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General Information about Mysore

View of mysore place.770m above sea level and 140 kms from Bangalore, this iperial city was the erstwhile capital of the Wodeyars. so known as the City of Palaces, Mysore retains a quaint iarm that never fails to enchant.

Mysore is the erstwhile capital of Wodeyars, the rulers of Mysore State. The Wodeyar family ruled Mysore since 14th century except for a short period of 40 years when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were the rulers. Today Mysore is one of the major cities of Karnataka. Mysore has emerged as a thriving market for exotic sandalwood & incense, the Mysore silk sarees and stone-carved sculptures.

Mysore is certainly a charming, old-fashioned and undaunting town dominated by the spectacular Maharaja's Palace, around which the boulevards of the city radiate. Nearby is the city centre with the colourful and frenetic Devaraja Market is inviting a stroll.

On the outskirts of Mysore, Srirangapatnam still harbours architectural gems from the days of the great Indian hero, Tipu Sultan, and the magnificent Hoysala temple of Somnathpur lies little more than an hour's drive away.
In the tenth century Mysore was known as "Mahishur", the town where the buffalo-demon Mahishashur was slain by the goddess Durga. The word Mysore expands to "Mahishasurana Ooru", which means the town of Mahishasura. It is believed that during one of the wars between devils and demons on the one hand and gods and goddesses on the other, the demon Mahishasur (Mahishur) overpowered the gods.

The goddess on seeing this, incarnated as the fireceful Chamundi or Chamundeshwari and consequently, Mahishasura was killed by Her atop the Chamundi Hill near Mysore. Ever since, the Mysore royal family has worshipped Chamundeshwari as the palace deity. Hills dedicated to Her stand at the eastern end of Mysore town to this day.

Shopping in mysore.Shopping: Sandalwood, its products and silk are Mysore's specialities, sold in Government-owned emporia at fixed prices. The Government Silk Factory offers silks straight off the loom.

Festival in mysore.Festivals: The Dasara celebrations in Mysore bring back the glory and grandeur of a bygone era. During Oct-Nov., the entire city rejoices with colour and gaiety. The 10-day festivity culminates in a grand procession on the last day- Vijayadashami.

Local Food Specialities
Mysore is famous for Mysore Pak - a sweet rich in ghee. Other delicacies include spicy rice preparations, idii, dosai and vada.

Tourist spots around Mysore City are well- connected bv road.

Mysore Palace is one of the most magnificent buildings. It is a sight not to be missed when it is illuminated on Sundays and festive occasions. The interior of the Palace is equally worth a visit, for its spacious halls, called Mantaps, paintings and architectural beauty. The palace is an excellent combination of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The domes and the outside construction are of Muslim architecture. But the interior of the Palace is a fine example of Hindu architecture. Together, it is an aesthetic blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Though the present Palace is little over a century old, there is clear evidence to show that there existed a royal structure even when the two Yadu dynasty princes, Yaduraya and Krishnaraya, came to Mysore in 1399 A.D

The Mysore chieftain had his residential building here. Mysore remained the capital of the Yadu or Wodeyar dynasty till 1610 when Raja Wodeyar shifted his headquarters from Mysore to Srirangapatna, after defeating the Vijayanagar representative. Till this period, as the Mysore rulers continued to rule their province from Mysore, there must have existed a building appropriate to their stature and needs. We find a clear description of the Mysore Palace as it existed during the period of Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar (1638) and Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar (1673-1704), the earliest description of the Mysore available on record. This clearly indicates that a royal structure existed in Mysore even prior to them.

Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar is credited to have rebuilt the old structure and the fort around it and strengthened it by placing around it eleven powerful guns, each bearing a name. The Palace, probably, did not receive due care after Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar, because of political instability in their kingdom. Historical evidence goes to show that the Palace and the buildings located around it within the fortwalls suffered further when Tipu Sultan embarked upon a project to shift the town to Nazarbad, a distance of about 1.5 kms from the present Palace. There was no building worth the name in Mysore for the coronation of the five-year-old Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, after Tipu died in the battle against the British in 1799. The capital was shifted back to Mysore from Srirangapatna and the ancestral Palace was rebuilt on the same site in the same form as it existed earlier. The model and paintings of this Palace, built chiefly out of wood and mud in Hindu style, can be seen even today. The Maharaja and his family moved to the Palace in 1801. As fate would have it even this hastily built wood and mud structure met with a catastrophe. During the wedding of Jayalakshammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar, in February 1897, a sudden fire destroyed the entire front wing of the wooden Palace. Again the construction of a new palace, a bigger one than that existed, but on the same model and on the same site, was taken up in that year alone and was completed in 1912. During this period, the royal family temporarily lived in the Jaganmohan Palace, which now houses an art gallery. The new palace cost about Rs. 42 lakhs. However, the old portion of the palace was retained and can be seen even now behind the front portion of the new structure.

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