Saturday, December 16, 2006
Mysore wootz steel: Wootz is the anglicized version of ukku in the languages of the states of Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, a term denoting steel. Literary accounts suggest that the steel from the southern part of the Indian subcontinent was exported to Europe, China, the Arab world and the Middle East. India has been reputed for its iron and steel since ancient times. Literary accounts indicate that steel from southern India was rated as some of the finest in the world and was traded over ancient Europe, China, the Arab world and the Middle East. Studies on wootz indicate that it was an ultra-high carbon steel with 1-2% carbon and was believed to have been used to fashion the
Damascus blades with a watered steel pattern.
Wootz steel also spurred developments in modern metallographic studies and also qualifies as an advanced material in modern terminology since such steels are shown to exhibit super-plastic properties.In India till the 19th century swords and daggers of wootz steel were also made at centres including Lahore, Amritsar, Agra, Jaipur, Gwalior, Tanjore, Mysore, Golconda etc. although none of these centres survive today. Different types of Damascus swords have been identified in Salr Jung museum in Hyderabad.
The English word steel and the German Stahl are derived from Stahal in Old High German (~l1th century AD) and contain the reconstituted Indo-European root *sta which can be found in the German verb "stehen /stand" or in English "to stand", and related to the Sanskrit stakati, which means: "it resists". The same root is used in Nordic languages and in modem Russian, Polish, etc. In Celtic languages the same root is generally used, e.g., stailin but other words meaning force or hardness are also found, e.g., dir in Breton.
A major problem in doing scientific experiments on wootz Damascus steel is the inability to obtain samples for study. Such study requires that the blades be cut into sections for microscopic examination, and small quantities must be sacrificed for destructive chemical analysis. A rare example where museum-quality wootz Damascus blades were donated to science for study is reported in the 1924 .
The sword blanks and cakes of ukku wootz were exported in large numbers. Aristotle reportedly commented on its qualities. Some say it dates from around 500 AD. while others say it is far older. But the technology seems to have dwindled and vanished by early 1700's.
But history proclaims that wootz steel came from Mysore and few other southern parts of India.
It means that from yore ,Mysore has had inventions that we could be proud of.Is it sufficient to be proud or do something worthwhile?
Monday, December 04, 2006
Take a look at one of the idli recipe's. The only major difference is that Mysore mallige akki or rice is used in place of ordinary rice. And urad dal is generally not added and puffed rice is used instead. This make the idli more light-which means it has less calories. You can eat as many of these soft and delicious idli's without worrying about your weight.
I am looking for some places in mysore where mysore mallige idli's are the best. I just am not able to put my finger on one particular place though.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
One of the best resedential schools not only in Mysore , but also in the entire country. Founded nearly 50 years ago, the school is situated in Yadavgiri, Mysore.The school is known as "Home away from home" by its students, due to its atmosphere resembling home. Situated on a huge area of around 30 acres, the school is a pre-composite setup, with classes from 8th standard to the Seoncd year pre university.
You can take a look at the www.srkvs.org site to know more about the school. Vidyashala held its golden jubilee celebrations recently and it was inded a grand event, with golden moments to treasure. You can look at these at
The school is run by the ramakrishna mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda. Very recently on the 19th November this year, the school held a inter high school competition in general knowledge.It seems to be annual event which attracts large number of students from all the schools across the city. The picture of Buddha under a bodhi tree was taken at vidyashala. The small Statue is blended into the background which has a fountain and resembles a forest. The School also has a nature school, which has facility to teach students amidst the serene atmosphere of the garden. Words seem inadequate to desribe the entire school in a single post though.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I came across a post in which the titl Is "Bored and Mysoored", well not musch differenc in the spelling of Mysoored and mysored, but yes it has a lot of difference if you look at it this way, In this post the person is aldready posted to mysoore. The Feeling of being marooned is pervasive among such people. They seem to have lost the glitter of the big city life. Sentences such as "the internet connection is so slow that..." and "its becoming a pain..." etc show the level of discontent, this can generate. Not that mysore is a village with a single telephone line for the entire city....Actually on the contrary Mysore has one of the best internet connectivities in the country.So much for being Mysoored, I would give a bundle to be mysoored really...honest!!.
Monday, November 20, 2006
I dont blame any specific political party for this, rather i am of the opinion that we are responsible for our own situation. If not for our stupidity, ignorance and among other things carlessness, it would have been a rather vibrant democracy that india would have had. What i mean is that, rather than developmental issues, we are more intrested in issues of dispute. Correct if i am wrong, but it is but natural for me, a person who has never ever cast his vote to complain about politics.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
The visiting hours for the same seem to be fixed between 9 am and 6 pm. I found the mini train ride rather pleasant after the walk through the museum. It can be noted here that Mysore has a huge railway campus near Ashokpuram, where train repair and design takes place. The rail museum has its entrance just opposite to the entrance of CFTRI.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The hill has a temple of krishna, or some incarnation therof. It is rather difficult to remember and classify the gods of india as they have a different name at each temple.Swamy vivekananda is said to have mentioned something along the lines that there are 33 crore gods and godesses in india. Well if i remember correctly he told that all these gods were of no vail if a person did not have confidence.
The gail forced winds at Gopalswamy Betta are legendary, they are known to have blown away may jackets, and what not...
The proper name for the place is Venugopalswamy betta with the suffix himadvat.If you visit the place make sure it remains clean, with increasing tourist load the place is slowly but steadily getting dirty.and make sure you carry your own food and water.
Friday, November 17, 2006
The bus service run by KSRTC has named a few of its routes as "Mysooru Mallige" due its popularity. Its still not clear tio me how a particular product is branded as belonging to a particular region though. The sweet fragrance of the flower no doubt should qualify as a criteria to differentiate it from other jasmine flowers!!!!!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Others wanted various innovations to be introduced. The refractive index of the cover should be made such that it does not cause glare. Some others wanted a facility to connect the mobile to the helmet.The debate was rather complicated, with questions being raised about the quality of ISI certified helmets.
Inspite of all the debate, it seems Mysoreans are doomed to wear helmets from tommorow.
Monday, November 13, 2006
From the past 25 years MD course in Kayachikitsa has been available.Since one year the MD course has also started in Sidanta. The building is situated in the center of the city opposite to the central library. The Hospital and college are situated adjacent to each other. Aprt from this the college also has a separate botanical garden elsewhere.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
It is popular belief that bathing in the river kaveri which flows through Talkad during this period is very beneficial. Many diseases are said to be cured by bathing in the river.Howevr, it is difficult for me to comprehend, keeping in mind the level of pollution that has entered our river systems.If you plan to see the temples it would be a good idea to visit now, as the temples have been cleared of all sand.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The charm of the very name mysore seems to attract consumers. But it has to be acknowledged that mysore is a time tested brand, that has stood its ground.Mysore-now mysooru(i keep remebering) is a sure seller when it comes to traditonal products.
- Let Thalkad become a desert
- The king shall have no children
- Let the great river have a whirlpool.
Yes talkad is indeed a desert. Although situated on the banks of a river, sand fills the entire region. Eucalyptus trees grow everywhere.And the second part also seems to be true as the kings adopt a relative as a son.The third part which is rather general can be interrpreted in many ways.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Does rest of the country have something to learn from this??, may be !! although this trend of sunday markets in the city suburbs is somewhat prevelant in some villages which have become a part of the city it is yet to become a established trend. The practice of sunday markets is very much in vogue in the villages, but let us hope the same spreads to the suburbs as well. Apart from this the city of Mysore has a separate market. This market has now been declared as a heritage site. However, plans to modernise the market has created a public debate. But the results will be known in a few months time. More about the market in a later post.
Friday, November 03, 2006
- It should have ISI mark
- Beware ISI stickers will not withstand the rains of mysore
- Only ISI painted on the helmet is a "good" helemet
- The cost of ISI helmets starts from 500 INR
Lot of vendors can be seen selling helmets on the foot path leading upto the city via Hunsur road and other places. Although these helmets are cheaper, they are pasting stickers of ISI. You can buy helmets in the city at places like scooter house and other shops in the same lane, cutting across the old bank road.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Mysore Search Engine is an attempt at providing all mysore specific results at one place. The search engine can be put up on your site if you want. Just let me know and i will give you the code to be included in your site.
How does Mysore search work?
It is a search engine specifically custom built for Mysore. For example if you want to search for “Mysore palace” you just need to type “palace” in this search engine and you will be taken to the relevant search results. The search results are highly specific as they are from a highly specific database. You can use Mysore search by visiting
Will this improve connectivity between mysore related sites?
Yes, for example if somebody is visiting a site about mysore palace and wants to know about hotel bookings, he/she will just have to type hotel in the search box and the person will be presented with a list of hotel related sites in mysore.
How to get my site included in this search engine?
You can have your mysore related sites included in this search engine just by letting me know about such sites, by commenting on this page.You dont need to pay any money for inclusion. Its free.
Can i get my personal pages listed in this search engine?
Sure, but you should be in some way connected to mysore. If not atleast your personal site should have some content about mysore.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
If we need to preserve our language we need some inovative rather than drastic measures, such as picketing english language advertisement boards. When i say inovative, i refer to inititives like essay contests, awards to kannada writers, journalists and otehrs who have been working for kannada. I do agree that these measures may not seem to be suffecient.But atleast let us make an honest begining.
This lake also has its own share of birds and Butterflys. It is also called a nature park, due to its huge butterfly population. You can take a look at it in the evening light at
The lakes in mysore may go the same way that lakes in all the bigger cities have gone. Attempts will be made to make them land fills and build tall buildings.Lets hope the sanity in men will survive and we will let these lakes live.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Efforts by the mysore university and other citizens has resulted in cleaning up of the sewage, which was polluting the lake. Now, fishing and boating have been intoduced here. Earlier to its popularisation ,MAN (Mysore Amateur Naturalists) used to organise bird watching expeditions around the lake. With the increased popularity the number of birds has decreased significantly. Some of the birds that could be seen are the Brahmini Kite, Morhon's, various ducks, even some pelicans could be found at the central island-peninsula.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Mysore has been a center of learning from the days of the maharajas. Mysore is known not only for its university but also for the numerous schools and colleges. The picture sh
ows the craford hall-where earlier students who graduated where given their certificates. The university which is spread over a large area is known as Manasagangothri. With changing times various courses are being introduced in the university. You can know more about the university by visiting their site at
earlier the various colleges were affiliated to the university based on their location. However, with the creation of universities specific to the educational strams the colleges affiliated to the university have changed. Now the Vishweshwarya technical university, rajiv-Gandhi Health university have taken up colleges present in mysore as well.
A rasam is a type of soup..may be. It is either taken directly as soup or mixed with rice and eaten. Since we are talking about food let me tell you about mysore bonda as well. It is a fried food which is very tasty. Although not very popular in mysore, the name mysore bonda is popular and wide spread. You can get a recipe here.
Well i dont cook, so please dont blame me if these recipes cause any problems.
Friday, October 27, 2006
So long then. Life moves on in mysore, people not gripped by terror as much they are in various other terror prone locations..??If at all terror can be localised.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The central food technology research institue situated in Mysore is a part of the CSIR institutes that are invlolved into reasearch in various fields of science. The institute whch opened during 1950's was a result of the severe food problems caused due to the famines and wars that ravaged this country during its formative years after independence. The website offers more information about history and that sort of stuff. You can visit them at
The institute offers project internships to students in the various departments in the institute. And several full time doctoral and post doctoral oppurtunities can be found here. Apart from this they provide various Msc courses as well.For detailed information you need to check out their website.Some really fascinating things like dosa machine have been made by them. Various patents are taken by them every year. The institute which is the "forerunner in food technology" also offers solutions to private sector firms as well.The location which is a huge campus is situated in between theKukrahalli lake and the railway museum. The recent terrorist attack at the Indian institute of science has resulted in beefed up security here as well. When i visited the institute during its 50th anniversarry celebration various things like bio-degradable plastics, biscuits made from ragi,wheat,rice etc where shown to us...and we ate one and it was delicious. Glass blowing was also demonstrated to us.They have the state of the art facilities as far befitting any institute of such repute.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The homepage of the Mysore search engine is
You can put the search engine box on your site by pasting the code in this blog with the search engine title. If the name is not included the engine will become non-operational after some time.And those of you who want to contribute can do so by contacting me either through this blog or by the Mysore search engine home page.
Bengal gram flour - 100gms
Keep all ingrdients ready.First time it is better to try out small quanities.
Place water and sugar in a thick bottom pan and keep a long laddle handy.Do it on low fire,stir this sugar and water until a thin(thread like consitency is formed)slowly add the fine flour ,stir well and go on adding the ghee.A strong appetizing aroma brings every body in-but don't get distracted,keep stirring until ,the ghee is seen on the sides of the pan,when it is still semi solid stop heating and pour into a greased plate which you should have kept ready before hand.Cut into square or triangular shapes.This is Mysore pak but if you didnot do it right it may look like Mysore map instead of pak.Goodluck-try to make it.
You would make your family memebers very happy if you can cook it at home. Though you can find it most of the sweet stalls. However, I would recommend you to buy from Krishna sweets near the Appolo hospital or Mahalakshmi sweets in Vidyaranyapuram. Even Bombay tiffani's mysore pak seemed ok. You can even order it some of the hotels in Mysore. The tast of Mysore pak cant be described in words--sure enough--but you should taste it atleast once when you come to Mysore.
One of my classmates who had come here from far of delhi, liked the sweet so much that he took a load full while going back. Infact he was asking me where to get the best variety of the sweet. May be he will eventually get addicted to it...hehehehe...And those of you who cant visit mysore right now, you could prepare it by using the recipe given in the letzcook blog given above.You can even get a look at the wonderful delicousy on that blog.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
'Ganduberunda' is a mythical bird that is the royal emblem of the royal family of Mysore, the wodeyars. Later on after independence the government of Karnataka has taken up the same symbol as the emblem for state government. The bird which was present in the flag of the erstwhile kingdom og Mysore is known to be a very very strong bird capable of lifting even elephants. The uniqueness of the bird is that it has two heads with a single body.The bird can be found in many carvings in temples and even in the palace. I hope to put up a picture of the same along with the legend behind it in a separate post. The emblem is also present on the KSRTC bus service. This is a state run bus service and has the bird as its logo. The picutre of the bird can be found in the tickets issued by the bus service. The bird is shrouded in mystery due to its mythical and magical prowess. The bird is also known by other names such as 'Gandaberunda' or 'Gunda Berunda' just 'Berunda'. Some claim that the bird is an eagle which had two heads. The bird is supposed to have been visible only to the maharaja of mysore. Later during the British rule, the symbol was used as part of a badge with the motto 'i will defend the right'. Many such gifts were given to the RAF during the world war. You can find details at http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/History/1940s/Presentation.html
I am reminded of the folk-story of a two headed bird.The two headed bird was living in a forest.One of the head comes across a very sweet and juicy fruit, but instead of sharing it with the other head it eats it up alone. The other head overcome by jealosy, goes in search of a poisonous fruit and eats it up. The two headed bird then dies of the poison. Well the moral of the story is 'think before you act'. The action of the bird in its jealous rage got it killed. Mostly this is a story from the panchatantra or some subashita.
Every name of indian origin generally has meaning attached to it. The name of Mysore is no exception.
The word 'Mysore' which is the anglised version of mysooru is based on the mythological demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura is belived to have been residing at this place. And when he became very powerful he started tormenting the humans residing in the area.His atrocities became unbearable and the people prayed to the gods for mercy. The godess Durga blessed with various weapons of the gods descended to the bhuloka (earth) to vanquish the demon. This avatara of the godess is known by the name 'Chamundeshwari' or 'Mahishasura Mardini', meaning the vanquisher of the demon Mahishasura. The godess is known to have killed the demon and brought peace to the people. The Chamundeshwari temple atop the Chamundeshwari hill is a place of pilgrimage. A idol of the godess is present in the temple, which is considered to be having the spirit of the godess. The picture shows the statue of Mahishasura present on the hill. This is present near the entrance leading to the temple complex. A more detailed post on the various places of interest on the hill will be put up shortly.To mention a few you could also visit the Nandi statue, the temples of various other deities present in the same premises.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Somebody i met during my discussions on the web asked where Mysore was located. So i thought it would be good to post about that.SO assuming you know that there is a planet called earth in the solar system which is a part of milky way. I present to you the world map of earth.In the map you can see a red box surrounding a country called india.To the left end of the map.The red box shows a state called Karnataka in the country called India. India is situated in the continent of asia. A blue dot present in the red box denotes the location of this city called mysore. Like any other small city it may not be present on the bigger maps.But it is generally present in maps of india.Well so to say its making a mark on the map of india.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The weather in mysore is genrally very pleasent, not to much hot sun but bright days. Although it may get tricky when it starts raining, it is not very humid as it can become in places like Chennai(erstwhile Madras), Manglore, and other coastal towns. Check this picture in which a tiny little bird is perching on the branch. There are plenty of birds, especially in the large patches of trees that can be fund in the city as well as other extension areas. And a very intresting fact about mysore and its dassara is that every year during the procession it rains. although not torrentially..I do enjoy watching the procession-rain or shine.. Due to the Kaveri river that flows near by and the dam built across it, there is no shortage of water as such, and agricultural fields abound in the villages surrounding Mysore. The city even has got a few bird watching groups, notable among them is MAN (Mysore Amature Naturalists) mostly....
Mysore is known as the city of palaces. But when some body refers to the mysore palace the reference is to the Amba vilas palace. This is also called the main palace. The significance of this palace can be appreciated by knowing that the world renowned Dassara procession starts from here. The current palaces was built as the previous palace got burnt in a fire. To know more about the palace, its architectural history and interiors check out
The debris from the palace that was gutted in the fire was dumped in the fields surrounding the outter extremes of the city. This has now become part of the extension layouts. More about the effect of these debris on the gardens of these areas in a latter post.
The above picture of the palace taken at the night can be seen only during the days leading upto the the Dassara festival and few days there after. The Lighting is removed during rest of the year.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
In "Mysore Chronicles" we focus not only on this sudden economic change but also on the history, heritage and changing life of Mysoreans.As of todya google returns as many as 6,340,000 sites matching the query "Mysore". If this is any index of the growth of the city on the world map we will keep track of this as we move along.
However, everybody accepts that the emergence of demand for land in any city is a sure indicator of coming economic progress. Here we not only look at material benefits but also its effect on other factors as well