Thousands of books are printed and hundreds of movies are produced praising the Mughals kings who were responsible for the death of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs in their 300 odd years of rule. Meanwhile, we hardly find records that mention the Indian warrior who thrived to make Hindustan a Vishwa Guru.
Karnataka has its own cultural uniqueness and has several historical firsts to its name. Several Hindu kings are given the credits for this and the Wadiyar dynasty is one among them.
Wadiyar or the Wadiyar dynasty ruled Mysore for around 500 years since 1399 and are remembered by the people of Karnataka for their people friendly style of administration. Few of the renowned Maharajas from the Wadiyar dynasty are Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, Krishnaraja Wadiyar III, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar and Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar.
Born on 4 June 1884, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV who is also known as Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar (Nalwadi means fourth in Kannada language) was said to be the most successful kings in South India.
Reports suggest that he was one of the richest men on earth as his total wealth was estimated to be around US $400 million in the year 1940. So when we convert into the values in 2019, it becomes a whopping $7 billion.
Nalwadi Wadiyar was born to Chamarajendra Wadiyar X and Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana. His father expired when Nalwadi Wadiyar was just 10 years old. Since then the young Nalwadi Wadiyar was installed at the throne and his mother acted as regent.
Though Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV was coroneted at a very early age of 10 years .i.e. 1st February 1895, he went on to prove his mettle by becoming one of the able administrator of his time, in a very quick span.
Several historians describe the rule of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV as the “Golden age of Mysore” and there were reasons for it. You will be surprised to know that the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore was functional during the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV even though it was initiated by his mother Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana while she was the regent. Yes, when all the Mughal invaders and other Islamic invaders were busy butchering and converting Hindus, a visionary Maharaja laid a foundation stone to new India.
Here’s the praises earned by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV:
- Impressed by the administration skills of Wadiyar, renowned English statesman Lord Samuel had compared him with Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty.
- Mahatma Gandhi had once called Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV as Rajarshi (Sainytly king).
- “Mysore is the best-administered state in the world”. This statement was made by none other than Lord John Sankey at the Round Table Conference in London in 1930.
There was no match to Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV when it came to the developmental front. He commissioned the Hydro Electric Project at Shivanasamudra Falls in 1902 and in 1903 he established Minto Eye Hospital in Bangalore.
History books have recorded that India’s first street lights hit the street of Bangalore and this was achieved under the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV.
There are several other achievements to his name that has boosted the pace of development in Karnataka. In 1907, Mysore Legislative Council was established and in 1913, Wadiyar commissioned the State Bank of Mysore.
Even in the field of agriculture and literature, Nalwadi Wadiyar’s contribution is immense. In 1913, he established Mysore Agricultural Residential School in Bangalore and in 1915 the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Bangalore came up. Even the popular University of Mysore was established by Nalwadi Wadiyar in 1916.
Currently millions of Indians wish to make India a Ram Rajya, but the people who lived under the rule of Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV described his reign as Ram Rajya.
The people of Mysore lost their Maharaja on 3 August 1940.