History of Mysore Fort and City

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Mysuru Kote Nagara – Mysore Fort and City

Author:  K. S. Subrahmanya

Place: Mysore, Mysuru

In this essay, the author gives the history of the Mysore fort, palace and the old city and their transformations through past centuries.

The Fort at Mysore was earlier built of earth mixed with brickbats. In 1574 Chamaraja Wodeyar IV gave a shape to the fort and built Trinayaneshwara temple in the palace complex for a Linga found in the Chola tank. Ranadhira Kantheerava Wodeyar strengthened and expanded the fort. 1642-43, together with the fort, the palace was also expanded. Water tanks such as Jantada Thotti , Sammukhada Thotti , Saundaryavilasa and Narnateertha Thottis were added. The Fort then measured 1350 feet in length and 1300 feet in breadth. The Trinayaneshwara temple was brougt inside the fort when the fort was expanded. The fort came to have 12 bastions of which 10 had guns mounted. A pleasure garden and tank were created near the Trinayaneshwara temple. Water was brought through aquaducts from numerous tanks into the fort.
Later the fort was rebuilt on its old foundation by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. From the northern gate to the southern was the main street with shops selling flowers and perfumes. There were about, 3,000 houses, big and small inside the fort. There was agrahara and many scholars and asthana vidwans lived there. The fire of 1897 and plague of 1898 changed the whole complex. The palace, devastated by fire, was rebuilt and the Gombetotti portion was newly added to the existing old lay-out. When plague broke out again in 1905, people inside the fort were asked to vacate their houses permanently, and all old houses were demolished in 1911-12.

The essay also speaks of changes seen in the city in its bazars and extensions.

 

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