Mysore State Anthem: Kayo Shri Gowri
By Akshay Chavan (Based on information provided by Mr. Raja Chandra of the Mysore royal family)
A national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people. In 1947, “Jana Gana Mana” was recognized as national anthem of India. But did you know, before 1947, every major princely state had its own state anthem which would be played on state occasions and sung in schools. These included “Gaekwadi” of Baroda state, “Jai Jai Maharaja” of Nawanagar, “Jai Bhawani” of Kolhapur, “God save the Maharaja” of Jammu and Kashmir, “Ya rab humare badshah ko” of Hyderabad. Most of these anthems were soon forgotten after the states were abolished. However, one state anthem still retains its popularity till this day and is a personal favourite of mine. “Kayo Shri Gowri”, the Mysore State Anthem.
Story of the Mysore state anthem:
In 1831, the princely state of Mysore was taken under British rule on pretext of maladministration. 1881, after much deliberation, it was decided that the state would be given back to the Wodeyars. The princely state of Mysore was reconstituted and restored to Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar by the "Rendition of 1881”. To commemorate this occasion, Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar asked Basavappa Shastry, the court poet of Mysore durbar, to compose a state anthem.
Listen to the anthem on Youtube:
This photograph of the European Durbar at the Royal Marriage taken in 1900 by an unknown photographer, is from the Curzon Collection's 'Souvenir of Mysore Album'.A durbar is the court kept by an Indian ruler; a public audience or levee held by a native prince, or by a British governor or viceroy in India. This is a formal group portrait with Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar and his bride Maharani Pratap Bai seated beneath the canopy in the durbar hall, with European and Indian officials gathered round.
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