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Mysore

Mysore or Mysuru is the second largest city Karnataka. Mysore is the headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division and lies about 146 km (91 mi) southwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishuru, which means the abode of Mahisha. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a demon from the Hindu mythology. The city is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi) and is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills. Distance from Gokarna to Bengaluru is 490.4 km and takes around 8 h 38 min via NH4. Distance from Mysuru to Palakkad, Kerala is 255.1 km and takes around 5 h 23 min via NH209 and Salem - Kochi - Kanyakumari Highway. Distance from Mysuru to Srirangapatna, Karnataka is 23.3 km and travel time is around 32 min via NH150A/NH275.



Until 1947, Mysore was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore which was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, except for a brief period in the late 18th century when Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan took power. The Wodeyars were patrons of art and culture and have contributed significantly to the cultural growth of the city, which has led to Mysore earning the sobriquet Cultural capital of Karnataka. Mysore is famous for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives a large number of tourists. Mysore also lends its name to the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak and the garment, Mysore silk saree

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While tourism is the major industry in Mysore, the growth of information technology related industry in the first decade of the 21st century, has resulted in the city emerging as the second largest software exporter in the state of Karnataka, next to Bangalore. Though lacking an airport, Mysore is connected to other parts of India by railways and road transport. Mysore is also the location of Mysore University, whose alumni include 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.



According to Hindu mythology, the area around Mysore was known as Mahishuru and was ruled by a demon, Mahishasura. The demon was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills. Mahishuru later became Mahisuru and finally came to be called Maisuru, 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 change the English name of the city 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.

The region where Mysore city stands now was known as Puragere till the 15th century. The Mahishuru Fort was constructed in 1524 by Chamaraja Wodeyar III (1513-1553), who later passed on the dominion of Puragere to his son Chamaraja Wodeyar IV (1572-1576). Since the 16th century, the name of Mahishuru (later Mysore) has been commonly used to denote the city. During the rule of the Vijayanagara Empire, the Mysore 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 Mysore Kingdom gradually achieved independence and became a sovereign state by the time of King Narasaraja Wodeyar (1637). When the kingdom came under the rule of Tipu Sultan, he demolished much of Mysore town to remove any traces of the Wodeyar rule. After Tipu Sultan's death in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799, the capital of the kingdom was moved back to Mysore. The administration was looked after by Diwan Purnaiah, since the Wodeyar king Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was a minor. Purnaiah is credited to have been responsible for many improvements in the Mysore city, mainly in relation to public works. In 1831, Mysore 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 the power back to the Wodeyars. The city remained the capital of the Wodeyars till 1947 with Mysore Palace as the centre of administration.

The Mysore municipality was established in 1888 and the city was divided into 8 wards. In 1897, an outbreak of bubonic plague killed nearly half of the population of the city. With the establishment of the City Improvement Trust Board (CITB) in 1903, Mysore became one of the first cities in Asia to undertake a planned development of the city. When the Quit India Movement was launched in the early 1940s, Mysore city also played a part in it. Leaders of the independence movement like H. C. Dasappa and Sahukar Channayya were at the forefront during the agitations. The Maharaja's College hostel was the nerve centre from where the movement was controlled in the Mysore district and the Subbarayana Kere ground was an important location for public demonstrations.

After the Indian independence, Mysore city remained as a part of the Mysore State under India. Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, the then king of Mysore, was allowed to retain his titles and was nominated as the Rajapramukh of the state. He died in September 1974 and was cremated in Mysore city. Over the years, Mysore has become well known as a centre for tourism and the city has remained largely peaceful, except for occasional riots related to the Kaveri river water dispute. Some of the events that took place in Mysore and made national headlines were the fire at Premier Studios that claimed the lives of many people, the sudden deaths of many animals at the Mysore Zoo and the National Anthem controversy that happened on the campus at Infosys.

Tourist Attractions 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 Jaganmohan 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.



Jaganmohan Palace
The Jaganmohan Palace was constructed in 1861 by the king, His Highness Krishnaraja Wodeyar III as an alternate retreat for the royal family. The Mysore Palace, which was the original home of the royal family was burnt down in a fire and the construction of a new palace in its place was started in 1897. Till the new palace was completed in 1912, the Jaganmohan Palace was used by the royals as their home. In 1902, the king His Highness Rajarshi Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was installed to the Mysore throne, in a ceremony that took place in a pavilion inside the Jaganmohan Palace. This ceremony was attended by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy and Governor General of India. The palace was used for his daily durbar by the king and also the special Dasara durbar during the dasara period. In 1915, the palace was converted into an art gallery, which was later renamed in 1955 in the name of HH Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, as the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery. The early convocations of the Mysore University were also held in this palace. The first session of the Legislative Council of the Mysore state was held here in July 1907. The Legislative Council was then called as the Representative Council and was presided over by the Diwan (Prime Minister of the state). HH Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar converted the palace into a trust and opened it for public viewing.

Lalitha Mahal
Lalitha Mahal is the second largest palace in Mysore and located near the Chamundi Hills. The palace was built in 1921 at the orders of His Highness Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore for the exclusive stay of the then Viceroy of India. Built on a raising ground, the palace was fashioned on the lines of the St. Paul's Cathedral in London and is one of the imposing structures of the Mysore city.

The elegant palace is painted pure white. It was converted into a heritage hotel in 1974. It is now run as an elite hotel of the Ashok Group of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) under the Government of India. However, a veneer of the original royal ambience of the palace is maintained.

Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion was built in 1905 by Chamaraja Wodeyar for his eldest daughter Jayalakshmi Devi. This mansion has three wings and contains a series of twin Corinthian and Ionic columns, regal pediments and oval ventilators. The mansion was originally built with a cost of Rs. 7 lakhs. This mansion was acquired by the Mysore University to house its post-graduate campus. It was renovated in 2002 from funding provided by Infosys foundation. The main hall in this mansion is the Kalyana Mantapa which has an eight-petal shaped dome with stained glass windows with a gold-plated Kalasha(tower) at the top. A new gallery called as Writer's Gallery has been created in the Kalyana Mantapa hall that will exhibit personal items, photographs, awards and writings of renowned writers of Kannada. A special illumination system has also been added to this heritage structure. This mansion is said to be the first university museum complex in the country.

Mysore Zoo
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.

Venugopala Swamy Temple
The Venugopala Swamy Temple located at Hosa Kannambadi, Near Krishna Raja Sagara, is another example of Hoysala architecture in Karnataka. This temple was built in the 12th century AD around the same time as the Chennakesava Temple at Somanathapura, Mysore district.

The main idol of Venugopalaswamy, Lord Krishna playing on flute as a cow-herd, was shifted to a new temple in the rehabilitated village before the submersion.



Regional Museum of Natural History
The Regional Museum of Natural History at Mysore, was inaugurated on 20 May 1995. It was undertaken by the government of India, ministry of environment and forests. The museum is located on the banks of Karanji Lake, with the Chamundi Hills visible in the background. It is now a landmark in the city. The museum exhibits plants, animals and geology of the southern region of India. The galleries emphasize the conservation of nature and natural resources while depicting ecological interrelationship among plants and animals. Visually challenged students can feel the exhibits of animals on the premises. The museum provides an extracurricular activity for schools and promotes environmental awareness.

Rail Museum
Rail Museum is located near the Mysore Railway station and is the second one of its kind established in India after the one at Delhi. This museum exhibits ancient locomotives and carriages some of which are still in working condition. The Railway Museum was established in the year 1979 under the supervision of Indian Railways. It is located on the Krishnaraja Sagar Road in Mysore.



1925 model Austin, originally an automobile made for running on road. It was later sold to scrap dealer. A railway employee brought this car from scrap dealer and restored it. However, he made few major change to the car. He fitted rail wheels to the car and removed the steering. Thus began its journey as railcar. It was used for carrying inspection officials on track. It could carry six people.



The Maharaja of Mysore contributed with his royal carriages enriching the treasure of the Railway Museum in Mysore. Main highlight of this museum is Sri Ranga Pavilion, two royal coaches that belonged to the Maharaja of Mysore. The museum has the 'Maharani's saloon' carriage that has a kitchen, dining car unit and royal toilet dating back to 1899 and an Austin rail motor car, a 1920-built 'E class engine'.

One of the main features of the Mysore Railway Museum is the Chamundi Gallery where a number of black and white photographs and paintings have been displayed depicting the growth of railways in India. Steam engines including the first steam engine and signaling accessories from the beginning of the railways in India are interesting in their own right. A steam water pump of 1934 and a hand-operated crane of 1885 are also displayed. The museum has a battery-operated mini-train giving a short ride for children.

The Railway Museum at Mysore has a huge and priceless collection of rare black and white photographs, paintings, signaling signs, lights, tickets, ticketing machines, clocks and several other objects that depict the growth and development of railways in India. Photographs and books related to railway are also present.

Folklore Museum
The folklore museum that contains representative collections of art and crafts from all over Karnataka. The museum was founded in 1968. It is located in the University of Mysore in the Manasagangothri campus in the The Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion. Since its foundation the University of Mysore has contributed to study of folklore, and the museum has been developed to its present level by scholars such as P.R.Thippeswamy, Javeregowda and Jeesham Paramashivaiah. P.R.Thippeswamy brought material from all over Karnataka to increase the museum's collection. As a folklore museum it not only showcases items but also elements of music, dance and drama.



Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum
India's First - Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum, created with 115 truck loads of sand and with more than 150 huge Sculptures. Sand Sculpture Museum displays more than 16 themes describing the Heritage of Mysore. Situated on Chamundi hill main road Mysore where sculptures lovable by all ages, kids to old age with educative, historical, religious and Royal Heritage.



The sculpture revolve around themes including, Mysore Dasara, Islamic culture, marine life, Disney land, zodiac wheel, Goddess Chamundeshwari, eco-friendly Ganesha, Christmas tree and Santa Claus, ancient civilization and tribes of the world, and wildlife.

The museum is open on all days from 8 am to 6.30 pm, and has an entry fee of Rs 20 and Rs 40.



Wax Museum - Melody World
Wax Museum in Mysore is based on music and musical instruments. Wax museum exhibits over 100 life-size wax statues and over 300 musical instruments categorized in various bands and stage settings. Representing Stone Age to Modern instruments, some of the bands displayed are of Indian Classical North & South, Punjabi Bhangra, South Indian, Jazz, Rock, Middle East etc. It was established in October 2010. It is open everyday from 9.30am until 7.00pm and located at #1 Vihara Marga, Sidhartha Layout, Mysore.

Melody World is the brain child of Shreeji Bhaskaran, who conceptualized and developed the museum through his tireless efforts and his love for the wax craft. The museum charges Rs 30 as entry fee.

St. Philomena's Church
St. Philomena's Church is a church built in honour of St. Philomena in the city of Mysore. It was constructed in 1956 using a Neo Gothic style and its architecture was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. In 1926, Thamboo Chetty who was a secretary to the Maharaja of Mysore, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar obtained a relic of the saint from Peter Pisani, Apostolic Delegate of the East Indies. This relic was handed over to Father Cochet who approached the king to assist him in constructing a church in honour of St. Philomena. The Maharaja of Mysore laid the foundation stone of the church on 28 October 1933. In his speech on the day of the inauguration, the Maharaja is quoted to have said: The new church will be strongly and securely built upon a double foundation - Divine compassion and the eager gratitude of men.. The construction of the church was completed under Bishop Rene Fuga's supervision. The relic of St. Philomena is preserved in a catacomb below the main altar. Open to visitors from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.

Karanji Lake
Karanji Lake is surrounded by a nature park consisting of a butterfly park and a walk-through aviary (biggest in India). There is also a museum, the Regional Museum of Natural History which is located on the banks of this lake. The total area of Karanji lake is 90 hectares. While waterspread area is about 55 hectares, the foreshore area measures about 35 hectares. Karanji lake is owned by the Mysore Zoo Authority. Mysore Zoo gets a revenue of an average of Rs. 50000 per day from ticket sales to enthusiasts who visit this lake. Karanji Lake also has a butterfly park near it.

Mysore STD code is 0821.

Wadiyar Rulers of Mysore

Yaduraya (1399-1423)
Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar I (1423-1459)
Thimmaraja Wadiyar I (1459-1478)
Hiriya Chamaraja Wadiyar II (1478-1513)
Hiriya Bettada Chamaraja III Wadiyar (1513-1553)
Thimmaraja Wadiyar II (1553-1572)
Bola Chamaraja Wadiyar IV (1572-1576)
Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar V(1576-1578)
Raja Wadiyar I (1578-1617)
Chamaraja Wadiyar VI (1617-1637)
Raja Wadiyar II (1637-1638)
(Ranadhira Kantheerava) Narasaraja Wadiyar I (1638-1659)
Dodda Devaraja Wadiyar (1659-1673)
Chikka Devaraja Wadiyar (1673-1704)
Narasaraja Wodeyar II (1704-1714)
Dodda Krishnaraja Wodeyar I (1714-1732)
Chamaraja Wadiyar VII (1732-1734)
(Immadi) Krishnaraja Wadiyar II (1734-1766)
Nanajaraja Wadiyar (1766-1770)
Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar VIII (1770-1776)
Khasa Chamaraja Wadiyar IX (1766-1796)
Krishnaraja Wadiyar III (1799-1868)
Chamarajendra Wadiyar X (1868-1894)
Vani Vilas Sannidhana, queen of Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, was Regent from 1894-1902.
Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV (1894-1940)
Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar (1940-1950)
Prince Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar (1974-2013)
Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar (2015-Present)

Temples in Mysore

Basaralu Temple in the heart of Mandya - the Sugar city of Karnataka, there is a small village called Basaralu which contains one of the finest Chamundi Temple or Chamundeshwari Temple is one of the most famous temples in Karnataka. Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple is a famous temple that has more religious than architectural significance. Lakshminaryana Temple is situated in the small town of Hosaholalu which is in the Krishnarajapet taluk of Mandya district. Thirunayanapuram Temple is ideally located on the Cauvery banks of the Mandya district. Yoga Narasimha Temple, Melukote is yet another temple.

Avadhoota Datta Peetham

Avadhoota Datta Peetham popularly called as Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashram is situated on a sprawling 40-acre site at the foot of Chamundi Hill, Mysore, Karnataka. This is the head quarters of Pujya Swamiji's mission. Datta Peetham has grown over years to an impressive stature and encompasses many aspects of the spiritual life. Here one can study Yoga, the Vedas and Sanskrit, bhajans, music. There is a Universal Prayer Hall where traditional Pujas and Homas are performed. As Sri Swamiji propagates the teaching of Dattatreya Avadhoota, a Datta Temple has been constructed. Dattatreya the eternal teacher, is the Manifestation of the Triple Principle of Sat (Existence), Chit (Knowledge) and Ananda (Bliss).

Avadhoota Datta Peetham
Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Ashrama
Datta Nagar, Mysore - 570 025
Phone Number: +91 (0821) 2486 486, 2487 487

Gargeshwari

Gargeshwari is a Village in Tirumakudal-narsipur Taluk in Mysore District of Karnataka. It belongs to Mysore Division. It is located 34 KM towards East from District head quarters Mysore. 132 KM from State capital Bangalore. Gargeshwari Pin code is 571110 and postal head office is Gargeshwari. Gargeshwari is surrounded by Yelandur Taluk towards South, Kollegala Taluk towards East, Malvalli Taluk towards North, Nanjangud Taluk towards west. Nanjangud, Malavalli, Mysore, Shrirangapattana are the nearby Cities to Gargeshwari.

Distance from Mysuru to Honnavar, Karnataka is 406.6 km and travel time is around 8 h 22 min via Arsikere - Mysore Rd and NH69.