Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar (1919 – 1974) was the maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1940 to 1950. He served as the governor of Mysore and Madras states from 1964 to 66. He was a connoisseur and patron of arts and music.
The Mysore royal connection with Nilgiris can be said to date from 1782 when the father of Ooty founder John Sullivan, Rt. Hon. John Sullivan who was the British Resident at the Court of Tanjore, signed a treaty known as ‘The Rana Treaty for the Restoration of the Hindoo Dynasty of Mysore’ which paved the way for the present Wadiyar dynasty.
The connection was renewed in 1873 when the Maharajah of Mysore Chamarajendra Wadiyar bought the Fernhill Palace in Ooty as his summer residence. He was the first of the royal families of India to set up summer homes following the declaration of Ooty as the Summer Capital of the Madras Presidency in 1870. The house was originally built in 1844 by a Captain F. Cotton and later was used as a Country Club in 1860s.
The Fernhill Palace played host to many of the British dignitaries including governors. Many important meetings concerning the Madras government including the first set of meetings regarding the sharing of Cauvery waters among the riparian states in the 1930s took place here.
Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar’s tenure as governor of Madras, though for just two years, was well remembered. It was a popular sight of him with his royal get up traveling with his nine Rolls Royse cars across the Ooty town those days.
Nilgiri Documentation Centre