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India: Mysore

Maharaja's Palace, Mysore

The third largest city in Karnataka, Mysore gets its name from Mahishasura, the demon from Puranas, who used to rule here. This city of palaces, flowers and sandalwood was once the residence of the Maharajas of Mysore. Located 140km from Bangalore at a height of 770m above sea level, the city has a non-variant climate. Temperature varies from 20 degree C to 35 degree C during summer and 14 degree C to 28 degree C during the winter.

Vrindavan Gardens

History

Many dynasties ruled Mysore starting from 3rd century BC. The Satavahanas, the Kadambas, the Gangas, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Hoysalas, the Bahmanis, the Adil Shahs, all left their marks in Mysore. From 1399 the Wodeyar family ruled Mysore until India became independent in 1947 except for 38 years in the 18th century when Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan seized power.

Raja Wodeyar (1576-1617) annexed Srirangapattana in 1610 and Bangalore, a little later. During Chikkadevaraya's reign, which kept away from rivalries of Mughals, Marathas and the Nizams, Mysore was most prosperous. After Chikkadevaraya, the Wodeyar rulers became weak and Hyderali through a coup took the power. During the 38 years that followed, Mysore prospered very well. With the headquarters at Srirangapattana, they built beautiful palaces in Mysore and Bangalore, laid out a dream botanical garden at Lal Bagh and fought valiantly to oust the British from their native soil. After the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799 the power was restored to the Wodeyars. In 1831 the British took over the administration of Mysore. In the early 20th century nationalist fervor swept the country and people of Mysore involved actively in the freedom movement. After independence, Mysore was acceded to the Union of India. In 1956 Mysore State was enlarged and on 1st Nov. 1973 renamed Karnataka.