According to Hindu mythology, the area around Mysore was known as
Mahishūru and was ruled by a demon, Mahishasura. The demon was killed
by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the
Chamundi Hills. Mahishūru later became Mahisūru and finally came to be
called Maisūru, its present name in the Kannada language. The
anglicised form of the name is Mysore. In December 2005, the
Government of Karnataka announced its intention to restore the city’s
name back to Mysuru. This has been approved by the Government of India
but the necessary formalities to incorporate the name change are yet
to be completed.
Mysore was the erstwhile capital of the Mysore Maharajas, who ruled
Mysore State from this royal city.
Mysore is the second largest city in the Indian state of Karnataka
with a population of over 0.7 million. The chief language of the
people, as in the State of Karnataka, is Kannada and original Kannada
is spoken in this part of the area. The city is also known as the
'Garden City' and the 'City of Palaces'.
The city is also known for its palaces and proximity to several other
places of interest like Srirangapatna, Sivasamudram Falls, and Krishna
Raja Sagara Dam. Along with sandalwood products and crafts, Mysore is
also famous for its celebration of the ten day Navaratri or Dasara
festival held every year. The city has many heritage buildings.
Mysore district lies in the (Southern Plateau) and it is in the
southernmost part of Karnataka State. The district forms the southern
part of the Deccan peninsula with Tamil Nadu to its southeast, the
Kodagu district to its west, Mandya district to its north, Hassan
district to its northwest and Bangalore district to its northeast.
district covers a total geographical area of 6, 76,382 hectares of
which 62,851 hectares constitutes the forest land. The city has
an average altitude of 770 metres (2,526 ft). The
prominent river of the district is the Cauvery. Mysore district is
considered as one of the prosperous district of the state based on the
development and utilization of irrigation facilities, abundance of
forest wealth and sericulture products. The city has several
lakes, prominent among which are the Kukkarahalli, Karanji and
Lingambudhi lakes. Mysore.
Tourism remains the major industry in Mysore, attracting about 2.5
million tourists in 2006 alone. Mysore also hold the distinction of
being second largest software exporter in the state of Karnataka, next
only to Bangalore. The city also boasts of being home to the Mysore
University, whose alumni include eminent dignitaries like Kuvempu,
Gopalakrishna Adiga, S. L. Bhyrappa, U. R. Ananthamurthy and N.R.
Narayana Murthy. The All India Radio, the premier radio broadcasting
arm of the Government of India had its beginnings here. In a survey
conducted in 2001 by Business Today, the business arm of India Today,
Mysore was ranked the 5th best city in India in which to conduct
business. For the industrial development of the city, the Karnataka
Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has established four
industrial areas in and around Mysore and are located in Belagola,
Belawadi, Hebbal (Electronic City) and Hootagalli areas. The major
industries in Mysore include BEML, J. K. Tyres, Wipro, SPI, Falcon
Tyres, L & T and Infosys.
The cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore is well known for the
festivities that take place during the period of Dasara, the state
festival of Karnataka. On the ninth day of Dasara, called Mahanavami,
the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession comprising
decorated elephants, camels and horses. On the tenth day, called
Vijayadashami, the traditional Dasara procession (locally known as
Jumboo Savari) is held on the streets of Mysore city. Mysore is called
the City of Palaces because of the number of palaces situated in the
city, including Amba Vilas popularly known as Mysore Palace,
Jaganmohana Palace which has now been converted into an art gallery,
Rajendra Vilas also known as the summer palace, situated in the
Chamundi Hills, Lalitha Mahal which has now been converted into a 5
star hotel and Jayalakshmi Vilas, which is now on the University of
Mysore premises. Externally, Amba Vilas palace exhibits an Indo-Saracenic
architecture style though the interior is distinctly Hoysala style of
architecture in nature. Even though the Government of Karnataka now
maintains the Mysore palace, a small portion of the palace has been
allocated for the erstwhile Royal family to live in. The Jayalakshmi
Vilas Mansion was constructed by Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar for his
daughter Jayalakshammanni. It is now a museum dedicated to folk
culture. A new gallery is being added for artifacts and collections of
the Wodeyars of Mysore.
The Mysore painting style is an offshoot of the Vijayanagar school of
painting. King Raja Wodeyar (1578–1617 CE) is credited with having
been the patron for this style of painting. The distinctive feature of
these paintings is the gesso work in which gold foils are pasted
appropriately on the painting. Mysore is the location of the
International Ganjifa Research Centre, which is involved in the
research of the ancient card game Ganjifa and the art associated with
it. Mysore is known for rosewood inlay work, with an estimated 4,000
craftsmen involved in this art. The city lends its name to the Mysore
silk saree, made with pure silk and gold zari. Mysore has institutes
such as the Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA), which offers
education in visual art forms like painting, graphics, sculpture,
applied art, photography, photo-journalism and art history. The famous
English novelist and creator of Malgudi, R. K. Narayan and his brother
and cartoonist R. K. Laxman spent much of their life in Mysore.
Mysore is a tourism hot spot within the state of Karnataka and also
acts as a base for other tourist places in the vicinity of the city.
The city receives the maximum number of tourists during the period of
the Dasara festival when festivities take place for a period of 10
days. One of the most visited monuments in India, the Ambavilas Palace
(also known as Mysore Palace) is the center of the Dasara festivities.
The Jaganmohana Palace, the Jayalakshmi Vilas and the Lalitha Mahal
are some of the other palaces in the city. Chamundeshwari Temple, atop
the Chamundi Hills and St. Philomena's Church are popular religious
places in Mysore.
The Mysore Zoo, established in 1892, and the Karanji and Kukkarahalli
lakes are also popular spots for tourists. Museums in Mysore include
the Regional Museum of Natural History, the Folk Lore Museum, the
Railway Museum and the Oriental Research Institute. The city is also a
centre for yoga-related health tourism that attracts lot of foreign
visitors as well.
A short distance from Mysore city is the Krishnarajasagar Dam and the
adjoining Brindavan Gardens where a musical fountain show is held in
the evening. Places of historic importance lying close to Mysore are
Srirangapatna, Somanathapura and Talakad. The hills, B R Hills and
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta and the hill stations of Ooty and Madikeri
are all near Mysore. Popular destinations for wildlife enthusiasts
near Mysore include the National Parks at Bandipur and Nagarhole, the
wildlife sanctuaries at Melkote and B R Hills and the bird sanctuaries
at Ranganathittu and Kokrebellur. Other tourist spots near Mysore
include the religious locations of Nanjanagud and Bylakuppe and the
waterfalls at Shivanasamudra.
In the recent days the catch up phrase has been Namma Mysore, thanks
to rapid developments in the manufacturing sector and the IT industry.
Whichever political party has been in power in the state for the past
5 years, all have voiced out the phrase “Make Mysore the next best
destination for IT”
Mysore is proving to be the next IT hub in Karnataka after the
phenomenal success of Bangalore. The Government of India has
recognized Mysore as the numero uno among the 20 Tier II cities of
India for the promotion of IT industry. Currently, all of the IT
related industries are concentrated around the Mysore city. The
Software Technology Park (STP) in Mysore was inaugurated in Mysore in
the year 1998 by the Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee. As
of Aug-2006, there are 42 companies registered with the Mysore STP.
Some of the major IT Companies having a presence in Mysore are:
* Wipro Infotech
* WeP Peripherals Ltd. (earlier known as Wipro ePeripherals Ltd.)
* Infosys Technologies Ltd.
* Software Paradigms (India)
* Larsen and Toubro Infotech (L & T).
* Larsen and Toubro - EmSys
* Comat Technologies
* Excelsoft Technologies
* Kaveri Technology Solutions
* Software Paradigms of India Ltd. (SPI).