COMAD 2009 Conference, Mysore                                                                                    


History of Mysore: 

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 restore the city’s name back 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. 

Mysore was the erstwhile capital of the Mysore Maharajas, who ruled Mysore State from this royal city. Mysore is the second largest city in the Indian state of Karnataka with a population of over 0.7 million. The chief language of the people, as in the State of Karnataka, is Kannada and original Kannada is spoken in this part of the area. The city is also known as the 'Garden City' and the 'City of Palaces'. 

The city is also known for its palaces and proximity to several other places of interest like Srirangapatna, Sivasamudram Falls, and Krishna Raja Sagara Dam.  Along with sandalwood products and crafts, Mysore is also famous for its celebration of the ten day Navaratri or Dasara festival held every year. The city has many heritage buildings. 



Mysore district lies in the (Southern Plateau) and it is in the southernmost part of Karnataka State. The district forms the southern part of the Deccan peninsula with Tamil Nadu to its southeast, the Kodagu district to its west, Mandya district to its north, Hassan district to its northwest and Bangalore district to its northeast.  

The district covers a total geographical area of 6, 76,382 hectares of which 62,851 hectares constitutes the forest land. The city has an average altitude of 770 metres (2,526 ft). The prominent river of the district is the Cauvery. Mysore district is considered as one of the prosperous district of the state based on the development and utilization of irrigation facilities, abundance of forest wealth and sericulture products. The city has several lakes, prominent among which are the Kukkarahalli, Karanji and Lingambudhi lakes. Mysore.


Business and economy:

Tourism remains the major industry in Mysore, attracting about 2.5 million tourists in 2006 alone. Mysore also hold the distinction of being second largest software exporter in the state of Karnataka, next only to Bangalore. The city also boasts of being home to the Mysore University, whose alumni include eminent dignitaries like Kuvempu, Gopalakrishna Adiga, S. L. Bhyrappa, U. R. Ananthamurthy and N.R. Narayana Murthy. The All India Radio, the premier radio broadcasting arm of the Government of India had its beginnings here. In a survey conducted in 2001 by Business Today, the business arm of India Today, Mysore was ranked the 5th best city in India in which to conduct business. For the industrial development of the city, the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has established four industrial areas in and around Mysore and are located in Belagola, Belawadi, Hebbal (Electronic City) and Hootagalli areas. The major industries in Mysore include BEML, J. K. Tyres, Wipro, SPI, Falcon Tyres, L & T and Infosys.


Art and culture:

The cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore is well known for the festivities that take place during the period of Dasara, the state festival of Karnataka. On the ninth day of Dasara, called Mahanavami, the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession comprising decorated elephants, camels and horses. On the tenth day, called Vijayadashami, the traditional Dasara procession (locally known as Jumboo Savari) is held on the streets of Mysore city. Mysore is called the City of Palaces because of the number of palaces situated in the city, including Amba Vilas popularly known as Mysore Palace, Jaganmohana Palace which has now been converted into an art gallery, Rajendra Vilas also known as the summer palace, situated in the Chamundi Hills, Lalitha Mahal which has now been converted into a 5 star hotel and Jayalakshmi Vilas, which is now on the University of Mysore premises. Externally, Amba Vilas palace exhibits an Indo-Saracenic architecture style though the interior is distinctly Hoysala style of architecture in nature. Even though the Government of Karnataka now maintains the Mysore palace, a small portion of the palace has been allocated for the erstwhile Royal family to live in. The Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion was constructed by Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar for his daughter Jayalakshammanni. It is now a museum dedicated to folk culture. A new gallery is being added for artifacts and collections of the Wodeyars of Mysore.  

The Mysore painting style is an offshoot of the Vijayanagar school of painting. King Raja Wodeyar (1578–1617 CE) is credited with having been the patron for this style of painting. The distinctive feature of these paintings is the gesso work in which gold foils are pasted appropriately on the painting. Mysore is the location of the International Ganjifa Research Centre, which is involved in the research of the ancient card game Ganjifa and the art associated with it.  Mysore is known for rosewood inlay work, with an estimated 4,000 craftsmen involved in this art.  The city lends its name to the Mysore silk saree, made with pure silk and gold zari. Mysore has institutes such as the Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA), which offers education in visual art forms like painting, graphics, sculpture, applied art, photography, photo-journalism and art history. The famous English novelist and creator of Malgudi, R. K. Narayan and his brother and cartoonist R. K. Laxman spent much of their life in Mysore.



Mysore is a tourism hot spot within the state of Karnataka and also acts as a base for other tourist places in the vicinity of the city. The city receives the maximum number of tourists during the period of the Dasara festival when festivities take place for a period of 10 days. One of the most visited monuments in India, the Ambavilas Palace (also known as Mysore Palace) is the center of the Dasara festivities. The Jaganmohana Palace, the Jayalakshmi Vilas and the Lalitha Mahal are some of the other palaces in the city. Chamundeshwari Temple, atop the Chamundi Hills and St. Philomena's Church are popular religious places in Mysore.

The Mysore Zoo, established in 1892, and the Karanji and Kukkarahalli lakes are also popular spots for tourists. Museums in Mysore include the Regional Museum of Natural History, the Folk Lore Museum, the Railway Museum and the Oriental Research Institute. The city is also a centre for yoga-related health tourism that attracts lot of foreign visitors as well.

A short distance from Mysore city is the Krishnarajasagar Dam and the adjoining Brindavan Gardens where a musical fountain show is held in the evening. Places of historic importance lying close to Mysore are Srirangapatna, Somanathapura and Talakad. The hills, B R Hills and Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta and the hill stations of Ooty and Madikeri are all near Mysore. Popular destinations for wildlife enthusiasts near Mysore include the National Parks at Bandipur and Nagarhole, the wildlife sanctuaries at Melkote and B R Hills and the bird sanctuaries at Ranganathittu and Kokrebellur. Other tourist spots near Mysore include the religious locations of Nanjanagud and Bylakuppe and the waterfalls at Shivanasamudra. 


Mysore, next IT hub:

In the recent days the catch up phrase has been Namma Mysore, thanks to rapid developments in the manufacturing sector and the IT industry. Whichever political party has been in power in the state for the past 5 years, all have voiced out the phrase  “Make Mysore the next best destination for IT”

Mysore is proving to be the next IT hub in Karnataka after the phenomenal success of Bangalore. The Government of India has recognized Mysore as the numero uno among the 20 Tier II cities of India for the promotion of IT industry. Currently, all of the IT related industries are concentrated around the Mysore city. The Software Technology Park (STP) in Mysore was inaugurated in Mysore in the year 1998 by the Prime Minister of India, Atal Behari Vajpayee. As of Aug-2006, there are 42 companies registered with the Mysore STP.  

Some of the major IT Companies having a presence in Mysore are:

* Wipro Infotech
* WeP Peripherals Ltd. (earlier known as Wipro ePeripherals Ltd.)
* Infosys Technologies Ltd.
* Software Paradigms (India)
* Larsen and Toubro Infotech (L & T).
* Larsen and Toubro - EmSys
* Comat Technologies
* Excelsoft Technologies
* Kaveri Technology Solutions * Software Paradigms of India Ltd. (SPI).




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