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It was in the summer of AD 1399 that disaster struck a small principality of southern India. Mahisuru, which later went on to become Mysore, had lost its chieftain and was vulnerable to the machinations of a cunning upstart. At around the same time, two young aspirants left their ancestral home in Dwaraka, Gujarat and proceeded southwards in search of fame. Yaduraya, the elder of the two, was destiny's chosen man to lead a valiant attack against the vile upstart, rescue the family in distress, wed the princess and assume the lordship of the palace. This event marked the birth of the Wodeyar Dynasty.
In one of the most definitive accounts of the Wodeyar Dynasty, the author sketches this long and fascinating regime, replete with wars, palace intrigues, romance, valor and deceit. From its genesis in 1399 to the age of glory under Raja Wodeyar, Ranadhira Kanthirava Narasraja Wodeyar and Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar, to the times of spineless monarchs who let the kingdom slip into the hands of powerful ministers, the book revisits the ups and downs of an enthralling dynasty.
The brief interlude under Haider Ali and his son Tipu Sultan saw Mysore emerge as a veritable nightmare for the British East India Company. With Tipu's death in 1799, power was restored to the Wodeyars and they continued to hold sway over the region till the time of India's independence. Under progressive rulers and able dewans, by the time of Independence, Mysore emerged as one of India's most forward states, on all developmental indices--a strong foundation on which the modern state of Karnataka was built.
The growth of Mysore as a cultural capital of South India, along with Tanjore, in areas of classical music, folk tradition and literature, has also been traced over these fascinating and delightful 600 years.
About the Author
VIKRAM SAMPATH was born in Bangalore. He did his undergraduate degree in electronic engineering, before doing his masters in mathematics from BITS Pilani in 2003. He subsequently did an MBA in finance from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai. He currently works in the retail banking division of a leading multinational bank in Bangalore. His work is regularly published in leading dailies and magazines like the Hindu, the Deccan Herald and Jet Wings. Vikram is also a student of Carnatic classical vocal music, and subjects related to history, art and culture are close to his heart.
His interest in the history of Mysore was a childhood pastime that graduated to a serious pursuit of the subject, coupled with extensive research.