Mysore city was the capital of the old royal Mysore province. The word Mysore expands to “Mahishasurana Ooru” which means the town of Mahishasura.
To the people of India the word Mysore is synonymous with Sandalwood, silk and fine inlay-work using ivory. It is the home of incense sticks (agarbathi) dipped in sandalwood oil perfume base and has two well known incense factories – the Aravinda Parimala and the Vasu and Cycle brand (together these two account for 70% of the incense stick export from India). Mysore is also the home of many well regarded musicians and artists.
Mysore silk is well known for its quality and everlasting luster. The silk factory (Karnataka supplies 70% of India’s silk) and the Sandalwood factory (which extracts the sandalwood oil) are located towards the south end of the town. Both have over a century of tradition and still produce what Mysore is well known for.
Mysore had several lakes, all of which have been dried and are being used as open fields today. The Jeevanaraya katte near the Railway station, Doddakere near the palace, Karaji kere near the zoo gardens, stand testimony to the royal dynasties who took keen interest in providing healthy drinking water to their people.