Remembering Maharani Kempananjammanni – An Astute Administrator Behind KRS and Victoria Hospital

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Maharani Kempananjammanni Vani Vilasa Sannidhana was born in 1866. She was the queen as well as regent of Mysuru who at the young age of 28 had to take the responsibility of its administration. The wife of Maharaja Chamarajendra Wodeyar X holds a special place in the history of Mysuru as a regent, Maharani, and queen mother to Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV when he was young. The success and illustrious ruling of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV is attributed to the excellent grooming of Maharani Kempananjammanni.

Generous And Strong Queen

Maharani Kempananjammanni was a very strong, generous and determined queen who understood the plight of her citizens. She contributed hugely to the upliftment of the society and development of infrastructure and facilities in her kingdom. She developed the Vani Vilasa road in Bengaluru, and Vani Vilasa hospital for children and women. She also constructed Vani Vilasa bridge across the Kabini river and Vani Vilasa Sagara dam in the district of Chitradurga.

All her contributions indicate that she was a benevolent queen who carried the task of administering the entire state of Mysuru at a young age of 28. She looked after the administration for seven long years.

Maharani Kempananjammanni

Received Education In English, Kannada, And Sanskrit

Maharani Kempananjammanni was a socially aware and educated lady and received a good education in English, Kannada, and Sanskrit during her childhood. Initially, after her marriage at the age of 12 years in 1878, she dedicated all her time in raising her five children. After the sudden death of the Maharaja Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar X, she had to take up the reigns of her kingdom as the regent and proclaimed her eldest son, Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV as the king.

The queen showed a high level of courage and grit to handle the state administration. During her seven years’ reign as the regent of Mysuru kingdom, the queen introduced many developments in the field of health, public works and education. She constructed the dam in the Chitradurga district to provide irrigation facility in the dry region.

Even the Shivanasamudra hydro-electric project was introduced during her reign (1899-1900). Electricity from this project was supplied in 1902 to K.G.F and later on to the city of Bangalore to fulfill the demand of a growing population. The queen also supervised the rebuilding of Mysuru Palace after a part of it was destroyed by a fire outbreak. She commissioned an English architect H. Irwin to complete the work in 1912.

Maharani Kempananjammanni

Maharani Kempananjammanni Opened Hospitals And Dispensaries For Women

The queen of Mysuru was very kind and alleviated the sufferings of many women. She opened several hospitals and dispensaries in different parts of the state during her administration. The Maharani ensured that pregnant women receive appropriate post-natal-care and the newborns are also well-taken care of.  

The Maharani laid the foundation stone for constructing the Victoria hospital in Bengaluru. It was inaugurated by Viceroy Lord Curzon in 1900. During her Regency term, the number of hospitals in Mysuru increased from 116 to 134. She was also very strongly advocated women’s education. By 1902, there were around 235 public schools for girls.

Her efforts bore fruits when for the first time in the history of South India, two girls from the college of Mysuru appeared for B.A. examination in 1902. She even instituted foreign travel for students of post-graduation through a scheme called Damodar Das scholarship. The queen who introduced modern amenities through her bold, grit and administrative acumen, benevolence and integrity passed on 8th July 1934.

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