Bangalore may be the state capital of Karnataka, but Mysore is the cultural capital of the state. Situated 140 km from Bangalore, the city, is famous for its palaces and its sandalwood and silk.
The name Mysore invokes an ancient legend. According to Hindu mythology, the region was once tyrannised by the demon king Mahishasur who was killed in a fierce nine-day battle with the Goddess Chamundeshwari. The Goddess is worshipped at a temple atop the nearby Chamundi Hill which bears her name. The nine-day battle is celebrated as the festival of Dussehra. And the city is still remembered as 'Mahishasurana Ooru" - 'City of Mahishasur', in short, Mysore. Some battle that must have been!
Mysore also invokes the fragrances of sandalwood. The main attractions for the tourists are the sandalwood handicrafts and the varieties of Mysore silk. But Mysore is more a visual treat because of its long history as the center of the Wodeyar Kingdom from the 16th century onwards. The Wodeyars built numerous palaces all of which are rich in architectural and historical beauty. Of more recent origin are the beautiful Brindavan Gardens, famous for the colourful, choreographed dancing fountains that have been captured in many song-and-dance movie scenes. So this is Mysore, the city of sandalwood and silk, demons and dynasties!
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