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Mysore’s Golden Age (1) : The Princely State of Mysore (today in Karnataka) was hailed as an example of good governance to all the world.
Mysore’s Golden Age
Part one

Acknowledgements to ‘A Conqueror of Hearts’ (Deccan Herald); ‘Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV: A saintly king’; and ‘The Distribution Of Social Justice By Rajarshi Krishnaraj Wodeyar IV’ (EPRA International Journal of Economic and Business Review), by Professor Nirmal Raj (PDF file).

The Indian Kingdom of Mysore is associated with two remarkable figures, Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), ‘the Tiger of Mysore’, and Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV (1884-1940). Tipu fought the British and anyone else for nearly twenty years of unrelenting bloodshed; Krishnaraja made Mysore a world leader in industrial, artistic and social advancement.

KRISHNARAJA Wodeyar IV inherited the throne of Mysore in 1894, though his mother acted as regent until 1902. The Kingdom had a recent history of good governance, owing much to chief administrator Purniah from 1799 to 1812, and British Commissioner Sir Mark Cubbon from 1843 to 1861. A democratic legislature had been introduced in 1881.

The new Maharaja capitalised on his inheritance so wisely that Viscount Sankey, British Lord Chancellor, crowned Mysore ‘the best-administered state in the world’. Krishnaraja made shrewd appointments, including the celebrated engineer Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, resisted the temptation to micromanage, and acted with foresight: the historic hydro-electric plant at Shivanasamudra Falls in 1902 and the KRS dam of 1924 powered new industries, irrigated fields blighted by drought, and watered elegant parks, such as Brindavan Gardens, purposely designed for tourists.

Tourism also prompted Krishnaraja to foster traditional Indian crafts – he led by example and learnt to spin – but Mysore was emphatically not a museum state.

Acknowledgements to ‘A Conqueror of Hearts’ (Deccan Herald); ‘Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV: A saintly king’; and ‘The Distribution Of Social Justice By Rajarshi Krishnaraj Wodeyar IV’ (EPRA International Journal of Economic and Business Review), by Professor Nirmal Raj (PDF file).

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Modern History (130) History of British India (16) Mysore (1) British Empire (25) Edwardian Era (11) History (393)

Picture: © Bikashrd, Wikimedia Commons. Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0. View original
The Lalitha Mahal, a palace near the Chamundi Hills, east of the city of Mysore in the Indian state of Karnataka. It was built in 1921 on the orders of Maharajah Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV for the use of the Viceroy of India. Doubtless he felt very much at home, as it deliberately echoes St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
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