  Played host to most of the viceroys and high officers of the government during British rule in India.
    Now Class guest house by the Government of Karnataka.
    Location : east of the Fort in Nazarbad Mohalla.
  2. Ilval Residency Bungalow / Yelwall
    Built : 1809 - 1825
    By : erected in the time of Arthur Cole
    Purpose :
    Now Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA).
    Location : 14 Km to the north-west of Mysore
  3. Deputy Commissioner's Office
    Built : 1895
    By :
    Purpose : Sessions of the Mysore Representative Assembly were held.
    Now Offices of the Deputy Commissioner, Mysore District.
    Location : Gordon Park.

  4. Chamarajendra Technical Institute
    Built : 1913
    By : Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X
    Purpose : 
    Now Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA) and Cauvery Crafts Emporium.
  5. Crawford Hall
    Built : 1947
  6. Rangacharlu Memorial Hall
    Built : 1885
    By :
    Purpose : Town hall, municipal and the city improvement trust board officer.
    Now holds public and political meetings, temporary fairs and for recreation and rest.
    Location : North gate of the Fort.

  7. Victoria Jubilee Institute
    Built : 1894
    Purpose : Jubilee of Queen-Empress Victoria.
    Now Oriental Library.
    Location : Gordon Park, close to Maharaja's College.

  8. Silver Jubilee Clock Tower
    Built : 1927
    By : during reign of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV
    Purpose : raised by subscriptions made by the staff of the Mysore Palace.
    Location : faces the Rangacharlu Memorial Hall.
  9. Lansdowne Building
    Purpose : memory of the visit of Viceroy Lord Lanisdowne's visit to the city in November 1892, Government of Mysore constructed a range of Bazars called "Lansdowne Bazar"..
    Location : Western boundary of the Curzon Park.

  10. Devaraja Market
    Built : 1799 - 1831
    By : Dewan of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar III
    Purpose : bring holy waters of the Cauvery river into the capital.
    Location : Portion of Purnaiah's Nala, deep drain cut.
  11. Krishnarajendra Hospital
    Built : 1918
  12. Chamarajendra Square
    Built : 1920
    By : redone by famous Indian sculptor G.K Mhatre from Mumbai, who has worked at Victoria Terminus.
    Purpose : Exquisite marble statue of Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar.
    Location : North gate of Mysore Palace.

  13. Krishnarajendra Circle
    Built : 1952
    By : Sculpted by famous sculptor R. P. Kamath 
    Purpose : Statue of the Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV celebrated as the 'Rajarshi' or saintly ruler.
    Location : east of the Fort in Nazarbad Mohalla.

  14. Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens
    Built : 1892
    By : Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar 
    Purpose : Zoo
  15. Curzon Park
    Built : 1902
    By : Cameroon
    Purpose : Investiture ceremony of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV.
    Now fairly large area having several fountains and many shady nooks and place of recreation for the people of Mysore during evenings.
    Location : extending along northern and part of the western sides of the fort

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