In transcribing the following paragraphs from the Internet Archive online version of The Imperial Gazetteer’s entry on Mysore (Mysuru), I have expanded the abbreviations for easier reading and added paragraphing and links. The title-page bears the date 1856, but internal evidence in various entrees makes clear that the text dates from 1851. This discussion of a major city in British India has particular importance because it immediately precedes the 1857 Mutiny.— George P. Landow]

MYSORE, a province of peninsular India in the Deccan, which is in the presidency of Madras, is situated at latitude 1 1˚ 35 to 15 North and longitude 74˚ 43 to 78˚ 40 East. Its greatest length northwest to southeast is 280 miles; its greatest breadth, 240 miles; area, 30,886 square miles. It consists, wholly, of an elevated table-land; the base of which, as it is indeed of all the Deccan, is granite, with many syenitic and trap rocks. It is enclosed on the East and West by the Eastern and Western ghauts; and on the South by the Neilgherry mountains. The soil consists of vegetable mould, 100 feet thick, an inexhaustible source of fertility. The elevations by which the level of the table-land is interrupted, are often large masses of syenite or granite, rounded in their outlines, and standing naked and detached, or in clusters together upon the plain. Much of the country is overrun by jungle.

The principal rivers are the Vedavati, Cavery, Toomboodra, Bhadri. Arka- nati, Pennar, Palar, and Panau; but, excepting the Cavery, none of these streams attain any magnitude until they have quitted the limits of the province; in which, excepting the Cavery, the sources of them all lie. There are no lakes in the northern parts of Mysore; but many large tanks and artificial reservoirs in the high grounds. The climate is salubrious, the air temperate and bracing, and moisture abundant, without being in excess.

The province, though indifferently cultivated (arising in part from the inferiority of the cattle and implements used), produces rice, raggy, wheat, and other grains; sugar, betel, opium, castor-oil, and various other articles. Eaggy or ragee, a kind of millet, is the grain principally cultivated, as it forms the food of all the poorer classes. The western forests yield large supplies of sandal and other valuable woods. Sheep are very numerous red, white, and black; and there is, also, an inferior breed of horses.

Mysore abounds in iron-ore, which is worked by the natives; but in a very imperfect manner. Principal manufactures black and white cumlies, woollen carpets, and shawls. Cotton manufactures are few, and of inferior qualities. The inhabitants are chiefly Hindoos, and are generally stouter and taller than the people of the Carnatic. There are also considerable numbers of Mahometans dispersed through different parts. The general language is the Karnataka or Kanarese. The principal towns are Mysore, Seringapatam, Chittledroog, Nuggur, and Bangalore. The province is divided into three great districts, namely, Chutakul or Chitteldroog, Nuggur or Bednore, and Puttun or Seringapatam.

The government is nominally in the hands of a native prince, but actually vested in the British resident at Mysore, appointed under the Madras presidency. Population estimated at 3,000,000. [III, 434]


Blackie, Walker Graham. The Imperial Gazetteer: A General Dictionary of Geography, Physical, Political, Statistical and Descriptive. 4 vols. London: Blackie & Son, 1856. Internet Archive online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 7 November 2018.

Last modified 25 November 2018