is thought to have been named after the demon Mahishasura, who according to legend was slain here by the Goddess Durga. From 1400 A.D, Mysore was the main city of the Hindu kings, the Wodeyars. The Wodeyars were under the Vijayanagar Empire till it collapsed in 1565 A.D, upon which they declared themselves independent. They ruled from Mysore ever since, till in 1956 A.D the princely state joined the Republic of India. There was a brief interlude though in the 18th century with the power of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan in the ascendant, they could hardly resist this rich kingdom, only 15 kms from Srirangapatnam. However, on defeating Tipu, the British handed Mysore back to the Wodeyar kings.
Mysore lies in the southern fringes of the Deccan Plateau at a height of 770 metres, 135 kilometres southwest of Bangalore. The River Cauvery flows close to the city but Mysore is not actually on it's banks. Just a little beyond Mysore City one encounters the Western Ghats and sandalwood forests. There are minor hills within city limits, like the Chamundi Hill.
In earlier days one would be surrounded by natural beauty in Mysore. It's no longer as green and unspoilt as it was, but instead has become a bustling mid size Indian city with its fair share of three-wheeler auto rickshaws and smoke belching city buses. It has wide roads and is thankfully free of multi-storey concrete structures. The most important building in the city is the Mysore Palace and no other structure comes even remotely close to it in beauty or grandeur.
Mysore has a moderate climate. Summer day temperatures average at 30° C though some days may be as hot as 35° C. June is the warmest month. Winter is extremely comfortable, with day temperatures for December averaging 27° C. The average night temperatures are 20° C and 17° C for summer and winter respectively. Mysore gets an average 86 centimetres of rain annually, most of it during the monsoon, which lasts from June to October.