May 29, 2015: In an elaborate ceremony involving 40 priests and attended by 1,000 well-heeled guests a 23 year old economics graduate was crowned Maharaja of centuries old royal family in Southern India on Thursday.
Yaduveer krishnasatta Chamraja Wodeyar was inducted as the 27th head of the wodeyar dynasty which once ruled swathes of southern India in a two day event at 15 temples spread throughout opulent palace grounds in the city of Mysore.
Wodeyar, a recent economics and English graduate from Boston University, succeeded Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar who died in 2013 of a heart attack. Srikantadatta was childless and did not name an heir but at a ceremony in February his widow Pramoda Devi adopted a relative the young Wodeyar.
Wodeyar told the NDTV news channel that his role here is ensuring that heritage, our heritage, remains alive with flowers.He added it is also fulfilling our contribution to the people in the state.
For nearly six centuries the Wodeyar dynasty ruled over what was then Mysore state and was known for its progressive rule of social reforms. Similarly, India’s maharajas once ruled over around 100 million people across 565 princely states. But in 1947 they lost their powers when India gained independence.
Now Wodeyar will be custodian of the sprawling Mysore, the seat of the kingdom and known for its mix of stained glass, mirrors, solid silver doors, marble floors and mahogany carvings which has become a tourist attraction and Bangalore palaces and acres of land spread across Karnataka state.According to the palace’s website it is lit up at night on public holidays and Sundays by nearly 100,000 light bulbs.