Today, if Bangalore is known as the Silicon Valley & Knowledge hub of India then part of the credit must go to Maharaja Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV. This status was not achieved in a few years but is the result of a foundation laid down by the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore. One of the most admired qualities of the Maharaja was his art of delegation which was a rarity among leaders those days.
Here are the 10 Things to know about the great man
1. Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV was the first son of Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X and Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana. He was born on June 4th, 1884 in the Mysore Palace.
2. He was the student of Western Studies, Kannada, Sanskrit, and classical musics tutored by Sir Stuart Fraser after whom Frazer Town in Central Bengaluru is named. He played tennis and polo and was the first chancellor of the Benaras Hindu University and Mysore University.
3. Sir Stuart Fraser of the Bombay Civil Service gave administrative training to the young Maharaja. These studies were supplemented by extensive tours of Mysore through which the Yuvaraja learned about the nature of the state he was to govern. On June 6th, 1900, he got married to Maharani Pratapa Kumari Ammani of Kathiawar.
4. Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV was declared the king of Mysore at the age of 11 after the untimely death of his father, Chamaraja Wadiyar X. His mother Maharani Vani Vilasa ruled as the Regent until he took over the reins on August 8, 1902, at the age of 18.
5. When the world was under war and a great economic drop down, Wadiyar had something else on mind. For instance, in 1913, he introduced compulsory primary education. He spent nearly around Rs 6,99,000 for education and in 1902, it again rose to Rs 46,80,000 in 1927, reaching 8,000 schools and over five lakh students.
6. Mahatma Gandhi referred Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV as a ‘Rajashri’ or ‘saintly king’ because he was responsible for making Mysore a model, modern State. His championed included, education of women, uplifting backward classes and promoting the industry.
7. The year 1927 was special because it marked 25 years of the Maharaja’s rule in Mysore. The state was wrapped in a silver jubilee spirit and numerous progressive civil projects were planned around that time. Including the KRS reservoir in Mandya district and the KR Hospital in Mysore. Roads and lanes were renamed as a tribute.
8. He was the first to criminalize untouchability and ban child marriage for girls under the age of 8 years. He also established a number of scholarships for widowed girls and donated Rs 60 lakhs each year for spastic children. In 1915 the Mysore Social Progress Association was formed to empower the weaker sections of the Mysore society.
9. Wodeyar himself could play a number of musical instruments including the violin, flute, sitar, veena, saxophone, mridangam, piano, and nadaswaram. Like his predecessors, he patronized a number of Hindustani, Carnatic and Western artists. Some of the esteemed guests of the Maharaja of Mysore included Gauhar Jan, Abdul Karim Khan and members of the Agra Gharana- Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan and Nathan Khan.
10. Under Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV’s guidance, Mysore’s Representative Assembly was expanded. In 1907, the assembly became bicameral with the establishment of its legislative council. Under him, Mysore became the first state to produce hydroelectric power not only in India but in all Asia in 1902. At the time of his death, the Maharaja had an asset of around US$400 million making him one of the world’s richest men.