Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV

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Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV
Maharaja of Mysore
Maharaja Sir Sri Krishnaraja Wodiyar 1906 by 1906 K Keshavayya.jpg
Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV
Portrait by K. Keshavayya (1906)
Reign 1894–1940
Coronation 1 February 1895, Mysore Palace
Predecessor Chamarajendra Wadiyar X
Successor Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar
Born 4 June 1884
Mysore Palace, Mysore, Kingdom of Mysore
Died 3 August 1940
Bangalore Palace, Bangalore, Kingdom of Mysore
Spouse Lakshmivilasa Sannidhana Sri Pratapa Kumari Ammani Avaru
House Wadiyar dynasty
Father Chamarajendra Wadiyar X
Mother Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana
Religion Hinduism

Maharaja Sri Sir Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar; ಶ್ರೀ ಶ್ರೀ ಶ್ರೀ ನಾಲ್ವಡಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣರಾಜ ಒಡೆಯರ್) GCSI GBE (4 June 1884, Mysore Palace – 3 August 1940, Bangalore Palace) was the ruling Maharaja of the princely state of Mysore from 1894 until his death in 1940. At the time of his death, he was also one of the world's wealthiest men, with a personal fortune estimated in 1940 to be worth US$400 million, equivalent to $56 billion at 2010 prices.[1]

He was a philosopher-king, who was seen by Paul Brunton as living the ideal expressed in Plato's Republic. He has been compared to the Emperor Ashoka by the English statesman Lord Samuel. Mahatma Gandhi called him Rajarshi, or "saintly king", and his kingdom was described by his followers as Rama Rajya, an ideal kingdom akin to the rule of Lord Rama.

Krishna IV was the 24th ruler of the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore that ruled over Mysore State from 1399 to 1950.

Early years[edit]

A photograph of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV taken 2 February 1895, a few months before his eleventh birthday.

Krishna was born on 4 June 1884 at the Royal Palace, Mysuru. He was the eldest son of Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar X and Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana. After the death of his father in Calcutta in 1894, Krishna's mother ruled the state as Regent until Krishna reached the age of majority, 8 August 1902.

The Maharaja had his early education and training at the Lokaranjan Palace under the direction of P. Raghavendra Rao. In addition to Western studies, the Yuvaraja was instructed in the languages of Kannada and Sanskrit, was taught horse riding, and Indian and western Classical music. He was also sent to Mayo College, Ajmer to study but returned to Mysuru due to ill health. His early administrative training was imparted by Sir Stuart Fraser of the Bombay Civil Service. The study of the principles of jurisprudence and methods of revenue administration were supplemented by extensive tours of the state during which he gained extensive knowledge of the nature of the country which he was later to govern.


Marriage of H.H Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV and Rana Prathap Kumari of Kathiawar, painted 1904.

On 6 June 1900, the Maharaja married Maharani Lakshmivilasa Sannidhana Sri Pratapa Kumari Ammani Avaru of Kathiawar (b. 1889), youngest daughter of Rana Sri Bane Sinhji Sahib, Rana Sahib of Vana in the Kathiawar region of the present-day Gujarat State.

Shortly after the 1876–77 famine and the death of Maharaja Chamaraja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, still a boy of eleven, ascended the throne in 1895. His mother Maharani Kemparajammanniyavaru ruled as regent until Krishnaraja Wodeyar took over on 8 February 1902.[2] Krishna IV was invested as the Maharaja of Mysuru, with full ruling powers, by the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, on 8 August 1902 at a ceremony at Jagan Mohan Palace (now the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery).

Krishnaraja Wodeyar set up educational infrastructure.[3] The king was an accomplished musician, and like his predecessors, patronised the fine arts.[4] For these reasons, his reign is often described as the 'Golden age of Mysuru'.[5]

Flag of Mysore.svg Mysore Kings


Under Vijayanagara Empire


Yaduraya Wodeyar (1399–1423)
Chamaraja Wodeyar I (1423–1459)
Timmaraja Wodeyar I (1459–1478)
Chamaraja Wodeyar II (1478–1513)
Chamaraja Wodeyar III (1513–1553)
Independent Wodeyar Kings


Timmaraja Wodeyar II (1553–1572)
Chamaraja Wodeyar IV (1572–1576)
Chamaraja Wodeyar V (1576–1578)
Raja Wodeyar I (1578–1617)
Chamaraja Wodeyar VI (1617–1637)
Raja Wodeyar II (1637–1638)
Narasaraja Wodeyar I (1638–1659)
Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar (1659–1673)
Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar (1673–1704)
Narasaraja Wodeyar II (1704–1714)
Krishnaraja Wodeyar I (1714–1732)
Chamaraja Wodeyar VII (1732–1734)
Krishnaraja Wodeyar II (1734–1766)
Under Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan


Krishnaraja Wodeyar II (1734–1766)
Nanjaraja Wodeyar (1766–1770)
Chamaraja Wodeyar VIII (1770–1776)
Chamaraja Wodeyar IX (1776–1796)
Under British Rule


Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1799–1831)
(Monarchy abolished)

Titular monarchy (1831–1881)

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1831–1868)
Chamaraja Wodeyar X (1868–1881)
(Monarchy restored)

Under British Rule and Dominion of India (1881–1950)

Chamaraja Wodeyar X (1881–1894)
Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV (1894–1940)
Jayachamaraja Wodeyar (1940–1950)
(Monarchy abolished)

Titular monarchy (1950–present)

Jayachamaraja Wodeyar (1950–1974)
Srikanta Wodeyar (1974–2013)
Yaduveera Chamaraja Wadiyar (2015–present)

Krishna Raja Wadiyar was the first chancellor of Banaras Hindu University and University of Mysore. The latter was the first university chartered by an Indian State. The Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore which was initiated during His mother's tenure as Regent was started during his reign, with the gift, in 1911, of 371 acres (1.5 km²) of land and a donation of funds. He was a patron of Indian (both Carnatic and Hindustani) and Western Classical Music.

Mysuru had been the first Indian state to have a Representative Assembly, a democratic forum in 1881. During Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV's reign, the Assembly was enlarged and became bicameral in 1907 with the creation of the legislative council, a house of elders which introduced much new legislation for the state. During his reign Mysuru became the first Indian state to generate hydroelectric power in Asia, and Bengaluru was the first Asian city to have street lights, first lit on 5 August 1905.

During his 39-year reign as Maharaja, Krishna IV had the following Prime Ministers (popularly known as Diwans):

  1. Sir P.N. Krishnamurthy (1901–06)
  2. Sir V.P. Madhava Rao (1906–09)
  3. Sir T. Ananda Rao (1909–1912)
  4. Sir M. Visvesvaraya (1912–19)
  5. Sir M. Kantha Raje Urs (1919–22)
  6. Sir Albion Rajkumar Banerjee, ICS, (1922–26)
  7. Sir Mirza Ismail (1926–41)
  8. Sir N. Madhava Rau ( 1941–47)

During his reign, he worked toward alleviating poverty and improving rural reconstruction, public health, industry and economic regeneration, education and the fine arts. Such were the strides that Mysuru made during his period that Gandhiji was moved to remark that the Maharaja was a Rajarishi ("a saintly king").[6] Paul Brunton, the British philosopher and orientalist; John Gunther, the American author; and the British statesman, Lord Samuel, were also among those who heaped praise on the king. Lord Sankey said during the Round table conference that Mysore was "the best administered state in the world". Princes from other sections of India were sent to Mysuru for administrative training. The Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya described the Raja as "Dharmic" and Lord Wellington echoed the sentiment by calling Mysuru's industrial development "incredible".

Patron of the arts[edit]

Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar

The Raja was a connoisseur of Carnatic and Hindustani music. He played eight musical instruments, flute, violin, saxophone, piano, mridangam, nadaswara, sitar, and veena.[citation needed] Members of the Agra Gharana, including Nattan Khan and Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan, were guests of the Maharajah in Mysore, as were Abdul Karim Khan and Gauhar Jan. Barkatullah Khan was a palace musician from 1919 until his death in 1930.[citation needed]

Mahatma Gandhi and the Maharaja[edit]

Mahatma Gandhi praised the Maharaja of Mysore in 1925 for taking up spinning, to the benefit of himself and his subjects.[7]

Progress during reign[edit]

During the reign of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV:

  • The Hydro Electric Project at Shivanasamudra Falls in 1902. This station was commissioned by the Diwan of Mysore, K. Seshadri Iyer.
  • Minto Eye Hospital Banglore, established in 1903, is among the world's oldest specialised ophthalmology hospitals
  • Bangalore was the first city in India to get electric street lights in 1905.
  • Vani Vilasa Sagara Chitradurga, completed in 1907, the first dam in Karnataka state.
  • Mysore Legislative Council was established in 1907 with a view to associate certain number of non-official persons having practical experience and knowledge to assist the Government in making laws and regulations.
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore established in 1909
  • Mysore Boy Scouts, established in 1909. First of its kind in India
  • State Bank of Mysore established in 1913
  • Mysore Agricultural Residential School, Bangalore, established in 1913. University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore was initially established in 1899 by Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV's mother Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana, the Regent of Mysore, with an initial grant of 30 acres as an experimental agricultural station.
  • Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Bangalore, established in 1915
  • University of Mysore, established in 1916
  • Yuvaraja College,[8] Mysore, established in 1916
  • School of Engineering, Bangalore, later UVCE, established in 1917
  • Mysore State Railway (MSR)[9] between 1916 and 1918, opened 232 miles of railway to traffic. By 1938 MSR had 740 miles of railway track
  • The Mysore Chamber of Commerce[10] established in 1916
  • Government Sandalwood oil factory,[11] Bangalore, established in 1917
  • Maharani's Science College for Women,[12] Mysore, established in 1917
  • Wood Distillation Factory,[10] Bhadravathi in 1918
  • Mysore Chrome and Tanning Factory[10] established in 1918
  • Lalitha Mahal palace in 1921
  • Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISL), Bhadravathi was started as Mysore Iron Works in 1923.
  • Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) dam, established in 1924
  • Mysore Medical College, established in 1924
  • Krishnarajanagara was founded between 1925 and 1930 as a new town, after a flood by river Kaveri damaged the nearby town of Yedatore.
  • Krishna Rajendra Hospital, Mysore, established in 1927, is attached to Mysore Medical College
  • K.R. Market, Bangalore, the main wholesale market dealing with commodities in Bangalore, established in 1928.
  • Marakonahalli dam[13] in Tumkur district completed in 1930. The dam has an automatic siphon system, first of its kind in Asia.
  • Mysore Sugar Mills,[14] Mandya, established in 1933
  • KR Mills, Mysore, established in 1933
  • St. Philomena's Church, Mysore in 1933.
  • Vanivilas Women and Children Hospital, Bangalore, established in 1934, named after Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana
  • Mysore Paper Mills,[15] Bhadravati, established in 1936
  • In 1934, the Government of Mysore gifted 10 acre land in Bangalore to Nobel laureate Sir C. V. Raman for the creation of research institute Raman Research Institute (RRI)[16]
  • Mysore Lamps, Bangalore, established in 1936
  • Mysore Chemical and Fertilizers Factory,[10] Belagola established in 1937
  • The Government Dichromate Factory, Belagola.[17]
  • Glass and Porcelain Factories,[10] Bangalore established in 1939
  • Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited, established in 1937. It became part of the public sector in 1947.
  • Mysore Implements Factory, Hassan, established in 1939 to produce agricultural and garden implements.
  • Hirebhaskara dam[18] started in 1939 across river Sharavathi to ensure steady water supply for the 120 MW Krishnarajendra Hydroelectric power station. The power station was renamed as Mahatma Gandhi Hydroelectric Project in 1949.
  • Hindusthan Aircraft,[10] Bangalore, established in 1940, later renamed as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
  • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, First Chancellor and co-founder
  • Irwin Canal: Later named as Visveshwariaha Canal
  • City Improvement Trust Board, first of its kind in India
  • Formation of Mysore Social Progress Association in 1915 to empower weaker section of society
  • Banning child marriage (girls below age 8)
  • First Indian state to enfranchise women (1923)
  • Effort to eradicate un-touchability
  • Starting separate school for un-touchable
  • Sponsoring scholarship for un-touchable
  • Put an effort to give entrance to untouchable people to temple at Gunja Narasimhaswamy at T. Narasipura and permission to use public wells and tank
  • Gave land near Ashokapuram in Mysore so that they can earn their livings by growing betel nut leaves (named Mysore Chigurele)
  • Kadhara Sahakara Sangha in 1925 Tagdhur which helped villagers to earn livings
  • Implementation of Reservation Policy for Backward and Depressed class
  • Special importance for girl education and scholarship for widowed girl


  • 1884–1894: Yuvaraja Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar Bahadur, Yuvaraja of Mysore
  • 1894–1907: His Highness Maharaja Sri Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar (Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV) Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore
  • 1907–1910: His Highness Maharaja Sir Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar (Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV) Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore, GCSI
  • 1910–1917: Colonel His Highness Maharaja Sri Sir Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar (Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV) Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore, GCSI
  • 1917–1940: Colonel His Highness Maharaja Sri Sir Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar (Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV) Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore, GCSI, GBE


(ribbon bar, as it would look today)

Ord.Stella.India.jpg Order of the British Empire (Civil) Ribbon.png Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png

Med.DelhiDurbar1903.png King George V Coronation Medal ribbon.png GeorgeVSilverJubileum-ribbon.png GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.png


  1. ^ Current Biography 1940, p833
  2. ^ Rama Jois, M. 1984. Legal and constitutional history of India ancient legal, judicial and constitutional system. Delhi: Universal Law Pub. Co. p597
  3. ^ "The Mysore duo Krishnaraja Wodeya IV & M. Visvesvaraya". India Today. Retrieved 23 October 2007. 
  4. ^ Pranesh (2003), p. 162
  5. ^ "[Group portrait of] the Maharaja [of Mysore] & his brothers and sisters.". British Library. Retrieved 23 October 2007. 
  6. ^ Puttaswamaiah, K., 1980. Economic development of Karnataka a treatise in continuity and change. New Delhi: Oxford & IBH, p. 3
  7. ^ Navajivan, 8 February 1925: "His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore has taken up spinning. This news cannot but gladden the hearts of those who look upon it as sacred duty ... I congratulate the Maharaja and hope that he will not give up till the end of his life this activity which he has taken up, It will do immense good to him and his subjects."
  8. ^ "Yuvaraja College". 
  9. ^ "MSR". 
  10. ^ a b c d e f "Hand Book of Karnataka" (PDF). 
  11. ^ "Mysore Sandal Soap". 
  12. ^ "MSCWM website". 
  13. ^ "Marakonahalli Dam". 
  14. ^ "Mysugar website". 
  15. ^ "MPM website". 
  16. ^ "RRI website". 
  17. ^ Handbook Series-MYSORE STATE with a WITH A FOREWORD BY J. Mohamed Imam. Esq .• B.A., B.L .• Minister for Education BY G. L. SWAMY Compiler. Handbooks & Manager, Tourist Bureau. Mysore
  18. ^ "Hirebhaskara Dam surfaces as Sharavathy recedes". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 June 2003. 

External links[edit]

Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV
Born: 4 June 1884 Died: 3 August 1940
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Chamaraja Wodeyar
Maharaja of Mysore
Succeeded by
Jayachamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur