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About Mysore

Mysore is located at a distance of about 140 kilometers from Bangalore that served as the yesteryears capitals of the Wodeyars who ruled Mysore for a very long span of time. The Wodeyars ruled Mysore from the 14th century except for some 40 years when the Muslim rulers Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan took over the empire. Mysore has always mesmerized its tourists with the rich heritage, quaint charm, beautiful laid gardens, magnificent palaces, broad and shady avenues, imposing buildings and holy temples that it possesses. The charm of the city leaves no person untouched. The history of Mysore can be traced from mythological books referring to Mahishasura, the demon who was buffalo –headed. It is believed that Mahishasura used to live in Mysore and he was killed by Goddess Chamundi of the Chamundi Hills. It is in this regard that the festival of Dussehra is celebrated which represents the conquest of excellence over evil. At present, Mysore is a major city in Karnataka and it has also been successful in emerging as a market for incense and sandalwood, sculptures that are stone carved and silk sarees.

About Mysore

Mysore Municipal Corporation

Mysore stands second largest among the cities of Karnataka. The Mysore City Corporation takes care of the administration of the city. The Mysore City Corporation came into being as a fully fledged municipality in 1888 and later on in the year 1977, it was converted into Corporation. Health, sanitation, engineering works, taxation, administration and water supply are the major areas that fall under the jurisdiction of the Mysore Municipal Corporation. The eGovernemnt Foundation formed in Mysore stays actively involved in the work that is carried out by the Mysore Municipal Corporation but the foundation also aims at putting down proposals of Rental Housing Survey Formats and the training of the surveyors in consultation with the Mysore Municipal Corporation.

A Brief History of Mysore

In the 16th century a small village called Puragere occupied the land where the Mysore Palace stands at present. Chamaraja Wodeyar III constructed the Mahishasura Fort in 1524 which was passed on to Chamaraja Wodeyar IV, his son. Since this time, the city was known as Mahishuru after Mahishasura. Next the Wodeyars ruled the kingdom of Mysore which kept on expanding under the reign of several Wodeyar rulers in the 17th century. During these days Srirangapatna served as the capital of Mysore.
In the 18th century, there was large scale expansion found in the dominion and the military power of Mysore and this was under the rule of the Muslim rulers Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, his son. Many parts of the city were demolished under the reign of Tipu Sultan for the removal of the Wodeyar legacies. It was during the same time that the kingdom of Mysore came into close conflicts with the British, the Golconda Nizam and even the Marathas which led to four consecutive Anglo-Mysore wars. In the fourth Anglo-Mysore war that took place in 1799, Tipu Sultan died and with his death the Britishers took over Mysore, moving the capital to Srirangapatna. The kingdom of Mysore was distributed equally by the British among their allies. Mysore got a great transformation in the form of princely state under the rule of the British. The Diwans and the Pumiahs assisted the British in their administration of Mysore. Mysore remained in the hands of the British until India achieved its independence from the British rule in 1947.

Geography of Mysore

The average altitude of Mysore is 770 meters and it is situated at 12.30oN 76.65oE. The entire city is found situated at the foot of the Chamundi hills that is sited in the southern part of the state of Karnataka. The city is spread over an area of 128.42 square kilometers and is considered to be second largest in Karnataka. The city is in acquisition of several lakes like Kukkarahalli, Lingambudhi and Karanji. According to a calculation made in 2001, the total area of land that was under use in the city of Mysore was 16.1% roads, 39.9% residential, 13.48% industrial, 2.02% water, 13.74% open spaces and parks, 3.02% commercial, 8.96% public property and 2.27% agriculture. The city is found to lie between the two rivers Kaveri in the north and Kabini, River Kaveri’s tributary in the south.

Climate of Mysore

The weather of Mysore is pleasant all the year round because Mysore does not possess a climate type that is extreme. Winters in Mysore are cool and the summers are quite warm. The city can be visited any time during the year but it is advisable that the rainy season in the city is avoided.

Economy of Mysore

Mysore has really grown in terms of business and economy. The most important industry in the city of Mysore is Tourism industry. Apart from the tourism industry, the city also serves as a home to various industries like sandalwood carving, weaving, salt and lime production and bronze work. There are large and old industries like Sri Krishnaraja Mills (1917) and the Mysore Sandalwood Oil Factory (1920) located in the city. According to a survey that was carried out in 2001, the ranking of Mysore was fifth among the best cities of India in relation to business. The industrial development has also taken place in Karnataka at a rapid pace because of the establishment of four major industrial areas. The industrial areas that have been established in Karnataka are Hebbal, Belagola, Belawadi and Hootagalli. The industrial companies found in Mysore are Wipro, Infosys, Larsen & Turbo, Theorem India and Falcon Tyres. The information technology industry of the city is also found to have grown at a very rapid pace which has made the city a major software exporter ranking second after Bangalore.

Mysore Tourism

There can be absolutely no doubt in the fact that Mysore serves as a great tourist destination. Thousands of people visit the city during the Dussehra festival that lasts for ten days. Mysore Palace is one important monument that attracts lots of visitors and it also serves as the center for the celebration of Dussehra. Apart from the palaces, there are a large number of temples and gardens found in Mysore. Chamundeshwari temple is a famous temple in the city and people also visit St. Philomena’s Church and Wesley’s Cathedral located in Mysore.

In 1892, the Mysore Zoo was established which became a very popular tourist destination. Mysore also possesses a large number of museums and institutes that are worth visiting and they make immense contribution to the tourism development corporation of Karnataka. Other tourist attractions in Mysore include Krishnarajasagara Dam, Brindavan gardens, Talakad, Somanathapura, Nagarhole National Park, Chamundi Temple, Bandipur national park, Bylakuppe and Shivanasamudra. Mysore is very well located and connected with many big cities and towns. You can be sure about the distance between Mysore and other places and plan to tour around the city.

Mysore Festivals

The festival of Dussehra is very famous in Mysore and it is celebrated for a time span of ten days in the month of October or November. Dussehra is the most popular festival celebrated in the city and it is during this festival that most of the tourists are found thronging the city streets and hotels. The celebration of Dussehra is accompanied with dance, music, fairs, exhibitions, literary competitions and sports that are arranged in different parts of Mysore. The torch light carnival and the Dussehra Parade mark the end of the festival of Dussehra.

Food in Mysore

Mysore is located in the southern part of India and very similar to other southern states, the foods in Mysore are rice based. Dosa and idli that are famous south Indian foods are found even in Mysore but the delicacies of Mysore are something more than just dosa and idli. There are different types of idlis and dosas found in Mysore and they are served with mouthwatering chutneys. The dosas here are potato stuffed and the chutneys are generally those of onion and coconut. The other types in dosas are semoline or rava and set dosa. The other type found in idli is thattle idli that is flat. Uppitu that is roasted semolina taken with coriander leaves, cumin seeds, chillies and mustard, is a popular breakfast in the city. Other dishes taken as breakfast include uthapam, puri playa, kesari bath and vada sambhar.
The traditional lunch in Mysore includes cereal salads such as palyas and kosambri. These are salads made out of vegetables that are chopped and parboiled and tossed along with green chillies, mustard seasoning, curry laves and grated coconut. Gojju is also a common food taken at lunch. It is a vegetable that is cooked in the juice of tamarind along with chilli powder. Tovve is cooked dal that does not consists of any sort of seasoning is also included in lunch. Saaru or huli that is vegetables and lentils cooked with spices, tamarind, chilli powder and ground coconut is the main staple included in lunch. Apart from these foods, papad is also served during lunch.
Dishes that are made out of rice are very popular in Mysore. They include chittranna (rice with green chilli, lime juice, coriander leaves, turmeric powder, and fried groundnuts), pulliyoigrae (rice with coriander leaves and groundnuts) and vangibath (spiced rice taken with a vegetable called egg plant). Bisibelebath is considered to be a distinctive dish in Mysore. This dish is a lavish combination of tamarind, rice, dried coconut, spices, lentils and chilli powder. The desserts of Mysore include chiroti, obbattu, Mysore pak and shavige payasa.

Palaces in Mysore

Mysore is popularly known as the city of palaces and the reason behind this is the fact that Mysore consists of a large number of palaces. The palaces that are found in Mysore were not only meant for pleasure but they possess artistic beauty and were built for the luxury of the families of the kings of Mysore. It is the beauty of the palaces that attract a large number of tourists to Mysore from all over the world. At present, some palaces in Mysore have become hotels, university offices and government offices. The most renowned among the palaces of Mysore is the Mysore Palace. Apart from Mysore palace, other palaces in Mysore include Lalitha Mahal palace, Jagnmohan Palace, JayaLakshmi Vilasa, Lokaranjan Palace, Vasantha Mahal Palace, Rajendra Vilasa, Karanji Vilasa and Cheluvamba Vilasa.

Transport in Mysore

There are a large number of temples and palaces found in Mysore and people visit these temples and palaces from time to time. A lot of traveling within Mysore might be required if one wishes to visit all the temples and the palaces located in Mysore. In the name of local transport in Mysore, there are a lot of options that can be used by the tourists and they have been detailed below:
Auto Rickshaws: Auto rickshaws in Mysore are considered to be accessible and at the same time reliable. They charge according to the meter and after 10 pm at night 50% more of the meter reading is charged.
Private taxis: Private taxis are available for the people and they are hired for a full day. Mysore also consists of several companies operating car rental services and there are even hotels providing this service. Private taxis are affordable and at the same time reliable.
Buses: The State Government runs the buses throughout Mysore. The cost of traveling through buses is very nominal but the buses ply on fixed routes set by the State Government.
Tongas: a popular means of transportation in Mysore are the Tongas that are driven by horses. They are a good means of enjoying the travel around the city because they move at a steady pace.

How to Reach Mysore

Mysore is a very beautiful city in Karnataka and traveling to this city is very simple. The city is very well connected by rail and road to some of the important cities in India. The nearest airport to Mysore is Bangalore.

By Road

The distance of Mysore from Bangalore is 139 kilometers. It is the state highway that connects Mysore and Bangalore. The highway is very well maintained because it serves an important purpose. There are bus services available for the people to travel by road.

By Train

There are several trains plying to Bangalore that are well connected with Mysore. Shatabdi Express is a superfast train in the luxury category connecting Madras and Mysore.

By Air

Bangalore airport is the closest to Mysore and this airport has flights that connect different cities and states in India.

Quick Facts about Mysore

  • State: Karnataka
  • District: Mysore
  • Altitude: 770 meters
  • Coordinates: 12.2879 and 76.6461
  • Time Zone: IST ( UTC + 05:30)
  • Area: 37.30 square kilometers
  • Summer Temperature: 35 degree C maximum and 21 degree C minimum
  • Winter Temperature: 27 degree C maximum and 16 degree C minimum
  • Monsoon: June to August
  • Summer: April to June
  • Winter: December to February
  • Best Season: October to March
  • Languages: Kannada, Hindi and English
  • Pin codes: 570001 to 572157
  • STD Codes: 0821
  • Population: Approximately 22,81,600
  • Summer Clothing: Cottons
  • Winter Clothing: Woolens
  • Doctor & Hospital: Bharat Hospital and Vikaram Hospital Mysore
  • Sightseeing: Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Palace, Zoological Garden, Jagnmohan Palace and Chamundi Hills.
In the name of accommodation, there are some very good hotels and lodges in Mysore that are quite reasonable and they make for a good stay at Mysore. In order to experience a mesmerizing holiday, people should always visit the cultural city of Mysore.

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