The Mysore palace is a breathtaking sight on the night of Dussehra, what with dazzling 100,000 light bulbs illuminating the palace, it is truly a sight to behold! In addition to it, the palace’s magnificent Golden Throne is assembled in the darbar for public viewing. A traditional procession also called Jumboo Savari, takes place from Mysore Palace and ending in Bannimantap. The Goddess Chamundeshwari is carried on a lavishly decorated elephant followed by floats and cultural troupes.
The Royal Family of Wadiyar Dynasty does the elaborate Pooja, of the Goddess Chamundeshwari, but before this pooja there is one HIDDEN ritual which is done. A statue in Gold, of a Queen, is worshipped and this has been a practice for last 400 years. So who is this Queen? And what is the Story behind worshipping her? Let’s find out.
The Wadiyar family known as the Royal Family of Mysore has a dark secret. None of the descendants are the direct born of the Royal Family. And this is because of a ‘Curse’, laid down by King Tirumalaraja’s widow to the rulers of Wadiyar royal family, which left them heirless ever since. Since 400 years, the Royal family of Mysore, the Wadiyar dynasty has been trying hard to ward off this deadly curse, which was laid onto them by ‘Queen Alamelamma’, right before she jumped into River Kaveri.
The Story goes, that the Curse was cast on the Wadiyars in the year 1612, by Queen Alamelamma, wife of King Tirumalaraja, who ruled the powerful Vijayanagar Empire. Raja Wadiyar, the 9th ruler of Mysore, conquered Srirangapatna from Tirumalaraja, the King of Vijayanagar. The King suffered from a terminal disease and died, however his widow Queen Alamelamma had a large amount of precious jewellery. As a widow, she was no longer permitted to wear jewellery, hence she donated the jewels to the temple of Goddess Sri Ranganayaki. Everyday Sri Ranaganayaki was decorated with a large pearl-studded nose ring which belonged to Queen Alamelamma and her other precious jewellery.
Raja Wadiyar sent emissaries with a request to get the jewels from the Queen. However, Only the pearl-studded nose ring was returned by Alamelamma, due to which the Angry Raja then sent his army to Talakad to ask her once again and when she refused they were to be seized by force. To escape the Mysore army, Queen Alamelamma jumped into a whirlpool in the river Kaveri at Talakad alongwith the rest of the jewels, however before jumping to her death she cast the legendary curse on Raja Wadiyar and his entire dynasty.
Her curse which was ” May Talakadu become a barren land, Malangi turn into a whirlpool and may Mysore kings never beget children” did actually come true and 400 years since, the Wadiyar dynasty never had any children for alternate generations.
Hence an adopted child became the king of Mysore and the remaining part of the curse, also came true as even today, most parts of Talakad and its temples lie under sand, and Malangi village in present Mysore district is slowly eroding due to being infested with whirlpools.
Hearing Queen Alamelamma’s death, Raja Wadiyar was repenting, and hence he had an idol of Queen Alamelamma made in gold, placed in the Mysore palace, and worshipped her as a deity. Even today, there is a strand of her hair which is preserved in a box, and her huge pearl nose-stud adorns the Goddess Ranganayaki. Hence, Mysore Dasara festivities are essentially Grand and inside the palace, a formal pooja of Queen Alamelamma is done for this very reason.
True or not, but the Curse seems to have been broken as the King and Queen of Mysore, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Wadiyar and Trishika Kumari, became parents of a baby boy on December 7, 2017. So afterall, maybe, just maybe, the Wadiyar Dynasty has been forgiven by a Great Pious Queen Alamelamma