) is the third-largest city in the state of Karnataka, which served as the capital city of Mysore Princely Kingdom (Kingdom of Mysore) for nearly six centuries, from 1399 until 1947. Located at the base of the Chamundi Hills about 146 km (91 mi) southwest of the state capital Banglore, it is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi). Mysore has always enchanted its admirers with its quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad shady avenues and sacred temples. There's an old world charm about the city that reaches out and leaves no one untouched.
The Kingdom of Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, except for a brief and illustrious period in the late 18th century when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were the distinguished rulers. Patrons of art and culture, the Wodeyars contributed significantly to the cultural growth of the city. The cultural ambience and achievements of Mysore earned it the sobriquet Cultural capital of Karnataka. Mysore was the political capital of the Wodeyar dynasty which ruled the state of Karnataka for some 150 years till the independence of the country from the British. These kings were great patrons of art and culture and Mysore was the cultural capital of the south under the rule of the Wodeyars. The Wodeyars made the Dasara festival an event.
Mysore or Mahishur as it was called then, traces its history back to the mythical past, when Goddess Chamundeshwari of Chamundi Hills killed the wicked buffalo-headed demon, Mahishasura. Mysore Dasara is the celebration of this victory of good over evil. Mysore also has associations with the Mahabharata and King Ashoka of the 3rd century B.C. During the Wodeyar rule Mysore reached the Zenith of its glory as a fabled centre of oriental splendour.
Mysore is one of the major cities of Karnataka. Today, Mysore is a vibrant city teeming with tourists and visitors. It is known the world over for its exotic sandalwood and rich silks.Its grand and imposing palaces,majestic temples,gardens leave an ever-lasting impression on the visitor. Situated 770m above sea level,Mysore has a warm and cool climate throughout the year.
Tourism is the major industry in Mysore. The city attracted about 3.15 million tourists in 2010. Mysore has traditionally been home to industries such as weaving, sandalwood carving, bronzework and the production of lime and salt
Places to see in Mysore
Mysore Palace :
The Maharaja's Palace is one of the important sights in Mysore. Built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the Palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Intricately carved doors open on to luxuriously furnished rooms. The majestic Durbar Hall has an ornate ceiling and many sculpted pillars. The magnificent jewel studded golden throne of the Wodeyars is displayed here during the Dasera festival. Illuminated on Sundays and public holidays ,the palace presents a spectacle of breathtaking beauty.
Chamundi Hills :
A well known 335 metres high landmark,Chamundi Hill can be reached by a 13 km road or by climbing up the 1,000 steps laid out by the Mysore Maharaja in the 17th century.Half-way up along the stone steps is Nandi, Lord Shiva's Bull, a majestic 4.8 metre monolith.At the top is the 12th century temple of Chamundeshwari, the patron goddess of the Wodeyars.Close to the temple is the gigantic statue of the demon Mahishasura. The summit offers a panoramic view of Mysore's lakes, parks and palaces.
Brindavan Gardens :
Located at the KR Sagar Dam [Kannambadi], Brindavan Gardens is one of the best gardens in South India. Spread over 150 acres, Brindavan Gardens has since the 1960s provided the backdrop for many Indian films. Special attractions include the 'Dancing Fountains'. In Dec 2004 the entire garden was revamped with new fountains and lights.