A Native State Of India, under British protection, situated between lat. 11° 30 and 15° N and lon. 74° 45' and 78° 45' E., and surrounded on all sides by the province of Madras, except where bordered by Coorg on the west and Bombay on the north; area, 27,717 sq. m., of which about 9,000 are under cultivation; pop. in 1872, 5,055,412. The state comprises three divisions for governmental purposes, Nandidroog, Ashtagram, and Nagar; the chief towns are Bangalore, Mysore, and Se-ringapatam. The country consists of an interior table land elevated from 2,000 to 3,000 ft. above the sea, rising westward to the Western Ghauts, which separate it from the seaboard. The principal rivers are the Cavery, Tungabu-dra, and the N. and S. Pennar. There are no natural lakes, but many large tanks and artificial reservoirs in the high grounds. The level of the table land is interrupted in places by large masses of granite, rounded in their outlines, standing singly or in clusters. The climate is healthful. The average annual rainfall is about 30 inches. Mysore not only produces the grains, vegetables, and fruits common to southern India, but also many of those belonging to the temperate regions. A considerable portion of the surface is covered with jungle.
Rice, sugar cane, ragi, a species of coarse grain, and wheat are the chief crops raised. The betelnut palm and the castor oil plant thrive well. Carbonate of soda, salt, and iron are found. The inhabitants are principally Hindoos; in 1872 there were 230,518 Mohammedans, 15,241 Christians, 14,600 Buddhists, and 2,813 of other creeds. The Roman Catholics claim about 20,000 converts. Coarse blankets, carpets, shawls, and cotton cloths are manufactured. There are 3,072 m. of roads in the country, and 48½ m. of railway. The total number of schools during 1871-2 was 2,083, of which G03 were government institutions. - Mysore is mentioned in the Hindoo mythological writings; but the authentic history of the country commences with the Mohammedan invasion in 1326, when it was incorporated with the empire of Delhi. The affairs of that empire soon afterward falling into confusion, Mysore was lost, and some Hindoos escaping from Mohammedan persecution in the north founded a city on the banks of the Tungabudra, which became the capital of a new state comprising nearly the whole of Mysore and part of the Carnatic; but in 1565 its ruler, Ram Rajah, was defeated and slain by the army of a Mohammedan confederation, and his capital taken and depopulated.
A Mysorean chief, named Rajah Wadeyar, acquired possession of the fort and island of Seringapatam, and his successors, by a career of aggression, toward the close of the 17th century had extended their authority over the whole table land of Mysore. In 1731 the minister deposed the rajah, and in 1749 Hyder Ali made his appearance as a volunteer in the army of Mysore, and ultimately rose to be sovereign of the country. Upon the death of his son Tippoo Sahib in 1799, the British annexed a considerable portion of his dominions to their Indian possessions, and allotted the territory now known as Mysore to the descendant of the rajah who had been supplanted by Hyder Ali; but the country having fallen into a deplorable condition under his government, Lord W. Bentinck, the governor general of India, placed the civil and military administration in the hands of a British commission, though the rajah still nominally retained authority. The rajah died childless in 1868, and a chief commissioner, who is directly responsible to the governor general of India, now administers the government in the name of the rajah's adopted son, who is a minor. (See Hyder Alt, Tippoo Sahib, and Sehixgapatam.)
A City, capital of the state, 7 m. S. S. W. of Seringapatam, and 250 m. W. S. TV. of Madras, in lat. 12° 19' X., Ion. 76° 42' E.; pop. in 1872, 57.765. The town is built upon two small hills or parallel elevated ridges, 2,450 ft. above the sea, and is fortified by a wall of earth with a moat, and by a quadrangular fort, within which stands the palace of the titular rajah. The buildings of the town are generally good, and the streets regular and well kept. The want of a sufficient supply of good drinking water is severely felt, and is the main cause of the unhealthiness of the place. Carpet making is the chief industry. Mysore has always been the nominal and historic capital of the district; but it was neglected in favor of Seringapatam by Hyder Ali and his son, and has only recovered from its position of secondary importance within the present century.