Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar

Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar (1863, r.1868-1894)
Maharaja of Kingdom of Mysore

Albumen print on carte-de-visite, c. 1875
Size: 4 x 2.5 in. (10.2 x 6.4 cm)

Inscription: HH the Maharajah of Mysore

Chamarajendra was born in the old palace in Mysore, the third son of Sardar Chikka Krishnaraj Urs of the Bettada-Kote branch of the ruling clan. His father died about a week before his birth. His mother, Rajkumari Putammani Devi, was the eldest daughter of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar III. As Krishnaraja did not have a male heir, he decided to adopt Chamarajendra. The adoption was done on 18th June 1865 but was recognized by the British on 16 April 1867. He grew up to become the 23rd Maharaja of Mysore, between 1868 and 1894.

Chamarajendra was aided by two very competent Diwans, Rangacharlu and Sheshadri Iyer. He instituted the Representative Assembly of Mysore Kingdom in 1881. He also sponsored the famous journey of Swami Vivekananda to Chicago in 1893. He facilitated the founding of Agricultural Banks and initiated life insurance for government employees. He died young at the age of 31 of diphtheria, in Calcutta on 28 December 1894 and was survived by his wife, four sons and three daughters.

In this image we see the Maharaja standing with his hands folded, holding a sword in the front and looking straight ahead. There is a hint of an armchair to his right. He wears a knee-length tunic with ornate embroidered panels with pearl jewellery in his neck and an elaborate headgear with jewels, tassels and an ornamental feather.