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Mysore Travel Guide:

Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. It 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 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.
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 mallige, the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, the Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban) and the garment called the Mysore silk saree. 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.

Until 1947, Mysore was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore and was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, except for a 40-year era in the 18th century when Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan were the de facto rulers of the province. The Wodeyars were patrons of art and culture and contributed significantly to the cultural growth of the city, which has led to Mysore earning the sobriquet Cultural capital of Karnataka.
According to Hindu mythology, the area around Mysore was known as Mahishuru or Mahishapuram. It 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.
Chamaraja Wadiyar X ruling Maharaja of Mysore between 1881 and 1894.

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 and changed again to Mysuru by the Government of Karnataka on November 1, 2007) 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).

Geography and climate
Mysore is located at 12.30°N 76.65°E and has an average altitude of 770 metres (2,526 ft).It is situated in the southern region of the state of Karnataka, at the base of the Chamundi Hills and spreads across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi). The summer season is from March to June, followed by the monsoon season from July to November and the winter season from December to February. The highest temperature recorded in Mysore was 38.5 °C (101 °F) on May 4, 2006, and in winter, temperatures as low as 9.6 °C (49 °F) have been recorded. The average annual rainfall received by the city is 798.2 mm (31 in).Though Mysore is situated in the relatively safe seismic zone II, earthquakes of magnitude greater than 4.5 on the Richter scale have been recorded in the vicinity of the city.
Karanji lake in Mysore
Mysore has several lakes, prominent among are the Kukkarahalli, Karanji and 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%, 16.1%, 13.74%, 13.48%, 8.96%, 3.02%, 2.27% and 2.02% respectively.
Mysore is situated between the rivers Kaveri and Kabini, which are a source of drinking water to the city. The city got its first piped water supply when the Belagola project was commissioned in 1896.At present, water is supplied to Mysore in the volume of 42.5 million gallons per day from three projects; Hongally (III Stages), Belagola and Melapur and this reaches 85% of households. Mysore sometimes faces water crises, mainly during the months of summer and in years of deficient rainfall. The city has had an underground drainage system since 1904 and the entire sewage from the city drains into four valleys; Kesare, Malalavadi, Dalavai and Belavatha.

Civic administration
The civic administration of the city is managed by the Mysore City Corporation, which was established as a municipality in 1888 and later converted into a corporation in 1977. The corporation oversees the engineering works, health, sanitation, water supply, administration and taxation in the city. It 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 2007–2008 was Rs. 11,443.89 lakh (US$28.6 million).

The growth and expansion of the city 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. On the contrary, MUDA has faced criticism from citizens of Mysore for its inability to ensure that sufficient sites are allotted to house residents of the city. The electrical supply to the city is managed by the Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Corporation.
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).

Before the advent of the English system of education in Mysore, agraharas imparted the Vedic system of education to Hindus and madrasas 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 in Mysore 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 was established in each hobli (a locality within the city) and the education was free. This led to the establishment of a normal school in Mysore which imparted coaching to teachers who were meant 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. In 1892, the Industrial School, the first institute to impart technical education in the city was started and 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, which was established in 1876, continued to provide Vedic education.
The education system in Mysore received further impetus when the University of Mysore was established in 1916. This was the sixth university to be established in India and first in Karnataka. It was named Manasagangotri ("fountainhead of the Ganges of the mind") by the poet laureate, Kuvempu. The university caters to the districts of Mysore, Mandya, Hassan and Chamarajanagar in Karnataka. About 127 colleges (having a total student population of 53,000) are affiliated with the university. Mysore University is the only university in the state of Karnataka to get a grade of A+ from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India.
Education in the field of engineering was started in Mysore with the establishment of the National Institute of Engineering in 1946 the Second Oldest Engineering College in the State. Medical education started in 1930 when the Mysore Medical College was transferred from Bangalore to Mysore. Other institutes in the city include the Central Food and Technological Research Institute, the Central Institute of Indian Languages and the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing. Prestigious B-Schools such as SDMIMD,JSS Center for Management studies, Bhavan's Institute of Management are located in Mysore city.


Beginning in October 2010, the Mysore Airport (also known as the Mandakalli Airport due to its location provides flights from Bangalore and Chennai through Kingfisher Airlines.


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. However, all railway lines that serve the city are single track ones 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. All trains that connect to Mysore are operated by Indian Railways and the fastest train to serve the city is the Shatabdi Express. The new Railway Project will improve the development prospects of Mysore.


Mysore is connected by National Highway NH-212 to the state border town of Gundlupet which then forks into the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The high traffic State Highway 17 which connects Mysore to Bangalore was, in 2006, upgraded to a four-lane highway which has reduced the 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. But this has run into numerous legal hurdles and the work has yet to be completed. Other main roads are 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 from Mysore. 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 are popular in Mysore.

Information technology
Mysore hosts several information technology related companies. Prominent amongst them is Infosys Technologies Limited. Infosys Mysore also has the largest training center for a private sector organization in Asia. It currently accommodates 15000 trainees each year. In 2009 a new training center has been opened which accommodates 10000 trainee software professionals. Other prominent and notable companies are Wipro Technologies, Software Paradigm Inc, Comat Technologies, Starsoft, L&T, Excel Soft etc.