The famous Indian Maharajas lost their kingdoms in 1950 when independent India chose to become a republic. In 1971, they further lost their titles and privy purses. Yet, they have retained their mystic charm and social influence at least in the areas formerly ruled by them.
Over 70 years after Indian independence, the regal pomp and show is still put on display on special occasions like important festivals or family functions such as births or weddings.
One such event that caught the fancy of media across the nation was the recent wedding in the Wadiyar dynasty, the former rulers of Mysore, a rich princely state in the current day Karnataka. On June 27, the scion of the descent tied the nuptials with a member of a royal family from Rajasthan in a fairy-tale wedding.
Meet the Wadiyars
Wadiyar literally means the King or the owner, in Kannada (a South Indian language). Until India attained independence, the Wadiyars had ruled the Kingdom of Mysore for nearly 550 years since the establishment of the dynasty in the year 1399 by Yaduraya Wadiyar who ruled Mysore under the Vijayanagara Empire. The Kingdom wasruled by Wadiyar successors since then till Indian independence in 1947.
Though they may have lost their kingdom, the Wadiyars continue to be extremely rich, with a net worth estimated to be in excess of INR 100 bn (€1.3 bn) and signs of their prosperity can still be seen in the Mysore Palace, one of the finest palaces in India, built to reflect a mix of Gothic, Indian and Persian architecture styles. The palace is lit up each year in October to celebrate the famous Mysore Dussera when dozens of elephants, decorated with palace jewellery, participate in a regal parade that passes through Mysore to culminate at the palace.
Hence, it was little wonder that when the current titular head, Yaduveer Chamraja Krishnadatta Wadiyargot married to Trishika Kumari of the erstwhile Dungarpur dynasty of Rajasthan, national press descended upon the event in strength..
Something is haunting them
According to legend, no King of Mysore can have a son born in his family, to succeed him. This was due to a curse by Alamelamma, the wife of King Tirumalaraja who had ruled the Vijayanagra Empire and was deposed by a Wadiyar King.History shows that several rulers remained childless and their successors were adopted. In fact, Yaduveer Wadiyar was adopted by the family as the new successor in a special ceremony, last year. He is the grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi–the eldest sister of Srikantdatta Wadiyar, a former Prince and the eldest daughter of the last reigning Maharaja, Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar.
The Royal Wedding
The couple got engaged last year and got married on June 27. The wedding took place at the Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore in accordance with regal customs and traditions. The conjugal knot was tied at an auspicious time called the ‘Karkatka Lagna’ and ‘Savitra Muhurtha’ falling between 9:05 am and 9:35 am. The ‘Kalyana Mantapa’, the special marriage hall in the palace, had been elaborately decorated for the occasion. The Mysore Palace was closed for public during the wedding days.
The wedding ceremony, which was a grand affair,was performed in front of 200 guests and over a dozen temple priests. The reception, however, saw 2,000 special invitees from across the country.
The magnificence wasn’t limited to one thing here. Everything about it made it a ‘big fat Indian wedding’. A Carnatic music performance by Mysore Violin Brothers- M. Nagaraj and M. Manjunath added to the frolic environment.
No wedding story is complete without a mention of ‘who-wore-what’, not even of the royals’. Pictures of the couple, clad in princely attires have been trending on the internet. The groom coupled his Royal Crown with an attire in shades of peach and pink with prints in gold and the bride adorned a pink and yellow sari which she teamed with precious jewels.
Another reception is to be held on July 2, 2016 at the Royal Wadiyar Palace in Bengaluru, the capital of Karnataka, which is about 150 kms from Mysore.