'Mysore' is synonymous with 'Magic", and magic is what you will get wherever you go throughout this fairy-tale land
Karnataka is the eighth largest state in India in both area and population. It was formerly known as Mysore. On November 1,1973, the name Mysore was changed to Karnataka.
Karnataka lies between 74o and 78o East longitudes and 11o and 18o North latitudes. It is situated on the western edge of the Deccan plateau and is surrounded by Maharashtra and Goa on the north, Andhra Pradesh on the east, and Tamil Nadu and Kerala on the south. On the west, it opens out on the Arabian Sea.
Geographically, Karnataka occupies three natural regions like the Coastal strip, the Sahyadris and the Deccan plateau. They are known in Kannada as Paschima Karavali, Malnad and Maidan respectively.
The topography of Karnataka is largely a reflection of the geology of the state. The Sahyadris are covered with evergreen forests. They drop abruptly towards the Arabian Sea, thus forming a natural barrier between the plateau and the coastal regions. Four passes provide access to the coast. They are the Subrahmanya Ghat, the Charmadi Ghat, the Shiradi Ghat, and the famous Agumbe Ghat. The western Ghats slope gently towards the Bay of Bengal. This is the plateau region drained by the two principal rivers Krishna and the Kaveri. The average elevation of the plateau is about 610 meters above sea-level.
The plateau of Karnataka is said to have been associated to the happenings in the Epic Ramayana. It witnessed a horde ofhistorical activities since the ancient prehistoric civilization. Legends associate it to the Kingdom of the grandfathers of Bhagirath and to the Lord Shiva. Having the Arabian Sea on its west it is said to have been influenced by new cultures from the west coast. This region had a considerable influence of the Jain culture. The Magadhan ruler Chandragupta Maurya, influenced this region till his death at Shravana Belagola. Karnataka witnessed the rule of the Satavahanas for nearly 300 years, followed by the Kadambas and the Pallavas. The Gangadikaras ruled till 11th century. The chalukyas of Badami and later the Rashtrakutas ruled over this region. The Kalacharis, Hoysalas, Yadavas, Kakatiyas exercised their control. Karnataka also witnessed the onslaught of the Muslims under Malik Kafur. The Hindu power established itself in 1336 at Vijayanagar by Harihara (Hakka) and Bukka. Vijayanagar period was an age of glory and prosperity. The Bahamanis also established themselves in 1337. In 1565 the empire of Vijayanagar was shattered by the Sultans of the Deccan at the famous battle of Talikota.
The people of Karnataka have been living in intimate and mutually beneficial contact with all their immediate neighbours namely, the Marathas, the Andhras, the Tamilians and the Malayalis. Adi Shankara established one of his principal monasteries at Sringeri. Sri Ramanuja made a sojourn of several years at Melukote. He brought the families of several Srivaishnava devotees along with him. There is a group known as Sanketis, speaking a Tamil dialect. They migrated into Karnataka from Tamil Nadu from a place called Shencottah. The names of other group indicate the place of their origin. Badaga Nadu means people who came from the North.
The Okkaligas have maintained their identity for over a thousand years. They have existed as a separate class from the time of the Gangas of Talkad. The Voddas (masons) once classed as a criminal tribe, came originally from Orrisa. The Lambanis were camp followers of the invading Maratha armies in the 17th century. Hyder Ali encouraged gardeners called Tigalas to migrate from Tamil Nadu to Bangalore and thus, helped in the laying out of Lal Bagh.
A large number of Malayali families have migrated into the Mysore district. Tradesmen (Byaris), priests and plantation labourers from Kerala have always found lucrative jobs in Coorg and South Kanara. The Kannada spoken in this area is influenced considerably by the speech habits of the southern neighbours. The public sector industries established in Bangalore attract thousands of skilled workers from Kerala.
The Kurubas inhabiting the forests of the Karnataka and Coorg districts have Negroid features. They are primitive in every respect. They are gatherers of food, hunters, and nomads. If they build thatched huts, it is only to set fire to them and go in search of a new habitation, the following year.
They practice agriculture as a subsidiary occupation. Instead of ploughing the field, they scratch the surface with a sort of bamboo spear. They reap the ears of corn and allow the neighbouring villagers to collect the hay. They have no use for fodder, for they have no cattle.
Their dress and food were of the simplest kind. The women did not know of the existence of an upper garment. The men were content with a loin cloth. Their principal meal consisted of a ball of cooked ragi-flour together with roots and fruits gathered by the women and the flesh of birds and small game hunted by the men. The Government allowed them to wander freely all over the forest area in return for planting a few teak saplings annually in the plots occupied by them.
In the past, the Jenu Kurubas were mostly dependent upon shifting cultivation and collection of honey etc. But now most of them have given up their traditional occupation and they earn their livelihood by working in forests on daily wages. The Bewttada Kurubas have been more successful in implementing government schemes. Their economic position has also considerably improved. The Social Welfare Department have several schemes to civilize these primitive tribes. These tribes has a number of manual skills such as planting timber with a primitive implement (Malu), weaving baskets, carving canes etc.
Ulsoor Lake : Ulsoor lake is a perfect gateway dotted with picturesque islands. This pretty picnic spot is on the north eastern fringe of the city center. Here one can enjoy boat ride or swim in the near by pool. One of Kempegowda's watch towers stand near by.
Lalbagh Botanical Gardens : This garden is at Lal Bagh Fort Road. The pleasant and superb 100 ha Botanical garden were laid out by Hyderali in 1760 while his son Tippu Sultan added a wealth of plants and trees from many countries. It was originally called Lalbagh because the garden had profusion of red roses. It has a very good collection of tropical and sub tropical and medicinal plants.
Glass House : based on London Crystal Palace, is the main attraction in this huge park. It is built in 1881. There are major flower displays here in the week preceding Republic day and the week before Independence day. The gardens are open daily from sunrise to sunset. Entry free during flower shows.
'Bal Bhavan' : is a children park with pony rides, boat rides, toy train rides and other attractions. It open on Sunday 09.30 - 18.00, public holidays 09.30 -20.00. Closed on Monday and second Tuesday of the month.
Rose Garden : is another attraction at Lal Bagh garden. It is placed at the heart of the Lal Bagh, near to north gate entrance. 150 different kinds of roses are grown here.
Cubbon Park : Cubbon park was planned by Sir. Richard Sankey, the then chief Engineer of Mysore and named after Sir Mark Cubbon, Bangalore's longest serving commissioner. With in the sprawling cubbon park are situated the Attara Kacheri, the central library, the aquarium, the Jawahar bal bhavan with its mini theatre and toy train, the museum, VITM and KSLTA tennis court.
Vidhan Soudha : It is at Dr.Ambedkar Veddi Road, Banglore. It is a beautiful building, built between 1954 and 1958. It houses the state legislature and secretariat. Opposite side of the Vidhan soudha there is another attractive public building, red brick High court of Karnataka, built in 1885.
Nehru Planetarium : It has a seating capacity of 200 and conducts special shows for schools. The lectures and shows on astronomy are a regular features. It is closed on Mondays and 2nd Tuesdays. Just opposite to Nehru Planetarium, is a new attraction "Musical Dancing Fountain".
Tipu's Summer Palace : This palace is at Albert Victor Road. Visit - Daily 8 - 5.30 PM. The Haidar Ali started the construction of this palace and this wooden summer palace completed by Tipu Sultan in 1789. Its construction was alike of the Daria Daulat palace of Srirangapatnam. The 2- storeyed ornate palace is made of wood. The walls and ceilings are painted in brilliant colours with carvings. The building is now used to exhibit the modern photo of Tipu and his era.
Bull Temple : It is one of the oldest temple in the city and is built by Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore. This typical Dravidian style temple has a mammoth, monolithic bull, 15ft high and 20ft long. It is made of gray granite polished with a mixture of charcoal and groundnut oil, in 1786. It is believed that it has grown in size since and now measures nearly 5 meters in height and 6 meters in length. The temple is dedicated to Nandi, the sacred bull. Visit - Daily 6- 8 PM, Entry is free.
MUSEUMS : Visveswaraiah Industrial
and Technological Museum
Government Museum : It is situated
at Kasturba Gandhi Road, Cubbon Park. Visit - Thursday to Tuesday 1000
-1700. Small entry fee.
Venkatappa Art Gallery : is next to the museum exhibits the works done by the Karnataka Painter. The state products are displayed at the Trade Centre, next door to the Visveswaraya Industrial and Technological Museum.
Places Around Bangalore
Bannerghatta National Park (22km)
Hogenekkal Falls (140km)
Chowdaiah Memorial Hall
Kolar Gold Fields
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Cottages, St. Thomas Church Road, Fern H ill PO., Ooty, The
Nilgiris, Tamilnadu-643 001, INDIA