About Mandya

Mandya Website


Makers Of Mandya District

Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar


Sir Mirza Mohammed Ismail

Lesli C.Colman


Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar (1884-1940)

                He ascended the throne in 1895. He gave importance for over-all development of the State. He was kind-hearted and progressive minded king. He was a highly educated, cultured and noble king. In order to give power to the people in 1907, the Representative Assembly and Legislative Council was formed by which people were given a role in the administration of the state.  Mysore State was the first to give power to the people.

                Women were given the power to vote. Education, Public Health, Defence, Irrigation were given importance. During his reign Mysore was hailed as ‘a model state’, Mahatma Gandhi called him with ‘Rajarshi’ (a saint king). He was a patron of literature, music and art. Many great musicians such as Veene Seshanna, Subbanna, Bidaram Krishnappa, Vasudevacharya adorned his court.

                 Sri. Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV gave importance for the development of industries. He setup Bhadravathi Iron and Steel Factory, Sandal Oil Factory, Sandal Soap Factory , Hydro-electric Generation unit at Shivanasamudra, Krishna Raja Sagar was constructed during his regime. He setup Mysore University (1916) and became its first Vice Chancellor and he was also the first Vice Chancellor of Kashi – Hindu University. He passed away in 1940.

                Mysore had a Galaxy of Devan’s during his period. P.N. Krishna Murthy, V.P. Madav Rao, M. Vishveswariah, Kantha Raj Urs, A. Banerjee, Mirza Ismail. He loved his people immensely and strove hard for their welfare and progress.

Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, the enlightened king of Mysore during the first 40 years of the 20th century, was responsible for the building of the Krishnaraj Sagar reservoir, which is virtually the life line of Mandya district. Nalvadi Wodeyar was responsible for the establishment of the Mysore University, State Bank of Mysore, the Hydro-electric power projects at Shivasamudram and Shimsha and many more development projects that really made Mysore state a progressive one. Gandhiji was so impressed by the rule of Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, that he called him Rajarishi. It was during Nalvadi's reign that Mandya district was formed in 1939. People of Mandya fondly remember Nalvadi Krishnarajendra Wodeyar and Sir M. Vishweshwariah, the Engineer-Statesman who built the KRS reservoir as the architects of Mandya district.  

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Sir M.Vishveshwaraiah (1860-1962)

       Born at Muddenahalli at Chikkaballapur, Sir M. Vishweshwariah completed engineering from Poona Science College and completed L.C.E. and E.C.E.L engineering exams at the age of 23 and stood first to the entire Mumbai region. He started his career in the year 1884 as Assistant Engineer to Mumbai Govt. He served the Mumbai Govt. for 23 years. He joined as chief  Engineer of Mysore Government on November 15, 1909.Due to his efforts the administration of rail routes from Birur to Shimoga, Mysore to Nanjangud, Bangalore to Mysore was transferred to Mysore Govt. as per his plans. In 1912, he became the Dewan of Mysore. 

The Krishnaraj Sagara dam is the direct outcome of the efforts  of the great engineer statesman  “ maker of Mysore”, Dr.M.Vishveshwaraiah who had the foresight and initiative at a time when economic planning and industrialisation were still in their infancy in India.  The dam was designed by the Late. Dr.M.Vishveshwaraiah when he was Chief Engineer of the state.  The dam was completed in 1931 when he was the Dewan of Mysore.

In 1913, Mysore-Hassan-Arsikere rail-route work was started. In 1914, mechanical engineering school at Bangalore was started. On the 22nd of July, 1916, the Mysore University was started. The Mysore soap factory and the Sandalwood factory was also started during this period. On 9-12-1918 he gave resignation from Dewanship. In 1943, he was responsible for opening of the Jaya Chamarajendra Technical Institute at Bangalore. In the year 1911, he was awarded C.I.E. and in 1915, he was awarded K.C.I.E. from the British Government. He was awarded Bharata Ratna in 1955.  He died at Bangalore on 14-4-1962. He has written a number of books : 

  1. Constructing India, 1920.

  2. Rural Industrialisation in India, 1931.

  3. Unemployment in India : it's causes and cure, 1932.

  4. Planned Economy for India, 1934

  5. Nation Building: a five year plan for the provinces, 1937.

  6. District Development Scheme, 1939.

  7. Prosperity through Industry, 1942.

  8. Village industrialisation, 1945.

  9. Memories of my working life, 1951.

  10. A brief memory of my complete working Life, 1959.

He was patriotic, hard working, highly disciplined and an able administrator.

        When Mandya District was brought under assured irrigation consequent to the construction of the Vishveswariah Canal, the Government of Mysore recognised that the prosperity of the region would depend in a large  measure on the profitable cultivation of a  commercial  crop like sugar cane and that this would be possible only if manufacture of sugar on modern lines was initiated on a fairly large-scale.  The sugar industry being in the nature of a new industrial venture and capital being shy in those days, the then Government of Mysore took the initiative to float a joint stock company, as an earnest of its interest in the welfare of the agriculturists on the one hand and to infuse confidence in the minds of the investing public on the other.   Thus, the Mysore Sugar Company came into existence in January 1933 with an authorised capital of Rs. 20 lakhs, of which 60 percent was taken by Government.  This pattern of company formation with the Government holding a majority of shares was a novel one and may well be said to be the fore-runner of the present day public sector companies.   The sugar factory at Mandya is one of the biggest industrial units in the state.   

            Krishnaraj Sagar reservoir, named after the Late.Sri.Krishnaraj Wodeyar in whose reign his construction was  undertaken,  was formed by the construction of a dam  across the  Kaveri river, 9 miles on the upstream side of the historic town of Srirangapatna and 12 miles from Mysore City.  The lake, at the maximum water level, as a water spread of both 50 sq. miles. In the words of   Late Dr. Vishveshwariah, the scheme was to “open out a vista  of possibilities of ever-increasing  value in the state by adding to the productive power of the people with the increase in agricultural produce and development of industries and manufacture”. The catchment area of the river above the dam is 4100 square miles, half of which lies in the regions of Coorg and Musore Districts.

The reservoir ensures a steady supply of water for the generating station at Shivanasamudram Shimsa  to an extent of about 59,200 kws. enabling power supply to the Gold mines at Kolar, and electric light and power supply to the cities of Bangalore and Mysore, besides a large number of villages and towns in the state. It also ensures a steady supply of water for irrigation in the arid tracts of  about 1,20,000 acres of Mandya District

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Sir Mirza Mohammed Ismail (1883 - 1959)

Sir Mirza Ismail, K.C.I.E., O.B.E., was the Dewan of Mysore from 1926 to 1941. He was responsible for providing irrigation facility to Mandya, Malavalli and T.Narsipura (Irwin Canal) covering 1,20,000 acres. The Jog and Shimsha power station was also established during his regime. Rural electrification was given importance during his period and was the first of its kind in India. His dedication and exceptional efforts towards total industrial development are evident in the Bhadravathi paper and cement factory, Bangalore Aeronautics factory, Mandya sugar factory, Belagola chemical and fertilizers. He also gave importance to sericulture and rural industries. 

If Dr.M.Vishveshwaraiah paved the way for the eventual establishment of the sugar industry, the credit for actually bringing the factory into existence should go to Sir M.Mirza Ismail who was largely instrumental in sponsoring the company by taking advantage of the favourable opportunity presented by the grant of protection to the sugar industry in 1932.  

          Brindavan Gardens, the illuminated terrace garden situated below the Krishnaraj Sagara dam was the result of the endeavors of  Late Sir Mirza Ismail to whom the plan and layout of the gardens owe a lot. 

         The ruling British recognised his outstanding achievements and awarded him the K.C.I.E. in 1930, for his works. During 1942-1946 he served as the prime minister of Jaipur and was responsible for beautification of the city and establishment of the Rajasthan university. From August 1946 to May 1947 he was the prime minister of  the Hyderabad kingdom. He died in 1959 in Bangalore.

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Lesli C.Colman

The Brain behind the establishment of Mysugar company at Mandya, which resulted in ‘Financial and Economic progress’ of the people of Mandya, is a Canadian Gentlemen, Lesli C. Colman. The forethought of this visionary in 1930’s brought remarkable change in the life style of the people of this District. After all his administrative battles with the rulers he succeeded in establishing a 600 ton Capacity Sugar Factory in 1933,  Which had the reputation of being one among  the biggest of  its kind in Asia.

Lesli C. Coleman was born in 16 June 1878, he came to the princely province of Mysore during 1908. Basically Colman was an Agricultural Scientist and carried out extensive research in the various disciplines of Agricultural Sciences. His major contribution to this field includes the study of  Entomology of Agricultural pests, Establishment of  Coffee Research Centre at Balehonnur and Regional Research Station at V.C.Farm which  is now part of the Agricultural University at Bangalore. Colman was not restricted to the Laboratory. He carried out his research results from the lab to the land. He contributed very much in the eradication of weeds in agricultural fields particularly the species of Lantana. He devised many agricultural instruments, amongst which, worth mentioning is the ‘Kolara Plough’ which is popular even today through out the district. He gave a modern approach in the cultivation of crops by the application of nutrients, green manure and also by transplantation methodology. He wandered all over the district with his old motor cycle sharing the farmer’s experiences.

Although Colman was retired from the service after a year of the commencement of the factory, he had an emotional relationship with all the institutions, which he founded, in the district till his last breath. Hence he returned back to Karnataka in 1954 and spent 7 months here visiting all the institutions and submitted a detailed study report to the Government. He died in Canada on 14th September in a motor accident.

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The Establishment of the People’s Education Society at Mandya can be said to be a highly important voluntary effort made in recent years  for the progress of the district. Encouraged by the idea of an over-all educational advancement of the district envisaged by the five-year Plans, eminent social workers of the Aiea, under the guidance of Sri K.V. Shankaregowda, founded  and registered this public institution in 1958, with the following objectives:-

1.        Promotion  and encouragement of education including basic and nursery education, training of children and adults for citizen ship and of women in domestic science and training in handicrafts, cottage industries and ;other useful crafts and arts amongst the population of the locality to be determined by the rural areas.

2.        Harnessing of the energies and resources of the people to promote civilized life and social service and for the instruction in and diffusion of useful knowledge .

3.        Establishment of colleges , schools and other educational institutions of various kinds in important places as may be determined from time to; time by the Board of Management.

4.        Establishment and maintenance of or giving of grants to organizations, ashrams and institutions of any kind  connected with any of the aforesaid activities.

5.        Establishment and maintenance of or giving of grants for the benefit of poor homes for women and children, maternity homes , child welfare centres  and ;other institutions of similar nature such as ante and post natal clinics.

6.        Taking over or affiliation of colleges, schools , hostels and student – homes belonging to or managed by other institutions or sanghas or local self-governing bodies or the State Government for purposes of management and control.

7.        Training of men and women for carrying out any of the aforesaid activities

8.        Rendering of help by grant and contribution to any existing of help by grant and contribution to any existing institution or that may be established hereafter or to; any person or persons carrying on or undertaking to carry on such activities in the locality to determined by the Board of Management from time to time.

9.        Any other activity incidental or germane to the aforesaid activities .

10.     All activities , institutions and organisations maintained or assisted from the funds of the Society shall  be non- communal and non-political.

The Society made strenuous efforts for collection of funds for starting an Engineering  College and with active public support established the P.E.S College of Engineering at Mandya in 1962.  Training facilities in three major branches of engineering, Viz., Civil, Mechanical and Electrical , have been provided in this college. About 60 acres of land on the south –western boundary of Mandya tow were secured and a campus for this  College has  been developed on this land. This college has about 450 students at present (1967) . In 1964, the society opened a polytechnic at Mandya, However, at present admissions to this institution  have been discontinued and only the final year students are being coached. The Society took another forward step by establishing a College of Science at Mandya in 1966. This College has nearly 160 students at present (1967-68).

The Society has collected funds by way of membership fees, donations , etc., and has invested about 30 lakhs of rupees on building  and equipment for the laboratories and workshops . It has an Executive Committee with a president , a secretary and 17 other members.

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