Mysore (pronounced ; Mais ru in Kannada) is the second-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. Located at the base of the Chamundi Hills about southwest of the state capital Bangalore, it is spread across an area of . According to the provisional results of the 2011 national census of India, the population of Mysore is 887,446 and Hinduism is its major religion. Mysore City Corporation is responsible for the civic administration of the city, which is also the headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division.
Until 1947, Mysore served as the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore. The kingdom was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, except for a brief period in the late 18th century when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan usurped power. 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 is noted for its palaces including the Mysore Palace, and the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives a large number of tourists. It lends its name to the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, the Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban) and the garment known as the Mysore silk saree. Tourism is the major industry, while Information technology related industry has emerged as a major employer alongside the traditional industries. Without a functional airport, Mysore depends on rail and bus transport for inter-city connections. The city was the location of the first private radio station in India. A noted centre of educational institutes, Mysore houses Mysore University which has been associated with several notable names particularly in the field of Kannada literature. Cricket is the most popular sport in the city.
The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahish ru, which means the abode of Mahisha in Kannada language. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a mythological demon that could assume the form of both human and buffalo. According to Hindu mythology, the area was ruled by the demon Mahishasura. The demon was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills. Mahish ru later became Mahis ru and finally came to be called Mais ru, its present name in the Kannada language. 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, as of 2011.
Narasaraja Wodeyar II ruled from 1704 to 1714.
The site where Mysore Palace stands now was the location of a village named Puragere at the beginning of the 16th century. The Mahish ru Fort was constructed in 1524 by Chamaraja Wodeyar III (1513 1553), who passed on the dominion of Puragere to his son Chamaraja Wodeyar IV (1572 1576). Since the 16th century, the name of Mahish ru has been commonly used to denote the city. The Mysore Kingdom, governed by the Wodeyar family, initially served as a vassal state of the Vijayanagara Empire. With the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire following Battle of Talikota in 1565, the Mysore Kingdom gradually achieved independence and became a sovereign state by the time of King Narasaraja Wodeyar (1637). Seringapatam (modern-day Srirangapatna), located near Mysore, was the capital of the kingdom from 1610. The 17th century saw a steady expansion of its territory and, under Narasaraja Wodeyar I and Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar, the kingdom annexed large expanses of what is now southern Karnataka and parts of Tamil Nadu to become a powerful state in the southern Deccan.
The kingdom reached the height of its military power and dominion in the latter half of the 18th century under the de facto rulers Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan demolished parts of Mysore to remove legacies of the Wodeyar dynasty. During this time, Mysore kingdom came into conflict with the Marathas, the British and the Nizam of Golconda, leading to the four Anglo-Mysore wars. Success in the first two Anglo-Mysore wars was followed by defeat in the third and fourth. After Tipu Sultan's death in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799, the capital of the kingdom was moved back to Mysore from Seringapatam, and the kingdom was distributed by the British to their allies of the Fourth Mysore war. The landlocked interior of the previous Mysore Kingdom was turned into a princely state under the suzerainty of the British Crown. The former Wodeyar rulers were reinstated as puppet monarchs, now styled as Maharajas. The British administration was assisted locally by Diwan (chief minister) Purnaiah. Purnaiah is credited with improvement of Mysore's public works. In 1831, Mysore lost its status as the administrative centre of the kingdom when the British commissioner moved the capital to Bangalore. It regained this status in 1881, and remained the capital of the Princely State of Mysore within the British Indian Empire until India became independent in 1947.
The Mysore municipality was established in 1888 and the city was divided into eight 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. Public demonstrations and meetings were held in the city during the Quit India movement and other phases of the Indian independence movement.
After Indian independence, Mysore city remained as a part of the Mysore State, later Karnataka. Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar, the then king of Mysore, was allowed to retain his titles and was nominated as the Rajapramukh (appointed governor) of the state. He died in September 1974 and was cremated in Mysore city. Over the years, Mysore became well known as a centre for tourism; the city 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 a television studio that claimed 62 lives in 1989, and the sudden deaths of many animals at the Mysore Zoo.
Mysore is located at and has an average altitude of . It is spread across an area of  at the base of the Chamundi Hills in the southern region of the state of Karnataka. Mysore has several lakes such as the Kukkarahalli, the Karanji and the Lingambudhi lakes. In 2001, percentages of total land area in Mysore city occupied by residences, roads, park and open spaces, industries, public property, commercial establishments, agriculture and bodies of water were 39.9 per cent, 16.1 per cent, 13.74 per cent, 13.48 per cent, 8.96 per cent, 3.02 per cent, 2.27 per cent, and 2.02 per cent respectively. The city is located between two rivers Kaveri River flows through the north of the city, while Kabini River, a tributary to Kaveri, lies on the south. Though Mysore is situated in the relatively safe seismic zone II according to earthquake hazard zoning of India, earthquakes of magnitude greater than 4.5 on the Richter scale have been recorded in the vicinity of the city.
Mysore is subject to a semi-arid climate that is designated BSh under the K ppen climate classification. The main seasons are as follows the summer season is from March to June, followed by the monsoon season from July to November; the winter season lasts from December to February. The highest temperature recorded in Mysore was on 4 May 2006; on 16 January 2012, Mysore recorded its lowest temperature of . The average annual rainfall received by the city is .
Administration and utilities
The civic administration of the city is managed by the Mysore City Corporation, which was established as a municipality in 1888 and converted into a corporation in 1977. Overseeing engineering works, health, sanitation, water supply, administration and taxation, the corporation is headed by a mayor who is assisted by commissioners and council members. The city is divided into 65 wards and the council members (also known as corporators) are elected by the citizens of Mysore every five years. The council members in turn elect the mayor. The annual budget of the Corporation for the year 2011 2012 was . Among 63 cities covered under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Mysore City Corporation was adjudged the second best city municipal corporation and was given the "Nagara Ratna" award in 2011.
Office of the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC) in Gagana Chumbi Double Road of Kuvempunagar
Urban growth and expansion is managed by the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA), which is headed by a commissioner. Its activities include developing new layouts and roads, town planning and land acquisition. One of the major projects undertaken by MUDA is the creation of an Outer Ring Road in Mysore, which is expected to ease traffic congestion. Citizens of Mysore have criticized MUDA for its inability to prevent land mafia and to ensure lawful distribution of housing lands among the residents of the city. The Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation is responsible for electric supply to the city.
Drinking water for Mysore is sourced from Kaveri and Kabini rivers. The city got its first piped water supply when the Belagola project was commissioned in 1896. As of 2011, Mysore gets 42.5 million gallons water per day. Mysore sometimes faces water crises, mainly during the summer months (March June) and in years of low rainfall. The city has had an underground drainage system since 1904. The entire sewage from the city drains into four valleys Kesare, Malalavadi, Dalavai and Belavatha. In an exercise carried out by the Urban Development Ministry under the national urban sanitation policy, Mysore was rated the second cleanest city in India in 2010 and the cleanest in Karnataka.
The citizens of Mysore elect four representatives to the Legislative assembly of Karnataka through the constituencies of Chamaraja, Krishnaraja, Narasimharaja and Chamundeshwari. Mysore city, being a part of the larger Mysore Lok Sabha constituency, also elects one member to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament. The politics in the city is dominated by three political parties the Indian National Congress (INC), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and the Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS).
According to the provisional results of 2011 census of India, Mysore city had a population of 887,446 with 443,813 males and 443,633 females, making it the second most populous city in Karnataka. The gender ratio of the city is 1000 females to every 1000 males and the population density is . As per the census of 2001, in the city of Mysore, 76.8 per cent are Hindus, 19 per cent are Muslims, 2.8 per cent are Christians, and the remainder belong to other religions. The city's population crossed the 100,000 mark in the census of 1931 and has seen a population growth of 20.5 per cent in the decade 1991 2001. As of 2011, the literacy rate of the city is 86.84 per cent, which is higher than the state's average of 75.6 per cent. Kannada is the most widely spoken language in the city. Hindi/Urdu is also significantly spoken and understood in the city. Approximately 19 per cent of the population in Mysore live below the poverty line and 9 per cent of the population live in slums. According to 2001 census, though 35.7 per cent of the population in the urban areas of Karnataka are workers, only 33.3 per cent of the population in Mysore city belong to the working class. People belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes constitute 15.1 per cent of the population. As per statistics collected by the National Crime Records Bureau of India, the number of cognizable crime incidents reported in the city of Mysore during 2010 was 3,407 (second in the state, after Bangalore's 32,188), increasing from 3,183 incidents reported in 2009.
The residents of the city are known as Mysoreans in English and Mysoorinavaru in Kannada. The dispute between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the sharing of the Kaveri River water has frequent repercussions in the city leading to minor altercations and demonstrations. Growth in the Information Technology industry in Mysore has led to a change in the demographic profile of the city; likely strains on the infrastructure and haphazard growth of the city resulting from the demographic change have been a cause of concern for some citizens of the city.
Tourism is the major industry in Mysore. The city attracted about 3.15 million tourists in 2010. Traditionally, Mysore has been home to industries such as weaving, sandalwood carving, bronzework, and the production of lime and salt. The planned industrial growth of the city and the state was first envisaged in the Mysore economic conference held in 1911. This led to the establishment of industries such as the Mysore Sandalwood Oil Factory in 1917 and the Sri Krishnarajendra Mills in 1920.
Multiplex in the Infosys
campus at Mysore
In a survey conducted in 2001 by Business Today, Mysore was ranked the fifth-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; these are located in Belagola, Belawadi, Hebbal (Electronic City) and Hootagalli areas. The major industrial companies in Mysore include Bharat Earth Movers, J. K. Tyres, Wipro, Falcon Tyres, Larsen & Toubro, Theorem India and Infosys. The industrial sector in the city experienced setback when the automobile manufacturer Ideal Jawa and the Sri Krishnarajendra Mills closed their operations. Revival efforts, such as the takeover of the Krishnarajendra Mills by the Atlantic Spinning and Weaving Mills have been made, but these attempts have run into other problems.
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. The city contributed Rs. 1363 crores (US$275 million) to Karnataka's IT exports in the financial year 2009 2010. Infosys has established one of its major technical training centres and Wipro has established its Global Service Management Center (GSMC) at Mysore. Non-IT related services have been outsourced from other countries to companies in Mysore.
Before the advent of the European system of education in Mysore, agraharas (Brahmin quarters) imparted the Vedic system of education to Hindus and madrassas served as centres of learning for Muslims. Modern education saw its beginning in Mysore when a free English school was established in 1833. In 1854, the East India Company promulgated the Halifax Dispatch which looked at organising education based on the Western model within the princely state of Mysore. The first college to be set up for higher education was the Maharajas College which was founded in 1864. In 1868, the Mysore state decided to establish hobli schools to extend education to the masses. Under this scheme, a school providing free education was established in each hobli (a locality within the city). This led to the establishment of a normal school in Mysore which trained teachers to teach in the hobli schools. In 1881, a high school exclusively for girls was established and this was later converted into the Maharanis Women's College. The Industrial School, the first institute for technical education in the city was established in 1892; this was followed by the Chamarajendra Technical Institute in 1913. While the modern system of education was making inroads in the city, colleges such as the Mysore Sanskrit college, established in 1876, continued to provide Vedic education.
The education system was enhanced by the establishment of the University of Mysore in 1916. This was the sixth university to be established in India and the first in Karnataka. It was named Manasagangotri ("fountainhead of the Ganges of the mind") by the poet Kuvempu. The university caters to the districts of Mysore, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajanagar in Karnataka. About 127 colleges (with a total student number of 53,000) are affiliated with the university. The alumni of Mysore University include Kuvempu, Gopalakrishna Adiga, S. L. Bhyrappa, U. R. Ananthamurthy and N.R. Narayana Murthy. Engineering education was started in Mysore with the establishment of the National Institute of Engineering in 1946, the second oldest engineering college in the state. The Mysore Medical College, founded in 1924, was the first medical college to be started in Karnataka and the 7th in India. Institutes of national importance in the city include Central Food Technological Research Institute, Central Institute of Indian Languages, Defence Food Research Laboratory, and All India Institute of Speech and Hearing.
Mysore painting depicting Goddess Saraswati Referred to as 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. The Dasara festivities, which are celebrated over a ten-day period, were first introduced by King Raja Wodeyar I in 1610. On the ninth day of Dasara, called Mahanavami, the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession of 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. An image of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed on a golden mantapa on the back of a decorated elephant and taken on a procession, accompanied by tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels. The procession starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantapa where the banni tree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped. The Dasara festivities culminate on the night of Vijayadashami with a torchlight parade (locally known as Panjina Kavayatthu).
Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar]], incumbent Maharaja of Mysore and head of the Wodeyar dynasty Mysore is called the City of Palaces because of several ornate examples located in the city. Among the most notable are Amba Vilas popularly known as Mysore Palace; Jaganmohana Palace which also serves as an art gallery; Rajendra Vilas also known as the summer palace; Lalitha Mahal which has been converted into a hotel, and Jayalakshmi Vilas. The main palace of Mysore was burned down in 1897, and the present-day structure was built on the same site. 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 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 and artifacts of the royal family.
The Mysore painting style is an offshoot of the Vijayanagar school of painting, and King Raja Wodeyar (1578 1617 CE) is credited with having been its patron. The distinctive feature of these paintings is the gesso work in which gold foils are pasted. Mysore is known for rosewood inlay work, with an estimated 4,000 craftsmen involved in this art as of 2002. The city lends its name to the Mysore silk saree, a ladies' garment, made with pure silk and gold zari. Mysore Peta, the traditional indigenous turban worn by the erstwhile rulers of Mysore, is worn by men in some traditional ceremonies. A notable local dessert that traces its history to the kitchen of the Mysore palace is Mysore pak.
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. The Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA) offers education in visual art forms such as painting, graphics, sculpture, applied art, photography, photo-journalism and art history. The theatre repertory Rangayana conducts plays and offers certificate courses on subjects related to theatre. Notable Kannada litt rateurs Kuvempu, Gopalakrishna Adiga and U. R. Ananthamurthy have had a long association with Mysore, as they had their education there and served as professors at the Mysore University. The popular 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 city bus
Mysore is connected by the National Highway NH-212 to the state border town of Gundlupet where it forks into the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The State Highway 17 which connects Mysore to Bangalore was upgraded to a four-lane highway in 2006, reducing travel time between the two cities. A project was planned in 1994 to construct a new expressway to connect the cities of Bangalore and Mysore. After numerous legal hurdles, it remains unfinished as of 2012. Other main roads are the State Highways 33 and 88, which connect Mysore to H D Kote and Madikeri respectively. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and other private agencies operate buses within the city as well as inter-city. A new division of KSRTC called Mysore City Transport Corporation (MCTC) has been proposed to be formed. Within the city, buses offer a cheap and popular means of transport. Auto-rickshaws are also available for intra-city commute. Tongas (horse-drawn carriage) are popular in Mysore.
Mysore railway station has three railway lines that connect it to the cities of Bangalore, Hassan and Chamarajanagar. The first railway line established in the city was the Bangalore Mysore Junction metre gauge line, which was commissioned in 1882. All railway lines that serve the city are single track which impede faster connectivity to the city. Though there are plans to double at least the Bangalore Mysore track, the project is yet to be completed as of 2012. All trains that connect to Mysore are operated by Indian Railways and the fastest train to serve the city is the Shatabdi Express. Mysore Airport, which was unused for many years, was put on the air network in October 2010 when Kingfisher Airlines started a daily service to Bangalore. However, in November 2011, this flight was cancelled due to low profitability; the airport does not cater to any more flights. The nearest functional airport to Mysore is the Bengaluru International Airport.
Newspaper publishing in Mysore started in 1859 when Bhashyam Bhashyacharya began publishing a weekly newspaper in Kannada, called the Mysooru Vrittanta Bodhini. This was followed by other weekly newspapers such as the Karnataka Prakashika (1865), the Mysore Gazette (1866) and the Vrittanta Patrike (1887). One of the well-known publishers in Mysore during the Wodeyar rule was M. Venkatakrishnaiah, who is called the father of Kannada journalism. He started news magazines such as Sampadabhyudaya, Vidyaadaayini, the Mysore Patriot and Saadhvi. Popular newspapers include Times of India, The Hindu and Deccan Herald in English, and Prajavani and Vijaya Karnataka in Kannada. The Star of Mysore, Andolana and Mysooru Mithra and other local newspapers published in the city carry news mostly related to Mysore city and its surroundings. Sudharma, the only daily newspaper in the Sanskrit language in India is published from Mysore.
Mysore was the location of the first private radio broadcasting station in India when Akashavani (which literally means voice from the sky) was established in the city on 10 September 1935. The radio station was established by M.V. Gopalaswamy, a professor of psychology at his house in the Vontikoppal area of Mysore, using a 50-watt transmitter. The station was taken over by the princely state of Mysore in 1941 and was moved to Bangalore in 1955. In 1957, the name Akashvani was chosen as the official name of the All India Radio (AIR), the radio broadcaster of the Government of India. The AIR station at Mysore broadcasts an FM radio channel at 100.6 MHz, and Gyan Vani broadcasts on 105.2. BIG FM and Red FM are the two private FM channels operating in the city. Mysore city started receiving television broadcasts in early 1980s when Doordarshan (public service broadcaster of the Indian government) started beaming its national channel all over India. This was the only channel available for Mysoreans until Star TV started satellite channels in 1991. Direct to home channels are available in Mysore.
Race Club from Chamundi Hills The Wodeyar kings of Mysore were patrons of games and sports. King Krishnaraja Wodeyar III had a passion for indoor games. He invented new board games and popularised the ganjifa card game. Traditional wrestling has a history dating back to the 16th century in Mysore. The wrestling competition held in Mysore during the Dasara celebrations attracts wrestlers from all over India. An annual sports meet is organised in Mysore during the Dasara season as well.
In 1997, the city along with Bangalore co-hosted its biggest sports event ever, the National Games of India. Mysore was the venue for six events archery, gymnastics, equestrian events, handball, table tennis, and wrestling. Cricket is by far the most popular sport in Mysore. The city has four established cricket grounds, but is yet to host an international cricket match. Javagal Srinath, who represented India for several years as its fast bowling spearhead, hails from Mysore. Other prominent sportsmen from the city include Prahlad Srinath, who has represented India in Davis Cup tennis tournaments; Reeth Abraham, who was a national champion in the heptathlon and a long jump record holder; Sagar Kashyap, the youngest Indian to officiate at Wimbledon Championship; and Rahul Ganapathy, a national amateur golf champion.
The Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Golf Club, an 18-hole golf course, was established in 1906. This golf course is laid around the Mysore race course, which is popular for the Mysore racing season held each year from August through October. Mysore is the birthplace of the youth hostel movement in India, with the first youth hostel formed in the Maharaja's College Hostel in 1949.
A major tourist destination, Mysore acts as a base for other tourist places in the vicinity. The city receives large 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 centre 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 notable religious places in Mysore.
St. Philomena's Church
The Mysore Zoo, established in 1892, and the Karanji and Kukkarahalli lakes are popular recreational destination. 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 a centre for yoga-related health tourism that attracts domestic and foreign visitors. Melody World is a museum showcasing wax statues and musical instruments.
A short distance from Mysore city is the Krishnarajasagar Dam and the adjoining Brindavan Gardens which is noted for a musical fountain show held every evening. Places of historic importance close to Mysore are Srirangapatna, Somanathapura and Talakad. B R Hills and Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta hill, and the hill stations of Ooty, Sultan Battery and Madikeri are located near Mysore. Popular destinations for wildlife enthusiasts near Mysore include the Nagarhole National Park, the wildlife sanctuaries at Melkote and B R Hills, and the bird sanctuaries at Ranganathittu and Kokrebellur. National Parks miles to the south include Bandipur National Park and Mudumalai National Park, which are sanctuary for gaur, chital, elephants as well as tigers, Indian leopards and other threatened species. Other tourist spots near Mysore include the religious locations of Nanjanagud and Bylakuppe and the waterfalls at Shivanasamudra.
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