Monday, 29 April 2013

The only hot water springs of south India

This is the only sulphur hot spring or rather there are two such springs in the whole of south India and it is located in Karnataka.  The hot water spring has a hoary history and Sage Kanva and his disciples are associated with it.
What sets these two springs apart from their Himalayan counterparts is that they are lukewarm and visitors and pilgrims can directly take a dip without the fear of getting scalded or getting skin burnt.
The streaming hot sulphur springs of the Himalayas contrasts sharply with the lukewarm water of these springs and the curative properties they possess.
Another peculiarity of these springs is that they are in a non-volcanic region and they do not possess the large amounts of sulphur that the Himayalan springs do.     
Both these springs are near each other and both are not very largely known outside the district in which they are located. According to a legend, the disciples of Sage Kanva came across the vast forests here with flowing streams and plenty of wildlife. The disciples were transfixed when they noticed lions and tigers lived peacefully and with perfect amity with cattle and other herbivorous animals. All the animals drank water from the pool.
The disciples examined the place and came across the spring of lukewarm water. Charmed by the surrounding, they called it Gopalakshetra. The disciples then built a temple dedicated to Vishnumurthy.
Today, Gopalakshetra is better known as Bendre Theertha or Bendru as the locals call it. It is also known as Irde after the village in which it is located. The theertha is at the confluence of three streams- Chelyadka, Byladi and Bettampadi. added to the religious significance.
Locals consider the Teertha Amavasya day in first week of September to be highly auspicious and the take a dip. Newly married couples also visit this place for a holy bath on that day.  
The Bendre Teertha unfortunately seems to have a little bit of its character, thanks to unimaginative polices of the Government and the lack of concern by local farmers.
The Bendre Teertha is the only hot water spring in South India and it is located off the main road between Sullia and Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district.
Bendre or Bendr in Tulu means hot. The natural spring is a geological wonder and the temperature of the water is due to the geothermal energy emanating from the hot rocks underground that heats up the water table. The heated water has a lower density than normal water, and therefore, it tends to spring out.
The land around Irde or Bendre theertha consists of early Precambrian gneisses granulites and smaller bands of schists. The Precambrian rocks are covered under a blanket of laterites and clays. The laterite-clay cover ranges from less than 10 metres to about 30 metres at different places. The hot water spring is located on granitic gneisses covered by a two meter thick cover of lateritic soils.
The three streams join at right angles and flow into the west flowing Baddanthadka, which is also known locally as Seere. These four water bodies join at approximate right angles. This intersecting configuration shows that the streams are controlled by tectonic factors that have produced mutually intersecting fractures. The chemical analysis data of spring water shows T.D.S. of 424 ppm, SiO2, 80.0 ppm, Cl 60 ppm, HCO3 196 ppm, Mg 21 ppm, SO4 61 ppm, CaCO3 121 ppm, Na 81 ppm, K 7.0 ppm and pH 8.2.
The theertha is close to the intersection of the streams. The flow of water from the spring is quite weak and often dries up in the summer because of lowering of the groundwater table. Air bubbles releasing from the outlet of the spring can be noticed within the pool. The temperature in the pool is about 37º C.
Bendre Teertha is easily accessible from Puttur and there are plenty of private buses. If not, take the road to Sullia and seven kms before Puttur, take a deviation to the left. Drive down eight kilometres and you reach Bendre Teertha.
By the way, there is another thermal or hot spring near Bendre Theertha. This is the hot spring at Panekal near Uppinangady and this too is in Dakshina district.
Both the springs have pH, dissolved oxygen, sulphur content and aquatic hyphomycetes. There were 20 species of aquatic hyphomycetes in Bendre Thirtha and 16 in Panekal. Out of these, nine species were common for both the springs.
The natural thermal spring of Bendre were first scientifically catalogued by Thomas Oldham (1816-1878), an Anglo-Irish geologist. He went about cataloguing the thermal springs of India as early as 1882.
The Panekal spring is about 22 km from Uppinangady and it originates under the crevices of rocks, and forms a small pond, which flows through paddy fields for about half a kilometer before joining Nethravathi.

The forgotten heroes and their forsaken descendents

Chatrapathi Shivaji (1630-1680) had with him a loyal and extremely skilled band of supporters who stood by him through thick and thin. Their tales of valour, devotion and single mindedness in protecting Shivaji and establishing a Hindu Rashtra are the stuff of legends and their names are even today recalled with awe and respect.
The exploits of these men have now become part of Indian folklore and legend. While we do have information about the descendents of Shivaji-his direct descendents continue to live in Satara and the 13th King, Udayanraje Bhonale, is he thirteenth descendent- there is little or no information about the descendents of Shivaji’s closest followers.
One of the first names that comes to our mind when we go through Maratha history is that of Baji Murarbaji Deshpande (17th century), a  general in the early reign of Shivaji. He is even today widely remembered for his stout defense of the Purandar fort ear Pune against the Mughal General Diler Khan, who accompanied Raja Jai Singh during the campaign.
Thus was in 1665 and Diler Khan, a Pathan, had camped outside the gigantic fort of Purandar. Baji was incharge of the fort and he had just 60 men at his command.
Undeterred by the massive Mughal strength,  Baji stormed the Mughal army, slaying 500 Pathans. The Mughal General stopped the battle midway and directly spoke to Baji, inviting him to join hands with him.
Baji refused and he was killed by an arrow shot by Khan himself. Sandip Potnis, a farmer near Pune, is proud of his ancestry tracing its roots to Baji.
Kaustubh Deshpande is a descendant of Shivaji's Kayastha commander Baji Prabhu Deshpande (1615-1660).  History says Baji Prabhu held off Bijapur General Siddi Jauda's or Siddi Jahaur’s forces for seven hours at the Pawakind mountain pass near Kolhapur, allowing Shivaji to escape. Baji Prabhu was wounded 47 times in the battle.
Today, Kaustubh, a computer professional, is trying to build a monument in his ancestral village Shind as homage to his ancestor. As can be expected , politicians and bureaucrats have shown scant  interest in building the memorial.
The descendants of Jiva Mahale, the bodyguard of Shivaji-who saved the Chatrapathi by killing Bijapur's General Afzal Khan-today lives in poverty. Balkrishna Sapkal, a descendant of Jiva, is paralysed and lives in poverty. A barber, he can no longer work and he lives in a small rented room with his wife near Kondivli
Ranojirao Ghorpade is a grandson of Shivaji's General Santaji Ghorpade.
Santaji belonged to the Ghorpade family and though his year of birth is not exactly known, it is generally put at 1660 AD. He along with his younger brother Bahirji accompanied Shivaji in his Karnataka campaign in 1678.
He was named by Shivaji on his death bed to be among six pillars of Maratha Empire who were tasked to carry out the war against Mughals and the Sultanates of Bijapur and Golconda and to save the Maratha kingdom at all costs. Santaji’s father Mhaloji died in the battle of Sangmeshwar while fighting the Mughals who then captured, tortured and killed Sambhaji.
Santaji’s descendent, Ranojirao, is a farmer in his ancestral village of Kapshi near Kolhapur.
Another farmer Dilip Singh Himmat Bahadur Chavan of Nigwe near Kolhapur is a direct descendent of Vithoji who earned the title of Himmat Bahadur from Shivaji's son Rajaram for his bravery against the Mughals.
Vithoji along with two other Generals Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav also known as Dhanaji Shambhusinha Jadhav (1650–1708) had almost captured Aurangzeb once. They had   once entered Aurangzeb’s camp, plundered it and cut off the penants at its gate.
Dhanaji’s descendent, Vikramsinhraje Jadhavrao, who is also the Raja of Malegaon Budruk near Baramati in Maharashtra, is a builder in Pune.
Jaywantrao Mohite, a retired professional, is the descendent of Hambirao Mohite who was the commander-in-chief of Shivaji's army after the Chatrapathi’s death in 1680. Mohite was the brother of Soyarabai, one of the Queens of Shivaji.
Krishnaraje Rajemahadik and his father Shilsinhraje are descendants of Shivaji's eldest son-in-law Harjiraje Rajemahadik. Even today, their haveli in Tarale near Satara has swords, daggers, spears, silverware and ancient covered carts used by women to travel. Shivaji had visited Tarale for his daughter Ambicabai's wedding.
Another forgotten hero is Balasaheb Jedhe who traces his lineage to Kanhoji Jedhe, the jagirdar of Kari near Pune who backed  Shivaji with 22 chieftains and soldiers in the battle against Afzal Khan.
In the battle of Yelburga in 1677, Kanoji's son Nagoji severed the trunk of the elephant on which Bijapur General Hussain Khan Miyana was riding. Nagoji was subsequently shot dead. Today, Jedhe and his four brothers share 70 acres of land and a haveli.
Padmasenraje Dabhade and his son Satyashil Dabhade are descendents of General Khanderao Dabhade who played a key role in extending Maratha power north of the Narmada during the reign of Shivaji's grandson Sahu.
The Dadhabes now live in a flat in Pune. One of their women ancestors Umabhai Dabhade, the daughter-in-law of Khanderao, led the Maratha Army and won a battle against the Mughals near Ahmedabad..
What we see here is that today’s politicians and governments are very adept at making promises and then conveniently forgetting them. The least they can do is to identify men and families that laid down their lives for the nation and honor them

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Counting the canines

Well, well, well. What has India come to. In the next few months officials of  a prominent State will be saddled with the onerous responsibility of  counting the genital organs of sterilised canines.
Though this strange may not entirely be in the line of duty, the officials will have no go but to start counting once payments for sterilization of dogs starts.
This bizarre count will soon take place in Haryana, one of the many states of India. Counting is important because payment will depend on the number of dogs   sterilised and the best and one hundred percent accurate manner of countings is by physical checking.
Thus the payment will depend on the number of sterilization of cannines undertaken and mere filing up of forms or reeling of numbers would not do. This strange move by Haryana is part of a comprehensive scheme to control the population of stray dogs in the state and also ensure accountability by a society which will be exclusively in charge of  the sterlisation programme.
Under the scheme, a Society for Stray Canine Birth Control will soon be set up. Officials of the society will include government functionaries and representatives of animal welfare organisations,   animal health officials and others. They will set up inspection teams that will verify and count genital organs of the sterilised dogs.
The responsibility of sterlising the dogs has been handed over to the State's Department of Animal Husbandary. Once the canines are sterlised, the genital organs will be preserved in formalin solution for the society's inspection team to physically count and verify.
The municipalities will be asked to release money based on the number of genital organs counted. No payments will be made till then.
The society in each civic area will be headed by commissioners of municipal corporations, deputy commissioners and sub-divisional officers. They will be supported by representatives from the public health department, the animal welfare department, veterinarians, the district Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCAs) and other officials.
This scheme was approved by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda recently after he and his Cabinet colleagues were inundated with increasing complaints of stray dogs creating menace in the state and attacking humans.
The Haryana Government has asked municipalities to set up dog catching teams and if this is not feasible, engage private contractors to catch stray dogs and sterilise them.
The municipalities, in turn, will arrange dog vans with ramps for the capture and  transportation of stray dogs, along with two trained dog catchers. On its part, the animal husbandry department will set up dog sterilisation centres, which will include minor operation theatres (OT) and post-operative recovery rooms for the canines.
Once the dogs are sterilised and immunized against rabies, they  will be kept in kennels for post-operative care, feeding and management till they are fit for release.
Now the question is whether Karnataka too will follow the Haryana model. There have been increasing stray dog attacks in Bangalore and it remains to be seen whether the civic body in Bangalore will go in for such checks to make sure that NGOs which sterlise cannines do their job satisfactorily.
There have been cases filed in the High court of Karnataka seeking judicial sanction to eliminate stray dogs. The High Court has been told of the increasing stray dog menace in Bangalore and the failure of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in taking remedial measures.
A few years ago, the Karnataka Lokayuktha had ordered elimination of stray dogs and this had also been challenged in the High Court by animal rights organisations.  
Meanwhile, the BBMP has shifted the blame on NGOs saying that they are no longer in the field of sterlisation of dogs and if anyone has to be blamed it is the NGOs. The  BBMP says it got 69,149 stray dogs vaccinated or sterilised in 2010-11, while 93,447 dogs were sterilised in 2011-12.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A cure for Kalasarpa Dosha

This is one of the holiest pilgrimage spots of one of the oldest religions of the world. It is barely 54 kilometers away from the royal city of Mysore and yet it is not as widely heard of as other pilgrim centres.
Emperors and Kings patronised the shrine on the hill here and monks and seers performed penance for decades, seeking salvation and nirvana. shrine and pious monks lived here doing their penance for centuries.
The pilgrim centre is all the more famous as Mahaveera, one of the Jain theerthankaras, is believed to have passed through this place, Today, this centre, which is surrounded by lush green forests and captivating wildlife, is slowly emerging from obscurity and it is becoming a major tourist and wildlife attraction.
This is Kanakagiri, one of the holiest of  pilgrim places for the Jains and an unmatched tourist destination which offers a little bit of everything-wildlife, ancient temples, legends and local myths, trekking, Nature and  ever green forests. Add to this good, clean and fairly reasonable accommodation and excellent food at the Jain centre and you have the perfect picnic spot.
Kanakagiri in Chamarajanagar district is 53 Kms away from Mysore and it is adjoining  Maleyuru, the small village which is connected by bus from Mysore,  Nanjangud and Chamarajanagar.
The Kanakagiri hill centuries ago was known as Hemanga Desha and Jain accounts speak of Mahaveera once having passed through this place during his southern sojourn.
What sets this place apart fro other Jain centres such as Shravanabelagola and Moodabidari is its relative seclusion and evergreen surroundings. Set 18 kms from Chamarajanagar, this pilgrim spot was the very place where one of the most famous Jain author, grammarian and scholar, Ācārya Pūjyapāda, lived. The acharya belonged to the Didambara sect of the Jains and before initiation as a Jain ascetic, he was known as Devanandi.
Jains believed and still do that as the Acharya was worshiped by demigods on account of his  scholarship and deep piety, he was named Pūjyapāda.
He was heavily influenced by the writings of his predecessors like Ācārya Kundakunda and Ācārya Samantabhadra. He is rated as among the greatest of the early masters of Jain literature.
He wrote in Sanskrit, in prose as well as verse form. He was a pontiff of the Nandi sangha, which was a part of the lineage of Ācārya Kundakunda. He was the tenth guru of the Sangha. What makes the Acharya and his association with Kanakagiri all the more important to Kannadigas is that he was from a Brahmin family from Karnataka and his parents were Madhava Bhatta and Shridevi.
Ācārya Pūjyapāda was the guru of Emperor Durvinita of the Ganga dynasty and we can, therefore, date his period as having lived between 464 - 524 AD.
He later chose this hillock for his penance and attained salvation here itself. The inscriptions, engravings of footprints, samadhi mantapas and nishadi caves in the hill here throw much light on the heritage of the place as well as the history of Jain religion.
There is an interesting story on how the hill got its name. The Acharya’s nephew Nagarjuna, who lived here, was driven to poverty after the death of his father. He undertook rigorous penance in a cave on the hill and acquired the power to convert everything he laid his hands on into gold. Ecstatic with newly found magical powers, he began to convert the entire hill into gold. However Goddess Padmavathi Devi, who had granted him the boon, prevented him from misusing the boon further and directed him to build a temple.
Nagarjuna then built the present temple of Sri Parshwanatha on the hill. Locals to this day swear that fragments of gold could be seen around the hillock and hence the name Kanakagiri or the hillock of gold. When the temple was completed, it came to be known as Athishaya Kshetra Kanakagiri.
When Hoysala Emperors worshiped here and won a major battle,
they called this place as Vijaya Parshwanatha. The Gangas, Emperors of Vijayanagar and Wodeyar Kings all came here.
Coming to the hill, 370 steps have been cut out from the rock face to enable the devotees to climb up to the hill shrine. A motorable road is also being laid, side by side, to the top. The flight of steps passing through the arches leads to the northern entrance of the temple.
The sanctum has an attractive three foot image of Parshwanatha. The images of Kushmandini and Padmavathi Devi face each other. A rare feature of the images is that the goddesses are believed to be embodiments of Rahu and Kethu respectively.
They are believed to have a special force, Divyashakthi, between them to eliminate the ill-effects of Rahu and Kethu, known as Kalasarpa Dosha. Thus Kanakagiri is the only place where Rahu and Kethu face each other. Thousands of people troubled by planetary effects visit the place and seek solace and solution.
Even Queen Deveerammanni of  the Wodeyars from Mysore visited the temple to find a solution to her problems. Once her problems were solved, she presented a specially made snakehood with the figures of Dharanendra and Padmavathi to the temple.
A walk behind the temple takes you to Nagarjuna Guhe, the cave where Nagarjuna sat in meditation. The pond nearby has fresh water all through the year and this water is used for abhisheka in the temple.
The hill is punctuated by small, pink coloured cells with the footprints of twenty four Jain Thirthankaras. In the centre of the footprints is a large mantapa bearing the footprints of  Pujyapada. The view of the surrounding forests from the top of the hill is panoramic.
The Jain math, at the base of the hill, serves free meals as prasada for all the visitors everyday. Accommodation is also available here.
Maleyuru village is just three kilometers from Kanakagiri and both share a close bond. It was once one of the important Jain centres in the world and it is well known for its sandalwood.
According to a legend, Princess Jevandara of the Ganga dynasty attained sainthood at the behest of Mahaveera when he visited this place. Many saints undertook penance and attained Kevala Jnana and salvation atop the hill.
Jain ascetics Supratishta Munivarya of Suryapura and Jnanachandra Munivarya preached here to the devotees and thus propagated the principles of Jain religion.
The nearest railway station to approach Kanakagiri is Chamarajanagar.  For accommodation and other details contact  Sri Digambar Jain Mutt, Sri Kshetra Kanakagiri, 571128, Chamarajanagar district, Karnataka: Phone - 91 08226 296786
Nearby is the Survarnavathi reservoir. Large herds of elephants can be seen in the waters of this reservoir during May-June. The scenic beauty of Nature around the dam is breathtaking and is a spot worth visiting.

A story of ivory and sandalwood

A few days ago, when passing through the lush green forests of BR Hills, we came across a herd of elephants. A forest official whom we met told us that wildlife in MM Hills- BR Hills area had increased following the death of Veerappan, the forest brigand.
The official claimed that Veerappan killedm ore than 2000 elephants and cut down thousands of sandalwood trees. Though Veerappan is dead and gone, his legend still continues to live on. Many facets of his life still continue to excite curiosity and one such is the number of elephants he killed and the huge amount of money he made out of the sale of elephants tusks and cutting down of sandalwood trees.
Veerappan first attained notority for poaching elephants for ivory and looting forests for sandalwood. Over years, his legend grew and people believed that he killed more than 200 elephants over a 25-year period till his death on October 4, 2004.
However, wildlife experts believe that  actual figures relating to both crimes have been highly overestimated.
The media reports and villagers of scores of Chamarajnagar district where Veerappan often came calling for food and medicines peg the number of elephants that the bandit killed at 2000. This number is the figure of total number of elephants that have been killed in the entire south over several decades and not in Karnataka-Tamil Nadu forests.
More than 95 per cent of the elephants that Veerappan killed were males. Veerappan and his gang members were involved in the killing of a little more than 500 elephants over a 25 year period. Even here, the figure may be a little difficult to arrive at as villagers and even police laid the blame for almost all tusker deaths in Karnataka-Tamil Nadu and Kerala forests to Veerappan.
He mainly operated in the jungles of  Erode, Dharmapuri, Satyamangalam, Chamarajanagar and Kollegal forests and also the forests on the fringes of the Nilgiris. Veerappan rarely if ever went into the jungles of the Western Ghats to poach elephants.
However, there is no doubt that Verappan minted money through sale of ivory and sandalwood. We can arrive at the money Veerappan made if we take the average weight of the tusks of elephants that he killed.
Wildlife expert and renowned scientist Sukumar has said that the mean tusk weight during the late 1970s and early 1980s of a tusker was around 20 kilograms. This weight had dropped to around 10 kilogram an elephant by the late 1980s and this was due to intensive poaching in the area. In 1980, the price of raw ivory in the open market was around Rs.1,300 a kg and in 1989 when the international ban on ivory finally came into effect it stood at  Rs.3,000.
The price of ivory per kilogram was Rs.5,000 in 1995 and by 1996 it was Rs.10,000. Today it hovers around Rs.14,000.
If we take the weight of the tusk of an average elephants to be 15 kgs, the amount of raw ivory that the Veerappan gang would have sawn off if it had poached 500 elephants would be 7,500 kg or a little more. If we take the average price of Rs.3,000 a kilogram, it would mean that Veerappan got Rs.2.25 crores.
Police have definite clues that Veerappan sold most of the ivory he poached to traders in Kerala, from where it found its way to carving centres.
Mind you, Veerappan had to pay off several people, including middlemen and others and thus he would  not have pocked the entire money alone. Since he lived in the forests, his minimum needs would have been really minimum and he would have stashed away a major part of the money even as he purchased arms and ammunition, food and medicines, tents and camp equipments from the rest of the money.
What is generally accepted is that Veerappan killed elephants and stored the ivory and sandalwood in forests of Karnataka. Villagers of  MM Hills mainatin that they had seen Veerappan sitting atop lorries loaded with ivory and sandalwood. They say he personally receoved large amounts of money, while receivers were paid his share of the booty once the illegal sandalwood and ivory reached the buyers. 
So the question now is where is the money that Veerapppan managed to stash away. Is it in the many caves in the MM Hills-Satyamangala area or in his native of Gopinatham. Os is the money in the many underground bunkers he constructed so that he could stash away his loot.    
Care to find out where and Veerappan hid his loot and how he stayed in the forests for decades, eluding the police and forest officials. Take a trip to MM Hills and other areas and engage the locals as guides. They would only be too happy to point out the many areas in the forests associated with the bandit, including some gory spots where he killed and maimed law enforcement officials.

Monday, 22 April 2013

The cannon which induced women to give birth to children prematurely

When fired and it was fired only once, the sound was so deafening that several pregnant women gave birth. Since then, this piece of engineering marvel is called as Bacchawali Tope  which when translated means “The cannon which produces child birth”.
This is a cannon in Murshidabad town of West Bengal. The cannon lies in the Nizamat fort campus on the garden space between the Nizamat Imambara and Hazariduari Palace or the palace of a thousand doors.
The cannon is to located east of the old Madina Mosque and it consists of two pieces and each piece is of a different diameter. The cannon was cast between the 12th and 14th century and local historian ascribe it to the Mohammadan rulers of Gaur.
The cannon initially lay on the sand banks of Ichaganj but there is no record of why and how it came to be placed in Ichaganj.
Subsequently, it was shifted to Murshidabad and the rulers used it to prevent attacks on the city from the north-west.
When a fire broke out in Nizamat Imambara in 1846, a new Imambara was built and the cannon was then shifted to its present location by Sadeq Ali Khan, the architect of the Imambara. It was  Sir Henry Torrens, the then agent of the Governor General at Murshidabad, who suggested to the Nawab that the cannon be shifted to its present place.
The sound of the gunfire from the cannon is so loud that it can be heard within a radius of about 10 miles. The cannon stands on a five feet pedestal.
Of the two parts of the cannon, the chamber, which is the smaller portion, is 3ft. 7in. long with a girth of 4ft 4in. The larger portion, which mainly consists of the barrel is 11ft 6in. long with a girth at the middle of 7ft 9in. The diameter of the muzzle is 1 foot and 7 inches. The barrel, made of wrought iron has eleven rings fixed on it.
The rim of the muzzle is decorated with petal designs, while one of the rings resembles a string of beads. On the upper half of the barrel surface, near the muzzle are inscribed fourteen lines, 7 on each side, are inlaid with brass. Eight smaller rings are attached to the cannon at various points. The breach plug is driven until its chambered end dovetails and fits tightly into the chamber of the barrel, which are tied together with the rings attached to each. The canon weighs around 16880 pounds or 7657 Kg. The canon requires 18 kilograms of gun powder for a single shelling. 
Nizamat Imambara

Lady with a lamp

If the main palace at Mysore is an architectural delight, the Glow of Hope is a treat for the eyes-a beautiful watercolour par excellence. If the former is a masterpiece of Indi-Saracenic style, the later is purely an Indian delight and shows off the best that is India.
The work on the Glow of Hope is so superb and the details so minute that for decades it has been wrongly associated or attributed to one of the legends of Indian painting.
Though it is only a water colour, the Glow of Hope which is also known as Woman With the Lamp, has shone bright for close to seven decades now and along with the musical clock, it is one of the prime attractions of the Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore.
Though the painting is by S.L. Haldankar,  it has been wrongly attributed to Ravi Verma of Kerala. The Glow of Hope was painted 1945-46 and it is currently exhibited in the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery at the Jaganmohan palace.
The painting is on the second floor of the museum, in a special enclave with a curtained window. The enclave is normally darkened (the lights are generally put off or switched off), so that it can highlight the subtlety of the glowing candle of the painting. When the light is turned on, the painting reveals subtle shades of pink and lavender in the woman's sari. Opening the enclave's curtain leads to yet another distinct view of the painting, the natural light exposing even more subtle gradations and details in this work.
The painting is of an Indian woman holding a lighted lamp in one hand, the other hand covering the light of the lamp from the front. Her hand seems to be glowing due to the candle light. The woman is dressed in a simple and traditional Indian saree. The effect of the painting is heightened by the shadow of the woman in the back.
Though the painting invariably draws “ohs and ahs” from everybody, very few know that the women who is holding the covered candle is Gita Haldankar, now Gita Krishnakant Uplekar, the third daughter of  Haldankar.
Gita currently lives in Kolhapur. She turned 90 four years ago and she has four daughters and one son (Meena Shertukade, Lali Akojwar, Jyoti Shah, (Sandhya) Sonali Punatar, and Rajprakash Uplekar).
When the painting was on, Gita had to stay in the perpetual position for three hours continuously. What is astonishing is that Haldankar made this portrait with watercolours. He used watercolours as his medium because he wanted to show the world that he could make a painting without a single mistake, unlike the oil paint which can be corrected using white paint.
The hand here (in the portrait) is the central focus and the manner in which the hand is shielding or holding the candle shows a mastery over balance and depth. The colours used are very specific and the brush is used with extreme care and deliberation.
Each of the water colour used signifies symbolize different things-the lavender stands for all of grace and gold showcases the royal touch.  
The woman, by her very style, stands for grace, feminity and natural beauty. She has to be draped in a saree as she symbolises an Indian woman.
There is an interesting story about how the painting came to be made. During Deepavali, Haldanker saw his daughter bringing out a candle from within the house. She had held her hand naturally and it was “woven” around the candle to prevent the wind from blowing it out. The rays of the candle radiated from the gap within her fingers and it also illuminated her face. A captivated Haldanker decided to model a painting on the same lines.
Unfortunately, for several decades, this painting was attributed to Raja Ravi Verma. This misattribution continued for several decades and it is only now that Haldankar has been given his due.
Born in Savantawadi in Maharashtra in 1882, Sawlaram Lakshman Haldankar showed early promise and enrolled in the Sri JJ school of Arts, Mumbai. He soon became a student of  Dhurandhar and Cecil Burns. In 1908, he started the Haldankar Art Institute in Mumbai. Later, with other friends, he founded the Art Scholl of India in 1918 and became its president.
He was accomplished in both watercolours and oils. His collections can be found at varied places like Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi and museums in Nagpur and Moscow.
During the time of his death he was ranked among the top three watercolourists of the world.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

The palace of a thousand doors

Talk of Lalbagh and the Botanical Gardens of Bangalore flash across your mind. The Lalbagh Gardens were started by Hyder Ali sometime in 1760 and subsequently developed by Tipu and after his death on May 4, 1799 by the British. 
However, there is another Lalbagh and this one is not a park but a locality of  the historic town of  Murshidabad in West Bengal. It is separated from Rajshahi district by river Padma.
The Lalbagh of Murshidabad has no botanical but historical importance. When Prince Farrukhsiyar of the Mughals came to Murshidabad from Dacca, he was assigned a palace at Lalbagh. Today, there is no trace of  the palace.
However, the Lalbagh here is home to one of the most outstanding pieces of architecture-the Hazarduari Palace ort the palace with a thousand doors.
This palace, a three stories structure, is situated on the eastern bank of the river Bhagirathi or Padma and it derives its name from its thousand real and false doors. It has 900 real doors and 100 structures that resembles doors but are not. They are all imaginary. They were built so that if any predator and enemy tried to enter the palace and escape, he would be confused between the false and real doors, and by that time he would be caught by the Nawab's guards.
The palace was earlier known as the Bara Kothi. It has 114 rooms.
This palace is the chief object of attraction in Murshidabad and it has so much of history that it would takes realms of pages and days to even narrate it.
The enclosure within which the palace is situated is also called the Nizamat Fort or Nizamat Kila. It was built by Nawab Nazim Humayan Jah of Bihar, Bengal and Orissa during 1829-1837 A.D. Now, Kila Nizamat refers to the campus where the palace is located along with the several other monuments such as Nizamat Imambara, clock tower, Madina mosque, Chawk Masjid, Bacchawali Tope, Shia complex, Wasif Manzil and two Zurid mosques.
Tourists call the Hazarduari Palace the Nizamat Kila or the Kila Nizamat The foundation for the palace building was laid by the Nawab on August 29, 1829 in presence of the then Governor-General of India, Lord William Cavendish Bentinck. The construction of this building was complete in December 1837 AD.
The concrete bed on which the foundation stone of the palace was to be laid was built so deep that the Nawab had to use a ladder to descend down. The suffocating atmosphere created due to the large number of people which stood surrounding them and the depth made the Nawab’s wife to faint. At last, after she was helped up, the foundation stone was truly laid and was declared to have been well.
The Hazarduari complex, in all, occupies 41 acres and when the palace was built it just cost Rs. 20.5 lakhs. The Palace has 114 rooms and eight Galleries. The architect was Colonel Duncan McLeod of the Bengal Corps, who also personally supervised the work.
The palace is now a museum which houses priceless paintings, furniture, antiques and other valuable artifacts. The most famous exhibit is the mirror and the chandelier.
The Palace museum has twenty galleries containing 4742 antiquities out of which 1034 has been displayed for the public. The antiquities include various weapons, oil paintings of Dutch, French and Italian artists, marble statues, metal objects, porcelain and stucco statues, farmans, rare books, old maps, manuscripts, land revenue records, palanquins mostly belonging to eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a bamboo from Assam and other objects.  The Durbar Hall of the palace which houses the furniture used by the Nawab has a crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling. It is the second largest chandelier in the world, after one in Buckinmgham Palace. It was gifted to the Nawab by Queen Victoria.
Another attraction is the two pairs of mirrors in the museum. These mirrors are placed at an angle of 90 degrees in such a way that one cannot see ones own face but others can see the face. The mirrors  was used by the Nawab to prevent his enemies from harming him. They were kept at a place so that the enemy cannot see his face and the Nawab could see the face. This is also called the magic mirrors and they are displayed just outside the gallery on the landing leading to the upper floors.
In the entrance porch of the palace there are two carriages, of which one is a camel carriage and the other is a Victorian carriage. Both of them were used by the Nawabs.
The lobby has photographs of several buildings of historical importance and also a huge stuffed crocodile and a thick bamboo from Assam.
Gallery no. 1 and 2 also known as Armoury wing and they house weapons like knives, guns, pistols, revolvers, cannons, lances, spears, shields, bows, arrows, rifles. Some of the weapons are inscribed with verses from the Quaran.
The Jamadhara and a bifurcated sword known as Zulfikar are associated with Mir Quasim. There are swords that belong to Alivardi Khan and his son Siraj-ud-Daula. The dagger with which  Muhammad i-Beg killed Siraj-ud-Daula can also be seen.
A huge cannon known as the Dutch cannon can be seen here. It was gifted to Alivardi Khan by the Dutch Government in 1745. It is also called Mir Madan Cannon. Mir Madan was a trusted lieutenant of Siraj-ud-Daula who died in the battle of Plassey in 1757.
Gallery no. 3 is the gallery containing royal exhibits. It houses several paintings and objects of silver and gold and several statues each of historical, political and religious importance. The gallery has been divided into three parts such as the Suthest royal exhibits which houses and exhibits huge oil paintings of the Nawabs such as the painting of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah by Hutchinson and that of Nawab Nazim Feradun Jah by B. Hudson. One of the most renowned objects is an ivory palanquin used by Zebunissa, the daughter of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (1658–1707).
The next section is called the central royal exhibit, which displays several objects such as a silver Kamal howdah, an ivory Tanjam or sedan chair belonging to the Mughal Emperor Shahajan. The south west royal exhibit houses several traditional objects like palanquins, statues and paintings.
Gallery no. 4 is also known as the landscape gallery. It has paintings of several landscapes. It has replicas of the Statue of Liberty, bronze statues of knights, and famous paintings like the Scotch Warrior by G. Campbell, Scene of Thirty Years of War by Jorgenson.
Gallery no. 5 is the British portrait gallery. It has busts of the Governor-Generals of India and agents of the East India Company like Cornwallis, Bentinck, A. Thompson and others. All the paintings, except that of Caulifield, is by Hudson. The painting of  Caulifield is by Hutchinson.
The staircase leading to the upper portico of the palace is perhaps the biggest of its kind in India. Gallery no. 6 is known as the Nawab Nazim gallery and it contains portraits of the Nawabs of Murshidabad. It also has several brass objects.
Gallery no. 7 is the Durbar Hall. It is the center attraction of the palace museum. It is circular in plan and has four doors at the cardinal points, including fake doors. The hall also has a vaulted roof with the crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling. It was presented to the Nawab by Queen Victoria. Earlier when there was no electricity the chandelier was lit by 1001 candles; at present it is lit by 96 bulbs.
The hall also displays the royal silver throne which was used by the Nawabs to sit on, a Durbari Hookah and marble candle stands.
Gallery no. 8 is the Committee Room, on the left side of the Durbar hall. It exhibits the silver throne of Feradun Jah, an ivory sofa, and an oil painting of the Durbar Hall with Feradun Jah on the throne surrounded by high ranking British officials.
Gallery no. 9 is known as the Billiards Room. It has two billiards tables with their accessories, a pietra dura marble chess set and four remarkable paintings like the that of Colonel Duncan McLeod by Hudson. McLeod was the architect of this grand palace.
Gallery no. 10 is the portrait gallery of the Dewans and Nazirs. This gallery also displays several vases, chandeliers and furniture.
Gallery no. 11 is known as the Prince portrait gallery. This gallery displays paintings from the Nawabs' family album portraying the infancy and various other moods of the Nawabs. There are also several marble statues, cut-glass melons, vases, metal horses, porcelain bear.
Gallery no. 12 is known as the Western drawing room. It exhibits several items of  western furniture, decorative lamps, clock items and so on. It has paintings of King William, Lord Curzon by Wolic.
Gallery no. 13 is known as the Archive gallery. It has several archives of the Nawabs’ rule and also on the palace. It also has several letters, farmans (royal orders), documents, manuscripts in Arabian and Persian belonging to the Nawabs and Mughals.
Some of the documents speak about the administrative power of the Nawabs. There are letters like those written by Lord Minto to Lord Hastings and a royal order by Mughal Emperor Shah Alam.  It also has several valuable and old manuscripts written in Urdu    and Persian, including the Ain-i-Akbari by Abul Fazl. At the end of each page of Ain-i-Akbari, ornamental works with the smallest brush and pen are visible on the corners of  each page. It also has a library known as the Nizamat Library which has about 12,000 books.
Gallery no. 14 and 15 is known as the periodical gallery I and II. These two galleries are used to periodically display several objects used and brought or manufactured during the reign of several Nawabs. These include Humayun Jah's collection of rare dining plates, there are also some green plate which would shatter if poisoned food was served; others include several landscape oil paintings, an ornamental silver dressing table, floral and geometric motifs and so on.
Gallery no. 16 is known as the central landing or the Main Hall. It exhibits several oil paintings. One artifact is a silver trowel with an ivory handle used by Humayun Jah to lay the foundation stone of the building.
Gallery no. 17 is called the North-east landing first floor. It exhibits several paintings. The gallery is renowned for the beautiful statue of a European lady.
Gallery no. 18 is known as the North-west landing first floor. It  exhibits several paintings like the Swiss Landscape, City of Venice.
Gallery no. 19 is called the Painting Gallery and it houses paintings like the Holy Family by Franceso Renaldi, Cleopatra Cinderella by T. Young and so on. A must see is a needle work on a carpet which portrays a seated Queen Victoria with two babies, and a litho print of Humayun Manzil, another palace of Humayun Jah.
Gallery no. 20 is known as the religious objects’ gallery. It exhibits several objects used for religious purposes, like in Muharram and Eid.

Why the Brits feared Anglo-Indians

The British rule in India today is considered to be one of the most shameful chapters in India’s history. The British used the divide and rule policy to great effect and they won over Kingdoms by unfair means and they used subterfuge and all underhand means to undermine an enemy and gain an upper hand.
When in India, they tried to stamp out all that was native and they ruined what was once a prosperous nation. But what every few know is that the British were so insecure and so selfish that they not only turned on the native Indians but also their won people who they classified as Anglo Indians.
The Anglo Indians were born of mixed marriages. Though they suffered from a peculiar form of  suppression from the British, they continued to thrive in India and elsewhere. In India and now in the rest of the world, the Anglo-Indians, have been making news. The term Anglo-Indians is today used to describe people who were brought into being by the Portuguese, Dutch, British traders and other colonists in India.
It was Warren Hastings who first used the term Anglo-Indians and this was way back in the 18th century. For him, the term meant both the British and their Indian-born children in India.
During the early years of the British Raj, the Directors of the British East India Company, founded in 1629, paid one pagola or a gold mohur for each child born to an Indian mother and a European father. This was more of a family allowance and the children born in such families were   amalgamated into the Anglo-Indian community.
The East India Company wanted this community to act as a bulwark for the British Raj and also as a buffer between them and the Indians. The company also preferred them to native Indians in employment and this lead to the growth of the community.  
Anglo-Indian children were often sent to England to receive further education. Besides, exclusive schools were established in Madras, Bangalore, Lucknow and other British settlements for then.
Initially, intermarriage between the British and the native females was encouraged. Soon after the British became the sole power in India, they feared that a mixed community might threaten their rule and discouraged intermarriages.
It was then that the British purged the Anglo-Indians from the establishment though this has not received much publicity. The Anglo-Indians were discharged from all ranks of the army; they were barred from the Company’s civil, military or marine services. These restrictions continued for several years.
This happened in the 18th century. The first reason for this change was the successful revolution in 1791 in Haiti that ousted the French. The revolutionaries (Africans in Haiti) were led by mixed-bloods and in the words of Viscount Valentia, an East India Company observer, wherever this intermediate caste has been permitted to rise, it has ultimately tended to its own ruin.
The pain of Haiti was soon reflected in Calcutta and an article in a local newspaper spoke about the dangers of mixed races. It said “if forthwith drastic measures are not put into operation to keep down the East Indian races, they will do to the British in India what Mulattoes have done to the Spaniards.
The Haiti revolution led to nervousness among the British and it even reached the higher levels. It even led to Lord Wellesley caution that “while  every attempt has been made to crush and keep them-Anglo Indians- down, but they are rapidly increasing in numbers and, though slowly, are making advances in education, in wealth and consequently, in power and the means to acquire it.
It was in 1795  that the British, fearing a similar episode to Haiti in India, decided to discharge persons of Indian extraction, or, as they described acts of exclusion. European sons of native women were barred from positions of authority in the civil, military, and marine services of the Company and those in service were discharged.
A second reason for excluding the Anglo Indians was an increasing awareness that great wealth was to be gained by Europeans serving in India. This meant that the country born or local lost their positions with the East India Company and they were replaced with the European sons of the Companies directors and shareholders.
A third reason for the exclusion was due to sectarianism. Many women married by the British were Luso-Indian, of mixed Portuguese and Indian descent. These women were Catholic and their English husbands had to convert from Protestantism to Catholicism for the marriage to be performed. The awarding of Pagodas to those British men who married native Indian women was partly to stop the men from marrying Luso-Indian women and converting to Catholicism. It was during this period that Catholics in England were debarred from attending universities, they could not hold office in the military or civil services, nor were they eligible for seats in the House of Commons.
During the late 18th century,  8,000 Catholic Anglo Indians were working for the East India Company in Bengal alone. With the French and British at loggerheads in Europe and in India, the unfortunate Anglo-Indians had to pay the price and leave the East India Company. The British were serious about purging the company of Anglo-Indians as by about 1750, their numbers  exceeded Britons in India. They then were marginalised and subsequently excluded from British society and industry in India.
Here, mention must be made of three three repressive orders which were passed at the instigation of the Court of Directors of the East India Company.
The three orders were:
………in 1786, the wards of the Upper Orphanage school at Calcutta were in future to be prohibited from proceeding to England to complete their education and thus qualifying for the covenanted services. By the second order of 1791 the Indian born sons of Britishers were prohibited from being employed in the Civil, Military and marine Services of the Company, and the third order of 1795 prevented the employment of all persons not descended from European parents on both sides in the army except as fifers, bandsmen, drummers and farriers (Snell, 1944: 11-12).
This process of purging anyone but the British from the ranks of the company was continued by Lord Cornwallis, during his first Governor-Generalship (1786-93).
Today, Anglo-Indian means people descendent from Europeans and British and the term embraces those who have not only settled in India but also in Canada, New Zealand, the United States of Americas the United Kingdom and Australia. There are some 150,000 still in India of a worldwide total of 500,000.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

The temple of Sala and the tiger

Who has not heard the tale of a small local chieftain Sala, slaying a tiger and then going on to establish the Hoysala dynasty.
The Hoysalas ruled large parts of Karnataka and were engaged in a battle of supremacy with the Chalukyas and the Cholas. As with the other dynasties, the origin of the Hoysalas is full of obscurity and the tale of Sala and the slain tiger is one such legend.
However, do you know tat there is a small but obscure place in Karnataka where this legend is supposed to have taken place several centuries ago.
Though no trace survives to tell us of the heroic Sala who defeated the tiger, there are enough historical and archaeological records to support the fact that Sala did live in this hamlet which today is away from the tourist circuit and barely receives visitors.
There is also a temple which is associated with the legend of the tiger. Nestled deep within coffee plantations and estates of Chikamagalur, this place today is slowly emerging out of its slumber and is all set to take its rightful place as one of the many plcaes in Karnataka that showcases Hoysala art and architecture.  This is Angadi or Sosevur, the place where Sala slew the tiger and went on to found the Hoysala dynasty.
Angadi today is a small hamlet with ruins of five temples and Jain Basadis which are among the oldest structures of their kind. It is in the temple of a Goddess Vasanthika here that Sala killed the tiger while he was with his preceptor.
The ruins of Chennakesava, Patalarudreshwara and Mallikarjuna temples welcome you as do two basadis of Angadi, which in Kannada means a shop. The hamlet is in Mudigere taluk and it was originally known as Sasakapura or Sosevur by the Hoysalas.
Sala, the legends say, was walking here with his Guru, a Jain ascetic called Yogendra Sudatta. They had come to Angadi to worship Goddess Vasantika Devi when suddenly a tiger came menacingly towards them.
Taking an iron rod, Sudatta handed it over to Sala saying, Poy, Sala Poy, meaning “Strike, Sala”.
Sala then took on the tiger and killed it. The story then found its way into several Hoysals symbols, including the crest in many temples.   
The crest depict Sala killing a tiger and even several copper plates and coins belonging to the Hoysalas show a dead tiger and a rod. Sala was thus the first ruler of the dynasty though not much is known about him.
Coming back to the ruins, the Jain basadis  date back to the 10th century. One of the basadi is called Makara Jinalaya and it was  built by Manika Poysalachari. It has a huge idol of Shantinatha in a seated posture.
The second basadi is called Neminatha Basadi and it contains images of Neminatha, Chandranatha and Gomateswara.
The three other ruins we see are that of temples. The carvings date the structures to the early Hoysalas.
It is the temple of Vasantika Devi or Vasanthamma, which is closely associated with Sala and the tiger. The temple has been renovated and it has huge figures of Saptamatrikas (seven mothers) in stucco, wearing crowns.
Records say the Hoysalas built 1,521 temples across 958 centres. Today only 434 temples survive across 238 centres.
Angadi is 18 kms from Mudigere, 25 kms away from Belur and 260 kms from Bangalore. Angadi is well connected by road and it can be reached from the Belur - Mudigere route. You need to take left at Janapura junction and the village is just 6 Km from here. Angadi can also be reached from Chikamagalur and Sakaleshpura.

Friday, 19 April 2013

An exercise in accounts

Sosale Vyasaraja Matha


Expense Report - Feb 2013

Published by admin on Sat, 03/09/2013 - 14:20
This is the income-expenditure chart put out by the Administrator of the Vyasaraja Matha (Sosale). The administrator, K. Jairaj, and the team of officials, say that all the income and expenditure of the matha from all its properties and daily offerings have been entered into account books and audited.
The matha is now trying to increase the rent on its properties by calling for fresh tenders or going in for fresh rent agreements of its properties mainly in Karataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The matha has vast properties in Bangalore, Mysore, Sosale, Kumbakonam, Tricy, Tirupathi and othe rplaces. The matha is trying to ensure that it gets rentals out of  these properties. In some cases, the rentals have been inscreased and in several other cases the rentals are in the process of being increased.
Centuries ago, the Vyasaraja matha was considered to among the richest not only in Karnataka but in India too. The matha and its prosperity reached its peak during the Vijayanagar period when Vyasa Raja was the perceptor to not only Krishna Deva Raya but five other Vijayanagar Kings. During that time, it was not only the Vijayanagar Emperors but also the Muslim Kings of Bijapur, also called the Adilshahis, and Bahlol Lodh of Delhi among others who honoured Vyasa Raja and gifted him with an umbrela and jewels.
Vyasa Raja never kept any wealth with himself. When he was honoured with Ratnabhiskeha by Krishnadeva Raya, he distributed almost all of the gold, jewels and ornaments to the gathering of pandits, seers and religious men and the rest to the people.
The matha is once again trying to harness its exisitng properties so as to ensure that it gets the maximum income. The expense sheet published above will indicate how teh matha is trying to revive and reinvent itself.
All the matter contained here have been sourced from the Administrator and the officials of the Administrator's team. We just like to bring to the readers of the post the good deeds of the team. 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The anthem of a State that inspired Tagore to pen Jana Gana Mana

Jana Gana Mana, India’s national anthem, in highly Sanskritised (Tatsama) Bengali,  is the first of five stanzas of a Brahmo hymn composed and scored by Nobel Laurete Rabindranath Tagore.
It was first sung in the Calcutta session of the Indian National Congress on December 27, 1911.
Jana Gana Mana was officially adopted by the Constituent Assembly as the Indian national anthem on January 24, 1950 and December 27, 2011 marked the completion of 100 years of Jana Gana Mana since it was sung for the first time.
However, what many do not know is that the inspiration for Tagore to pen Jana Gana Mana was the erstwhile anthem of the Mysore State, “Kayo Sri Gowri.”
Though every princely state in India has its own flag, ensign and anthem, it was the Mysore anthem that touched Tagore and inspired him. Unlike the anthem of other states, “Kayo Gowri…” was hummable, easy to understand and it was penned by a well-known writer of the times. The Mysore anthem was more an invocation to the Goddess rather than glorifying any individual and this is what made it a hot with the masses. This is where Kayo Gowri differed with the Gaekwadi of Baroda, Ya rab Humare Badhsh Ko of Hyderabad, God save the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Jai Jai Maharaja of Nawanagar and Jai Bhavani of  Kolpahur.
The origin of the Mysore anthem is interesting. When the British handed back the reigns of administration to the Wodeyars in 1881 by the act of Rendition, they also restored the Kingdom to Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar.
To commemorate this occasion, Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar asked Basavappa Shastry, the court poet of Mysore, to compose a state anthem. 
Basavappa Shastry (1843-1891) was a native of Mysore and he is today better known as Kannada Nataka Pitamaha.
Basavappa Shastry was just 18 when he joined the Mysore court and he served in various capacities as the Rajaguru, Astana Vidwamsa and Rajapurohit. He also published a compilation on Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar called Krishnarajabhyudaya.
He wrote 28 books and they included eleven translations, twelve works in Sanskrit and five in Kannada.
He composed “Kayo Shri Gowri”  in Sanskrit, written in Kannada script. In the course of time, the anthem or song became extremely popular with the Mysoreans and even outsiders.
The song is an invocation to Gowri or Chamundeswari, the reigning deity of Mysore and the Wodeyars. When Muslims and non-Hindus sang the anthem, they were allowed to substitute Gowri with the word Devaru  or God as a prayer made to the Great God and Father of Mankind.
The anthem soon became a favourite of  Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar. He had it set to tune with the help of Maharaja’s Band Master, Bartels and Veene Seshanna (Vainika Sikhamani Seshanna). 
Very soon, it was sung everyday by thousands of school children and by others to herald the arrival and departures of the Maharaja at all public functions.
In 1919, the Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University, Sir Albion Banerjee, invited Rabindranath Tagore to visit Mysore. When Tagore was in Bangalore on January 12, 1919 to deliver a lecture  on “The message of Forests”,  the then Diwan Sir. M. Kantharaj Urs and other attended the function.
When the Mysore Anthem was sung, Tagore was impressed. He had already heard of the anthem several years before and realised that the lyrics are based on Raga- Dheerashankarābharanam. This raga is known as Bilawal in the Hindustani  and the Western equivalent is the C major scale, Ionian mode.
This raga is one of the most popular scales across the world though it is known by different names in different musical styles. Tagore based the Jana Gana Mana  on the same Raga and also on the same scale.
Sadly, the Mysore anthem is today almost forgotten but its influence on the national anthem cannot be taken away. Even today, many Mysoreans recall with fondness the anthem as it reminds them of their school days. The anthem today is more an eulogy of noatalgia.
The lyrics of the anthem are as follows:

ಕಾಯೋ ಶ್ರೀ ಗೌರಿ ಕರುಣಾಲಹರಿ
ತೊಯಜಾಕ್ಷಿ ಶಂಕರೀಶ್ವರಿ
. ವೈಮಾನಿಕ ಭಾಮಾರ್ಚಿತ ಕೊಮಲಕರ ಪಾದೇ
ಶ್ರೀಮಾನ್ವಿತ ಭೂಮಾಸ್ಪದೆ ಕಾಮಿತ ಫಲದೇ
. ಶುಂಬಾದಿಮ ದಾಮ್ಬೋನಿಧಿ ಕುಮ್ಬಜ ನಿಭ ದೇವಿ
ಜಮ್ಭಾಹಿತ ಸಂಭಾವಿತೆ ಶಾಂಭವಿ ಶುಭವೀ
. ಶ್ರೀ ಜಯಚಾಮುಂಡಿಕೆ ಶ್ರೀ ಜಯಚಾಮೆಂದ್ರ
ನಾಮಾಂಕಿತ ಭೂಮೀಂದ್ರ ಲಲಾಮನ ಮುದದೆ
During the reign of Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV (1895-1940) and the Regency of his mother, the third stanza was modified as under:

ಶ್ಯಾಮಾಲಿಕೆ ಚಾಮುಂಡಿಕೆ ಸೊಮಕುಲಜ ಕೃಷ್ಣ
ನಾಮಾಂಕಿತ ಭೂಮೀಂದ್ರ ಲಾಮನ ಮುದದೇ ||||

When Jayachamaraja Wodeyar (1940-1950), became the Maharaja, the last stanza was once again modified and it was set to music in Raga: ShamkarAbharana in Trishrajati Eka tala by Vainika Praveena V. Venkatagriyappa.
It went thus,

ಶ್ರೀ ಜಯಚಾಮುಂಡಿಕೆ ಶ್ರೀ ಜಯಚಾಮೇಂದ್ರ
ನಾಮಾಂಕಿತ ಭುಮೀಂದ್ರ ಲಲಾಮನ ಮುದದೆ ||