Mysore - The City of Culture

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Mysore, or Mysooru as it has been called for centuries in considered as the cultural capital of the state Karnataka in India. The kingdom of Mysore has played prominent role in history since the 15th century.

Mysore started as a vassal state to the famed Vijayanagar empire in the 14th century. With the eventual collapse of the Empire, Mysore declared independence and was ruled by the Wodeyars till India got independence, except for a few decades in the later parts of 18th century when it was ruled by Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan.

The region was well irrigated with Kaveri river and its tributaries and had great access to ports on the western as well as eastern coasts of India. In the beginning of 19th century, Mysore accepted British suzerainty and had peaceful and cordial relationship with the colonial power. This economic and political stability lead to prosperity of the kingdom and it was considered a Model state during the British rule.

The prosperity and the good intentions of the royal family led to cultural, social and educational progress in the state. Culturally, it was the de facto successor of the erstwhile Vijayanagara empire. And it has lived up to the name.

Mysore Palace

Culture of Mysore is a fine combination of the historic heritage and the contemporary achievements of the city. The continuous patronage and support of the Kings in every field led to the evolution of a distinct style known as the "Mysore Style" in the all the fields like painting, architecture, music, poetry etc.

In a period of time as this culture spread far and wide it was prefixed with the word "Mysore" to identify the unique cultural heritage. To this day in Karnataka the best quality jasmine flowers are referred to as Mysuru Maligae (Mysore Jasmine). Mysore has also lent its name to popular dishes like Mysore Masala Dosa and Mysore Pak. Mysore is also the origin of the popular silk sarees called as Mysore silk sarees and has also given rise to a popular form of painting called as Mysore painting.

The Wodeyars and Vijayanagar kingdom were known to have spread the message of brotherhood and allowed the peaceful co-habitation of multi-religious people in Mysore. The Kings of Mysore have laid a strong foundation for communal harmony by making generous contributions towards religious centers of all religions. Mysore has been a city where all religions have co-existed in harmony for many centuries.

Over the years Mysore has become a cosmopolitan city with people from different walks of life living together peacefully. One finds people from different parts of the country, speaking different languages, celebrating different festivals all co-existing peacefully. Though Mysore has become a modern city it has not lost touch with its tradition and culture.


The festivals of Mysore are a fascinating indicator of the cultural unity of the place. Inhabited by people of different faiths and beliefs Mysore becomes a common cultural canopy under which the various social festivals are celebrated by one and all. Dasara is one such major festival followed by the people of Mysore with enough mirth and enthusiasm.