Mysore is one of the top tourism destinations in India. This city itself is a major attraction with numerous popular sites like the Mysore Palace, St. Philomena's Church, Chamundi Hill, Mysore Zoo, Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, Rail Museum and so on. There are close to 200 structures in the city with a heritage tag.
In addition Mysore city serves is an ideal gateway/ base for exploring the numerous places around Mysore which are popular tourism destinations. For example the historic Srirangapatna, Somnathpur known for the Hoysala era temple, the Brindavan Gardens at KRS, the ancient Jain center of Shravanabelagola, Bandipur National Park, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, the Tibetan center of Bylakuppe , the Coorg district etc are some of the attractions that can be easily accessed from Mysore city.
History of Mysore
The word Mysore is a corrupted version of "mysooru", which is derived from the word "mahishur" or "Mahishasurana Ooru", which means the town of Mahishasura in Kannada, the local language. Mysore has been associated with the Puranic story found in the Devi Bhagavatha. According to the story in the Devi Purana, Mysroe was ruled by the demon Kind Mahishasura. Mahishasura was a buffalo-headed monster. In response to the prayer by the Gods and Goddesses to save them from the demon, Goddess Parvathi, took birth as Chamundeshwari and killed the monster on top of the Chamundi hill near Mysore. Hence the hill and the city have the names Chamundi Hill and Mysore respectively.
It is said that after killing the monster the Goddess stayed on top of the hill, where she is worshipped with great devotion to this day. The famous 10 daylong Dasara of Mysore is in honour of the Goddess Chamundeshwari and is a celebration of this victory of good over evil. Before the rise of the Gangas in the 10th century there is little historical evidence relating to Mysore. The Gangas established their supremacy in the 2nd century and they ruled over a large part of Mysore till about 1004 AD. In the 3rd century they established their capital at Talakad on the banks of the river Cauvery.