Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV

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Rajarshi Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV
ರಾಜರ್ಷಿ ನಾಲ್ವಡಿ ಕೃಷ್ಣರಾಜ ಓಡೆಯರ್
Maharaja Sir Sri Krishnaraja Wodiyar 1906 by 1906 K Keshavayya.jpg
Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, portrait by K. Keshavayya (c. 1906)
Maharaja of Mysore
Reign28 December 1894 – 3 August 1940
Coronation1 February 1895, Mysore Palace
PredecessorChamarajendra Wadiyar X (father)
SuccessorJayachamarajendra Wadiyar (nephew)
Born(1884-06-04)4 June 1884
Mysore Palace, Mysore, Kingdom of Mysore
Died3 August 1940(1940-08-03) (aged 56)
Bangalore Palace, Bangalore, Kingdom of Mysore
SpouseLakshmivilasa Sannidhana Sri Pratapa Kumari Ammani Avaru
HouseWadiyar dynasty
FatherChamarajendra Wadiyar X
MotherMaharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana

Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar; 4 June 1884 – 3 August 1940) was the twenty-fourth maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore, from 1894 until his death in 1940. He is popularly called "Rajarshi"(Kannada Trans. ರಾಜರ್ಷಿ),the name which was given by Mahatma Gandhi, which literally means "the sage king" for his administrative reforms and achievements[1]

At the time of his death, he was one of the world's wealthiest men, with a personal fortune estimated in 1940 to be worth US$400 million, equivalent to $7 billion at 2018 prices.[2] He was the second-wealthiest Indian, after Mir Osman Ali Khan, Nizam of Hyderabad.

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 Emperor Ashoka by the English statesman Lord Samuel. Acknowledging Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV's noble and efficient kingship, Lord John Sankey declared in 1930 at the Round Table Conference in London, "Mysore is the best administered state in the world".[citation needed]

The vernacular name Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar comes from the word "nalwadi" meaning "the fourth" in Kannada.

Early years[edit]

Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV was born on 4 June 1884 in Mysore Palace.[3] He was the eldest son of Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X and Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana. After the death of his father in Calcutta in 1894, Krishnaraja Wadiyar's mother ruled the state as regent until Krishnaraja Wadiyar reached the age of majority on 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, he was instructed in the languages of Kannada and Sanskrit, and was taught horse riding and Indian and western Classical music. 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 was 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.

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


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

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


Shortly after the death of his father Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X on 28 December 1894, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, still a boy of eleven, ascended the throne on 1 February 1895. His mother Maharani Kemparajammanni ruled as regent until Krishnaraja Wodeyar took over on 8 February 1902.[4] Krishna IV was invested as the Maharaja of Mysore, with full ruling powers, by Viceroy Lord Curzon on 8 August 1902 at a ceremony at Jaganmohana Palace.[5]

Krishnaraja Wodeyar set up educational infrastructure.[6] The king was an accomplished musician, and like his predecessors, patronised fine arts.[7] For these reasons, his reign is often described as the 'Golden age of Mysore'.[8]

Krishna Raja Wadiyar was the first chancellor of Banaras Hindu University and the University of Mysore.[citation needed] 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 functionally started during his reign, with the gift, in 1911, of 371 acres (1.5 km²) of land and a donation of funds.[citation needed] He was a patron of Indian, both Carnatic and Hindustani, and Western classical music.

Mysore 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, Mysore became the first Indian state to generate hydroelectric power in Asia, and Bangalore was the first Asian city to have street lights, first lit on 5 August 1905.

During his 39-year reign as Maharaja, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV had the following diwans (prime ministers):

  1. Sir P. N. Krishnamurti (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. Kantaraj Urs (1919–22)
  6. Sir Albion Rajkumar Banerjee, ICS, (1922–26)
  7. Sir Mirza Ismail (1926-1941; Krishna IV died in 1940)

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 Mysore made during his period that Gandhiji was moved to remark that the Maharaja was a Rajarishi ("a saintly king").[9] 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 Mysore for administrative training. The Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya described the Raja as "Dharmic" and Lord Wellington echoed the sentiment by calling Mysore's industrial development "incredible". In an obituary, The Times called him "a ruling prince second to none in esteem and affection inspired by both his impressive administration and his attractive personality".[10]

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.

Asthana Vidwan Kadagathur Seshacharya has written various works and is famous for his contributions towards Sanskrit and Kannada Literature.


Maharaja composed many poems in Kannada.[11]

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.[12]

Progress during reign[edit]

During the reign of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, Mysore Kingdom (comprising Bangalore, Chitradurga, Hassan, Kadur, Kolar, Mysore, Mandya, Shimoga, and Tumkur) saw an all-round development:

  • The Hydro Electric Project at Shivanasamudra Falls in 1902.
  • Minto Eye Hospital Bangalore, 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
  • Formation of Mysore Social Progress Association[13] in 1915 to empower weaker section of society
  • University of Mysore, established in 1916
  • Bangalore Printing and publishing company [14] established in 1916
  • Yuvaraja College,[15] Mysore, established in 1916
  • School of Engineering, Bangalore, later UVCE, established in 1917
  • Mysore State Railway (MSR)[16] 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[17] established in 1916
  • Government Sandalwood Oil Factory,[18] Bangalore, established in 1916
  • Maharani's Science College for Women,[19] Mysore, established in 1917
  • Wood Distillation Factory,[17] Bhadravathi in 1918
  • Mysore Chrome and Tanning Factory[17] established in 1918
  • Appointment of Sir Lesley Miller in 1918 to look into problems of Backward classes recommended reservation of 25% of jobs in the Government to non-Brahmans [20]
  • Lalitha Mahal palace in 1921
  • Government Science College, Bangalore in 1921 [21]
  • Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Plant (VISL), Bhadravathi was started as Mysore Iron Works in 1923.
  • First Indian state to enfranchise women (1923)[13]
  • 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.
  • In 1925 more than 100 acres of land was donated to the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) [22]
  • Establishment of Kadhara Sahakara Sangha in 1925 Tagdhur[13] which helped villagers to earn livings
  • 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[23] in Tumkur district completed in 1930. The dam has an automatic siphon system, first of its kind in Asia.
  • Mysore Sugar Mills,[24] Mandya, established in 1933
  • KR Mills, Mysore, established in 1933
  • St. Philomena's Church, Mysore in 1933.
  • Bangalore Town Hall in 1933.
  • Vanivilas Women and Children Hospital, Bangalore, established in 1934, named after Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana
  • Mysore Paper Mills,[25] 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)[26]
  • Mysore Lamps, Bangalore, established in 1936
  • Mysore Chemical and Fertilizers Factory,[17] Belagola established in 1937.
  • Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited, established in 1937. It became part of the public sector in 1947.
  • The Government Dichromate Factory, Belagola.[27]
  • Maharani's College for Women, Bangalore,[28] established in 1938.
  • Glass and Porcelain Factories,[17] Bangalore established in 1939
  • Formation of Mandya district in the year 1939
  • Mysore Implements Factory, Hassan, established in 1939 to produce agricultural and garden implements.
  • Hirebhaskara dam[29] 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.
  • 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
  • Banning child marriage (girls below age 8)
  • Special importance for girl education and scholarship for widowed girl



  1. ^ Jun 6, Updated; 2009; Ist, 21:39. "The Rajarshi of Mysore". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 9 June 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Current Biography 1940, p833
  3. ^ T O, Aswathy (4 June 2020). "Remembering Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar, the iconic Mysuru ruler on his 136th birth anniversary". Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  4. ^ Rama Jois, M. 1984. Legal and constitutional history of India ancient legal, judicial and constitutional system. Delhi: Universal Law Pub. Co. p597
  5. ^ "The Maharajah of Mysore". The Times (36843). London. 11 August 1902. p. 15.
  6. ^ "The Mysore duo Krishnaraja Wodeya IV & M. Visvesvaraya". India Today. Archived from the original on 24 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2007.
  7. ^ Pranesh (2003), p. 162
  8. ^ "[Group portrait of] the Maharaja [of Mysore] & his brothers and sisters". British Library. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2007.
  9. ^ Puttaswamaiah, K., 1980. Economic development of Karnataka a treatise in continuity and change. New Delhi: Oxford & IBH, p. 3
  10. ^ "Times' Tribute To Mysore Ruler". Morning Tribune. 6 August 1940. p. 2. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  11. ^ "".
  12. ^ 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."
  13. ^ a b c "Distribution of Social Justice" (PDF).
  14. ^ "Bangalore Press website".
  15. ^ "Yuvaraja College". Archived from the original on 31 May 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  16. ^ "MSR".
  17. ^ a b c d e "Hand Book of Karnataka" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Mysore Sandal Soap". Archived from the original on 21 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  19. ^ "MSCWM website".
  20. ^ "Millers report". 18 June 2015.
  21. ^ "About".
  22. ^ "NIMHANS".
  23. ^ "Marakonahalli Dam". 31 August 2013.
  24. ^ "Mysugar website". Archived from the original on 25 June 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  25. ^ "MPM website".
  26. ^ "RRI website".
  27. ^ Handbook Series-MYSORE STATE 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
  28. ^ "Maharani's College website".
  29. ^ Mellegatti, Pramod (9 June 2003). "Hirebhaskara Dam surfaces as Sharavathy recedes". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2003.

External links[edit]

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