A Revised and Enlarged Account of the Bobbili Zemindari/The Founder of The Samasthanam/XI. Maha-Rajah Sir Venkata Sweta Chalapati Ranga-Rao Bahadur, K.C.I.E.

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Maha-Rajah Sir Venkata Sweta Chalapati Ranga-Rao Bahadur, K.C.I.E.

The *[1]Maha-Rajah was born on the 28th August, 1862, and was adopted by the late Rani of Bobbili at Venkatagiri in 1871. He came to Bobbili from Venkatagiri in December 1872. His first teachers were two native gentlemen. He was under their instruction for some years, and afterwards was under the tuition of J. Marsh, Esq., for three and a half years. His Sanskrit teacher was Susurla Sitaramasastri, a well-known pundit of these parts. Besides instruction in the usual course of studies, the Rajah received many useful lessons on morality and other subjects from these two teachers. He attended the Durbar held in 1877 at Vizagapatam in honour of Her Majesty Queen Victoria assuming the title of EMPRESS OF INDIA, and at this Durbar he and the late Maharajah, then the Kumar Raja, of Vizianagaram, were the only natives that were seated on the dais with the European officials. Happily, at this Durbar, the subsequent heads of the two rival houses of Vizianagaram and Bobbili introduced themselves to each other for the first time.

In 1878 he went to Venkatagiri to attend the installation of his eldest brother, the present Rajah. It is a very happy event to note here that the three brothers, the 2nd, the 3rd, and the 4th, given in adoption to the families of Pittapur, Bobbili, and Jetprole respectively, came together there for the first time after their adoption. Here he shot his first tiger. In 1880, his first wife, whom he married in 1878, gave birth to a son, the Kumara Rajah, but, sad to say, died of puerperal fever a few days after his birth. The Kumara Rajah was born on the 28th March, 1880. His name is Rajah Venkata Kumara Kristna Ranga-Rao Bahadur.

In the latter part of the Rajah's minority, some misunderstandings arose between his adoptive mother and himself. Mr. Garstin, the then Collector of Vizagapatam, tried his best to make a compromise between them; but before it could be effected, he was appointed a Member of the Board of Revenue. Then the Hon'ble Mr. Carmichael, who was sent as a Special Commissioner in connection with the Rumpa Rebellion, while staying at Waltair, succeeded in bringing about an amicable settlement. Though he attained his majority on the 28th August, 1880, he did not take over the management of the Zemindari till the 18th July, 1881, after the compromise was made, at which time the cash balance was only Rs. 140-15-0 in addition to Government Paper worth Rs.2,75,000 acquired by his adoptive father, while the liabilities were Rs. 46,000. He assigned to his adoptive mother, for life, the estate of Karakavalsa and some other villages yielding annually Rs.60,000. The installation ceremony took place on the 30th November. His brother, the present Rajah of Venkatagiri, came and attended it, and Mr. Turner, the then Collector, led the Rajah to his Gaddi. A few days prior to this ceremony, the Rajah married his first wife's sister, as the custom, in general, prohibits a widower from ascending the Gaddi.

In 1882 he raised the Bobbili Middle School to the standard of a High School; gave up the salary grant-in-aid which the School was receiving from the Government; founded a Poor House, called the Samasthanam Poor House, for the lame, the blind, and other decrepit persons, and established a Sabha called 'Budhanandini' for the discussion of subjects relating to religion, morality, science, &c. He made a pilgrimage to Tirupati and visited Venkatagiri and Madras.


His Excellency Sir M. E. Grant Duff, while on a tour in the Northern Circars, visited Bobbili in February, and was accommodated in the old palace. He seemed to be pleased with what he saw there. In replying to an address presented to him by the inhabitants of Bezwada, the Governor observed : —

"We have in these North-Eastern Districts men who, like the Maha Rajah of Vizianagaram, the Zemindars of Mandasa, and of Bobbili, and the Rajah of Pittapur, are doing much in various ways for the enlightenment of those around them."

In this year the Rajah of Venkatagiri's second wedding and the wedding of his brother, Rajah Muddu Kristna, took place while the Rajah was at Venkatagiri. The Rajah also visited Benares, Gya, and Allahabad with the object of performing the religious rites or Sraddhas of his adoptive father and other ancestors as, owing to his adoption into the Bobbili family, he thought that it was his first duty to perform these incumbent rites at his earliest convenience. In the same year his second wife gave birth to a son, and died a few days afterwards, just like her elder sister, the Rajah's first wife.


In this year he made an extensive tour in Southern India, visiting nearly all the important towns and shrines, and attended the wedding of his brother, the Rajah of Jetprole, at Yenkatagiri. He paid his respects to H. E. Lord Dufferin, the Viceroy, at Madras. He built the 'Praung-Mahal' in the Palace.


The year 1887 was a very sad year for the Rajah. He lost his adoptive mother, and his dear younger son, and he himself was ill for several months. The most noteworthy event of the year was the Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen-Empress, in memory of which the Rajah erected the much needed market at Bobbili. Its first stone was laid on the 20th June, and the name 'the Victoria Market' was given to it with the permission of the Government. He also sent an address of welcome enclosed in a silver casket to Her Majesty.


The Rajah on landing" at Madras had the honour, for the first time, of being received by an Aide-de-Camp (Lord Marsham) to H. E. the Governor and of being driven in one of the Governor's carriages, and escorted by five troopers of H. E.'s Body-Guard. He also received, on the 10th January, a return visit from H. E. Lord Connemara, the Governor, who was latterly pleased to accord to the Rajah the privilege of the Private Entree. In this year the Rajah made another extensive tour in Northern India, during which he had the honour of paying his respects to His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, H. E. Lord Dufferin, the Viceroy, and H. E. Lord Reay, the Governor of Bombay. He also went to Gya for the second time, and performed the religious rites for his deceased adoptive mother.

On the occasion of the 69th Anniversary of the birth of Her Majesty the Queen-Empress, His Excellency the Viceroy was pleased to confer on the Rajah the title of Rajah as a personal distinction.

It is, however, a well-known fact that the Rajahs of Bobbili have been from the foundation of the Zemindari addressed as Rajahs. When the question of hereditary titles was raised, the Rajah submitted to the Government many letters, and other papers, showing that the Government had addressed his ances- tors as Rajahs from the beginning of the British Rule over the Circars. H. E. the Viceroy was, on the 16th December, 1890, pleased to recognise the title of Rajah as hereditary in this family, as well as in the families of Vizianagaram, Jeypore, Venkatagiri, Kalahasti, Karvetinagar, Pittapur, and in some of the families in Malabar and latterly in the family of Ramnad.

Extract from the letter of the Collector of Viza-

gapatam, No. 1234, dated 19th May, 1888.

The Chief Secretary to Govt.,


I have the honour to report on the subject of G.O., dated 29th October, 1886, No. 967, Political.

* * * * 

"18. Bobbili is one of the three large Estates in the District, the other two being Jeypore and Vizianagaram. The Sunnud-i-Milkeut-Istimrar was issued in the name 'Rajah Rayadappa Ranga Row, Zemindar of Bobbili,' and the files in my office clearly show that the Zemindars of Bobbili have, ever since our advent into the country, been always addressed with that title. This Zemindar has responded to my call and has submitted the originals of several letters addressed to his predecessors at different periods since the year 1807, in every one of which the title appears and contends that the fact that the title was in use so early is proof of its having been in vogue under the Mahomedan Government. He adds that many hereditary titles and other honours were conferred on his ancestor Rajah Lingappa Ranga Row*[2] third in the line, but that nothing of those times was left after the now historical battle of 1757, †[3] to which allusion will be made in para. 20 below.

"19. I have seen the Kabooleats taken from all the Zemindars and Proprietors of the District at the time of the Permanent Settlement, and find that the title 'Rajah' was then prefixed to the names of the Zemindars of Jeypore, Vizianagaram and Bobbin and to none else.

"20. Bobbili is one of the oldest families in the Presidency. It exercised Regal powers until our own advent into the country. It fills a prominent place in the history of the District. Probably the historical event of the greatest importance to the British in connection with their Conquest of the Northern Circars was the great fight at Bobbili in 1757, in which Ranga Row, the then Polygar, was killed, and the Vizianagaram Rajah assassinated. This Rajah had allied himself with the French under Monsieur Bussy, but his successor sought the aid of the British and combining with Forde, despatched by Clive from Calcutta, drove out the French, and laid the foundation for our subsequent acquisition of these provinces from the Mogul Emperor. Had Pedda Viziaramaraz of Vizianagaram not been killed at Bobbili, it is probable that the Circars would have remained to this day part of the Territories of the Nizam. Orme calls the Bobbili Zemindar 'the first in rank of the Polygars, who call themselves Rajahs.'

"21. In the disturbances which raged in this district in and about the year 1832, the Bobbili Zemindar was of great service to Government in various ways, especially in apprehending Kumbera Venkatarow and his nephew, the murderers of the Palkonda Zemindar's Dewan, who had successfully eluded all efforts on the part of Government Officers to catch them and was deservedly eulogised by Mr. Russel in his reports. Sir Frederic Adam, the Governor, particularly alludes to these facts, and to his having told the Zemindar that Government entertained a high sense of the zeal and loyalty he had evinced in the assistance he had rendered to Mr. Russel as Commissioner, in para. 27 of his tour minute (p. 57, Vol. 2 — Reports on the disturbances in Purlakemedy, Vizagapatam and Gumsoor) ; and Government in their Minutes of Consultation (p. 85) directed the Board of Revenue to instruct the Collector of Vizagapatam to convey to the Zemindar of Bobbili the approbation of Government of his conduct in such a manner as may be most gratifying to the Zemindar.

"22. In recent times, the House of Bobbili has always been distinguished for the excellent and prudent management of their Estates. They have always money in hand, and many a Zemindari has been saved from being brought to the hammer by a timely loan from the source. — (Carmichael's Manual).

"23. It has been shown above, that the Bobbili Zemindar's claim to the title of Rajah has not only been recognised uniformly ever since our acquisition of the country, but that on the authority of Orme, this title was in use long before that event. It has not been personal to any isolated nobleman in the line, but has been hereditarily enjoyed by every successive Zemindar. In the same way the title of 'Rajah,' although never specially bestowed, has been enjoyed by the Zemindars of Vizianagaram and of Jeypore, and before the higher distinction of 'Maharaja' was specially conferred on the present Zemindar of Jeypore, and on the late and present Zemindars of Vizianagaram, as a personal title, that of Rajah was inherently attached to them. And in G.O., Political Department, No. 493 of 1862, Government directed that the Zemindar of Vizianagaram should be addressed by the title of Rajah, and this direction was reiterated in G.O., Revenue Department, dated 25th November, 1879, No. 2200. The cases of Bobbili and Jeypore are analogous to that of Vizianagaram, and I beg to submit that the Zemindars of Vizianagaram and Jeypore and Bobbili hold the title of Rajah hereditarily, while the present incumbents of Vizianagaram and Jeypore also hold the title of Maharaja as a personal distinction, and I beg to suggest that this fact may be authoritatively declared once for all."

(Signed) H. G. TURNER, Collector.

(True Extract). (Signed) R. SURYA ROW, Deputy Collector.

Mr. Turner, the Governor's Agent, visited Bobbili on the 30th November, 1888, and in a Durbar which he held in the evening he presented to the Rajah a Sannad conferring on him the above personal title.

In October he married his third wife, the present Maha-Rani of Bobbili. Her eldest sister is the present wife of the Rajah of Venkatagiri. He built, about a mile and a half from the town, the Raj Mahal in Raj Mohan Bagh which he laid out. The palace is intended for the Rajah to stay in occasionally for a change, and to accommodate distinguished guests when they visit Bobbili.


At the express desire of his brothers, the Rajah of Venkatagiri and Rajah Muddu Kristna, the Rajah went to Venkatagiri and took a prominent part in effecting a compromise concerning the family property by the execution of the family settlement deed, dated 8th April, 1889. For this sole object he stayed at Venkatagiri and Madras for four months. Before the close of the year he was again called by his father, the late Rajah of Venkatagiri, to settle about the maintenance which had to be paid to him from the Estate. For the purpose of making his eldest son, the present Rajah, agree to pay what he demanded, the late Rajah instigated his 5th son, Rajah Muddu Kristna, to file a partition suit against the eldest son, the Rajah, and got some one as a friend to file a similar suit on behalf of his youngest son, Rajah Venugopal, who was a minor at that time. The 6th son, Rajah Venkata Kristna, did not yield to the father's inducement. It took nearly three years for the Rajah of Bobbili to bring them to terms. He used to go to Madras every year for three or four months, and at last succeeded in making a compromise amongst them, i.e., the old Rajah, the present Rajah, and Rajah Muddu Kristna. Before it was settled, Rajah Venugopal attained his majority and withdrew the suit, knowing it was simply filed by a next friend at the instigation of his father. Rajah Muddu Kristna also withdrew the suit according to the above compromise. The poor old Rajah did not, however, enjoy the maintenance long. He died on the 6th of June, 1892.

The Rajah of Venkatagiri received the following reply from the Right Hon'ble Lord Connemara about this amicable settlement : —


106, Mount Street,
Grosvenor Square,

19th August, 1892.

"My dear Rajah,

"I thank you for your letter of the 6th May, and I am very glad indeed to hear that the suit for a partition of your estate instituted by your father has been withdrawn. Family disputes are always especially disagreeable. Your brother, the Rajah of Bobbili, is a very sensible man, for whom I have a great regard, and has done well to interfere in this matter.

"With best good wishes for the welfare of all your family.

I remain,
Very sincerely yours,
(Signed) CONNEMARA."

The Rajah attended the Receptions at Madras given to H. R. H. the late Prince Albert Victor in 1889, and to His Imperial Highness the Czarevitch in 1891.

The late Maha-Rajah of Vizianagaram and the Rajah of Bobbili were in the habit of conversing on very friendly terms with each other whenever they happened to meet; but on the 1st March, 1891, the late Maha-Rajah of Vizianagaram all on a sudden called on the Rajah, who was luckily at home then in Madras. On the next day the Rajah returned his visit, and since then, and up to the demise of the late Maha-Rajah, they used to visit each other very often at Madras.

The Rajah paid his respects to H. E. Lord Lansdowne, the Viceroy, at Madras in 1892.

On the 29th August of the same year, the Rajah was blessed with a son, Sree Rajah Rama Kristna Ranga-Rao Bahadur, by his 3rd and the present wife.

As the mud ramparts of the Old Fort of Bobbili, which was the scene of so much havoc in 1758, were completely wearing out, the Rajah thought fit to mark the scene by means of a Monumental Pillar*[4] bearing inscriptions in Telugu and English describing the martial spirit of his ancestor and his followers.


The year 1893 is the most important and the most enjoyable one of the present reign. The Rajah left Bobbili on the 14th April on his way to Europe, left his son, the Kumara Rajah, at Madras, under the care of his tutor, Mr. E. P. Oldfield, took leave of his mother and brothers at Venkatagiri, and embarking at Bombay landed at Marseilles. Thence he went to Paris, stayed there for a few days, and reached London on the 19th May. His Excellency the Governor, Lord Wenlock, was kind enough to write letters of introduction to the Secretary of State for India and others. His youngest brother, Rajah Venugopal Bahadur, also accompanied him from Madras. On the 29th of that month they attended the Levee at St. James' Palace held by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on Her Majesty's behalf. They were allowed the privilege of going to the Levee by the Ambassador's gate and were presented by the Secretary of State for India. They also went to the customary Reception at the Foreign Office in honour of Her Majesty's Birthday on the 3rd June. They went by the Pimlico Entrance to the two State Balls and one State Concert given in Buckingham Palace. They paid their respects to H. R. H. the Duke of Connaught on the 19th July, when the Duke said he remembered seeing the Rajah at Poona. They also went to the Garden Party at Marlborough House, given on the 5th July by H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, to have the honour of meeting H. M. the Queen. Lord Kimberley, the Secretary of State for India, kindly introduced the Rajah and his brother to H. R. H. the Duke of York at the Garden Party, given by Mr. and Lady Constance Shaw Lefevre, to meet the Duke and Princess Victoria May before they were married. H. R. H. the Prince of Wales, at the interview given on the 10th July to the Rajah and his brother, was pleased to say that he was glad to make their acquaintance, to which the Rajah replied that it was a great honour to them to be graciously allowed to pay him their loyal respects. The Rajah paid his most humble and loyal respects to H. M. the Queen-Empress on

the 17th July at Windsor Castle. As this is the most important event in his tour in Europe, it seems well to quote here from the Rajah's Diary.

17th "The Greatest Day of the Tour."

"I left my place at 20 minutes to 12 o'clock and drove to Paddington Station for Windsor Castle; thence I went in the special train at 1-10 P.M., in which Lord Kimberley, Lord Ripon, and some other Privy Councillors were going to attend H. M.'s Council. Sir Gerald Fitzgerald met me at the station and accompanied me to the Castle. The special train arrived at Windsor at 1-40 P.M. There were some carriages from the Castle awaiting to convey us there. Sir Fitzgerald and myself drove in a Landau drawn by a pair of horses, which were driven by a postillion.

"In the Castle I was conducted to a room to wait there till called for. There I had some fruit and lemonade for my lunch. A little after 3 o'clock I was called for and was conducted by Sir Fitzgerald near to the Queen's Chamber. Then the Lord-in-waiting received me, conducted me to the Queen's Chamber, and presented me to Her Majesty. H. M. was standing, and shook hands with me in a very pleasing manner.

"Her Majesty's conversation, though short, was very kind and pleasing. Her Majesty was pleased to introduce me to H. M.'s daughter, Princess Beatrice of Battenberg, who was with Her Majesty.

Though Her Majesty is 74 years of age, she noticed carefully my oriental costume. Her Majesty was very kind and pleasing in her expressions. I was very much pleased, and felt more honoured in being allowed thus to pay my most humble and loyal respects to our Sovereign who has already ruled 56 years. Since my boyhood I have had an intention to go to England to pay my loyal respects to Her Majesty. Now my wishes are realized.

"A few minutes after, the Privy Councillors and myself left the Castle, drove to the station, and returned to the Paddington station by the special train. Now I can say I am fully satisfied with my visit to this distant country. I may also mention here in this connection that I am the first Rajah that has ever come from the Madras Presidency.

"Thank God ! this is the most happy day of my life."

Shortly afterwards the Rajah was presented with a photo bearing H. M.'s autograph signature, in acknowledging the receipt of which the Rajah wrote as follows : —

Dear Sir,

"I have no words to express my most humble and loyal thanks to Her Gracious Majesty, the Queen and Empress of India, for H. M.'s most kind favour in presenting me with Her Portrait. I esteem it a very great and special favour on the part of H. M. to my ancient family which has been ever loyal to the British Government, and whose footsteps, it has been, and will ever be, my desire to follow.

"I have erected a market at Bobbili to commemorate H. M.'s Jubilee, and on my return to my country, I intend to build a Town Hall in memory of my loyal visit to H. M., which, with H. M.'s permission, 1 would name the ' Victoria Town Hall.'

"I would beg you, Sir, to convey to Her Gracious Majesty, with every expression of loyalty, and with my humble thanks, my gratitude for, and appreciation of, H. M.'s Gracious Gift.

I have the honour to remain,
Your most obedient and humble servant,
(Signed) V. S. RANGA-RAO,
Rajah of Bobbili."

In reply to this the Right Hon'ble H. F. Ponsonby wrote : —

"Osborne, Isle of Wight,
17th August, 1893.


"In reply to your letter, which I had much pleasure in submitting to the Queen, I am commanded by Her Majesty to assure you that she has learnt with much satisfaction your intention of building a Town Hall, in memory of your visit to the Queen, and that Her Majesty gladly grants permission for the building to be named the 'Victoria Town Hall.'

I have the honour to be,
Your faithful servant,

The Rajah presented an Ivory Casket to H. R. H. the Princess May of Teck, as a wedding present, which was acknowledged in the following words : —

"White Lodge,
Richmond Park,

"Her Serene Highness the Princess Victoria May of Teck desires the Comptroller to convey her grateful thanks to H. H. the Rajah of Bobbili for the beautiful gift he has kindly sent to her which the Princess has pleasure in accepting."

4th July, l893.

The Rajah presented an Ivory Casket to the Queen-Empress and subscribed 100 guineas to St. Mary's Hospital Fund. He and his brother attended the "At Homes" of the Duke of Westminster, the Marchioness of Salisbury, Lady Battersea, Lady Henry Lennox, and the Marchioness of Ripon, the Countess of Jersey, and also Lady Temple's Garden Party and the Anniversary Fete at the Crystal Palace.

He visited Lord Kimberley, Secretary of State for India, Lord Connemara, Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff, Lord Herschell, Lord Northbrook, Lord Reay, and some others.

During his sojourn in England, the Rajah visited Brighton, Oxford, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bedford. On his way back he visited Paris, Lucerne, Venice, Florence and Rome. He received addresses of welcome from the people of Venkatagiri, and of Bobbili where he safely returned on the 13th September, 1893.


In compliance with the invitation of the Rajah, His Excellency Lord Wenlock, the Governor of Madras, came to Bobbili on the 4th October, 1894, and was accommodated at the Raj Mahal. At 3-30 p.m. the Rajah accompanied by his son paid a State visit to His Excellency the Governor, who, after a return visit to the Rajah at the palace, laid the foundation-stone of the Victoria Town Hall.

The Governor, after laying the foundation-stone, made the following reply :

"Rajah of Bobbili and Gentlemen, —

"I feel great pleasure in acceding to the request made by you, to lay the foundation-stone here in commemoration of the visit which you paid to Her Majesty the Queen-Empress when yon visited England the last year. I do not think that you could possibly commemorate this visit in a more suitable and proper manner than that in which you propose to do. It is therefore a matter of extreme pleasure and satisfaction to myself that I have been able to come here on this occasion, and perform the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of what, I trust, will be the lasting record of your loyalty to Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen-Empress, and of your devotion to her, and the loyal principles with which you and your family have always been associated. I believe this particular form which you have chosen is one most suitable to the people of this country. They will find in this building, which you are about to erect, opportunities of meeting on occasions when their deliberations can be properly accompanied by suitable surroundings, such as are going to be placed at their disposal as a record of not only your own loyalty, but of the generosity and interest which you feel towards ameliorating the condition of your own people. It is for these and other reasons that I am pleased to be here this afternoon, and I shall be glad to send home an account of my visit here, and to assure all those at home who have, as I have, a lively interest in all matters connected with this country, an assurance that they will find, here in Bobbili, a nobleman, who is anxious to do his duty to all by whom he is surrounded, and who is anxious to prove on all occasions his loyalty and affection to Her Majesty the Queen-Empress. With these words I can do no more than congratulate you on this auspicious occasion, and I trust it will not be long before the building is erected which will be a lasting record of events, which have been of such satisfaction and gratification to yourself, and to those who are, as I am, interested in the welfare and well-being of the people of this country."

At the entertainment given at the Raj Mahal, His Excellency the Governor proposed the Rajah's health in return thus : — "Rajah, Ladies and Gentlemen, — I have to thank you, Sir, very much indeed for the kind manner in which you have proposed my health, and those who have also received what you have proposed just now in an extremely touching manner. I can only say for myself that it is a matter of extreme pleasure to me that I have been able to respond to the invitation that you have been kind enough to extend to me some time ago, viz., that I should come to Bobbili towards the end of this year to lay the stone which I had the honour of doing this afternoon. * *

" * * * Here is a town and an estate administered in the most excellent and most practical manner. I gather, from every source which is open to me to obtain information from, that the people of this country are happy and enjoying themselves in quiet and prosperity, and that you keep a special watch and special guard over their interests in a most special manner. On behalf of Government I can only express my sincere thanks for the manner in which you look after all those in whom you are interested, and amongst whom your work is cast. The ceremony that I had the honour of being present at this afternoon was a specially interesting one, as it was one commemorating the visit which you yourself paid to Her Majesty the Queen-Empress, when you were in England; it is one which will hand down to posterity a record of that visit, and specially of the loyal spirit which was predominating in your own mind at the time when you paid your visit to that country. I think I may safely say that, in the Northern Circars, Landlords and Zemindars of this country are animated by the same spirit which animated you, and if, at any time, their fortune should be so great that they should be able to pay their respects, in the same manner as you did, to Her Majesty the Queen-Empress, they will be actuated by the same feelings of loyalty and devotion to the British Crown as you yourself, Sir, possess. I do not know if it is necessary for me to say anything more than, on behalf of Government, to thank you for the extremely kind hospitality which you have extended to us, and which has made our visit so very comfortable and so very enjoyable.

  • * * *

On the morning of the 5th His Excellency visited the Monumental Pillar, which was erected on the site of the ruined fort by the present Rajah in 1891; and also laid the foundation-stone of the Samasthanam Gosha Hospital, on behalf of Her Excellency Lady Wenlock.

The Governor, after laying the stone, replied to the Rajah's address in the following manner : — "Rajah, — I can only express to you my great pleasure in acceding to the request which you have made that I should attend to the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of this hospital, and at the same time of assuring you of the great regret which Lady Wenlock feels at not being able to be present here and perform the ceremony which I have just undertaken.

  • *

"Your own family has contributed largely in this particular direction. The Gosha Hospital at Madras, the gift, almost the entire gift of the Rajah of Venkatagiri, shows very well how keenly the members of your family take interest in this particular matter. The foundation of this institution here shows that you yourself are as keenly alive to the interests of those unfortunate women of this country, who, up till now, have received so little sup- port. I hope this institution, when it is once started, will be the means of affording relief and comfort to a very large number of women of this country and this town; and that other bodies and private individuals, who come to see the good work here done, will not hesitate to follow your excellent example.

"I have only to express the pleasure I have had in being here, and to congratulate you on the extremely good example you have set to others, who, like yourself, are responsible for the well-being of such a large number of persons."

The Governor left Bobbili for Vizianagaram the same evening.

The Rajah built the Gosha Hospital and the Lady Apothecary's quarters at Bobbili at his own cost, and handed them over to the District Board with a donation of Rs.20,000 for the management and up-keep of the institution. It was opened on the 3rd November, 1896, by Mr. Home, the Collector and Agent.

He contributed Rs.6,000 to the much needed choultry built in Mr. Turner's name at Vizagapatam, and attended, and took a prominent part at, the Turner's Memorial Meeting and the Opening Ceremony of the choultry which was performed by Mr. Home, the Collector of the District, in the year 1898.


In the New-Year's Day Honours Gazette, Her Majesty the Queen-Empress was graciously pleased to confer on the Rajah the Knighthood of the Indian Empire. On the 30th May the Rajah was invested, at Ootacamund, with the Insignia of the Most Exalted Order of the Indian Empire, by His Excellency the Right Hon'ble Lord Wenlock, Governor of Madras This ceremony was the first of its kind that was held at that place. H. H. the Gaekwar of Baroda was also present on the occasion. On his return to Bobbili he received an address from his people, who made several requests. The Rajah, while thanking them for presenting him the address, said he could not carry out all the requests at once, but promised that he would fulfil many of them in course of time. On this occasion he remitted Rs.30,000, arrears of revenue, to the ryots.

The Rajah paid his respects to H. E. Lord Elgin, the Viceroy, when he visited Madras, and he then endowed a bed to be called "Lady Elgin's Bed" in the Victoria Caste Gosha Hospital at Madras.


In this year the Rajah endowed another bed to be called "Lady Wenlock's Bed," in the above Hospital. H. E. the Governor was pleased to nominate him to a Zemindari seat in the Legislative Council.


In the famine of 1896-1897 the Rajah subscribed Rs. 10,000 to the Indian Famine Relief Charitable Fund, fed an unlimited number of the poor in the Samasthanam Poor House; spent about Rs.25,000 on irrigation works; and sold grain at a very low rate to the Samasthanam servants and to very poor people.

H. M.'s Diamond Jubilee.

The Rajah held a Durbar, which was very largely attended by all classes of people, in honour of Her Majesty the Queen-Empress's Diamond Jubilee. He also sent to Her Majesty a silver casket with an address of congratulations on the auspicious event.

At the end of the year the Rajah went to Venkatagiri and attended the wedding of the Kumara Rajah of Venkatagiri.


His Excellency Sir Arthur Havelock at the request of the Rajah, came to Bobbili on the 21st February to open the Victoria Town Hall, and was accommodated at the Raj Mahal.

At the entertainment in the evening His Excellency proposed the Rajah's health in return thus : —

"I thank you, Rajah, for the kind and too flattering terms in which you have proposed the toast of my health. I thank you, Gentle- men, also for having so cordially responded to it. It is true, as the Rajah remarked, that the determining cause of my visit to the Circars was his invitation to take part in the ceremony of opening the Hall, the ceremony which I look forward to performing to-morrow. I had the intention of coming to this part of the country during this season if it had been possible. But for my promise to take part in this ceremony, I think, I should have been compelled to postpone it to a future occasion. However, I have managed to find sufficient time to carry out the projected visit to this part of the country, and I am very glad to find myself to-night as the guest of the Rajah. I am certain that Lady Havelock would have been pleased, if she could, with her presence on the present occasion, have given an additional satisfaction to the Rajah. But the Rajah has rightly said that the long journey from Madras, performed in the hurried way that my journey on the present occasion was arranged to be performed, prevented her from coming. She could not possibly have undergone the fatigues of this long and hasty journey. Before I sit down, I must ask you to join with me in drinking a toast which probably needs little or no commendation, that is, the toast of the health of the Rajah of Bobbili. The Rajah of Bobbili is, as we all know, a descendant and a representative of the race which has distinguished itself in the wars in this part of the country, and has left its mark on the history of the Circars. The Rajah himself is a man of literary ability; he has also been an observant traveller; he is a large landowner who knows how to work his property to the best possible advantage, and he is, I can testify, a most valuable member of my Legislative Council, representing there the interests of the large landed proprietary of the Madras Presidency. I can only say that I wish that we had many more men in the Madras Presidency and in India like the Rajah of Bobbili."

In the morning the Rajah paid a State visit to the Governor, who shortly afterwards paid a return visit to the Rajah in the Palace, and was received in the new Durbar Mahal, which had recently been completed and was then for the first time used.

On leaving the Durbar Mahal, His Excellency proceeded to the Victoria Town Hall close by, and after he had taken his seat on the dais, the Rajah requested the Governor formally to open the Town Hall.

After the Rajah had handed over the silver key of the Town Hall, the Governor replied thus:-

"The Rajah has so fully and clearly explained the history and objects of this Town Hall, that there remains little for me to say except that I feel it a pleasure and honour to be asked to consummate the work which was begun by my distinguished predecessor. I appreciate very heartily and deeply the sentiments which have moved the Rajah to carry out this work, and I trust that the usefulness of the building with which he has endowed the Town of Bobbili will be extensive and long-lasting. With these words I now declare the Victoria Town Hall to be duly opened."

Then the people of the Town and the Zemindari presented an address to His Excellency, and received the following reply from him :—

"Representatives of the People of the Town of Bobbili, -I thank you for your kind address of welcome. It is with the greatest satisfaction I have heard the tribute of praise which you have bestowed upon the Rajah of Bobbili, who, as you say, has endowed you with many useful Public Institutions, and they are valuable works to that extent. You admit that you are supplied with Schools, Hospitals, and other charitable institutions, and water-supply has been more than supplied and safe-guarded. This is a very high tribute of gratitude and praise to your enlightened Rajah. In consequence of his munificence towards you, you say that there is very little left for you to ask at my hands.

* * * * 

"I am glad to be able to join with you in congratulating ourselves on the success of the efforts of the Government to withstand the horrors of famine and distress during last year. I take this opportunity of expressing the gratitude of the Government, for the efforts that were made by the Rajah himself to assist the people in his own immediate neighbourhood, and I wish also not to lose this opportunity of expressing the high appreciation of my Government of the skill, zeal, and devotion of the District Officers under extremely difficult and trying circumstances. I thank you once more for the welcome you have accorded to me here."

His Excellency then visited the Monumental Pillar and the Samasthanam Gosha Hospital before going back to the Raj Mahal and left the same afternoon for Vizianagaram.

With reference to this meeting of the Governor and the Rajah, the following remarks appeared in the Madras Mail:—

"It will be seen from the reports we publish to-day that the Governor's visit to Bobbili was marked by some very cordial speech-making. Referring to His Excellency the Rajah remarked : —

'It is a rare fortune for a Province to be presided over by such a statesman, a statesman who, by a life which has been devoted to his country's service, has added to the high gifts of nature a vast store of practical knowledge and experience, and who, while he is ready to listen to the popular voice and official advice, is at the same time capable of maintaining his own independence of judgment.'

"Of the Rajah, Sir Arthur Havelock remarked in just appreciation : —

'The Rajah is a man of literary ability ; he has also been an observant traveller; he is a large landowner who knows how to work his property to the best possible advantage; and he is, I can testify, a most valuable Member of my Legislative Council, representing there the interests of the large landed Proprietary of the Madras Presidency. I can only say that I wish that we had many more men in the Madras Presidency and in India like the Rajah of Bobbili.' "

In the middle of April the wedding of the Kumara Rajah of Bobbili was celebrated with much rejoicing. The Rajah's mother, the Rajah of Venkatagiri, K.C.I.E., Rajah Muddu Kristna with his wife, and Rajah VenkataKristna came from Venkatagiri. Rajah Venugopala Kristna, and the second son of the Kumara Rajah of Pittapur, also arrived from Madras. The late Zemindar of Sangamvalsa was also present at the wedding.

His Excellency the Governor re-nominated the Rajah to the Legislative Council, and in June he went to Ootacamund, and in the Legislative Council criticized and protested against the Tenancy Bill.



The Rajah's great-grandmother, who had lived for 90 years, died in May. As she was very much respected by the Rajah, as well as by the people who knew her, the Rajah performed her funeral ceremony with great respect and attention and endowed a bed in the Victoria Caste and Gosha Hospital at Madras in the name of the deceased venerable old lady.

At the request of the people of Vizagapatam the Rajah promised to erect, at his own cost, a Town Hall in memory of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. It is called the Victoria Diamond Jubilee Town Hall.



H. E. the Governor re-nominated the Rajah in April for the third time as a Member of the Legislative Council.

In the beginning of May some disturbances of the hill tribes occurred near Pachipenta, in connection with which the Rajah offered his services to the Government in a letter of which the following is a copy :—

5th May, 1900.




W. O. HORNE, Esq.,
Collector and Agent
to the Governor of Madras.

"Sir,—I have the honour to inform you that I hear you have come to Salur in connection with the gathering of the hill-tribes who killed two of the Police Constables the other day. It is also said that the Reserve Police at Vizagapatam is shortly expected there. As I am quite close to the place, I beg to offer my services to the Government. I do not mean that my sepoys and Velama people are of much use to you, but I beg you will kindly give me a chance to show my loyalty to the Government as was done to my forefathers on former occasions. If you also want some sowars to convey messages quickly from the scene of the disturbances to the telegraphic place, Salur, or some elephants to carry loads on the hill tracts, I am quite ready to send them to you.

I have the honour to be,

Sir, Your most obedient servant,

(Signed) V. S. RANGA ROW, K.C.I.E., "Rajah of Bobbili."

Reply given by th Collector to the Rajah's letter : —

No. 1233.

VlZAGAPATAM, District Magistrate's Office, 9th May, 1900.

Despatched 11th May. "From W. O. HORNE, Esq., District Magistrate, Vizagapatam,

To The Honourable The RAJAH OF BOBBILI, k.c.i.e.


I have the honour to acknowledge with cordial thanks the receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, and to thank you for the timely offer therein contained. I have already informed you demi-officially that if occasion should arise I would have the greatest pleasure in availing myself of your assistance, which I shall accept in the same spirit as that in which it was offered. Happily I now believe that there will be no occasion to call upon you. I shall have much pleasure in submitting to Government copies of this correspondence.

I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant,
(Signed) H. A. B. VERNON,
for "District Magistrate"

Collector's Office, "FROM 4th June, 1900. W. O. HORNE, Esq., Collector and District Magistrate, Vizagapatam, To Maha-Rajah Saheb Meharban-I-Dostan Maha-Rajah, Sri Rao the Hon'ble Sir VENKATA SWETHACHALAPATI RANGA-RAO BAHADUR GARU, K.C.I.E., Bobbili. " Maha-Rajah,

In continuation of my letter No. D. Dis. 1233, dated 9th May, 1900, I have the honour to inform you that I am directed to convey to you the thanks of Government for your loyal offer of assistance, which I have much pleasure in doing.

I have the honour to be, Maha-Rajah, Your most obedient servant, (Signed) R. SURYA RAO, for "Collector and Magistrate." In this year the Maha-Rajah contributed Rs.5,000 to the Indian Famine Charitable Relief Fund.

He built a pakka quadrangular building for the Samasthanam Poor House, which was for the first time used by the poor on Her Majesty's Birthday.

In Her Majesty's Birthday Honours Gazette His Excellency the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, was pleased to confer on the Maha-Rajah the title of Maha-Rajah as a personal distinction.

In connection with this event, the residents of the Capital and the Samasthanam presented a congratulatory address to the Maha-Rajah at the Victoria Town Hall, and by public subscriptions have also laid a park called Maha-Rajah Park in commemoration of the memorable occasion.

In replying to their address, the Maha-Rajah said as follows :— "Ladies, Gentlemen, and Residents of Bobbili Town and Samasthanam, -I thank you most sincerely for the address you have so kindly just now presented to me. The design of the casket is excellent, and it is really a souvenir of the occasion. I am also very glad to observe that you quoted in the address the very words kindly expressed by the last and present Governors of our Presidency, though you have flattered me to some extent. You said you purposely abstained from making any request on this occasion, fully believing, I suppose, that I would do something in memory of this event. When I was thinking over what it would be a proper thing to undertake, my wife, the Maha-Rani, requested me to associate her name with any institution I would propose to give you. To meet the double purpose I cannot undertake any other one than to provide you with the Maha-Rani Caste Girls' School. Gentlemen, you are all aware there are Caste Girls' Schools, even maintained by the Government, in many places where there are Mission Girls' Schools. Therefore the future one will not be in any way rival to the existing Mission Girls' School here.

"You, Gentlemen, Residents of the Town and Samasthanam of Bobbili, have already, with great kindness and affection towards me, been forming a Public Park after my name by public subscriptions. The roads, paths and compound walls of the Park are fast approaching their completion. Now, Gentlemen, let me take this opportunity to thank you very much for laying a Public Park in memory of the present occasion. I hope it will be a splendid place for you all to enjoy yourselves in in the evenings after the day's labour.

"I am sure that you all will be more pleased to hear what I am going to say now. It may be somewhat praising myself, but unless I should tell you, it cannot be known to you at all. In my youth, i.e., when I was about 13 years of age, I set before myself five ideals, or rather ambitious wishes, which I hoped in the course of my life to realise. (1) To pay my most loyal and humble respects to Her Gracious Majesty the Queen-Empress. (2) To become a Knight. (3) To become a Member of the Legislative Council. (4) To become a Maha-Rajah. (5) The fifth one, quite a Providential one, and one that, when it will be fully realized, will be known to you. As regards the titles, I must tell you my ideals were simply based on the last words of my worthy grandfather on his death-bed to my adoptive father who did not live long enough to realise them. I dare say you are all aware that it is the duty of every person to carry out the good wishes of his forefathers, especially in a family like mine.

"Allow me once more to thank you most heartily for the address you have so kindly presented to me." In the month of December the Maharajah paid his respects to Lord Curzon, the Viceroy, at Madras, and endowed a bed in the Caste and Gosha Hospital, Madras, in the name of Lady Havelock. He was present at the assumption of the Governorship by Lord Ampthill, and to bid farewell to Sir Arthur Havelock when he left Madras.



On the morning of the 23rd January a telegram was received conveying the very sad news of the demise of Her Majesty, the Queen Empress Victoria, the Great and Good. All the Offices and the High School were closed; all the usual items of music, even those of the Temple, were stopped, and a salute of 31 guns was fired. From that day to the day of Her Majesty's funeral, the flag was half masted, all the daily items of music in the palace were stopped, and no one was allowed to come to the palace wearing any sort of head dress as a mark of full mourning. The Maharajah and all the officers wore crape till the end of public mourning. The Maharajah sent two messages of sympathy and regret, one to H. E. the Governor and the other to the Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales (the present King).

The following are the replies to the above- mentioned messages :—





Excellency thanks you for kindly message of sympathy and will forward duly.


No. 3382


"From A. WILLIAMS, Esq., Deputy Secretary to the Government of India.

To Maha-Rajah Saheb Meharban-I-Dostan Maha-Rajah, Sri Rao the Hon'ble Sir VENKATA SWETHACHALAPATI RANGA-RAO BAHADUR GARU, K.C.I.E., MAHARAJAH OF BOBBILI.

Home Department, Public.

Simla, 6th June, 1901.

"Sir, I am directed to inform you that the Government of India have received intimation from the Secretary of State for India of the receipt of your telegram, and to express the sincere thanks of the Government of India for the expressions of sympathy and condolence which you have been good enough to convey upon the occasion of the lamented death of Her late Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, Empress of India. The message has been graciously received by His Majesty.

I have the honour to be,


Your most obedient servant,

(Signed) A. WILLIAMS,

Deputy Secretary to the Government of India."

On the day of Her late Majesty's funeral, 1,200 poor were fed, and the Royal Salute of 101 guns was fired, the last gun being fired at sunset.

The Maharajah also instructed his London Agent to place a wreath beside the Queen's coffin as a last token of his loyalty to the late Sovereign.

At Her late Majesty's Memorial meeting at Bobbili, the Maharajah delivered the following speech :—


"Though it is a melancholy object for which we have met here now, yet it is a loyal duty for us all to come here and to express our deepest sympathy and profound grief at the death of our good, beloved, and venerable Queen Victoria, the Empress. She was born on the 24th May, 1819, succeeded to the throne on the 20th June, 1837, reigned for 63 years, 7 months, and two days, and was called by the Almighty to the Heaven at 6-30 P.M. on the 22nd January of this year at Osborne. Her loss has been felt by all classes of people with deepest regret. Even in a small town like this, where many people know so little of her virtues, the lamented news was heard by everyone with profound grief. Her virtues as a Sovereign, as a wife, and as a mother are known to us to be so rare that few could beat her. In the Hindu Sastras it is said that if a person lives over 1,000 months, he or she is considered to be a holy one to whom the others should go and make their worship. In the explanation it is clearly said that months means Lunar months. According to this calculation Her Majesty lived for 1,010 months. When it is said that any person who lived over 1,000 months is to be revered, how much more respect should we show to her, who not only lived for 1,000 months, but is also the best Sovereign that India has ever possessed in this Kaliyuga. In the Tretayuga Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, distinguished himself in his duties and virtues as a king, as a son, and as a husband. In my opinion, in which many of you, I am sure, would join, our late Empress, must have been an Incarnation of Lakshmi, born in this world to become a model to others as a Sovereign, as a wife, and as a mother.

Gentlemen, I deplored Her Majesty's loss more than any one of you present here, because, in accordance with the first and chief of my five ambitions of which I told you the other day, I went Home and had the high privilege of being presented to our beloved mother at Windsor Castle.

Lately, the Public at Madras held a meeting at the Town Hall and resolved to perpetuate her memory in a fitting manner which would hereafter be decided by the Committee specially formed for it. Therefore it is my wish that we should all come forward and subscribe to the National Memorial to show our loyalty, devotion, admiration, and love to our most revered Sovereign. But I do not like to see our historical town being left without any memorial of such a benign Sovereign. Gentlemen, do not think that I would also ask you to subscribe for it. I shall provide it for you. It will be the Victoria Memorial Library, and it will be kept in one of the rooms of the Victoria Town Hall here."

As the Maharajah had reigned nearly twenty years during Her late Majesty's time, he contributed twenty thousand rupees to the different Memorials to the late Queen-Empress, and distributed the amount in the following manner:—

I.— All-India Memorial Fund, Rs.5,000.

II. — The Madras Provincial Fund, Rs.5,000.

III. — Lady Curzon's Midwife Scholarship Fund, Rs. 1,000.

IV.— The Queen Victoria Memorial Beds to be endowed in the Caste and Gosha Hospital, Madras, Rs.2,000.

V. — The Victoria Memorial Library at Bobbili, Rs.2,000.

VI. - The Victoria Diamond Jubilee Town Hall at Vizagapatam, Rs.5,000.*[5] In connection with the above contributions the Maharajah received the following letter from the Private Secretary to H. E. the Governor of Madras:

Government House,
April 10th, 1901.

"My dear Maharajah,

"His Excellency the Governor desires me to thank you for your letter of the 4th April and to say that he highly appreciates your generous intention to subscribe Rs.20,000 to the different Memorials to the late Queen-Empress Victoria.

Believe me,
Yours sincerely,

(Signed) L. M. WYNCH."

The Kumara Rajah was blessed with a son on the 20th February. Of course he is the first grandson of the Maharajah. His name is Raja Swetachalapati Ramakrishna Ranga-Rao. While the Maharajah, his family and his people were rejoicing over the birth of a son and heir to the Kumara Rajah, the Maharajah's most beloved grand-daughter died after a short illness at the end of March; and the whole family was thrown into deep mourning. Consequently the Maharajah could not be present at the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone of the Victoria Diamond Jubilee Town Hall at Vizagapatam on the 3rd April, nor could he attend the Budget Meeting of the Legislative Council held in that week.

In sending the Sannad conferring upon him the title Maharajah, the Collector and Agent of the District wrote the following letter: —

April 2nd, 1901.

"My dear Maharajah,

"As you request, I have to-day handed over to your Manager the Sannad conferring on you your title. I regret that I have not been able to deliver it to you personally.

"I have already offered my congratulations and I now repeat them.

"I hope that you may live long to bear the title as worthily as I have no doubt you will, and that you will value it as a token of the Government of India's appreciation of your high personal and public character as well as of the ancient fame of your family.

"I am leaving in a few days for England, so this must be farewell for the present, but I hope to renew our acquaintance on my return to this district next year.

With sincere good wishes,
Believe me,
Yours very sincerely,

(Signed) W. O. HORNE."

The Maharajah went to Ootacamund in August to attend the meeting of the Legislative Council, when the Court of Wards Amendment Bill was first introduced into the Council and he gave his support to the Bill.

In October Mr. W. B. Ayling unveiled the life-size oil-painting picture of Her late Majesty at the Victoria Town Hall, Bobbili. It was painted in London and was presented by the Maharajah in memory of Her late Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. The Hall was crowded, and a salute of 31 guns was fired when the curtain was withdrawn. He also presented a silver-plated Gajavahanam to Venugopalaswami of the local temple in memory of the occasion of his being honoured with the title Maharajah by the Government.

At the request of the people, the Maharajah opened the Tandra Papaya Hall, which was built by public subscriptions in memory of Tandra Papaya, the famous hero of the Bobbili Battle of 1758.



The Maharajah paid an official visit to H. E. Lord Ampthill at Madras. The Court of Wards Amendment Bill passed into law after two days' lengthy deliberations.

The Maharajah took his mother and wife to Tirupati and Sreerangam on pilgrimage. He purchased one-half of Kirlampudi and one-third of Arempudi Estates in the Godaveri District for Rs.8,95,160, and the Tiruvur Estate in Chengalput District for Rs.1,31,508. He was re-nominated for the fourth time to be an additional Member of the Provincial Legislative Council.

The King's Coronation in London.

On the very kind recommendation of Lord Ampthill, H.E. the Viceroy selected the Maharajah as the representative of the Presidency of Madras at the Coronation of His Majesty the King-Emperor in London.

The Maharajah left Bobbili on the 24th April, and embarked on S.S.Arabia at Bombay, landed at Marseilles, stayed a few days in Paris, and reached London on the 27th of the following month. At Victoria Station he was met by Captain Smith from the India Office, whence two carriages were sent, one for the Maharajah and the other for Sir Savali Ramaswami Modaliar, the representative of the City of Madras. Captain Smith drove with the Maharajah to St.Ermine's Hotel.

The Maharajah went to the Levee at St.James's Palace and was presented by the Secretary of State for India. He also went to the Court at Buckingham Palace and was allowed to use the Pimlico Entrance. He was present at the Trooping the Colours by His Majesty, the reviews of the Colonial and Indian troops by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and the Aldershot Coronation review.

By the command of the King, the Earl Marshal sent a formal invitation to all the guests of the Nation.

The Maharajah, the other Indian representatives and several Ruling Chiefs were guests of H. M. the King from the 22nd June until they left London.

On account of His Majesty's serious illness the Coronation which was fixed for the 26th June was indefinitely postponed. Consequently, instead of going to the Abbey on that day for the Coronation, many of the guests, including the Maharajah, went to St.Paul's Cathedral and attended a special Service of Humble Supplication to Almighty God for His Majesty's restoration to health.

Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales received all the representatives in the throne room at St.James's Palace, shaking hands with each one of them and speaking a few words.

In accordance with arrangements made by the India Office, the Maharajah, and all the Indian visitors saw the British fleet at Spithead. He visited the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester. He also paid a short visit to Brighton.

Being invited by the Corporation of London to the Guild Hall he was present at the presentation of addresses to Earl Roberts and Lord Kitchener.

The Maharajah and the other representatives went to the Abbey on the Coronation Day, the 9th August, and occupied seats in the front row on the north side of the Nave. Though the plans of the guests were very much altered, yet they were very much pleased to see the King crowned.

The Maharajah with the permission of the India Office went to Windsor and drove to Frogmore Mausoleum in a carriage sent from the Castle. He saw the tomb where the late Sovereign Empress Victoria with Her Consort was lying in Peace and laid a wreath at Her feet with his most humble and loyal sentiments. He afterwards went round the Castle and returned to London.

When His Majesty the King reviewed the Indian Troops in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, all the Indian Representatives were individually presented to the King, who handed to each a Silver Coronation Medal. Subsequently H.R.H. the Prince of Wales handed Medals to the troops, who afterwards marched past the Sovereign.

Amongst other entertainments to which the Maharajah was invited were those given by the Dukes of Marlborough, Westminster, Northumberland, Somerset, Marquis of Lansdowne, the late Marquis of Salisbury, Earl Roberts, Lord Wenlock (late Governor of Madras) and the Bishop of London.

Lord George Hamilton, the Secretary of State for India, gave a farewell interview to all the representatives separately and presented each of them with his photograph bearing his autograph.

The Maharajah left London on the 15th August, and after staying for two days in Paris and four days at Geneva embarked at Marseilles on the 21st. He landed at Bombay on the 5th September and reached Bobbili on the 8th evening.

In connection with the presentation to His Most Gracious Majesty the King Emperor of India, of an Address and a Silver Casket on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty's Coronation, the Maharajah received the following reply :—

No. 1326.


R. NATHAN, Esq., c.i.e.,
Offg. Deputy Secy.
to the Govt. of India.


Sri Rao the Honourable Sir
Rajah Maharajah of Bobbili, Madras.

Home Department,


Calcutta, the 23rd March, 1903.


"I am directed to say that the Secretary of State has intimated that His Majesty the King, Emperor of India, has been pleased to accept the Address and the Casket presented by you on the occasion of the Coronation of His Majesty, and has commanded that His Majesty's special thanks may be conveyed to you for this loyal offering.

I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant,
(Signed) R. NATHAN,
Offg. Deputy Secy.
to the Govt, of India."

In commemoration of the Coronation of the King Emperor the Maharajah built a ward attached to the local Hospital; it was opened by the Kumar Rajah on the actual Coronation day, 9th August. On that day there were also several festivities at Bobbili.

The Kumar Rajah was blessed with a daughter on the 20th August. She was named Lakshmi Narasamma.


The Delhi Coronation Durbar.

Being invited by the Madras Government, the Maharajah accompanied by his son, the Kumar Rajah, left Bobbili on the 17th December, spent a few days at Calcutta as the guests of the Maharajah Joteendranath Tagore, K.C.I.E., and reached Delhi on the 25th. His camp was pitched between the Jeypore and Venkatagiri camps, on the grounds of the Madras Provincial camp. He attended the Coronation Durbar and was seated in the second row in the block allotted to the Governor, officials, non-officials, ruling chiefs, guests and spectators from the Madras Presidency.

On the next day at the Reception given to the minor chiefs and other native gentlemen the Maharajah was introduced by Lord Ampthill to H. E. the Viceroy and H. R. H. the Duke of Connaught. The latter was kind enough to speak to the Maharajah as he had already known him before. The Maharajah could not attend the Investiture ceremony on account of indisposition. But he went one day to the Durbar Pavilion to see the Assault-at-arms and also attended the Review of Retainers of Native Chiefs.

He left Delhi on the 8th January, spent a day at Puri and returned to Bobbili on the 11th of that month.

In connection with the letter of congratulation on the occasion of the Coronation of His Majesty the King Emperor which was signed by all the Representatives who were present at the Coronation, the Maharajah received the following reply : —

No. 560.

Home Department.


Calcutta, the 25th February, 1903.


"I am directed to say that the Government of India have received intimation from the Secretary of State that a letter of congratulation has been received from the gentlemen who represented the Provinces and the Presidency Cities of India on the occasion of the Coronation of His Majesty the King, Emperor of India, and that instructions have been received under the authority of His Majesty to acknowledge the letter, which has been graciously received by His Majesty.

"2. I am accordingly to express the sincere thanks of the Government of India for the expression of loyalty and congratulation conveyed in the letter on behalf of yourself and the people of India whom you represented at the Coronation of His Majesty in England.

I have the honour to be,
Your most obedient servant,
(Signed) R. NATHAN,
Offg. Deputy Secy.
to the Govt, of India"

The Maharajah wrote and published his Diary in Europe, 1902, together with an account of the Delhi Durbar dedicating it to H. E. Lord Ampthill, G.C.I.E.

He presented Rs.2,000 to the Madras University for a Gold Medal to be awarded annually to the candidate who passes the highest in the First Class in Telugu Literature.

He purchased Dontamuru and Rayavaram, two villages in the Godaveri District, for Rs.5, 44,328, and a portion of Arempudi Estate for Rs.41,300 and some minor Inams for Rs.5,815.

He exchanged visits with the Maharajah of Mysore and the Rajah of Cochin at Madras.


The Madras Impartible Estates Bill passed into law on the 19th January. The Madras Land-holders' Association several times petitioned the Government for such an enactment. The gratitude of the owners of the one hundred and twenty Zemindaries is certainly due to Lord Ampthill who took so much interest in protecting these estates from partition.

His Excellency the President in his concluding debate said : —

"It may be said that the present legislation only affects a small fractional number of the Zemindari Estates in the Presidency. That is quite true, but it affects the Estates which are most important and the families which are most ancient and respected, the estates and families which ought to be an example to the rest. We look to those land-holders who will be secured in their rights and freed from the anxieties and disadvantages of which they have complained, to set an example to the rest of their class and lead the way along the path of progress and reform.

"The enlightened noblemen who form the Land-holders' Association are, I know, deeply interested in the question of the education of young Zemindars, and there is none among them who has given more thought to the matter than the Hon'ble the Maharajah who sits in the Council. Some little time ago the Maharajah of Bobbili urged the Government to appoint an Advisory Council to the Newington School of the Court of Wards, and he was supported by other Non-Official Members of this Council as well as by the Press. We have accepted his advice and appointed an Advisory Council, from which we hope that many valuable suggestions will emanate, not only with respect to Newington, but also with respect to general education of young Zemindars, a question which is fraught with many and peculiar difficulties."

The Hon. Mr. G. S. Forbes in presenting the report of the Select Committee on the above Bill and in moving the Bill be taken into consideration paid a tribute to the non-official members of the Select Committee in the following manner : — "I cannot pass on to the motion standing in my name without acknowledging the great assistance which the Select Committee received from the Hon'ble Mr. Sankaran Nayar, and the Hon'ble Mr. Govinda Raghava Aiyar, while the experience of the Hon'ble the Maharajah of Bobbili in the Administration of his Great Estates was of much value on several points which came under discussion."

In this year the Maharajah resigned his seat on the Legislative Council.

In connection with the Madras Impartible Estates Act the Maharajah contributed Rs.5,000 to the Zemindars' Lord Ampthill Memorial Fund.

The Maharanee contributed Rs. 1,000 to Lady Ampthill's Nursing Institute.

The Victoria Diamond Jubilee Town Hall at Vizagapatam which was erected by the Maharajah in memory of that auspicious occasion, was opened on the 8th March by R. H. Campbell, Esq., Collector and Agent, Vizagapatam, On behalf of His Excellency Lord Ampthill.

Mr. Campbell read a telegram from the Governor before formally opening the Hall. Afterwards the people of Vizagapatam presented an address of thanks to the Maharajah.

The Maharajah went to Madras in April and August in connection with the Venkatagiri partition suit. In spite of the family settlement in April 1889 and of several compromises that followed, Raja Muddu Krishna filed a suit in the District Court, Nellore, for partition of the Venkatagiri Zemindari. Before it came up for the first hearing, the Maharajah and Rajah Venugopal Bahadur tried their best twice, in April and August, to effect a compromise between the two brothers, Plaintiff and Defendant, but without success. On the 9th of August the suit was dismissed ex parte with costs. However, the eldest brother, the Rajah of Venkatagiri, moved by pure brotherly feeling, acted up to his words of compromise, even though the suit was dismissed.

At the express desire of Maharajah-Kumarika of Vizianagaram the Maharajah went to Vizianagaram as her guest, exchanged visits with the Rajah of Vizianagaram and attended the Installation Durbar. Though the heads of the two Houses were in the habit of visiting one another in Madras during the time of the late Maharajah of Vizianagaram, yet this was the first occasion on which the heads of the two Houses had exchanged visits at Vizianagaram.

The Maharajah became a patron of the newly-organised Vizagapatam District Agricultural Society and contributed Rs. 1,000 thereto.

The Maharajah went to Calcutta and was present at Government House on the arrival of the Viceroys, Lords Ampthill and Curzon. He was accorded a private Entree during his stay there; was present at the assumption of Viceroyalty by Lord Curzon in Council Chamber and attended H. E.'s first Levee. He also visited Sir Andrew Fraser, the Lieut.-Governor of Bengal, the Members of the Supreme Council, and the Secretaries of the various departments ; and returned to Bobbili on the 21st December.


There are only two important events to be mentioned in this year, and they are more or less of a personal character between H. E. Lord Ampthill and the Maharajah. When His Excellency went to receive a Municipal Address at the Victoria Diamond Jubilee Town Hall, Vizagapatam (a free gift to the Town by the Maharajah), the Maharajah and his son the Kumar Rajah received and conducted him upstairs. His Excellency in the course of his reply to the Municipal address, said : —

"One of the reasons why I am particularly glad to be here is that it has afforded me an opportunity of seeing this handsome Town Hall which you owe to the generosity of my friend the Maharajah of Bobbili, and one of my chief regrets at having been unable to pay you my intended visit last year was that I lost the opportunity of presiding at the opening ceremony which the Maharajah had most kindly invited me to perform. Mr. Campbell, your Collector, however, took my place and spoke on my behalf, and I now cordially endorse all that he said on that occasion about the generosity and the admirable qualities of the distinguished donor, and the advantage the people of Vizagapatam have gained in the possession of this fine building. Although I have hardly had time to look round, yet, as I came upstairs, I noticed two spacious and most useful apartments on either side, in which I see there is a billiard table, which, I am told, is for the use of the Club already established here. I have never seen a larger or better shaped room outside Madras in the Presidency, and I have no doubt whatever that it will be of the greatest profit and mutual advantage to the people of Vizagapatam, when they meet here for every sort and kind of occasion in the future. It is the greatest pleasure to me to see this building and I regret more than ever I did not have the honour of declaring it open myself. However, I could not have performed the ceremony better than your Collector did, and all that I have to do now is to endorse and re-echo what he said on that occasion. It is my good fortune to meet the Maharajah of Bobbili constantly in Madras, and it is seldom that I do not find him considering some scheme of public utility. Only the other day, I had the advantage of reading the proof sheets of his latest work, in which he is seeking to impart the benefits of his own experience with much sound practical advice to the rising generation of our aristocracy."

The Maharajah wrote 24 essays on various subjects likely to be useful to the rising generation of the Indian Aristocracy, and at the beginning of October published them in book-form under the title "Advice to the Indian Aristocracy." Before the publication of the book, the Maharajah sent the essays to H. E. Lord Ampthill asking for his permission to dedicate the work to him.

After going through the essays Lord Ampthill wrote to the Maharajah the following letter giving him the permission asked for: —

Government House, Madras,
4th February, 1905.

"My Dear Maharajah,

I have read your Lectures with great interest and in returning them (under separate cover) with many thanks I venture to congratulate you not only on your work but also on the motives which induced you to undertake it. It has often seemed to me that the rising generation of the aristocracy of Southern India, to whom we are giving an English education, need nothing so much when they assume the management of their estates as sound practical advice from men of their own class. Living as they do on their estates, in great isolation and with few opportunities of meeting their equals they lack those influences which are exercised on the youthful aristocracy of England by the constant society of persons of similar social standing. You have sought to remedy this want and I cannot but think that the sound, practical advice which you have given in such a simple and out-spoken manner will be useful to the rising generation of Zemindars and will impress them as coming from one who is not only of their own race and class but has also set a notable example as a landlord and a public man. It has been interesting to me to see how in many respects your point of view is different to that of an Englishman, and I consider it a special compliment to have my name associated with a book written by an Indian for Indians. And yet you have not adhered to a purely Indian point of view, for your 'Lectures,' which are clearly the fruits of your own experience and original thought, show how it is possible for the Indian nobleman to adapt himself to English ideas without losing his own national customs and characteristics.

I have very great pleasure in accepting the dedication of the work which you have been so good as to offer me.

Believe me to be,
Your sincere friend,
(Signed) AMPTHILL.


The Maharajah of Bobbili, K.C.I.E."

The Maharajah has distributed copies of his book among his friends both in India and at Home, and the book was equally appreciated by Indians and Europeans.

In this year donations, of one thousand rupees each, were given to the following institutions and funds: — (1) The Jubilee Club, Parvatipore. (2) The Madras Landholders' Association. (3) The Earthquake Relief Fund. (4) The Prince of Wales Reception Fund. (5) The Lord Curzon Memorial Fund.


Having been invited by the Government of Madras, the Maharajah was present at Madras during the visit of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales. On the afternoon of the 24th January Their Royal Highnesses landed at Madras from Rangoon. The Maharajah was one of those few who were introduced to the Prince and Princess. In the Procession from the Pier to the Gates of Government House the Maharajah took precedence of the Rajahs who have got the hereditary title of Rajah, and of other Zemindars.

As this procession is a historical one it may not be out of place here to give the whole list.

The Procession.

The procession to Government House was formed as follows : —

I.—The Royal Cortege.

Two Staff Officers.

A Detachment of 30th Lancers.

6th Battery, Royal Field Artillery.

The Officer Commanding the Madras Brigade and his Staff.

The Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant-General Commanding the 9th (Secunderabad) Division.

The Staff of the Secunderabad Division.

The Lieutenant-General Commanding the 9th (Secunderabad) Division.

Mounted Infantry, Madras Volunteer Guards.

Detachment of His Excellency's Body Guard, No. 1 State Carriage and Four Horses. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales.

Sir Walter Lawrence.

Escorted by

On the side of the Carriage on which His Royal Highness was seated -

The Inspector-General of Police.

The Commandant of His Excellency's Body Guard.

The Officer Commanding the Escort.

On the other side of the Carriage—

The Officer Commanding the Escort of Mounted Infantry, Madras Volunteer Guards.

The Adjutant of His Excellency's Body Guard.

Carriage Escort of His Excellency's Body Guard.

No. 2 Carriage and Four Horses. His Excellency the Governor.

Her Excellency Lady Ampthill. Two Aides-de-Camp to His Excellency.

Escorted by the Native Aide-de-Camp to His Excellency.

No. 3 Carriage.

The Countess of Shaftesbury.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sir A. Bigge.

Captain Viscount Crichton.

Lieutenant-Colonel Charles.

No. 4 Carriage.

Lady Eva Dugdale.

The Earl of Shaftesbury.

Major Grimston.

Major Campbell.

No. 5 Carriage.

Major-General Beatson.

Major-General Sir Pratab Singh.

Major Roberts.

Major Watson.

No. 6 Carriage.

Commander Godfrey Faussett.

Commander Sir C. Cust.

Captain Wigram.

No. 7 Carriage.

The Hon'ble D. Keppel.

Mr. F. Dugdale.

Captain Makins.

No. 8 Carriage.

Mr. L. M. Wynch.

Major W. M. Campbell.

Major Molesworth.

Captain Mathews.

No. 9 Carriage.

The Chief Secretary to Government.

The Political Officer on Special Duty.

A Detachment of His Excellency's Body Guard.

II. — The Procession.

No. 1 Carriage.

His Highness the Rajah of Cochin and his suite.

Escorted by a Non-commissioned Officer and three Sowars of the 30th Lancers.

No. 2 Carriage.

His Highness the Rajah of Puducottai and his suite.

Escorted by a Non-commissioned Officer and three Sowars of the 30th Lancers.

No. 3 Carriage.

The Nawab of Banganapalle and his suite.

Escorted by two Sowars of the Detachment of the 30th Lancers, supernumerary to His Excellency's Body Guard.

No. 4 Carriage.

The Rajah of Sandur and his suite.

Escorted by two Sowars of the Detachment of the 30th Lancers, supernumerary to His Excellency's Body Guard.

No. 5 Carriage.

The Chief Justice of Madras.

The Bishop of Madras.

The Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop.

No. 6 Carriage.

The Members of Council.

No. 7 Carriage.

The Prince of Arcot and his suite.

Nos. 8, 9 and 10 Carriages.

The Puisne Judges of the High Court.

No. 11 Carriage.

Maharajah Sri Rao Sir V. Ranga-Rao Bahadur, K.C.I.E., Rajah of Bobbili.

No. 12 Carriage.

Maharajah Sri Vikrama Deo Garu, Rajah of Jeypore.

No. 13 Carriage.

The Rajah of Venkatagiri, K.C.I. E.

No. 14 Carriage.

The Rajah of Vizianagaram.

No. 15 Carriage.

The Rajah of Kalahasti.

No. 16 Carriage.

The Rajah of Pithapuram.

No. 17 Carriage.

The Rajah of Karvetnagar.

No. 18 Carriage.

The Rajah of Ramnad.

Nos. 19 and 20 Carriages.

The Members of the Board of Revenue.

No. 21 Carriage.

The Surgeon-General with the Government of Madras.

Nos. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 Carriages.

The Additional Members of Council for making - Laws and Regulations.

No. 30 Carriage.

The President of the Corporation of Madras.

No. 31 Carriage.

The Sheriff of Madras.

No. 32 Carriage.

The Valiya Rajah of Chirakkal.

No. 33 Carriage.

The Eralpad Rajah of Calicut.

No. 34 Carriage.

The Valiya Rajah of Kadattanad.

No. 35 Carriage.

The Valiya Rajah of Walluvanad.

No. 36 Carriage.

Rajah Sri Marda Raja Devu Gam, Zamindar of Kallikota and Attagada.

No. 37 Carriage.

Rajah Vasudeva Rajah of Kollangode.

No. 38 Carriage.

Raja Rangayya Appa Rao Bahadur, Zamindar of Wuyyur.

No. 39 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Ettiyapuram.

No. 40 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Sivagunga.

No. 41 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Parlakimedi.

No. 42 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Mandasa.

No. 43 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Dharakota.

No. 44 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Punganuru.

No. 45 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Kangundi.

No. 46 Carriage.

The Jagirdar of Arni.

No. 47 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Udaiyarpalaiyam.

No. 48 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Devarakota.

No. 49 Carriage.

The Zamindar of South Vallur.

No. 50 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Bhadrachalam.

No. 51 Carriage.

The Zamindar of Kurupam.

No. 52 Carriage.

The Rajah of Anegundi.

A detachment of the 30th Lancers.

In the evening the Maharajah had the high honour of dining at the Royal table at the State Dinner, and afterwards attended the Prince's Levee. On the next day His Royal Highness was pleased to grant an audience to all the Zemindars that were invited by the Government and graciously received an address from the Madras Landholders' Association. A picturesque native entertainment was given to Their Royal Highnesses on the Island and terminated with fireworks.

On the following day H.R.H. The Prince was graciously pleased to give the Maharajah a private interview. H.E. the Governor wrote the following letter to the Maharajah in the above connection : —

Government House, Madras,
25th January, 1906.

"My dear Maharajah,

"I have great pleasure in informing you that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales desires to accord you the honour of a Private interview. Will you please be at Government House at a quarter past three to-morrow afternoon (Friday, the 26th January).

I am,
Yours very truly,
(Signed) AMPTHILL.

The Maharajah of Bobbili."

This honour was accorded to six gentlemen, but the Maharajah was the only one of them who belonged to the class of Rajahs and Zemindars. The Prince received them one after another in a most simple manner. The Maharajah was greatly pleased with and honoured by that interview. At the Reception at the Banqueting Hall the Princess was pleased to speak to the Maharajah for a while and most kindly made mention of his gift of an ivory box at Their Royal Highnesses' wedding (1893).

On the 27th Her Royal Highness held a Purdah Party to which a select body of native ladies was invited. There were three ladies from the District of Vizagapatam, viz., the Maharajah-Kumarika of Vizianagaram, the Maharanee of Bobbili, and the. Maharanee Gajapatirow. It is a curious fact that though these ladies belong to the same district, they had never met one another before. Therefore this Purdah Party is all the more memorable, as it happily brought them into contact. Later on Lord and Lady Ampthill gave a Garden Party, in honour of Their Royal Highnesses, to which a great many people were invited. Though the Royal Party left Madras on Sunday night there were no more official functions on that day.

The Governor was pleased to return his visit to the Maharajah on the following day. The Maharanee also paid her respects to and received a return visit from Lady Ampthill.

The Maharanee endowed a bed in the Victoria Gosha Hospital in commemoration of her paying her respects to the Princess and the Maharajah received the following letter in this connection : —

"Government House," Madras, 28th January, 1906.

"The Equerry in Waiting presents his compliments to His Highness the Maharajah of Bobbili, and is desired by the Princess of Wales to acknowledge the receipt of his letter of to-day's date, addressed to Sir Walter Lawrence, in which His Highness expresses the desire of the Maharanee to endow and name a bed in the Victoria Gosha Hospital after the Princess of Wales. Her Royal Highness not only expresses her warmest approval of the Maharanee's proposal, but also desires the Equerry to say how much touched she is by her kind and generous thought and what a pleasure it was to Her Royal Highness to have the opportunity of meeting the Maharanee yesterday."

On the 18th July the Maharajah completed his 25 years' administration of the Bobbili Samasthanam. At a Durbar held on the 5th August in connection with this occasion the Maharajah delivered the following speech : —


"First of all, I think I must explain to you the object of this Durbar, held in connection with my twenty-five years' administration of this ancient Samasthanam. In the West, it is a custom among Kings to celebrate a Jubilee after the completion of fifty years' reign. In this case, however, as fifty years are not completed, the Durbar — though some of you have thought otherwise — is not held in accordance with the above custom. Again, as I have not ruled for a longer period than every one of my predecessors, it is not held in celebration of any such record of administration. My grand-father and great-grandfather ruled for thirty-two and twenty-eight years respectively. But, as regards the latter, his six years' minority has been included in the calculation, and if that is done in my case also, I may be considered to have ruled for thirty-six years. It is not right, however, to include the period of minority.

"Then, with what object is this Meeting held? Firstly, I want to see for myself to what extent the Samasthanam has prospered, in what respect there is room for improvement, and what kind of new good works can be undertaken. Secondly, I wish to observe how long and in what manner my officials and servants have served under me, and to give them presents according to their service and usefulness.


"Now, you have all heard the report of the twenty-five years' administration read by my Manager. And though I believe you consider it a satisfactory one, there is nothing in it worthy of praise. It is the duty of every owner of an estate to administer that estate and also to increase the other sources of his wealth, to the best possible advantage. If any one fails to observe this duty, and thinks that the estate was obtained by his ancestors for his sake alone, he and his children will be ruined and the estate will be gradually sold to others. His subjects also, who have laboured for generations, would therefore be compelled to serve another master. There is no occasion, then, to praise a man when he performs his duty. On the other hand, if he fails to perform it, he deserves to be blamed.

"Again, why did my parents adopt me as their son when they had no children? Firstly, to perform their funeral rites and other subsequent ceremonies, so that they might obtain heaven, as is the Hindu belief ; secondly, to perpetuate their family; thirdly, to rule over their estate and people, to the best possible advantage; fourthly, to continue the good and charitable institutions, founded by them and their predecessors; and fifthly, to finish the good works started by them and their predecessors. Consequently it has been the more incumbent upon me to perform those duties than it 1 had been a natural son.


"The Ryots in this Samasthanam are very loyal people. Though there are a very few troublesome men in four or five villages, I can say, on the whole, that the Ryots are quiet and loyal.


"Amongst the officers, the Brahmins are able and clever, but they are not honest. The greater the care bestowed on them by the master, the better the work they turn out. On the other hand, if the master reposes entire confidence in them, they will certainly ruin him. Now I must tell you about the Velama-varu. Of these people, many are honest, but they lack ability. If they are asked to go and work away from their native place they are afraid. It is unnecessary for me to describe the qualifications of the officers now on duty, as they are well aware of their own characteristics. Among the dead who only looked to the interests of their master, were Vinnakota Sankaram Pantulu Garu and Chelikani Gopaulrow Garu, and I wish all present officers would try to gain as high a reputation as those two men.


"I must admit, save in two or three instances, that all the relatives who were here when I first came, have been very loyal. But many of them are dead and gone. As regards the present lot, I regret to say that they are not in general so loyal as were their fathers.


"None of this class was working in any of the offices at the time when I first came to Bobbili. There was then a small number acting as mere Supervisors (without clerical work). Only from the commencement of my administration these people have been gradually taken into the office and induced to read at the High School. Among this class, only one, the late Remilla Ramarow Garu, has acted in full accordance with my wishes. I hope the present set will gradually become prosperous.


"In comparison with the loyalty and ability of their forefathers, those qualities in the present generation are gradually deteriorating. If men are at all well off, they do not care for service. Neither do they care when they are dismissed, because they are sure to get billets in the Police, Salt, Local Fund., or Railway Departments. I wonder how one who cannot behave well under a single master, is able to serve satisfactorily in those departments which are governed by many masters. I cannot understand how departmental officers can engage dismissed servants without first enquiring of their former master as to the nature of the offence for which their services were dispensed with. This bad system also prevails among the neighbouring Zemindars.

(Then the Maharajah referred to some events known to all classes of people, to show how the loyalty of the inhabitants of the town in general was decreasing).


"In an estate there must be several people to conduct various branches of work. But among them only a very few are good people. However, the master must make the best possible use of them. When they turn out profitable work, they must be rewarded; and likewise, when they commit faults they must be punished. And so I have rewarded you and punished you. But when I gave you rewards, I gave them with pleasure; and when I punished you, I did it with regret. Many of you, I suppose, have come to this Durbar with the hope of getting presents. Considering the remarks I have made in this speech, those that came with such hopes are now, I expect, disappointed. However, I simply made those remarks for your own and for your successors' future benefit."

Before announcing presents, the Maharajah gave one thousand rupees each to the two Family Temples. He gave presents not only to the officers but also to every deserving person in his employ, according to service and attainments. The remissions to the Ryots were not forgotten, but they could not be announced in the Durbar as the accounts expected from the Taluqs had not then arrived.

The amounts thus given reached the sum of Rs. 15,789. Of the recipients seven officers received Rs. 1,000 each. With the same object, the Maharajah lately gave to certain persons rewards amounting to Rs.7,090.

In connection with the completion of his twenty-five years' administration, the Maharajah gave away in the form of presents (including gifts to the Temples) the sum of Rs.25,000. The balance of the above items, viz., Rs.121, was added to the Samasthanam Charitable Fund.

In the report of the twenty-five years' administration read by the Head Manager at the opening of the Durbar, the following are the chief items : —

The total amount credited to the Samasthanam accounts during these twenty-five years is Rs. 1,35, 52, 2 13-0-8. The total expenditure for the same period is Rs. 1,23,86, 189-12-7. The amount of balance is Rs.l 1,66,023-4-1.

5th August, 1906.


No. Heading. Amount.
  Rs. a. p.
1. Peishcush and other dues 31,63,682 9 0
2. Establishment charges 27,25,959 5 4
3. Repairs 4,61,697 6 6
4. Remissions to Ryots and to ordinary debtors, including the amount lent in the Pittapur Suit 7,82,089 13 7
5. Law Charges 2,25,797 13 1
6. Travelling expenses of the Samasthanam officers 93,251 13 8
7. The cost of Elephants, Horses, Cattle and Live stock 1,36,738 3 2
8. Buildings 4,77,173 2 6
9. The cost of Estates, Villages, and other smaller lands 23,48,416 13 9
10. The cost of precious stones, Gold and Silver 1,35,473 5 9
11. Cost of Clothes, Furniture, etc. 1,96,360 11 9
12. Presents 1,20,599 8 4
13. Schools, Charitable Institutions, Subscriptions and Donations 8,67,928 11 1
14. Marriages and other Ceremonies 54,327 10 8
15. Entertainments and Festivities 2,02,826 11 10
16. The Maharajah's personal travelling and tour expenses 3,93,866 0 7
  Total 1,23,86,189 12 7

In memory of this event the people of the Samasthanam held a meeting and resolved to present by subscriptions a life-size oil-painting portrait of the Maharajah to the local Victoria Town Hall.

Mr. R. H. Campbell, Collector and Agent to the Governor, Vizagapatam, wrote the following letter in reply to the Maharajah's letter and its enclosures : —

Waltair. 24th August, 1906.

"My dear Maharajah,

"Many thanks for your letter of the 22nd instant, and its enclosures which I have read with great interest. I congratulate you most sincerely on your record of 25 years' administration, and I only wish there were more Zemindars like yourself who managed their Estates personally with the tact and ability which has always been so conspicuous in your administration. I fully endorse your statement that the Bobbili ryots are quiet and loyal. Your figures of expenditure on Remissions, Repairs and Establishment are very striking, and so also are those under items 9 and 13. I hope to meet you shortly as I intend visiting Bobbili next month, arriving there on September 11th from Parvatipore and staying 3 days.

With kind regards,

Sincerely yours,

(Signed) R. H. CAMPBELL."

This year the Maharajah completed the Gopuram (i.e., the chief or tower-gate) of the Temple of Sree Venugopalaswami at Bobbili, and with this all the requirements essential to the temple have been supplied.


The third Annual Cattle Show of the Vizagapatam District was held this year at Bobbili in the grounds of the Maharajah Park, and was pronounced a complete success. The Maharajah erected a new building for the use of the Samasthanam High School, Bobbili, which institution he founded in 1882; and on the 16th February Mr. R. H. Campbell, the Collector and Agent to the Governor, Vizagapatam District, performed the Opening Ceremony. In the course of Mr. Campbell's speech, he referred to the numerous and useful works of the Maharajah in this District.

Lately the Maharajah bought a house at Madras next to Gopal Bagh, his residence, with the intention of presenting it to the Madras Landholders' Association for the use of its office and to accommodate the members of the Association when they visit Madras. It is proposed to call it "the Zemindars' Bobbili Club."

  1. * He will be styled Rajah in his account till the year 1900.
  2. * Strictly second in the line.
  3. † Strictly 1758.
  4. * The following is the Inscription in English on the Pillar : — This Pillar is erected to mark the Fort of Bobbili, which was attacked in January 175S by Rajah Viziaramaraz of Vizianagaram, assisted by Monsieur Bussy. The then Rajah, Ranga-Rao, after fighting eight hours, finding it impossible to save his fort, and preferring death to dishonour, first put to death the women and children in the fort, and then fighting fell like another Leonidas with all his gallant band. Three nights afterwards, a faithful Sirdar from Rajam, Tandra Papayya, effected an entrance, in spite of vigilant guard, into Viziaramaraz's tent, and stabbed him to the heart. Erected by Raja V. S. Ranga-Rao in 1891.
  5. * This is an additional amount granted to this Town Hall, which he built at Vizagapatam.


I. Rajah Pedda Rayadu
(The Founder of the Samasthanam).
II. Rajah Lingappa Ranga-Rao.
III. Rajah Vengal Ranga-Rao.
IV. Rajah Rangapathi Ranga-Rao.
Rajah Pedda Janardana Ranga-Rao (Acquired Luchwarup-Cotah).
V. Rajah Rayadappa Ranga-Rao.
Rajah Venkatapathi Ranga-Rao.
VI. Rajah Gopala Kristna Ranga-Rao.
Rajah Chinna Janardana Ranga-Rao.
VII. Rajah Venkata Ranga-Rao.
VIII. Rajah Rayadappa Ranga-Rao.
IX. Rajah Swetachalapati Ranga-Rao. Rajah Janardana Ranga-Rao.
Rajah Sitaramchandra Ranga-Roa. Rajah Venkata Ranga-Rao.
X. Rajah Sitarama Kristna Rayadappa Ranga-Rao.
XI. Maha-Rajah Sir Venkata Swetachalapati Ranga-Rao, K.C.I.E.
(The present Maha-Rajah).