DMPQ- Highlight the Contribution of Krishna Raja Wodeyar III in the cultural growth of the Mysore

Krishna Raja Wodeyar III was responsible for the cultural growth of the Mysore. Krishna Raja Wodeyar III was himself a writer, having written the books on Kannada Language like Sritattvanidhi and Sougandhikaparinaya. Krishna Raja Wodeyar III also has a number of writers in his court who together contributed to the development of modern prose in Kannada language. The Champu style of prose was followed till then. Other important writings of Krishna Raja Wodeyar III that emerged during the rule of Krishna Raja Wodeyar III include Mudramanjusha by Kempu Narayana, Kalavati Parinaya by Yadava and Vachana Kadamabari. Krishna Raja Wodeyar III was well versed in many languages and could play “Veena”. He was a great patron of music also. He was an expert player of board games and is credited to have revived the Ganjifa art game. Krishna Raja Wodeyar III was also a collector and an inventor of board games. During his kingship, there was a gradual progression of art, architecture and culture of Mysore.

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III was a multifaceted, multitalented genius. He was a polyglot, scholar, an accomplished poet, writer, artist, and musician among other things. He has to his credit at least 50 literary works on various subjects.

His Sritattvanidhi is an encyclopaedic treatise interspersed liberally with iconography. The objective of the work was to collate and combine all available information about the iconography and iconometry of divine figures in South India. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III also wrote the illustrated epic prose-romance, Sougandhikaparinaya.  It was a new prose style he devised, breaking away from the styles handed down until his time.

Of the most distinctive and unique regional dance forms in India hailing from Karnataka, Yakshagana perhaps occupies the top spot. And its survival, resurgence and growth owes a huge debt of gratitude to Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. It was during his reign that he patronized Parti Subba, a renowned Yakshagana writer and performer from South Canara.

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III was an accomplished player of the Veena and patronized great musicians and composers of his time like Sadashiva Rao, Veena Venkatasubbayya and Doddaseshanna.

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III also encouraged graphic arts. He had an army of accomplished artists under his patronage. Among other things, they were engaged to paint court-life in all its grandeur. Apart from this, portraiture developed as a fine art in Mysore during Krishnaraja Wodeyar’s rule Along with the paintings of court life, these form a very valuable resource for researchers because of the visual clues they provide to the past. He was also responsible for the creation of the Jaganmohan art gallery of Mysore, and built the original building in 1861.

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III also introduced English education in the Mysore state by starting Maharaja’s English School which paved way for the famous Maharaja’s college and finally, the Mysore University later under Sir M. Vishweshwarayya.

The nearly-70 year long rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III witnessed at least three generations of a galaxy of poets and other literary figures mainly in Kannada and Sanskrit. These litterateurs have stood the test of time, and their writings, plays, and poems are still read and recited in the state.

He is still honoured with the titles of Abhinava Kalidasa (Modern Kalidasa) and Kannada Nataka Pitamaha (Progenitor of Kannada drama). He translated almost all the celebrated works of Kalidasa. Kempu Narayana wrote his celebrataed Mudra Manjusha (the Kannada version of Vishakhadatta’s Mudra Rakshasa), the play based on Chanakya’s life and achievements.

Perhaps one significant administrative decision he took was to transfer the capital city of the Mysore state from Srirangapattana to Mysore city. The original Mysore city had been razed to the ground earlier by Tipu Sultan.


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