MYSORE Tourism, MYSORE Travel Guide

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About Mysore - Karnataka Tourism

Mysore, a city of gardens and flowering trees, is a major travel destination in the state of Karnataka. The city is a representative of grandeur and royalty of the erstwhile Maharajas. The multitude of tourist attractions in Mysore include grand monuments, ornate temples, beautiful churches, museums and zoo. Most of the old buildings in Mysore have a royal touch with vaulting archways and majestic domes.

Though Mysore is close to the industrial city of Bangalore (139 kms), it is a quiet and placid city. The city is also known as the cultural capital of Karnataka, which can be attributed to its rulers, the Wodeyars, who were patrons of art and culture. The Wodeyars contributed highly towards the cultural growth of this city. 

The main tourist attraction here is Mysore palace, which keeps visitors spellbounded by its sheer beauty and grandeur. The world famous yearly Dasshera festival of Mysore is also organized from this palace in the month of September-October. During the festival time, the whole city is embellished with light and decorations. On the day of Vijaya Dashmi, the former Maharaja of Mysore, leads a procession through the streets of the city, seated in a golden Howda on an elephant, headed by camels and accompanied by caparisoned elephants, horses, palanquins, silver coaches and standard-bearers with silken banners.

The other major tourist attraction in the city include Jaganmohan palace, Jayalakshmi Vilas palace, and the Lalitha Mahal. Chamundeshwari temple, atop of Chamundi hills and St. Philomena's church are some of the notable religious places in Mysore. Another major tourist attraction in the city is the famous Mysore Zoo with wide variety of animals, including some rare species. The city is also known for the rail museum, which is home to some priceless locomotives, coaches, and photographs narrating the "rail story".

Mysore is also becoming a growing industrial city with influx of IT companies owing to its closeness to Bangalore. The traditional industries of Mysore include weaving, sandalwood carving, bronzework and production of lime and salt. Tourism is also a major industry of Mysore, with the city getting an influx of more than 3 million tourists in 2010. 

Mysore History - Karnataka Tourism

Mysore was the capital of kingdom of Wodeyar dynasty, except the time period of 40 years when the city was ruled by Haidar Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. Mysore was also known as Mahishapuram, ruled by the demon Mahishasura, who was killed by Chamundi Devi, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi hills.

During the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire, the Kingdom under Wodeyars, served as a feudatory. Mysore was the center of the Wodeyar administration till 1610 when Raja Wodeyar ousted the Vijayanagara governor at nearby Srirangapatna and made it his capital. With the demise of the Vijayanagara Empire in 1565, the kingdom gradually achieved independence and became a sovereign state by the time of King Narasaraja Wodeyar (1637).

After Tipu Sultan's death in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799, the Kingdom was distributed by the British to their allies of the Fourth Mysore war, the Marhata, Nizam, and State of Travancore, while the rule of Mysore city was retained by the British who built the Government House. In 1831, the city lost its status as the administrative centre of the kingdom when Mark Cubbon, the British commissioner, moved the capital to Bangalore. However, it regained this status in 1881, when the British handed power back to the Wodeyars. The city remained the capital of the Wodeyars till 1947, with Mysore Palace as the centre of administration.

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