Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, the ruler of Mysore, was well versed in Kannada and Sanskrit. A scholar himself, he is the author of the renowned work Sritattvanidhi. He established the first Sanskrit College of Karnataka way back in 1868. This building has a lot to contribute to the heritage of Mysore.
However, he passed away the same year. The renowned Diwan of Mysore, Sri Rangacharlu, looked after the functioning of the institute. The college began with just two teachers who taught Tarka and vyakarana shastras. With encouragement and support from Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the teaching of Rigveda and Yajurveda were also added.
A Centre for Sanskrit Education
Sanskrit, the lingua franca of ancient India, is one of the oldest Indo-Aryan languages. A large number of religious, philosophical, fictional and scientific texts of ancient India are written in Sanskrit. Over a course of a thousand years, Sanskrit as a language has come to embody a significant portion of Indian culture.
The Maharaja’s Sanskrit College played a crucial role in keeping this language alive through the medium of the college education. Today it offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs and has more than 500 enrolled students.
It provides education in Vedas, Agamas and Shastras to everyone without any discrimination of caste or creed. The students of the institute have been active participants of various state and national level competitions and are proud laurel holders.
In the initial years of establishment, the exams of the students were conducted with a small exam committee in the presence of the Maharaja himself. The committee consisted of scholars and the exams were held during Navaratri. The students who were successful in the examination were felicitated by the king.
After 1917, a separate board for conducting Sanskrit examinations was established. Eventually, in 1950, the Karnataka State Government took over the institute. The college celebrated its centenary year in 1979 in the presence of B.D Jatti, the then Vice President of India.