The Wodeyar dynasty or Wadiyar dynasty ruled over the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947. It is the only royal family in India that has ruled over a kingdom for more than 500 years. The rule of this royal family extending over 5 centuries was headed by 25 kings.
The Rule of the Wodeyar Dynasty
The Wodeyar dynasty founded a feudatory principality in 1399, which grew into the Kingdom of Mysore. Initially they ruled as vassals of the Vijayanagara Empire from 1399 to 1565. They then ruled as independent rulers from 1565 to 1761.
The rulers of the dynasty exercised nominal power from 1761 to 1796 as the real power was in the hands of the commanders-in-chief, Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. After the death of Tipu Sultan at the hands of the British rulers in 1799, the dynasty ruled as allies of the British crown from 1799 to 1947.
The Present Heir of the Wodeyar Dynasty
After the death of the last titular King of Mysore, Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wodeyar in 2013, the Wodeyar royal family adopted Yaduveer Gopal Raj Urs as the heir to the dynasty on 23rd February, 2015.
Yaduveer is the grandnephew of Srikantadatta Narasimha Raja Wodeyar and the grandson of the Srikantadatta Wodeyar’s eldest sister Gayathri Devi. He has been renamed as Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar. The coronation ceremony of the new titular King of Mysore is scheduled to be held on 28th May, 2015.
The Kings of the Wodeyar Dynasty of Mysore
Here is the complete list of the Kings of the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore:
1. Adi Yaduraya Wodeyar
Ruling Period: 1399-1423
Adi Yaduraya Wodeyar or Raja Vijaya Raj Wodeyar was the first King of Mysore. He established his rule by defeating and killing Delavoi Mara Nayaka of Karugahalli, who had usurped Royal power in Mysore.
2. Hiriya Bettada ChamarajaWodeyar I
Ruling Period: 1423-1459
Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wodeyar I or Bettada Chamaraja was the elder son of Yaduraya Wodeyar and succeeded his father as the ruler of Mysore.
3. Timmaraja Wodeyar I
Ruling Period: 1459-1478
Appana Timmaraja Wodeyar I was the son of Bettada Chamaraja. He ruled over Mysore till his death.
4. Hiriya Chamaraja Wodeyar II
Ruling Period: 1478-1513
Hiriya Abiral Chamarajara Wodeyar II was the son of Timmaraja Wodeyar I. He ruled till his death
5. Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wodeyar III
Ruling Period: 1513-1553
Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wodeyar III was the son of Chamaraja Wodeyar II. He constructed the Fort of Mysore in the village of Puragiri.
6. Timmaraja Wodeyar II
Ruling Period: 1553-1572
Monegara Appana Timmaraja Wodeyar II was the eldest son of Chamaraja Wodeyar III.
7. Bola Chamaraja Wodeyar IV
Ruling Period: 1572-1576
Hiriya Bola Chamaraja Wodeyar IV was the younger brother of Timmaraja Wodeyar II.
8. Chamaraja Wodeyar V
Ruling Period: 1576-1578
Bettada Chamaraja (Devaraja) Wodeyar V became the next king and ruled till his death.
9. Raja Wodeyar I
Ruling Period: 1578-1617
Raja Wodeyar I was the eldest son of Chamaraja Wodeyar IV and the uncle of Chamaraja V. He ruled till his death.
10. Chamaraja Wodeyar VI
Ruling Period: 1617-1637
Bettada Chamaraja Wodeyar VI ruled over Mysore till his death.
11. Raja Wodeyar II
Ruling Period: 1637-1638
Immadi Raja Wodeyar II was the fourth son of Raja Wodeyar I. He ruled over Mysore for around two years before his death.
12. Kantheerava Narasaraja Wodeyar I
Ruling Period: 1638-1659
Ranadhira Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar I was adopted by the widow of Raja Wodeyar I. He expanded the Mysore dominions in South India. He was the first King of Mysore to create the symbols associated with royalty, such as establishing a mint and issuing coins named Kanthiraya. He ruled over Mysore till his death.
13. Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar
Ruling Period: 1659-1673
Dodda Kempa Devaraja Wodeyarwas the fourth son of Prince Devarajendra Wodeyar and succeeded his cousin Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar I to the throne. He abrogated his nominal allegiance to Vijayanagar and declared Mysore to be independent. He expanded his dominions considerably before his death.
14. Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar
Ruling Period: 1673-1704
Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar succeeded his uncle, Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar, to the throne.
15. Kantheerava Narasaraja Wodeyar II
Ruling Period: 1704-1714
Kantheerava Narasaraja WodeyarII was born both mute and deaf and came to be called Múk-arasu (literally “mute king”). He succeeded to the throne through the influence of the chief minister, Tirumalaiyangar.
16. Dodda Krishnaraja Wodeyar I
Ruling Period: 1714-1732
Dodda Krishnaraja Wodeyar I was the first-born son of Kanthirava Narasaraja II, by his second wife Chelvaja Ammani Avaru. He acceded to the Mysore throne one month before his tenth birthday. He died at the young age of 29 years, without having a direct heir.
Although he was married nine times, direct descent in the Wodeyar lineage stopped with him. What followed was a succession of nominal rulers adopted by the surviving queens to continue the tradition.
17. Chamaraja Wodeyar VII
Ruling Period: 1732-1734
Chamaraja Wodeyar VII Bahadur was the son of DevarajUrs of Ankanhalli and was adopted by the widow of Dodda Krishnaraja Wodeyar I, Devaja Ammani Avaru. He was overthrown and imprisoned along with his queen for opposing the Dalavayis in 1734 and died inside the prison.
18. Immadi Chikka Krishnaraja Wadiyar II
Ruling Period: 1734-1766
Immadi Chikka Krishnaraja Wadiyar II was the titular ruler of Mysore. He was adopted by Maharani Devajammani, a queen of Krishnaraja Wodeyar I. He reigned under the control of Mahisura Delavoi Devarajaiya Urs and Hyder Ali.
19. Nanjaraja Wodeyar
Ruling Period: 1766-1770
Nanjaraja Dalavai Wodeyar Bahadurwas eldest son of Krishnaraja Wodeyar II, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father. He reigned under the control of Hyder Ali. He was poisoned to death by a cup of milk sent by Hyder Ali.
20. Bettada Chamaraja Wodeyar VIII
Ruling Period: 1770-1776
Bettada Chamaraja Wodeyar VIII Bahadur was the second son of Krishnaraja Wodeyar II and succeeded on the death of his elder brother Nanjaraja Wodeyar. He too reigned under the control of Hyder Ali. He was strangled and killed on the orders of Hyder Ali.
21. Khasa Chamaraja Wodeyar IX
Ruling Period: 1776-1796
Chamaraja Wodeyar IX was the son of Chikka DevarajUrs of the Karugahalli family. After the death of Chamaraja Wodeyar VIII, he was adopted by Maharani Lakshmi Ammani Devi, widow of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar II. He reigned under the control of Hyder Ali and later, his son, Tipu Sultan.
Mysore continued to be under the rule of Tipu Sultan until he was killed by the British forces in 1799.
22. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III
Ruling Period: 1799-1868
KrishnarajaWodeyarIII Bahadur was the son of Khasa ChamarajaWodeyar IX. Also known as MummadiKrishnarajaWodeyar, he made significant contribution to different forms of arts and music during his reign. He ruled over Mysore for nearly seventy years.
23. Chamaraja Wodeyar X
Ruling Period: 1868-1894
Chamarajendra Wodeyar X was the son of Rajkumari Sri Puta Ammani Avaru, the eldest daughter of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, the then Maharaja of Mysore. Due to the lack of a male heir, the Maharaja adopted his grandson in 1867 and Chamarajendra Wodeyar X succeeded him to the throne.
He instituted the Representative Assembly of Mysore state in 1881. He sponsored the famous journey of Swami Vivekananda to Chicago in 1893. He constructed many of the famous landmarks of Mysore and Bangalore, including the Bangalore Palace, the Lalbagh Glass House, Oriental Research Institute in Mysore, Fern Hill Palace in Ooty and the Mysore Zoo.
24. Rajarshi (Nalvadi) Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV
Ruling Period: 1894-1940
Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV was the eldest son of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar X and Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhana. After the death of his father in 1894, his mother ruled the state as Regent until Krishnaraja Wodeyar reached the age of majority in 1902.
His rule was the beginning of the golden era for Mysore. During his reign Mysore became the first Indian state to generate hydroelectric power in Asia, and the first Asian city to have street lights. He worked toward alleviating poverty and improving rural reconstruction, public health, industry and economic regeneration, education and the fine arts.
25. Jayachamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur
Ruling Period: 1940-1974
Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur or Jaya Chamarajendra Wodeyar was the 25th and the last Maharaja of the princely state of Mysore. He was the only son of Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wodeyar. He ascended the throne after the demise of his uncle, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar.
After India attained independence in 1947, he ceded his kingdom to the Dominion of India. He continued as the Maharajah until India became a Republic in 1950.
26. Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar
Ruling Period: 1974-2013
Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar Bahadur, also known as Prince Srikanta Wodeyar, was the only son of the last ruling Maharaja of Mysore, Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar. He succeeded his father as the head of the dynasty. He continued the informal and titular rule of the royal family as king from 1974 until his death.
27. Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar: Coronation on 28th May, 2015
Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja is the 27th and present titular Maharaja of Mysore and head of the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty. He is the only son of Swarup Anand Gopalaraj Urs of the Bettadakote clan of the Urs family, and his wife, Rajakumari Tripurasundari Devi.
After an interregnum of over a year, Yaduveer was adopted by Pramoda Devi, the widow of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar. He was formally renamed Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar. His symbolic coronation is to be held on 28th May, 2015.