The old city of Mysore was built around the main palace of the Wodeyar dynasty. Many mansions and smaller palaces were built for close relatives of the rulers in urban districts such as Nazarbad, and Lakshipuram. By contrast the agraharas (residential areas) consisted of mall houses, in these lived the palace cooks and clerks, who were mainly Brahmins.
The last king of Mysore, Jayachamaraja Wodeyar (1919-1974), was, [for example], a renowned scholar in philosophy , a versatile music composer and a writer and humanist . And like many others in the Wodeyar clan before him, a great patron of the arts and culture .
The successors of Raja Wodeyar continued to patronize the art of painting by commissioning the temples and palaces to be painted with mythological scenes. However none of these paintings have survived due to Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan’s ascendance to power and the consequent ravages of war between them and the British.
The dasara celebrations, on the lavish scales now maintained, date from the beginning of the 17th century, when Raja Wodeyar came to the throne of Mysore after Sri Rangaraja, as descendent of the Vijayanagar Princes. With his ascent also dates the use of the famous throne by the Maharaja, during the festival. Raja Wodeyar who became the king of Mysore at the beginning of the 17th century, celebrated the dasara festival on a royal scale, and after him, year after year the Dasarz has gained in splendor, entertainment and attractiveness.
The importance of the festival in the cultural psyche of the people of the State could be gauged by the fact that both Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan allowed its continuance, even during the Interregnum period when they usurped Mysore from the Wodeyars. The titular Wodeyar was permitted to carry out the rituals in a low-key fashion.
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