‘Kattappa is actually Jettappa of Wadiyars’

A 'jet-setting' lore

Members of the Jetty community, who have arrived on the Mysuru Palace premises to take part in the ceremonial ‘Vajramusti Kalaga’, the wrestling bouts on Vijayadashami, said, Kattappa in the ‘Bahubali’ sequel movies, is actually Jettappa of the erstwhile royal family of Mysuru.

Lokesh Jetty, a former wrestler and a trainer now from Bengaluru, said, there are some similarities between the royalty of Mysuru to the facts in ‘Bahubali’ sequel, like the name of the state — Mysuru or Mahishuru and Mahishmathi. “Like the character Kattappa in the movie, who is loyal to the throne following in the footsteps of his ancestors, the warriors of the Jetty community are loyal to the Wadiyar kings and are ready to lay our lives for them, if a situation demands,” he said.

Srinivas Jetty, a vastad or ustad and dashbandi, a referee for the Vajramusti Kalaga, said, “We are originally from Modera in north Gujarat. A few of the Chaathurvedi Malla Brahmins migrated before the invasion of Modera by Mohammed Ghazni around 1026 AD. They settled near Mysuru. The actual place of settlement is Undiganaalu in Hassan district. Now, the people, who have settled around Mysuru are divided into four divisions — Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Channapatna and Bengaluru.” He said, since the founding of the Yadu dynasty, the Jettys have been at the service of the Wadiyar kings and they continue the tradition of indulging in a couple of bouts on Vijayadashami. “Once in a year, we come to the Palace. We are given a few rooms to accommodate the wrestlers, trainers, ustads and other community people, who come from outside Mysuru, on the Palace premises. We complete the formalities and return to our places after the Dasara celebrations,” he said. Tiger Balaji Jetty, another dashbandi, said, we have no expectation from the erstwhile royal family for keeping our tradition. “We are happy with what we get from the Mahaswamy (referring to Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar). We would not disclose what we get from them,” he said.

“The wrestlers start preparing for the bouts in all four divisions since the first day of Shravana month and the ustad of the respective division selects the representative. There will be two bouts and the pairing is done among the four finalists,” he said.

Madhava Jetty, an ustad of Mysuru, said, we all have our own vocations and we take part in the Vajramusti Kalaga only to keep our tradition. “We have no expectations from either the erstwhile royal family or the government. However, the senior Jettys, who have applied for old-age pension are yet to get the benefit,” he said.

The wrestling is hosted by the erstwhile royal family, before the start of Vijayadashami celebrations, at Karikallu Thotti enclosure of the Mysuru Palace. Unofficially, the news of the dripping of blood on the ground, during the Vajramusti Kalaga is communicated to the government officials, so that the Jamboo Savari can be held. The wrestlers are dressed in lion cloths, with the hair on the head tonsured for the bouts. They hold the weapon ‘Vajranakha’ in their right fist. The one who hits the opponent with the Vajranakha, resulting in bleeding, is declared the winner.

Seven ustads, including two dashbandis — Srinivas Jetty (dashbandis) from Bengaluru, Tiger Balaji Jetty (dashbandis) from Mysuru, Madhava Jetty (Mysuru), Krishna Jetty (Bengaluru), Purushotham Jetty (Channapatna), Bangaru Jetty (Chamarajanagar) and Balaji Jetty (Mysuru city) — supervise the conduct of the Vajramusti Kalaga.

The four wrestlers, who have been finalised for the Vijayadashami Vajramusti Kalaga are: Purushotham Jetty from Chamarajanagar, V Raghavendra Jetty from Bengaluru, Vidhyadhara Jetty from Channapatna and Manjunath Jetty from Mysuru. The Vajramusti Kalaga will be held on October 19 at 9.30 am in the presence of the members of the erstwhile royal family, their relatives, well-wishers and the members of the Jetty community.

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‘Kattappa is actually Jettappa of Wadiyars’

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