The Curse of The Wodeyars

The Wodeyar dynasty is an Indian Hindu dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1761 and from 1799 to 1947. They were a feudatory under the Vijayanagara Empire and when the empire weakened they broke free. Raja Wodeyar captured Srirangapatna in 1610, the kingdom was later incorporated into the Dominion of India after Independence from the British rule.

Now the ‘curse’ of the Wodeyars dates back to 1610. The Wodeyars were not yet kings but mere chieftains under the Vijayanagara Empire. The viceroy of Srirangapatna was Tirumala Raya. Tirumala Raya and Raja Wodeyar were both rivals and had their eyes set on conquering the Srirangapatna – Mysore – province.

Tirumala Raya decided to get rid of the Wodeyar and devised a plan in order to do so. He invited Raja Wodeyar to a parade of his forces in 1610 and planned to kill him there, but Raja Wodeyar found out about the plotting of his murder and attacked and captured Srirangapatna causing Tirumala Raya to flee to the village of Malangi with his wife, Alamelamma.

Raja Wodeyar ordered for all of Tirumala Raya’s properties to be confiscated. Alemelamma had brought all her jewellery with her to offer at the Sriranganathaswamy Temple, to reclaim these jewels Raja Wodeyar sent his soldiers to Malangi.

When the soldiers arrived at the place Alamelamma was staying at, on the banks of river Cauvery, Talakad, she was taken by surprise. She hid all the jewels in a chest and ran towards a cliff where she jumped into the river Cauvery but not before uttering the three infamous curses –

Talakadu Maralaagali, Malangi Maduvaagal, Mysuru Dhoregalige makkalagade hogali!”

(May Talakadu be filled in sand, Malangi become a whirlpool and may the Mysore kings never beget children)

Everyone who has seen Talakad knows that it’s covered in sand and the Wodeyars have had heirs only in alternate generations until recently. True or not this story is something that has continued to fascinate everyone who has heard or read about it, but one thing is for sure, our folk tales and stories are definitely one of a kind.