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Mysuru – The Cultural Capital of South India

Mysore is located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills about 145.2 km towards the southwest of Bangalore and is spread across an area of 152 km2. Mysore is noted for its heritage structures and palaces, including the Mysore Palace, and for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives many tourists from around the world.

It lends its name to various art forms and culture such as Mysore Dasara, Mysore painting, a very famous sweet dish Mysore Pak, Mysore Masala Dosa, brands such as Mysore Sandal Soap, Mysore Ink, and styles and cosmetics such as Mysore Peta and Mysore silk saris.

Mysore is also known for its special variety of jasmine flower fondly referred as Mysore Mallige and Mysore betel leaves. Mysore has got 18 items GI tagged under its name, highest for any city in India.


Culture

Mysore Dasara Jamboo Savari during Wadiyar rule

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 tenth day called Vijayadashami, the traditional Jumboo Savari is held on the streets of Mysore. The idol of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed on a golden mantapa on the back of a decorated elephant and taken on a procession, joined by tabla, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels.

The Dasara festivities culminate on the night of Vijayadashami with a torchlight parade, known as Panjina Kavayithu.

Infrastructure

Clover leaf Interchange along Bangalore-Mysore Corridor

In 1904, the Mysore government established the City Improvement Trust Board, one of the earliest town planning bodies in India.

The CITB planned new extensions and created modern civic amenities such as new drainage and sewage systems; moreover, it also augmented the beauty of the city by planning wide boulevards, circles and parks. Mysore administrators also built several monumental public buildings in Indo-Saracenic style, which served as administrative buildings, schools and colleges, hospitals and libraries.

All this contributed to the rapid urbanization of Mysore in the first three decades of the 20th century and the making of a handsome, modern city.

Heritage

Illuminated Mysore Palace

Mysore is called the City of Palaces because of several ornate examples 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, which now serves as a folklore museum. Amba Vilas palace exhibits an Indo-Saracenic style of architecture on the outside, but a distinctly Hoysala style in the interior.

Today, the Government of Karnataka maintains the Mysore palace but a small portion has been allocated for the erstwhile Royal family to live in.


Tourism in Mysuru

Mysuru is recognized as the cleanest city among 476 cities in India. The city is an important tourist center of the state of Karnataka. Mysuru is recognized as the city of palaces of India and declared as a heritage city.

The Amba Villas Palace in the city is one of the mainly visited monuments in India. other major tourist spots include Chamundi Hills, Mysore Zoo, St. Philomena’s church, Rail museum, Sand Sculpture Museum, Jaganmohan Palace, Karanji lake, Shuka Vana, Kukkarahalli lake, Lalitha Mahal palace, Wax-museum, Melody Park, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Brindavan gardens, Nanjanagudu, Shivanasamudra falls etc.


Reaching Mysore

Road

If you want to drive to Mysore from Bangalore, take the Mysore Road (NH 217) all the way till Mysore via Kengeri, Ramnagara and Mandya. Alternatively, you can go from Jayanagar, Bangalore on the Kanakpura Road (NH 209) via Kanakpura, Malavalli and Bannur.

Rail

Mysore is connected to most of the major cities in the country through railways. Mysore is also connected to the state capital, Bangalore through more than 25 trains a day. One can also experience the grandeur of the Indian railways through Golden Chariot, a 7 star hotel on wheels, which runs all over Karnataka & south India.

Air

Mysore Airport is a domestic airport serving Mysore city. It is located 10 kilometers south of the city, and is owned and operated by the Airports Authority of India. As of now, the airport has regular daily flights to Chennai, Belagavi, Kochi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Goa.

Blog Posts

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    Here is my analysis on why Bengaluru – Mysuru Twin Cities is an important step for Karnataka to expand its horizon in terms of urban infrastructure.
  • Light Rail Transit for Mysuru City
    The Comprehensive Mobility Plan for Mysuru highlights LRT as one of the options of mass transit mode to change the travel characteristics from a primarily private mode based to a mass transport based.
  • Beautiful Roads of Namma Mysuru
    Mysuru is blessed with many beautiful roads, each of which have a story to tell. When you visit our city, please pay attention to these roads as well, along with other heritage structures. Each road will mesmerise you with its own heritage!
  • Mysore State Railway – A Rail Link To Our History
    Many of us don’t know that Mysore Kingdom was the first princely state of British Raj to have its own railway! The person who made this possible was the then Maharaja of Mysore Kingdom, His Highness, Sri Chamaraja Wadiyar X
  • History and Future of Civil Aviation in Mysuru
    Mysore Airport, is an airport serving Mysuru city. It is located near the village of Mandakalli, 10 kilometres south of the city, and is owned and operated by the Airport Authority of India. History The airport’s history dates to the 1940s, when it was constructed by the Kingdom of Mysore.Continue reading “History and Future of Civil Aviation in Mysuru”