Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar

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Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Maharaja of Mysore
Court portrait of Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar of Mysore.jpg
25th Maharaja of Mysore
Reign3 August 1940 – 25 January 1950
Coronation8 September 1940, Palace of Mysore
PredecessorKrishnaraja Wadiyar IV (paternal uncle)
SuccessorSrikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar (son) (only titular, titles and privileges ended)
Rajpramukh of Mysore State
Reign26 January 1950 – 1 November 1956
Predecessorposition established
SuccessorPosition abolished
Governor of Mysore State
Reign1 November 1956 – 4 May 1964
PredecessorPosition established
SuccessorS M Srinagesh
Governor of Madras State
Reign4 May 1964 – 28 June 1966
PredecessorBhishnuram Medhi
SuccessorSardar Ujjal Singh
Born(1919-07-18)18 July 1919
Mysore Palace, Mysore, Mysore State, India
Died23 September 1974(1974-09-23) (aged 55)[citation needed]
Bangalore Palace, Bangalore, India
SpouseTripura Sundari Ammani
HouseWadiyar dynasty
FatherYuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar
MotherYuvarani Kempu Cheluvaja Amanni

Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar (18 July 1919 – 23 September 1974) was the 25th Maharaja of Mysore from 1940 to 1950,[2] who later served as the governor of Mysore and Madras states.

Early life[edit]

Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar was born on 18 July 1919 at Mysore Palace as the only son and the last child of Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar and Yuvarani Kempu Cheluvajamanni. He had three elder sisters, viz., Rani Vijaya Devi, Sujayakantha Devi, and Jayachamundi Devi.

Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar graduated from Maharaja's College, Mysore, in 1938, earning five awards and gold medals.[citation needed] He was married the same year, on 15 May 1938, to Maharani Satya Prema Kumari at Mysore Palace.[3] He toured Europe during 1939, visiting many associations in London and became acquainted with many artists and scholars. He ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Mysore on 8 September 1940 after the demise of his uncle Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. He married Maharani Tripura Sundari Ammani on 6 May 1942.



Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar lost his father Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar when he was 21. Five months later, his reigning uncle, Maharaja Krishnarajendra Wadiyar IV expired, leaving his only nephew to succeed him to reign in what was dubbed one of the most prosperous states in Asia.[citation needed] Jayachamaraja Wadiyar followed democratic methods in his administration and was celebrated by his subjects like his uncle.

Ceding the kingdom[edit]

Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar was the first ruler to accede to merge his kingdom with the newly formed tentative Indian Union after India's independence in 1947. He signed an instrument of accession with the Union on the eve of India's attainment of independence on 15 August 1947. The result took three years to materialise owing to the drafting of a constitution for the country in the meantime.

With the constitution of India into a republic, the Kingdom of Mysore was merged with the Republic on 26 January 1950. He held the position of Rajpramukh (governor) of the State of Mysore from 26 January 1950 to 1 November 1956. After the integration of the neighbouring Kannada-majority parts of the States of Madras and Hyderabad, he became the first governor of the reorganised Mysore State, from 1 November 1956 to 4 May 1964 and was the Governor of the State of Madras from 4 May 1964 to 28 June 1966.

After the state was absorbed into the Dominion of India, he was granted a privy purse, certain privileges, and the use of the title Maharaja of Mysore by the Government of India,[4] However, all forms of compensation were ended in 1971 by the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India.[5][6]

He died at the age of 55 on 23 September 1974, and he was the last living person who had been premier king of a state with a 21-gun salute status in British India.



He was a good horseman and a tennis player who helped Ramanathan Krishnan to participate at Wimbledon. He was also well known for his marksmanship and was highly sought-after by his subjects whenever a rogue elephant or a man-eating tiger attacked their immediate surroundings. There are many wildlife trophies attributed to him in the Palace collections. He was responsible for the famous cricketer/off-spin bowler, E. A. S. Prasanna's visit to West Indies as his father was otherwise reluctant to send him.


He was a connoisseur of both western and Carnatic (South Indian classical) music and an acknowledged authority of Indian Philosophy. He helped the Western world discover the music of a little-known Russian composer Nikolai Medtner (1880–1951), financing the recording of a large number of his compositions and founding the Medtner Society in 1949. Medtner's Third Piano Concerto is dedicated to the Maharaja of Mysore. He became a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music, London and honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London, in 1945. Aspirations to become a concert pianist were cut short by the untimely death of both his father the Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar in 1939, and his uncle the Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV in 1940, when he succeeded to the throne of Mysore.

He was the first president of the Philharmonia Concert Society, London in 1948.[7] See below copy of the programme sheets of some of the earliest concerts held at Royal Albert Hall on 13 April, 27 April – 11 May 1949.

The Maharaja with Queen Mother Maharani Vani Vilasa

Walter Legge, who was invited to Mysore by the Maharaja in this regard has stated:

"The visit to Mysore was a fantastic experience. The Maharajah was a young man, not yet thirty. In one of his palaces he had a record library containing every imaginable recordings of serious music, a large range of loud speakers, and several concert grand pianos...."
"In the weeks I stayed there, the Maharajah agreed to paying for the recordings of the Medtner piano concertos, an album of his songs, and some of his chamber music; he also agreed to give me a subvention of 10,000 pounds a year for three years to enable me to put the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Philharmonia Concert society on firm basis...."
The Maharaja with his consort Tripura Sundari Ammani

This largesse proved sufficient to transform Legge's fortunes in 1949. He was able to engage Herbert von Karajan as conductor. The repertory the young Maharajah wished to sponsor were Balakirev's Symphony, Roussel's Fourth Symphony, Busoni's Indian Fantasy etc. The association produced some of the most memorable recordings of the post-war period.

The Maharaja also enabled Richard Strauss's last wish to be fulfilled by sponsoring an evening at the Royal Albert Hall by London's Philharmonia Orchestra with German conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler in the lead and soprano Kirsten Flagstad singing his Four Last Songs in 1950.

The Maharaja was equally a good critic of music. When asked by Legge to pass judgement on recent additions to the EMI catalogue, his views were as trenchant as they were refreshingly unpredictable. He was thrilled by Karajan's Vienna Philharmonic recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony ('as Beethoven wished it to be'), held Furtwängler's recording of the Fourth Symphony in high esteem, and was disappointed by Alceo Galliera's account of the Seventh Symphony, which he would have preferred Karajan to record. Above all, he expressed serious doubts about Arturo Toscanini's recordings. 'The speed and energy are those of a demon', he wrote to Legge, 'not an angel or superman as one would ardently hope for'. One of the reasons he so admired Furtwängler's Beethoven was that it was 'such a tonic after Toscanini's highly strung, vicious performances'.

Writing in the July 1950 edition of "THE GRAMOPHONE" Walter Legge sums Maharajas's monumental contribution to Western Classical Music:

....Many more correspondents have written expressing their admiration for the vision, constructive enterprise and generosity of the young Indian Prince who conceived this plan, and who is making it possible for the music lovers throughout the world to learn, enjoy and study works which but for his knowledge and love of music, would never have been recorded.....

After becoming Maharaja, he was initiated to the Indian classical music (Carnatic music) due to the cultural vibrancy which prevailed in the Mysore court till then. He learnt to play veena under Vid. Venkatagiriappa and mastered the nuances of carnatic music under the tutelage of veteran composer and Asthan Vidwan Sri. Vasudevacharya. He was also initiated into the secrets of Shri Vidya as an upasaka (under assumed name Chitprabhananda) by his guru Shilpi Siddalingaswamy. This inspired him to compose as many as 94 carnatic music krutis under the assumed name of Shri Vidya. All the compositions are in different ragas and some of them for the first time ever. In the process He also built three temples in Mysore city: Bhuvaneshvari Temple and Gayatri Temple, located inside the Mysore Palace Fort, and Sri Kamakaameshwari Temple, situated on Ramanuja Road, Mysore. All three temples were sculpted by the maharaja's guru and famous sculptor, Shilpi Siddalingaswamy. His 94 compositions were published by his son-in law Sri. R.Raja Chandra as "Sree Vidyaa Gaana Vaaridhi" in 2010. The book was edited by Sri. S. Krishna Murthy, grandson of Maharaja's Guru Sri. Mysore Vasudevacaharya.

Many noted Indian musicians received patronage at his court, including Mysore Vasudevachar, Veena Venkatagiriyappa, B. Devendrappa, V. Doraiswamy Iyengar, T. Chowdiah, Tiger Vardachar, Chennakeshaviah, Titte Krishna Iyengar, S. N. Mariappa, Chintalapalli Ramachandra Rao, R. N. Doreswamy, H. M. Vaidyalinga Bhagavatar.

The patronage and contribution of Wadiyars to carnatic music was researched in the 1980s by Prof. Mysore Sri V. Ramarathnam, Retired First Principal of the University College of Music and Dance, University of Mysore. The research was conducted under the sponsorship of University Grants Commission, Government of India. Prof. Mysore Sri V. Ramarathnam authored the book Contribution and Patronage of Wadiyars to Music that was published Kannada Book Authority, Bangalore.

ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಸಿಂಹಾಸನಾಧೀಶರಾಗಿ ಮಹಾರಾಜರಾದರೆ ಇವರು ಅದನ್ನು ತ್ಯಜಿಸಿಯೇ ಮಹಾರಾಜರಾದರು (Every monarch in history has become king ascending thrones, while he became the greatest king descending one).

Kuvempu, Kannada National Poet, on the Maharaja's merging his kingdom with the Indian Union

The Maharaja with Sardar Patel

Famous compositions[edit]

Song name Ragam Talam Other
SrI mahaganapatiM bhajEhaM Athana Adi
gaM gaNapatE namastE Durvanki Rupakam
bhairavaM bhAvayEhaM Bhairavam Adi
mahA tripura sundari Sankari mAm pAhi Kalyani Jhampa
kshIra sAgara Sayana vakshasthala vAsinIM pranamami Mayamalavagowla Jhampa
Siva Siva Siva bhO mahAdEva SambhO Nadanamakriya Jhampa
SrI guru dakshinAmurtE namostutE Bhavapriya Matya
SrI jAlandharaM ASrayamyahaM Gambhiranatta Adi
SrI rAjarAjEsvarIm ASrayami Lalita Rupakam
vandEhaM SivE Katanakutuhalam Matya

Literary works[edit]

  • The Quest for Peace: an Indian Approach, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 1959.
  • Dattatreya: The Way & The Goal, Allen & Unwin, London 1957.
  • The Gita and Indian Culture, Orient Longmans, Bombay, 1963.
  • Religion And Man, Orient Longmans, Bombay, 1965. Based on Prof. Ranade Series Lectures instituted at Karnataka University in 1961.
  • Avadhuta: Reason & Reverence, Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore, 1958.
  • An Aspect of Indian Aesthetics, University of Madras, 1956.
  • Puranas As The Vehicles of India's Philosophy of History, Journal Purana, issue #5, 1963.
  • Advaita Philosophy, Sringeri Souvenir Volume, 1965, pages 62–64.
  • Sri Suresvaracharya, Sringeri Souvenir Volume, Srirangam, 1970, pages 1–8.
  • Kundalini Yoga, A review of "Serpent Power" by Sir John Woodroff.
  • Note on Ecological Surveys to precede Large Irrigation Projects- Wesley Press, Mysore; 1955
  • African Survey-Bangalore Press; 1955
  • The Virtuous Way of LifeMountain Path – July 1964 edition


He also sponsored the translation of many classics from Sanskrit to Kannada as part of the Jayachamaraja Grantha Ratna Mala, including 35 parts of the Rigveda. These are essentially ancient, sacred scriptures in Sanskrit till then not available in Kannada language comprehensively. All the books contain original text in Kannada accompanied by Kannada translation in simple language for the benefit of common man. In the history of Kannada literature such a monumental work was never attempted! As Late H. Gangadhara Shastry – Asthan (court) Astrologer and Dharmadhikari of Mysore Palace – who himself has contributed substantially in the above works -has stated that Maharaja used to study each and everyone of these works and discuss them with the authors. It seems on a festival night (on shivaratri), he was summoned in the middle of the night and advised him to simplify the use of some difficult Kannada words in one of the books. The digital version of Rigveda samhita that was first published under Jayachamaraja Grantha Ratna Mala was developed by C S Yogananda[circular reference] at Sriranga Digital Software Technologies during 2009.

During his reign, he also encouraged historical research on modern lines and this finds an echo in the dedication of the encyclopedic work by C. Hayavadana Rao entitled " History of Mysore" in three voluminous works published from 1943–46. Author's words are quite illuminating and worth quoting. Author says:

"Dedicated by gracious permission to His Highness, Sri Jayacahamaraja Wadiyar Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore- Ruler, Scholar, and patron of Arts and sciences and supporter of every good cause aiming at the moral and material progress of the people – In token of His Highness' deep and abiding interest in the scientific study of History and pursuit of Historical Research along modern lines".

It aptly sums up the personality of the Maharaja. It is matter of regret that the author could not complete the work as originally intended and had to stop at the year 1949 as Maharaja had to accede to the wishes of his people and merge his Kingdom with the Republic of India in 1950.

Fellowships and memberships[edit]




The pamphlet detailing the wedding of Prince Jaya Chamaraja Wadiyar Bahadur
  1. Maharani Sathya Prema Kumari of jigni. The wedding was held on 15 May 1938. The marriage failed; the Maharani settled at Jaipur. There were no children by this marriage.
  1. Maharani Tripura Sundari Ammani Avaru. The wedding was held on 6th May 1942. This marriage was blessed with six children.

Both the queens died in 1982 within a span of 15 days.


  1. Princess Gayatri Devi, (1946–1974), who predeceased her father due to cancer.[8]
  2. Princess Meenakshi Devi, (1951–2015).
  3. Maharaja Sri Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar (1953–2013).
  4. Princess Kamakshi Devi Avaru, b.1954.
  5. Princess Indrakshi Devi Avaru, b.1956.
  6. Princess Vishalakshi Devi Avaru, (1962-2018)



  1. ^ "Two members of erstwhile Mysore royal family die on final day of Dasara celebrations". 19 October 2018. Archived from the original on 19 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Remembering the Maharaja who was a maverick, a genius".
  3. ^ "Wedding Of Prince Of Mysore 1938". British Pathe News. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  4. ^ Ramusack, Barbara N. (2004). The Indian princes and their states. Cambridge University Press. p. 273. ISBN 978-0-521-26727-4. The crucial document was the Instrument of Accession by which rulers ceded to the legislatures of India or Pakistan control over defence, external affairs, and communications. In return for these concessions, the princes were to be guaranteed a privy purse in perpetuity and certain financial and symbolic privileges such as exemption from customs duties, the use of their titles, the right to fly their state flags on their cars, and to have police protection. ... By December 1947 Patel began to pressure the princes into signing Merger Agreements that integrated their states into adjacent British Indian provinces, soon to be called states or new units of erstwhile princely states, most notably Rajasthan, Patiala and East Punjab States Union, and Matsya Union (Alwar, Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karaulli).
  5. ^ "The Constitution (26 Amendment) Act, 1971", indiacode.nic.in, Government of India, 1971, retrieved 9 November 2011
  6. ^ Schmidt, Karl J. (1995). An atlas and survey of South Asian history. M.E. Sharpe. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-56324-334-9. Although the Indian states were alternately requested or forced into union with either India or Pakistan, the real death of princely India came when the Twenty-sixth Amendment Act (1971) abolished the princes' titles, privileges, and privy purses.
  7. ^ "10 facts about the Philharmonia". Archived from the original on 18 May 2006. Retrieved 3 December 2006.
  8. ^ Devi, Meenakshi (17 June 2007). "My daddy, His Highness, the Maharaja of Mysore". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 15 January 2014.

External links[edit]

Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Born: 1919 Died: 1974
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV
(as Raja of Mysore)
Maharaja of Mysore
Succeeded by
Monarchy abolished
(Merged with the Republic of India)
Political offices
Preceded by
post created 26 January 1950
Rajpramukh of the State of Mysore
Succeeded by
Post abolished
Abolished by the Government of India 31 October 1956
Preceded by
post created 31 October 1956,
following the abolition of the position of Rajpramukh
Governor of Mysore State
Succeeded by
S.M. Sriganesh
Preceded by Governor of Madras State
Succeeded by
Ujjal Singh
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Maharaja of Mysore
Succeeded by