Terrified by the demonic Mahishasura, the ruler of the land – the Gods & Goddesses prayed for the birth of Goddess Parvati. In her Chamundeshwari form, she killed the tormentor atop the Chamundi Hill, and it is there that she is worshipped in her idol form, till date. Mysore, thus, got its name from its slain demonic king, a corrupted version of ‘Mysooru’ which actually translates to ‘Mahishasura’.
Over the years, Mysore has had a glorious history of kingship. Be it the Cholas, the Vijaynagar Kings, the Chalukyas, the Wodeyars or the great Tipu Sultan himself; there’s none who hasn’t ruled over Mysore. This ancient 10th century town is now a modern city, famous for retaining its quaint old world charm and its sandalwood of course.
Nested in the southern part of the state of Karnataka, Mysore is often called the ‘cultural capital’ of the state, due to its cultural ambience and achievements. It is in fact very famous for the magnificent festivities that take place during the ten-day long festival of Dasara. It is also well known for its paintings (which involves gesso work), the nearby wildlife and palaces, more famously, the Mysore Palace.
A visit to Mysore would never be complete without tasting its delicious cuisine. A traditional Mysore lunch would include kosambri, huli, gujju, palyas, rasam and papad – a gastronomical delight! In addition to that, the Mysore Pak, a gram flour fudge is a must try for every sweet lover.
There are many places which provide ample opportunities for sightseeing, a typical day out in the city would include visits to the Brindavan Gardens (a beautiful botanical park), the Mysore Palace and the many museums around. A little away from Mysore, is the Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary – famous for the Streak throated-Swallows and over a hundred other birds.
There are sandalwood & rosewood carved masterpieces to buy and the charm of Silk sarees to experience…besides that, the hills, palaces, markets and temples create a treat hard to resist for travelers from all backgrounds. For all that and much more, Mysore is the place to be.