RULING WODEYAR FAMILY OF MYSORE RULERS WAS CURSED BY A ROYAL LADY
RULING WODEYAR FAMILY OF MYSORE RULERS WAS CURSED BY
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
Nazarbad, was a new township that was built by Tipu Sultan the ruler of Mysore. It continues to exist and in fact has expanded vastly. We can also see the fort entrance, with the two watch-towers of Nazarbad on the Mysore-Bangalore road, near the Mysore Jail building.Remnants of this fort over a period of time disappeared in expansion and occupation Close to the place adjacent Kesare (now N.R. Mohalla) has its own historical significance. It is here that the battle between Raja Wodeyar provincial ruler of Mysore under Vijaynagar kings and the ruler of Srirangapatna, Thirumalaraya, took place around 1608, in which the Srirangapatna ruler, a representative of the Vijayanagar king, was defeated and Srirangapatna came under the rule of the Mysore ruler.This was a significant victory for the Mysore rulers and a major blow for the Vijayanagar kings, who lost their hold on the Mysore province of the Vijayanagar State. However, the Mysore rulers remained loyal to Vijayanagar even after taking over Srirangapatna.
Tirumala is said to have retired to Talakad along with his two wives. One of them Alamelamma was known to be a staunch devotee of Sri Ranganayaki — consort of Sri Ranganatha the presiding deity of the famous Adi-Ranga temple in the island fortress of Srirangapatna.Tirumala was afflicted with a deadly disease on his back which was known as the disease of the kings ( Racha pundu a cancer). The condition of Srirangaraya deteriorated and he died. Alamelamma had large amount of precious jewellery. Of them was a fine nose ring studded with a big pearl. As Alamelamma was a widow, she had no use of these jewels . Since she was known to be a staunch devotee of Sri Ranganayaki, every Friday and Tuesday, Sri Ranaganayaki was decorated with a big pearl studded nose ring and other precious jewelry. These jewels were in the safe custody of Alamelamma . Temple authorities requested Raja Wadiyar of Mysore to provide them with the custody of these jewels as was the practice. Treasury officials informed the king about truth. Raja Wadiyar thought what was the use of these jewels for Alamelamma as she was a widow and she no longer needed them. Raja Wadiyar sent emissaries to Malangi where Alamelamma was staying, with a request to return the jewels. Alamelamma returned only the pearl studded nose ring. Then Raja Wadiyar sent his army to Talakad to request her once again and, if she refused, to get them by force. To escape the wrath of the Mysore Army, Alamelamma uttered the legendary curse on Raja Wadiyar and jumped into the whirlpool in the river Cauvery at Talakadu with the rest of the jewels, and escaped insulta at the hands of Wadiyar army. The curse which has survived the folklore of last 400 years is
“May Talakad turn into a barren expanse of sand, May Malangi turn into an unfathomed whirlpool, May the Rajas of Mysore not have children for all time to eternity.”
Hearing of this step taken by Alamelamma, Raja Wadiyar was repentant. In grief, he had an idol of Alamelamma made in gold, installed it in the palace and worshipped it as a deity. Some remnants of her hair is preserved in a box. To this day, Alamelamma’s idol is in the Mysore Palace. The pearl nose-stud adorns Ranganayaki and Alamelamma today.
The curse came true from then onwards as we can trace from the history of the Wodeyars. The old city Talkād is completely buried beneath the hills of sand stretching for nearly a mile in length, only the tops of two pagodas being visible. The sand hills used to advance upon the town at the rate of 9 or 10 feet a year, principally during the south-west monsoon and as they pressed it close on three sides, the inhabitants were constantly forced to abandon their houses and retreat further inland. The town, however, is increasing in population, owing to the rich wet cultivation in the neighbourhood, derived from the Mādhavamantri anicut and channel. More than thirty temples, it is stated, are beneath the sand. That of Kírti Nārāyana is occasionally opened with great labour sufficiently to allow access for certain ceremonies. The most imposing temple left uncovered by the sand is that of Vaidyēsvara.
The Wodeyar family worships Alamelamma even today during the Dasara festival and the celebrations are world famous.