Srirangapatna was second home to the royal family

Srirangapatna was second home to the royal family

The historic town was the first capital of Yadu dynasty

 The late scion of the Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Narasimha Wadiyar was a devotee of presiding deity of the island town, the first capital of his ancestors.

Even though he was a non-believer as a youngster, he turned to spirituality after he was crowned as Maharaja in 1974, following the demise of his father Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. He has visited Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple with his family members several times since his coronation. He had participated in a ‘Sudarshana Homa’ conducted in the temple for setting right some astrological obstacles in 2010, said priest Prasanna.

Following the death of the scion, the temple, which is prominent among the temples that come under the Mysore samsthana (state), was closed immediately for public as a mark of respect. Sandalwood paste, flowers, tulsi leaves and ‘vastra’ (silk cloth) adorning the presiding deity Sri Ranganatha Swamy on the day of his demise (December 10) were sent to the Mysore Palace as a mark of respect to the descendant of the Yadu dynasty on Wednesday (December 11) morning, he said.

A special pooja was also performed to seek peace to the departed soul of the ‘Maharaja’, he added. Wadiyar’s ashes were also immersed at Paschimavahini in the town on Thursday (December 12).

History

The Wadiyars belong to the island town of Srirangapatna, as this is where the kings of the Yadu dynasty founded an independent state, by Raja Wadiyar in 1610. The town was the capital for 21 among the 25 Wadiyar kings from 1610 till 1766, when one of their commanders Hyder Ali usurped power.

According to a Jesuit dispatch from here to Rome, during the reign of Ranadhira Kanteerva Narasaraja Wadiyar (1638-59), there were three palaces, one of which was built using sandalwood next to Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple. The Wadiyars built several temples, dharmashalas to provide shelter and food to the needy, lakes and ponds and laid well-planned and good road.

The world famous Mysore Dasara was also started here in 1610. It was shifted to Mysore in 1799, when the capital was transferred to Mysore, following the death of Tipu Sultan, who had destroyed all the palaces in Srirangapatna.

The waters of River Cauvery, which encircled the town, was put to good use by the Wadiyars. In mid 17th century itself Ranadhira Kanteerva Narasaraja Wadiyar built a bund across the river and laid an eight-km long Bangaradoddi canal, which still irrigates lands in several villages.

Chikkadevaraj Wadiyar (1673-1704) built a bund at Balamuri across Cauvery and laid a 70-km long Virija canal and Chikkadevaraja Sagar (CDS) canal. These two canals irrigate thousands of hectares of lands in both Mandya and Mysore districts.

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