The Wodiyar dynasty (also spelt Wadiyar by the British) was an Indian royal dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Mysuru from 1399 to 1947, until the independence of India from British rule and the subsequent unification of Indian dominion and princely states into the Republic of India.
The spelling Wodeyar / Wadiyar is found in most records and is used by the royal family members themselves. The spelling by modern transliteration rules from Kannada is Odeyar / Wadiyar. The word is pronounced to start with a vowel sound and not with the consonant as present in the English spelling. Odeyar in Kannada means the king or the owner.
The dynasty was established by Vijaya, Vijaya took on the name and ruled Mysuru, then a small town, from 1399 CE to 1423 CE. The Wadiyars of Vijaya’s dynasty belong to the ArasuWadiyar community of Karnataka, which includes many of the noble clans of the region.
The Mysuru kingdom was ruled by a succession of Wadiyar rulers for the next couple of centuries. However, the kingdom remained fairly small during this early period and was a part of the Vijayanagara Empire. Later, after the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565, the Kingdom of Mysuru became independent and remained so until 1799. The Kingdom of Mysuru came under the British during the reign of King Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (1799-1868). His successors changed the English spelling of their royal name to Wadiyar, and took the title of Bahadur. The last two monarchs also accepted the British decoration G.B.E
The Vijayanagara Empire disintegrated in 1565. The power vacuum created soon after was utilized by Raja Wadiyar, who ruled Mysuru from 1578 to 1617. He expanded the borders of the Mysuru kingdom and also shifted the capital from the city of Mysuru in 1610 to Srirangapatna, a rare island formed by the river Cauvery , which provided natural protection against military attacks.
Subsequent famous rulers of the dynasty include Kanthirava Narasaraja I (ruled 1638-1659) who expanded the frontiers of the Mysuru Kingdom to Trichy in Tamil Nadu. The dynasty reached its peak under Chikka Devaraja (ruled 1673-1704), who widely reformed the administration of the empire by dividing it into 18 departments (called Chavadis) and also introduced a coherent system of taxation.
Wadiyar Rulers of Mysuru
- Adi Yaduraya (1399–1423)
- Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar I (1423–1459)
- Thimma Raja Wadiyar I (1459–1478)
- Hiriya Chamarajarasa Wadiyar II (1478–1513)
- Hiriya bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar III (1513–1553)
- Thimma Raja Wadiyar II (1553–1572)
- Boala Chamaraja Wadiyar IV (1572–1576)
- Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar V (1576–1578)
- Raja Wadiyar I (1578–1617)
- Chamarajarasa Wadiyar VI (1617–1637)
- Raja Wadiyar II (1637–1638)
- Ranadheera Kanteerava Narasaraja Wadiyar I (1638–1659)
- Dodda Devaraja Wadiyar (1659–1673)
- Chikka Devaraja Wadiyar (1613–1704)
- Kanteerava Majaraja Wadiyar (1704–1714)
- Dodda Krishnaraja Wadiyar I (1714–1732)
- Chamaraja Wadiyar VII (1732–1734)
- (Immadi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar II (1734–1766)
- Nanaja Raja Wadiyar (1766–1770)
- Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar VIII (1770–1776)
- Khasa Chamaraja Wadiyar IX (1766–1796)
- (Mummudi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (1799–1868)
- Chamaraja Wadiyar X (1868–1894)
- Vani Vilas Sannidhana, queen of Chamaraja Wadiyar X, was Regent from 1894–1902.
- (Nalvadi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (1902–1940)
- Sri Jaya Chamaraja Wadiyar XI (1940 – 1947)
- Rajpramukh of Mysuru state, (1950–1956)
- Governor of Mysuru state (present-day Karnataka), (1956–1964)
- Governor of Madras State (present-day Tamil Nadu), (1964–1966)
- De-recognized as Maharaja of Mysuru by the 26Th Amendment to the constitution in 1971. Died on 23-9-1974.
- Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar, (b-1953, ascended the throne in 1974- though a private affair)