A journey back into the princely state

A peek into the past

Visvesvaraya’s impatient scrawl in a letter, demanding Mirza Ismail’s audience to discuss the matter regarding the “Resident’ attitude,” is a rare find as it was written almost a century ago – October 6, 1916. It is also one of the few handwritten letters that have been so well-preserved.

The “Resident” referred to here was an important British representative in the princely state during the Maharaja’s rule.

This, and many other letters, photographs and circulars have been displayed by the State Archives department at the Mythic Society, for students, scholars and the public, interested in history, and specially in the art of archiving.

A circular detailing the “list of Palace purohits to be invited for the Gruha Yajna, on the occasion of the marriage of Yuvaraj Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar, June 14, 1910” ; “Programme of the ceremonial to be observed during the Dasara Darbar at Mysore, October 1905”; Raja Ravi Varma’s letter dated June 1906, seeking payment of, two of his paintings”; documents pertaining to eminent artists like K Venkatappa, Rumale Chennabasavaiah; important letters relating to music and the keen interest evinced by the Maharaja of Mysore in this field; letters pertaining to Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s visit to Mysore; telegrams related to 1920 Mysore Dasara programme, etc, have been framed and exhibited.

Preserving methodologies

Those interested in the art of archiving or preserving rare documents, can also get a quick lesson from two experts from Photolam System Pvt Ltd, Chennai, whose paper on preserving methodologies has been patented.

The exhibition, inaugurated by the Principal Secretary of the Kannada and Culture department, Basavaraju, will be on display on till Saturday between 10.30 am and 6.30 pm.

The department also released a book titled ‘Guide to the Records in the Karnataka Archives – Part 1, 2011’ on the occasion. The book, on the history of Mysore, dating back to the days of the ruler Chikadeveraja Wadiyar, also carries a brief history about the other Wadiyars of Mysore and their contribution to the development of the erstwhile Mysore state.

The book, written by Dr H P Shashidharamurthy, former deputy director of State Archives department, besides, describing the history of the Mysore State Secretariat, also recounts the evolution of records-keeping practices in Karnataka.

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