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Last letter of the Yelahanka’s scion


Kempaveerappa Gowda, the last scion of Yelahanka dynasty was arrested by Mysore ruler Dodda Krishnaraja Wodeyar in Savanadurga. He was imprisoned in Srirangapattana.

Only Soma, a bodyguard of Kempaveerappa (Kempegowda III), was allowed to meet the king. As the prison was lower than the water levels of Cauvery river, surge of deadly cold waves was very common.

Death due to poisonous weather was frequent among prisoners. That was the case even with Kempaveerappa. When he realised that his health was deteriorating, he wrote a letter to his relative Hulikal Krishnaraja Gowda and sent it through his bodyguard Soma. Soon after, Kempaveerappa Gowda passed away.

The last letter of Kempaveerappa Gowda, written in Kannada, is as follows:
“Kempegowda’s blessings to Krishnaraja Gowda. I am fine here in Srirangapattana. Write to me about how other people are from your side. As you know, Lord Somanatha destined this punishment to us. My health is deteriorating day by day. It seems that soon I would surrender to Lord Somanatha. You are the only descendent of our dynasty. I am sending a throne representation ornament with Soma. I request you to take appropriate steps and proceed with your duties. As I cannot write some of the details, you will come to know some through Soma, who is our loyalist. Act appropriately only after attentive listening. Send any of our trusted men to me.”

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