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History of Mysore

Mysore has a rich and varied history. The name of the city is believed to have been derived from "Mahishasurana Ooru", (town of Mahishasura in Kannada). According to the ancient treatise, Devi Purana, Mysore was ruled by the buffalo-headed demon Mahishasura. Responding to the prayer of the Gods and Goddesses to save them from this demon, Goddess Parvathi took the form of Chamundeshwari and killed Mahishasura at the Chamundi Hills in Mysore city.

For most of the 2nd century, Mysore was ruled by the Ganga dynasty that was followed by the Cholas, the Chalukyas and then the Hoysalas and the Vijayanagar dynasty. In 1399, the Yadu or Wodeyar dynasty established their supremacy over Mysore. Initially feudatories of the Vijayanagar Empire, the Wodeyars ruled over Mysore for 6 centuries except for a brief period in the 18th century when Mysore passed into the hands of Haider Ali and his son, the legendary Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore. After a series of wars, the British were able to defeat and kill Tipu Sultan and capture Mysore. The British restored Mysore to the Wodeyars but in 1831, took control of the administration themselves through a series of Commissioners till 1881. In 1881, Mysore was restored once more to the Wodeyars. After India’s independence in 1947, Mysore was part of the Indian dominion and in 1956; it became part of the state of Karnataka.

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