|The history of Mysore is closely linked to the history of the Kingdom of Mysore. References from the times of Mahabharata and Asoka refer to Mahisha Nadu or Mahisha Mandala. References can also be found in Tamil literature about Ezimahi Nadu. The earliest documented evidence of the town is in the form of stone carvings in old Kannada(Saasanas) found in villages around Mysore, inscribed around 1021 CE. From 1499 the name Mahisūru has been recorded in inscriptions. During the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire, the Mysore kingdom served as a feudatory, gaining sovereignty after the empire fell in 1565 CE. Till the year 1610, when Srirangapatna was acquired, Mysore was the center of Wodeyar administration. It became the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore after the death of Tippu Sultan in 1799 .
The administrative center was shifted to Bangalore in 1831, when the British moved their garrison from Srirangapatnam (on the outskirts of Mysore) to the Bangalore Cantonment. Mysore once again became the capital of the kingdom in 1881 with the
redemption of power by the British to the Wodeyars. Most present day historical landmarks, and the organisation of the city of Mysore, were inspirations of the Wodeyar kings and their Dewans. Plans for organised development of the city exist from as far back as 1904. The period between 1910-1945 is considered the most important in the modernization of the kingdom. Several industries (including a steel mill) were begun, an efficient railway system was constructed, as was a network of irrigation canals, art and culture flourished under the patronage of royalty, and the educational system was revamped.
Mysore is called the City of Palaces as a result of the number of palaces situated in the city, including Amba Vilas (Main Mysore Palace), Rajendra Vilas (the summer palace, situated on the Chamundi hills) and
Jayalakshmi Vilas (now in the University of Mysore premises). The main palace of Mysore was burnt down in 1897, and the present day structure was built on the same site. The palace exhibits a mixture of Dravidian, Indo-Saracenic, Roman and Oriental architectural styles. Even though the Government of Karnataka now maintains the Mysore palace, a small portion of the palace has been allocated for the erstwhile Royal family to live in. The Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion was constructed by Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar for his daughter Jayalakshammanni. It is now a museum dedicated to folk culture. A new gallery is being added for artefacts and collections of the Wodeyars of Mysore.