|Mysore (pronounced Mysore.ogg maɪˈsɔər (help·info) in English; Kannada: ಮೈಸೂರು Maisūru) is the fourth-largest city in the state of Karnataka, India, the first three being Bangalore, Hubli-Dharwad and Mangalore. 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 Mahishūru, 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, Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, Mysore Peta (traditional silk turban) and the garment called the Mysore silk saree.
Until 1947, Mysore was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore which was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, except for a 40-year period in the 18th century when Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan were the de facto rulers. The Wodeyars were patrons of art and culture and have 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 Mahishūru and was ruled by a demon, Mahishasura.The demon was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills. Mahishūru later became Mahisūru and finally came to be called Maisūru, 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.