Remembering Jayachamaraja Wadiyar

Remembering Jayachamaraja Wadiyar: The Last Maharaja of Mysore and a Musical Luminary

Mysore Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar"s role in Karnataka"s unity has mostly gone unnoticed. He was Mysore"s last formal monarch, having signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947. Between 1940 and 1947, the king ruled over Mysore. He was the last ruler of Mysore.

Early life of Jayachamaraja Wadiyar

  • Jayachamaraja Wadiyar was born on 18th July 1919 into the Royal Family of Mysore, which is descended from the Chandrvanshi Kshatriya or Lunar Dynasty.

  • He was the only child of Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar and Yuvarani Kempu Cheluvajamanni.

  •  In 1938, he graduated from Maharaja"s College in Mysore.

  • He received five awards, including gold medals.

Personal life

  • Princess Vijaya Lakshmi Ammani, Princess Sujaya Kantha Ammani, and Princess Jaya Chamunda Ammani Avaru were the three sisters of Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar

  • On May 15, 1938, he married Maharani Sathya Prema Kumari of Charkhari. However, the marriage failed to work out.

  • The Maharaja married for the second time on April 30, 1944, to Maharani Tripura Sundari Ammani Avaru.

Jayachamaraja Wadiyar - The 25th Maharaja of Mysore

  • After the death of his uncle, Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, he ascended to the kingdom of the princely state of Mysore on September 8, 1940. 

  • Jayachamaraja Wadiyar signed the Instrument of Accession with the Dominion of India on the eve of Indian independence in August 1947. 

  • On January 26, 1950, the princely state of Mysore merged into the Republic of India. From 1950 until 1956, he held the title of Rajpramukh of Mysore state. 

  • Jayachamaraja was selected as the first Governor of the reformed and integrated state of Mysore (1956-1964) after the amalgamation of most of the Madras and Hyderabad states, as well as nearby Kannada. 

  • From 1964 until 1970, he was the Governor of the State of Madras (Tamil Nadu).

Awards and accolades

  • The D.Litt. was bestowed upon him by Annamalai University and the University of Queensland in Australia.

  • The Doctor of Law was conferred upon him by Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, and the University of Mysore.

  • The British government presented him the Knight Grand Commander (GCSI) and Knights of the Bath (GCB). 

  • In 1966, he was awarded the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi"s Ratna Sadasya, or Fellowship.

Sports, music, and hobbies

  • Jayachamaraja Wadiyar was a renowned specialist on Indian philosophy and an avid listener of both western and Carnatic (South Indian classical) music.

  • He was an excellent horseman.

  • He was an exceptional tennis player. He helped tennis players participate in Wimbledon. 

  • He was also an excellent horseman and a skilled marksman. 

  • He also encouraged well-known cricketer E.A.S. Prasanna to play in a match in the West Indies. 

  • In 1945, he was made an honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music in London, as well as a Licentiate of the GuildHall of Music in London. 

  • In 1948, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar was the inaugural president of the Philharmonia Concert Society in London. 

  • As part of the Jayachamaraja Grantha Ratna Mala, he also financed the translation of several classics from Sanskrit to Kannada, including 35 parts of the Rigveda.

Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiya"s contribution to the music world

  • Because of the damage caused by wartime events, the musical theater scene in the United Kingdom was disintegrating.

  • Walter Legge, a classical music record producer and orchestra aficionado, traveled all the way from London to Mysuru to meet and persuade the maharaja of Mysore to resurrect the vitality of the Philharmonia Orchestra.

  • The maharaja accepted, and a five-year series of performances was conducted at London"s Royal Albert Hall. 

  • Due to the Maharaja"s assistance, certain timeless works of Western and European classical music are now available.

  • Without the Maharaja of Mysore, Russian composer Nikolai Medtner might have gone unnoticed in Europe. Jayachamaraja Wadiyar not only sponsored the recordings, but also helped to create the Medtner Society, which is still in operation.

The literary works of Maharaja Jayachamaraja

Jayachamaraja Wadiyar wrote a number of books on literature. Some of these are:

  • An Aspect of Indian Aesthetics (1956)

  • Dattatreya: The Way and The Goal (1957)

  • Avadhuta: Reason and Reverence (1958)

  • The Quest for Peace: An Indian Approach (1959)

  • The Gita and Indian Culture (1963)

  • Puranas As The Vehicles Of India"s Philosophy Of History (1963)

  • Kundalini Yoga: The Virtuous Way of Life (1964)

  • Religion and Man (1965)

  • Sri Suresvaracharya (1970)

In addition to these, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar supported the translation of several masterpieces from Sanskrit to Kannada for inclusion in the Jayachamaraja Grantha Ratna Mala. Previously, the old sacred scriptures in Sanskrit were unavailable in Kannada.

From 1940 until 1971, Jayachamaraja Wadiyar was the twenty-fifth maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. From 1940 until the monarchical system was abolished in 1950, he ruled as maharaja till princely titles were abolished in 1971. Jayachamaraja was an accomplished humanitarian, political theorist, musicologist, and thinker. He was seen as being responsible for the modern values that Mysore emerged to represent while remaining true to an old tradition. In 1940, he was the driving force behind Hindustan Aircraft Ltd, which eventually grew into Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Along with KC Reddy, he was essential in establishing the Mysore State Constituent Assembly. Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar died on September 23, 1974, at the age of 55, at Bangalore Palace. However, his memories and contributions are still remembered till today.