Mysore – A City of Grandeur

Mysore or Mysuru was the capital of the erstwhile Princely state of Mysore. Now, Mysore is the third-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. It also hosts the nada habba – the Mysore Dasara – which attracts millions of tourists every year to the state.
Krishna Raja Wodiyar circle, Mysore. Image source

Origin of the name Mysore

The name Mysuru is the anglicised version of Mahishuru, meaning the abode of Mahisha in Kannada. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, who according to Hindu mythology ruled the area. Mysore or Mahishur, as it was called in olden times, traces its history back to a mythical past, when Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills near present-day Mysore, killed Mahishasura, the buffalo-headed asura (demon).

Mysore Dasara is the celebration of this victory of good over evil.

Mysore’s Location

Mysore is located at 12.30°N 76.65°E, 146 kilometres from the state capital, Bangalore. It has an average altitude of 770 metres (2,526 ft).

Mysore Climate

Mysore has a semi-arid climate. The main seasons are summer, from March to June, the monsoon season, from July to November, and winter, from December to February. The average annual rainfall is 804.2 mm (31.7 in).

Lakes and rivers of Mysore

It has several lakes, such as the Kukkarahalli, the Karanji and the Lingambudhi lakes. The city is located between two rivers: the Kaveri River flows through the north of the city and the Kabini river, a tributary of the Kaveri, lies to the south.

Population and education of Mysuru

The Mysore district has a population of 29,94,744 of which 15,11,206 and 14,83,538 are males and females respectively, according to the 2011 Census reports. The literacy rate for the district is 63%.

Modern education began in Mysuru when a free English school was established in 1833, as opposed to the earlier agraharas and madrassas, which were community and caste-based institutions. While the modern system of education was making inroads, colleges such as the Mysore Sanskrit College, established in 1876, continued to provide Vedic education.

In 1916, the University of Mysore was established – the sixth university to be established in India and the first in Karnataka. The Mysore Medical College, founded in 1924, was the first medical college to be started in Karnataka and the seventh in India.

Art and culture Mysuru

Mysuru is known as the cultural capital of Karnataka. The Mysore painting style is an offshoot of the Vijayanagar School of painting, and King Raja Wodeyar (1578–1617 CE) is acknowledged as a patron. The distinctive feature of these paintings is the gesso work, to which gold foil is applied.

In addition, Mysuru is known for its rosewood inlay work. The city is famed for the Mysore silk saree, made with pure silk and gold zari (thread). Mysore Peta, the traditional indigenous turban worn by the erstwhile rulers of Mysore, is even today worn by Kannadika men during certain ceremonies.

Architecture of Mysore

A good example of the connection between the city and art/architecture can be found in the artistically rendered palaces in the city. The well-known palaces in Mysore are Amba Vilas, popularly known as Mysore Palace; Jaganmohana Palace, which serves as an art gallery; Rajendra Vilas, known as the summer palace; Lalitha Mahal, which has been converted into a hotel; and Jayalakshmi Vilas.

The main palace of Mysore was burned down in 1897, and the present-day structure was built on the same site. Amba Vilas palace exhibits an Indo-Saracenic style of architecture on the outside, but a distinctly Hoysala style in the interior.

Industry In Mysore

The major industry of the district and the city is tourism. The city is a centre for yoga-related health tourism that attracts domestic and foreign visitors. Mysuru has been associated with traditional industries such as weaving, sandalwood carving, bronze work and the production of lime and salt.

The modern industrial growth of the city and the district was envisaged as far back as the Mysore Economic Conference in 1911. This led to the establishment of industries such as the Mysore Sandalwood Oil Factory in 1917 and the Sri Krishnarajendra Mills in 1920. Mysore was ranked the fifth-best city in which to conduct business in India by Business Today.

The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has established four industrial areas in and around Mysore, in the Belagola, Belawadi, Hebbal (Electronic City) and Hootagalli. The major industrial companies in Mysore include Infosys, Bharat Earth Movers, J. K. Tyres, Wipro, Falcon Tyres, Larsen & Toubro, and Theorem India.

A delectable local dessert that traces its history to the kitchen of the Mysore palace is the Mysore pak.

Connectivity To Mysore

Mysore is well-connected by road to Bangalore, Mangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Ooty, Kozhikode, Kannur and Panaji (Goa). Buses ply frequently connecting different parts of the city and the popular means of transport, auto-rickshaws are available; and the tongas (horse-drawn carriages) are equally popular.

Quick Facts About Mysore 
Best Time to VisitSeptember to April
ClimateSummers: 22 – 38ºC, Winter: 10 – 32ºC
Nearest AirportBangalore
Nearest Railway StationMysore
By RoadBangalore-Mysore highway

Mysuru Tourist information

  • The Dasara executive committee has setup a helpline number 125711 that gives information on accommodation, tour operators, train and bus services and emergency numbers.
  • Regional Tourist Information, Old Exhibition Building, Irwin Road, Mysore.
    Phone: +91-821-2422096 / +91-80-22352828
  • Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation Yatrinivas Buildings, J.L.B. Road, Mysore. Phone : +91-821-26352
  • Conducted Tours: KSTDC organises sightseeing tours to many of the major sights in and around Mysuru. For more details call the KSTDC Office.

Education In Mysore

Local sightseeing options Mysore

Places Nearby Mysore

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