Janardana Reddy and his royal aspirations

Sep 13, 2011, 06:54 IST | B V Shiva Shankar

Mining baron reportedly believes that he is the reincarnation of Vijaynagar King Krishnadevaraya and has been using a 12 kg gold throne to conduct royal durbar at his residence once a year, complete with courtesans

Former minister G Janardana Reddy, who has been jailed on charges of illegal mining, reportedly believes that he is the reincarnation of Sri Krishnadevaraya the most illustrious king of the Vijayanagar Empire.

Interestingly, it is come to the fore that he used to secretly conduct royal durbar (King's court) at his residence.

Janardana Reddy reportedly used to sit on this golden throne and secretly conduct a royal Durbar every year on the night day of navratri emulating the Vijaynagr king, who also used to addresse his courtesans on auspicious days

Amongst the valuables seized by the CBI during a raid on Janardana's residence at Bellary last week, was a golden throne.
A CBI source said that Janardana is believed to have been using the 12 kg throne to conduct royal durbars once a year at his palatial home.

"The Vijaynagar kings used to hold royal durbar on the ninth day of navaratri during Dusshera celebrations.
Trying to emulate them, Janardana learnt to conduct similar programs on mahanavami (ninth day of navaratri) at his residence. So far, he has done it twice," said the source.

Royal court
The throne has been designed on the lines of a particular chair used by Nalvadi Krishnaraja Odeyar of the Mysore Empire.

Janardana used to seat himself on the throne for special occasions, such as festivals and pujas, apart from using it forholding  durbar.

In addition, courtesans selected for the durbar were elite acquaintances and relatives, who had benefited from him. It is not clear whether Sriramulu, his close aide and former minister, was one among the courtesans.

The oddity of Janardana's court was that it functioned on the lines of royal palace traditions, complete with music and cultural programmes.
Even the courtesans paid respects by offering him Kappa (royal tribute to the king) and he offered them gifts in return.

Krishnadevaraya was the most famous king of the Vijaynagar Empire, which spread across Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and he was revered by both Kannada and Telugu speaking subjects, while he was a from the Tulu speaking community.

Like Krishnadevaraya, Janardana considers himself to be the leader of both the regions, as he is from a Telugu speaking Reddy community and his business interests are in AP, while his political interests lie in Karnataka.

Wannabe king?
He was so fascinated by Krishnadevaraya that he had organised a celebration at Hampi two years ago at the cost of Rs 60 crore to mark the 500th year of the King's crowning.

CBI sources said Janardana's house named 'Kutira', was nothing less than a palace with some fifteen rooms all air-conditioned. It has all the luxuries of a palace, including a swimming pool, royal garden and a mini

"This is just the tip of the iceberg. We are still unearthing his wealth and have seized several documents showing Janardana's money stashed at various locations in various forms," said the source.

CBI raids were conducted yesterday at the residences of Janardana's close aides including the house of Gurulingana Gowda, president of Bellary Urban Development Authority (BUDA), Zhilla Panchayat member Rajashekara Gowda, an agro merchant and a rural co-operative bank.

Some incriminating documents have also reportedly been seized during the raids.

Treasure trove
The value of the wealth seized during the CBI raid is assessed at Rs 294 crore. 

Among this, is around 50 kg of gold that includes 50 gold bangles, hundreds of gold and platinum chains, 15
diamond necklaces, several diamond-studded gold necklaces, gold plates and spoons, gold bracelets and gold and silver puja articles.

A luxury bus worth Rs 5 crore, a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a Land Cruiser, a Range Rover, a BMW, and 50 Scorpios are among the vehicles seized.

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