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Mysore Hatti Krishna Iyengar (M. H. Krishna: 19 August, 1892 - 23 December, 1947) was born in Mysore to parents Ranga Iyengar and Lakshmamma. His father was a Sanskrit scholar and teacher to Nalwadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar during the Maharaja’s younger years. Ranga Iyengar was Chief of Treasury at the Palace. This was a position afforded to a person of high integrity. This person was required to reside in quarters close to the Palace – in accommodations referred to as “Hatti”; hence the inclusion of “Hatti” in the names of all family members! Ranga Iyengars’ ancestors were closely associated with the Mysore Royal family since generations. One such ancestor was Ramaswamy who was Dharma-adhikari in the court of Mummadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar. They were all natives of a region by name Kalale. Ranga Iyengar and Lakshmamma had five boys and M. H. Krishna was the second of these five children.
M. H. Krishna had his initial schooling at ‘Jayacharya Patashala’ followed by a brief tenure at the ‘Wesleyan Mission High School’ where he was a year junior to the doyen of Kannada literature – Masti Venkatesh Iyengar with whom he retained a close friendship for several years to come. Krishna then gained admission to Maharaja College, Mysore in 1911 to pursue his B. A. degree. Here, he was a classmate of noted Kannada writer Talakina Venkanayya and both studied under Denham. His early interest in Cultural Studies, Numismatics, Archaeology, Indian History, Economics and Political Science was evident by this time. By 1917, Krishna secured a M. A. qualification from Madras University.
M. H. Krishna worked as a teacher under the Mysore Government Education Department for some time soon after his B. A. He was appointed as Lecturer in the University of Mysore History Department by 1916.
19 August, 1892
23 December, 1947
University of Mysore
History, Archaeology, Indology, Numismatics, Epigraphy
Maharaja College, Mysore
Dept. of Archaeology, Mysore State.
'Epigraphia Carnatica' (ed.)
Discovery of Halmidi Inscription
Discovery of city of Isila
Several Travel Guides
Discovery of Shivaji's father's tomb
Sir William Matthew
Flinders Petrie, FRS, FBA
Renowned English Egyptologist
Completing his Master’s Degree from Madras University, he gained Membership in The Royal Asiatic Society, London in 1919. The then Vice Chancellor of University of Mysore Brajendranath Seal and Prof. Radha Kumud Mukherjee were impressed with M. H. Krishna’s academic diligence and hard work. They decided to depute M. H. Krishna to Department of Archaeology office at Bangalore, Numismatics division for
Maharaja College Group Photo showing S. Srikanta Sastri, M. H. Krishna, J. C. Rollo and Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar
two years between 1920 – 22, during which time he was tasked with cataloguing the vast coin collection in their archives. He could sadly never publish this vast and painstakingly compiled catalogue and would revisit the same for further improvements only in 1928 – 31. During his tenure here, he was well tutored in the administrative nuances of the department of archaeology by then director – R. Narasimhacharya and accomplished epigraphist of his time Chincholi Venkannacharya (Popularly remembered as “Akshara Brahma”). R. Narasimhacharya retired in 1922 and was succeeded by R. Shamasastry. M. H. Krishna was sponsored for further studies in 1924 and he went to University College, London for higher studies in archaeology. His guide for research studies during this period was the eminent British archaeologist Ernest Arthur Gardiner. Here he studied extensively ‘Epigraphy’, ‘Study of Sculptures’, ‘Architecture’, ‘Numismatics’ and ‘Excavation Science’. Apart from Gardiner, he was under the illustrious tutelage of L. D. Barnett, Sir Flinders Petrie, Eliot Smith, Seligman, W. G. Perry and Edvard Westermarck. M. H. Krishna accompanied Flinders Petrie on his Egyptian excavations. He made use of his time in Europe to visit and study collections of South Indian interest at ‘British Museum’, ‘Ashmolean Museum, Oxford’, ‘Fitz William Collection, Cambridge’, ‘National Museum, Paris’ and ‘Kaiser Frederic Museum, Berlin’. He submitted his theses ‘Deccan Numismatics’ for publication to the Royal Institute at this time.
M. H. Krishna