HAYAVADANA RAO C., 1865-1946
Conjeveram Hayavadana Rao (ಕಾಂಜೀವರಂ
ಹಯವದನರಾವ್) was truly a multifaceted personality whose
contribution to the building of modern Mysore is as significant as his pioneering work in
reconstructing the history of ancient Karnataka. Obviously the emphasis in this
short note will be on the latter. His experience as a curator in the Government
Museum Madras might have geared him up for his later work in the state of Mysore. He was a polyglot with a working knowledge of
English, Latin, French, German, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Sanskrit.
He was a member of the ‘Royal Anthropological Institute’ London, ‘Indian Historical Records Commission’ and a fellow of the ‘Royal
Society of Economics’. He was thus very well equipped for his life’s mission
which began in 1924, when he was appointed as the editor of a committee set up
to revise the Gazetteer structured by B.L.Rice. These
volumes continue to be the foundational texts for any one interested in the
history of Mysore state. Seven volumes of the revised version were
published in due course. (Mysore gazetteer by C. Hayavadana Rao, Government Press, 1927) They are invaluable sources for those that are
interested in a systematic study of history, numismatics, epigraphy,
architecture, anthropology and history of Karnataka. He has also published a
three volume ‘History of Mysore’ (1399-1799) relating
to the history of the Odeyar dynasty. He has written
a commentary to ‘Srikara Bhashya’
by Sripathi Panditacharya.
He has written a number of articles on historical issues. Another important
contribution of Hayavadana Rao
is ‘Indian Caste System’ A Study first published in 1931 by Bangalore Press, Bangalore and reprinted later in 1988.
Rao gave primary importance to the collection of source
material. For him history was not merely a narration of political events but a
conglomeration of social, economic, religious and cultural factors. His work
has combined all these elements to an appreciable extent.
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