Special Correspondent

There is more to erstwhile cultural capital than Dasara

The book narrates how the royal family patronised arts and literature over 600 years

It is split into six sections and concludes with the birth of modern day Mysore in the 1950s

Bangalore: Bangalore may be the political and administrative centre of the State. But it has never dislodged the old capital of the State, the royal city of Mysore, from its pride of place as the cultural capital.

There is much more to the city than the famed annual Dasara celebrations, and here is a book that promises to tell the story of the city and its rulers in one grand sweep.

Vikram Sampath’s book, Splendours of Mysore, is an account of the city and its most famous kings, the Wadiyars.

Palace intrigue

To be launched on Tuesday, the book sketches the long and undulating regime of the Wadiyars, talking about the wars, palace intrigues, romances, valour, deceit and all other nuances that go into the making of the dynasty’s rule.

The book starts with the genesis of the Wadiyar dynasty in 1399, runs through the age of glory under raja Ranadhira Kanthirava Narasaraja Wadiyar and encompasses the years of decline, revisiting all the ups and downs of the dynasty.

The growth of Mysore as cultural capital of southern India, with royal patronage in the areas of classical music, dance, folk tradition, painting and literature, is traced over 600 years.

The book is split into six sections and concludes with the birth of modern-day Mysore in the Fifties.

The author, Vikram Sampath, born in Bangalore, works for a multinational bank.

He publishes regularly in leading dailies and magazines on culture, art and history.

He is a student of Carnatic classical vocal music.

Extensive research

The work has been the result of research of over 15 years. “It is the aim of the book to instil pride over the achievements of the past as well as spark a sense of responsibility towards the present,” says the author.

Splendours of Mysore is being launched by Governor Rameshwar Thakur at Raj Bhavan on Tuesday.

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