(Last Updated on : 04/11/2014)
The amazing architects of the Wodeyar dynasty sculpted the kingdom of Mysore
as a southern kingdom of India. He ruled the state since 1399-1947, until India won independence from the colonial chains that was laid by the British and integrated the princely states like, Mysore into the Republic of India. A succession of 24 Wodeyar rulers(as has been counted from the date of its origin to the last king), and the marvellous contributions of the heroic Hyder Ali and his illustrious son , Tipu Sultan, maintained the heritage of magnificence that Mysore was attributed with.
Background and Origin
The kingdom was born as a small state, located in the city of Mysore. Vijaya and Krishna Wodeyar , hailing from the Yadu Vanshi or, Jadon/Jadeja Rajputs , founded the kingdom. History recounts that they shifted from Gujarat
to Vijaynagar, where from they established their foothold in the Mysore Mahisasur and assumed the reputed title of the Wodeyars . It continued to stay in its diminutive form of serving as a tributary dominion to the kingdom of Vijaynagar Empire , till the latter stumbled to decline in the second half of the sixteenth century. Following the footsteps of every other vassal state of Vijaynagar, Mysore acquired its much-coveted independence, during the reign of Raja Wodeyar and his renowned successor, the glorious Kantheerava, in the mid 1600's. The kingdom extended its sway to almost the whole of the southern part of modern map of Karnataka
, and portions of the neighboring states too.
Arasus Of Kalale
After Chamaraja Wodeyar VI, the failure of the direct male line not only called for the adoption of an heir, but also invited the rise of the Arasus or "feudal barons" to the helm of things. The office of the "Dalavoy" or chief -commander of the royal military became a vital hereditary aspect. Intermarriages between the regal family of Mysore and the Arasus of Kalale, turned out to be the order of the day. This perpetuated the generations of a legitimate dynasty . This pleasant bond was sustained even in the 20th Century; HH Maharani Kempa Nanjammani Vani Vilasa Sannidhana Avaru, the regent of Mysore (1894-1902) and mother of HH Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, descended from this family-tree.
Hyder Ali & Tipu Sultan
Hyder Ali(1722-1782) evolved as the de facto ruler of the kingdom of Mysore , by virtue of his efficacy and reliability as a good manager of imperial business.Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar was highly impresed with this man of substance, Hyder Ali who ascended the stairs of promotion from the insignificance of a foot-soldier in the royal army.
Hyder Ali offered a formidable resistance to the British intruders. A wise warrior , he is celebrated for joining hands with the famous French general , Dupleix and introducing modern Western weapons like guns, and warfare-techniques into the organisation of an Indian army for the first time.
His astounding ability at the attack of Devanhali(1749) arrested the attention of the Minister of the Raja of Mysore, Nanjiraj and he was rewarded with the priviledge of the right to independent decisions.This premonitioned his supremacy over the Raja and the Minister , later on. The precious treasures of Bednor , acquired during the seige of Kanara in 1763, paved the way for the making of the most exquisite capital of India.In 1765 he was however defeated by the Marathas. These imperial designs aroused the concern of the Madras Presidency of the British colonisers.The resultant was the formulation of a contractual unity between the British and the Nizam of Hyderabad in 1766 against the common enemy.
What seemed inevitable, was a fuming Anglo-Mysore rivalry . However the benefits of this treaty was hardly visible , when the British was faced with a strong , united force of 50,000 men and 100 guns. Still, British war-skills surpassed the foe's might in the battle of Chengam (September 3, 1767), and again in that of Tiruvannamalai (Trinornalai) .Hyder suffering severe loses on the western coast , approached the conclusions of peace propositions , but being refused , moved with his army to the outskirts of Madras. The final aftermarth of the First Anglo-Mysore War(1766-1769), was the fortifying treaty of April 1769, securing the mutual restitution of all conquests, and for mutual aid and alliance in defensive war.
The seed of the Second Anglo-Mysore War was already sown in the preceeding First Anglo-Mysore War.The Maratha raids against Mysore in 1772 placed Hyder Ali in dire straits .Mysore got squashed due to the Britisher's breach of faith in the peace-settlements of 1769 and denial to provide help to Mysore. Hyder Ali avenged this betrayal by capturing Mahé from the French in 1779 and then in 1780 absolutely crushed a British force, presided by Colonel Baillie in the invasion of the Carnatic region.
The Second Anglo-Mysore War witnessed the valor of Hyder's outstandingly brave son , Tipu Sultan. Tipu who had gained experience in the Mysore- Maratha war of 1769-1772 , taught the English very bitter lessons. Baillie was taken into captivity .While Sir Hector Munroe, the victor of the crucial battle of Buxar against Bengal and of the tussle against the three Indian emperors , namely the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam, and the Oudh Nawab, Shuja-ud-daula and the Bengal Nawab Mir Qasim , desperately ran for his life to Madras . Tipu devastated Colonel Braithwaite at Annagudi near Tanjore on 18 Feb 1782. And by December 1782 , Chittur became Mysore's property.
British bounced back under the supervision of Warren Hastings who commissioned Sir Eyre Coote to subdue Haidar with three successive defeats in battles of Porto Novo, Pollilur and Sholingarh. Meanwhile Tipu was compelled to withdraw from the conquest of Wandiwash, and Vellore was provisioned. Tipu quelled Brathwaite on the banks of the Coleroon in February 1782. But Lord Macartney, the governor of Madras,appeared with the British fleet and occupied Negapatam. Hyder Ali was pressurized to acknowledge the paramountcy of naval power. He sent Tipu to resort to the help of the French fleet on the west coast, when his sudden demise occurred at Chittur in December 1782. The young Tipu Sultan retained his father's crusade against the foreign adversary, the English. 1783 British annexed Coimbatore
, but it did not gift a total triumph to any of the parties.
The Second Anglo-Mysore War ceased with the signing of the landmark achievement of the Treaty of Mangalore in 1784, wherein a native potency ordered clauses to the Western authority for the last time.Both the sides conceeded to the restoration of each other's land as per as the pre-war conditions.
Tipu's invasion of the state of Travancore in 1789, which was a British protectorate, precipitated into three years war, the Third Anglo-Mysore War, and invoked the disaster for Mysore. France, entrapped in the French Revolution and shaken by British Sea command, restrained their march with Mysore. Malabar, Salem, Bellary, and Anantapur were surrenderd to Madras Presidency.And the Marathas, the Nizam of Hyderabad
, and the Madras Presidency - all British allies or agents saw their own advantage in this reduction of Mysore's realms.
The nightmare of Napoleon's invasion in India through the bridge of Tipu's alliance with the French powers , led the British imperialists to storm into the capital , Srirangapatnam in 1799. British availed of the prevalent internal dispute .They were assisted by the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Mahratta Confederacy, and Travancore. The unflinching patriot Tipu was deceived by one of his generals ,called Mir Sadiq , purchased by the British. The valiant martyr, Tipu was killed in the fight for his land on May 4, 1799.
Indian History will never forget the memory of the brilliant warriors and zealous administrators like , Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan , who raised their sword of courage with the strongest of determination, rarely seen.
Status Of Mysore After Tipu Sultan -Till Recent Times
The residue of Mysore's kingdom that was left after Tipu's death, was relegated to the background as a princely state. The minor Krishnaraja Wodeyar III was crowned the king under the regency of his adoptive grandmother, HH Maharani Lakshmi Ammani Avaru, a kin of HH Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. Diwan Purnaiya was recruited as the diwan or first minister.
In 1830 , the royal capital was established in Bangalore
.The scenario became worst when the British cunningly alleged against the Wodeyars of misgovernment and grabbed the hereditary sovereignty of the Wodeyars in 1831. This aggressive attitude of the British affected the other princely states of Thanjavur, Satara, Sind, Avadh and Jhansi. But the indomitable Maharaja pursued his case to British courts, and obtained a conducive verdict culminating in the Rendition of 1881, which returned to the Wodeyar dynasty their throne . Mysore again rose to the limelight of pre-eminence and the aura of being a model state. Indeed , Jawaharlal Nehru
, the first Prime Minister of Independent India , praised the striking modernization and industrial development of the state of Mysore, on his visit to the place in 1920.
In the post-Independence era, a new Republic came into existence. Mysore was mingled into the Union of India . HH Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wodeyar signed the Instrument of Accession on 9 August, 1947.The regal suzerainty of the Wodeyars came to an end. The kingdom initially remained a separate state within the Union of India .However, in 1956 Kannada-speaking regions belonging until then to the adjacent provinces of Madras
and Hyderabad were fused with Mysore to give birth to a Kannada-speaking state under the former name. The name of the state was changed to Karnataka in 1973.
It is a truth that the blue-blood of Mysore's royal family retain no power , but the legacy of their splendor persists in their enchanting testimonials, such as the forever-beautifil Palace of Mysore, radiant in its unique appeal.