History of Mysuru


About Mysuru History

Mahisha Mysuru

The word Mysuru is a corrupted version of “mysooru“, which is derived from the word “mahishur” or “Mahishasurana Ooru“, which means the town of Mahishasura in Kannada, the local language. Mysuru has been associated with the Puranic story found in the Devi Bhagavatha. According to the story in the Devi Purana, Mysuru was ruled by the demon King Mahishasura who was a buffalo-headed monster. In response to the prayer by the Gods and Goddesses to save them from the demon, Goddess Parvathi, took birth as Chamundeshwari and killed the monster on top of the Chamundi hill near Mysuru. Hence the hill and the city have the names Chamundi Hill and Mysuru respectively.

There is an inscription in Mysuru by the Hoysalas that dates back to the 11th and 12th century. The Mysuru was ruled by Gangas, Chalukyas, Cholas and Hoysalas. After the Hoysalas came, the Vijayanagar Kings and then the Mysuru Yadu dynasty came to power in 1399A.D. They were the feudatories of the Vijayanagar Kings. This dynasty also contributed to temple building in Mysuru. Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar, the raja of Mysuru rebuilt the fort of Mysuru and made his headquarters and called the city ‘Mahishura Nagara‘ meaning the city of Mahishur. Many inscriptions done in the 17th century and later refer to Mysuru as ‘Mahishuru‘.

During the reign of Krishnaraja Wadiyar III the town of Mysuru expanded and moved beyond the walls of the fort. Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV developed Mysuru into a beautiful city with excellent planning. Under his reign Mysuru became famous for its wide roads, magnificent building and elegant parks. Today Mysuru is a modern city that has managed to retain its quaint old world charm. Today Mysuru in famous in the world for its sandalwood and rosewood artifacts, stone sculptures, incense sticks, inlay work with ivory and its exquisite silk sarees.

Folk Art of Mysuru

Kunita Dance

Karnataka has a rich tradition of folk arts and folklore. Different branches of folk art like singing, drama, dance and puppet shows are popular in the rural parts of Karnataka. On different festivals and especially during Dasara these artistes visit the city of Mysuru and perform. In the olden days they performed before the King, today they perform on the streets of Mysuru or in specially designated areas during Dasara. Presentation of Folk Art by popular folk groups of the state has become an established and regular part of the Dasara celebrations.

    • Pooja Kunitha :In Puja Kunitha dance, the emphasis is more on the visual presentation than the oral narration. Here the spectacular exhibition of colourful bamboo structure is ably matched by the skilful body movements.
    • Dollu Kunitha : This is a group dance named after the Dollu used in its performance, and performed by the men of the Kuruba community. The group consists of 16 dancers, each wearing a drum and playing different rhythms while dancing. The beat is directed by a leader with cymbals in the center. Slow and fast rhythms alternate, and the group weaves a varied pattern. Costumes are simple; the upper part of the body is usually left bare, while a black sheet is tied on the lower body over the dhoti.
  • Beesu Kamsale and kamsale Nritya :This is a group dance performed by village men in the Mysuru, Nanjanagudu, Kollegala and Bangalore regions. It is named after the kamsale, which is played and as a prop by the dancers. The kamsale is a cymbal in one hand and a bronze disc in the other, producing a rhythmic clang. The kamsale nritya is connected to a tradition of worship of Male Mahadeshwara (Shiva) by the Kuruba community, from which most of the dancers are drawn. The dance is performed to rhythmic, melodious music sung in praise of Shiva. It is part of a diiksha(oath), and is taught by a spiritual leader.
  • Somana Kunita :Somana Kunita (the Mask Dance) is a celebratory form of guardian spirit worship popular in southern Karnataka, performed primarily in village shrines dedicated to the Mother Goddess by the Gangemata community. The dance is characterised by elaborate masks (somas) painted in a variety of colours, with each mask’s colour indicating the god’s nature. A benevolent deity is represented by a red mask, while a yellow or black mask suggests the opposite. There are many types of masks, differing from region to region.

    Somana Kunitha is a ritualistic dance associated with worship of the Grama Devate [village deity], and is primarily celebrated after Ugadi and before the onset of the monsoon at Maha Shivaratri. It is most popular in the old Mysuru region

Mysuru Weather


Mysuru is located in the southern part of the Deccan Plateau. The district of Mysuru is an undulating table land that is partly covered by granite outcrops and fringed with lush green forests. The city is at 770m above sea level and 140kms from Bangalore, the state capital. Mysuru has an area of 6,307 sq km and a population of 30,01,127 (2011 census). The city is also known as the City of Palaces, Mysuru has always enchanted its visitors with its quaint charm.

Mysuru has a warm and cool climate throughout the year. It has a salubrious climate. The climate of Mysuru is moderate. The weather in winter is cool and the summers are bearable. The minimum temperature in winter is around 15 degrees Celsius and in summer the maximum temperature is around 35 degrees Celsius. Mysuru gets most of its rains during the monsoon between June to September. Mysuru average rainfall annually is around 86 centimeters.

Cuisine of Mysuru

Mysore MysuruPak

Mysuru is in South India and like all the other states in this part of the country, most of the food is rice based. There is more to Mysuru cuisine that the famous dosa and idli that is well known all over the world as the food of the South. Though idli and dosa form an important part of the cuisine of Mysuru but the different types of dosas and idlis and chutneys to accompany them will take one by surprise. Traditional Mysuru breakfast is simple, wholesome and delicious. Most of them are rice based and are normally served with chutney.

Mysore Masala Dosa

A traditional lunch of Mysuru is a splendid spread that includes a number of essential dishes. These includes a cereal salads like kosambri, playas, gojju tovve, huli or saaru . chitranna, famous bisibelebath, vangibath are part of the traditional food of Mysuru. In the other parts of Karnataka ragi muddae eaten with soppina huli or saaru or curry. To complete your delicious meal, indulge in some of the unique sweets of Mysuru like chiroti,, Mysuru Pak, obbattu and shavige payasa etc.,

Culture of Mysuru


Mysuru has been a city where all religions have co-existed in harmony for many centuries. Even when Mysuru was culturally at its zenith under the Vijayanagar Empire and the Wadiyars the rulers always encouraged all religions and cultures without any discrimination. The continuous patronage and support of the Kings in every field led to the evolution of a distinct style known as the “Mysuru Style” in the all the fields like painting, architecture, music, poetry etc. Over a period of time as this culture spread far and wide it was prefixed with the word “Mysuru” to identify the unique cultural heritage.

Though Mysuru has become a modern city it has not lost touch with its tradition and culture. The ultimate expression of cultural unity is witnessed during the 10 daylong Dasara festivities that is synonymous with Mysuru. The celebration not only includes religious ceremonies but also the decoration of houses, display of dolls, distribution of sweets to neighbours and children. The residents of Mysuru have celebrated Dasara in this manner for decades.

Local Transport in Mysuru


Mysuru has played an important role in the history of South India from ancient times. Hence there are number monuments in the city that represent this rich cultural heritage. Mysuru is known for its splendid palaces and magnificent temples. These monuments are spread in and around modern Mysuru. While visiting Mysuru you will have to travel to these places. The local transport available in Mysuru to commute like auto, private taxis, buses and tongas to the various tourist attractions.

Railway junction for places around Mysuru city. Railway lines connect Mysuru to Bangalore (north-east) through Mandya, Hassan in the northwest and Chamarajanagar in the south-east. Road connectivity is available from Mysuru to different parts of Karnataka and neighboring states and from Chennai to Mandakalli airport near Mysuru.

Modern Mysuru

Trin Trin

Mysuru as a modern city has managed to retain its quaint old world charm and is one of the tourism hot spots and receives maximum number of tourist during the period of Dasara festival from all over the world. Mysuru is famous in the world for its sandalwood and rosewood artifacts, stone sculptures, incense sticks, inlay work with ivory and its exquisite silk sarees.

Mysuru emerged to be one of the major IT hubs in Karnataka. Mysuru is second in state for software exports. The robust growth of the IT sector in the city is attributed because of major contributions from Infosys, Larsen Toubro (L&T), Wipro Technologies, Software Paradigms India etc. There are around 50 IT Companies in Mysuru. Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has established five industrial areas in and around Mysore, these are located at Belagola, Belavadi, Hebbal (Electronic City), Metagally and Hootagalli. Major industries like Bharat Earth Movers Limited, Kirloskar, Vikrant Tyres, Jay Bearings, Automotive Axel AT&S, Nestle, Reid and Taylor, TVS Company, Bannari Amma Sugar Factory, South India Paper Mills, ABB. Technology/software technology training centre like Infosys, Wipro, L&T, SPI etc have established their presence in Mysuru. Good living conditions and availability of skilled manpower is another major factor that attracts investors to establish them in the city.

Mysuru Junction is the City’s main station and there are trains plying the route between Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Thanjavur, Ajmer, Hyderabad, Shirdi etc. Railway Line electrification between Mysuru and Krantiveera Sangolli Rayannna Station will be built on international standards. High-speed train between Mysuru and Chennai is also approved.

The road networks of Mysuru city are in a gridiron fashion with numerous parallel roads “grids” the city. And then there are some 5 radial roads, all originating from Mysuru Palace, which is the focal point of the city. Mysuru has a very good road network, Bengaluru city is connected by SH-17 with 4 lane road. National Highway 212 and State Highways 17,33,88 pass through Mysuru connecting it to nearby by cities. Mysuru has Outer Ring Road of 42.5-kilometers, all these highways intersect the Outer Ring Road.

Mandakalli Airport is situated around 10 kms from Mysuru City. Nearest international airport is Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru around 170 kms from Mysuru.

There are 2 Medical colleges, 14 Engineering colleges, 12 Polytechnic Colleges, 1 Nature Cure and Yoga college, 2 Ayurveda College and 36 Degree Colleges in Mysuru District.