Tens of thousands of people on Wednesday bade an emotional farewell to the last scion of the erstwhile Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, as his mortal remains were consigned to the flames here with full state honours.
The last rites were performed as per royal traditions by Chaduranga Kantaraj Urs, nephew of Wodeyar, who lit the pyre. Thousands of people lined up bid farewell to the last descendant of the Wodeyar dynasty as his funeral procession passed through the streets.
Sixty year old Wodeyar, the last descendant of the Wodeyar dynasty, died of severe cardiac arrest at a private hospital in Bangalore on Tuesday.
The body was brought in a flower bedecked palanquin from Amba palace to the cremation point Manuvana with five Dasara elephants and cavalry of 13 horses of the Mysore police leading the last journey of the "prince." Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, his ministerial colleagues, former Prime Minister H D Devegowda, former Chief Minister and KJP President B S Yeddyurappa attended the funeral.
Earlier, an inconsolable Maharani Pramoda Devi paid her last respects to her husband at Amba Vilas Palace, where his body was kept for public homage.
Wodeyar's four sisters - Meenakshi Devi, Kamakshi Devi, Indrakshi and Vishalakshi - also paid their last respects.
About 1,000 police personnel, including senior officials, were deployed at the palace and Manuvana to maintain law and order and regulate the heavy rush of people, who had also come from neighbouring districts of Mysore.
Wodeyar's body was brought to the Amba Vilas Palace from Bangalore around 1.30 am and placed in the wedding hall at 3 am in a glass casket to allow the public pay homage till afternoon.
Government declared a public holiday and a two-day state mourning as a mark of respect to Wodeyar, whose passions ranged from stately cars to cricket and was one of the richest royals in the country. He was a four-time Lok Sabha member.
The cultural capital of Mysore remained shut with shops, hotels and markets closed. Visit to the majestic Mysore palace, including its durbar and museum, by tourists and common folk was banned by the palace board.
Wodeyar, the only son of Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, the last ruling Maharaja of Mysore, succeeded his father as the head of his dynasty in September 1974 and had remained the titular head of the erstwhile royalty during the famous Dasara festivities.
The Wodeyar dynasty ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947, the last king being Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, who ruled from 1940 until Indian independence in 1947 when he acceded his Kingdom to the dominion of India, but continued as the Maharaja until India became a Republic in 1950.