Mysore ( Karnataka, South Indian State )
Situated 140 kms away from Bangalore, steeped in history, Mysore is a city of palaces and tranquility. A city with rich heritage of the Wodeyars who were the rulers before, Mysore is preserved to this day with its magnificent palaces, beautifully laid out gardens, imposing buildings, avenues of flowering trees and many ancient temples. Dashahara festivities, popularly known as Navarathri are celebrated in great grandeur with procession of caparisoned elephants, folk dances and colourful floats. Goddess Chamundeshwari and Saraswati are worshipped during these festivities.
MAHARAJA'S PALACE is the focal point at Mysore. Built in Indo-sarcenic style of architecture, with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the palace is decorated with Hoysala style carvings. The interior of the palace takes one back to hundreds of years. Intricately carved doors open on to the luxuriously furnished rooms. The impressive Darbar Hall echoes history with its ornate ceiling, huge chandeliers and jewel studded golden throne. The palace is illuminated on Sundays and public holidays. Visitors are permitted to see the palace as per the prescribed programme.
CHAMUNDI HILLS, 13 kms from Mysore city, is considered as the home of Chamundeshwari Devi, the tutelary deity of the Wodeyars of Mysore. Half way up the 1095 metre high hill is the figure of Nandi, 5 metres high, a monolith in granite, beautifully carved with garlands and bells. A fine asphalted road takes the visitors to the top of the hill up to the temple of Chamundeshwari Devi. The giant statue of the demon Mahishasura (who was killed by the deity), stands at the entrance to the compound of the temple. It is an awesome spectacle built in mortar standing menacingly with sword and cobra held afloat.
THE MYSORE ZOO GARDEN is a must for every visitor to the city. Laid out in vast gardens, the zoo affords pleasure to both wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts. Its fauna includes rare and exotic species. A congenial environment has made it possible to breed some rare species of animals in captivity.
ST.PHILOMINA'S CHURCH in the city is the only example of Gothic architecture of its kind in this part of the world. It has stained glass windows bringing to mind the styles of medieval times.
SRI JAICHAMARAJENDRA ART GALLERY is a treasure house of masterpieces. It is housed in the Jagmohan Palace. On its walls of spacious halls are exhibited examples of various schools of art. Paintings of Raja Ravi Varma, Roerich and others are exhibited here.
Other palace is the Lalitha Mahal Palace, now converted into luxury hotel.
BRINDAVAN GARDENS: 19 kms away from the city, is named after the Mysore ruler. This garden has been laid out at Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir built across the river Cauvery. The fabulous gardens stretch out in terraces below the dam. At night fall, the gardens change into an exotic fairyland with twinkling lights, swirling fountains and artificial waterfalls. A musical fountain dancing to the tunes and harmony, is the latest addition to the garden. The gardens are illuminated on Sundays and holidays.
SRIRANGAPATTANA: 16 kms away from Mysore, this is a historical island town with a fortress associated with Tipu Sultan, the legendary Tiger of Mysore. Stone walls and moats enclose ruined palaces, houses, temples and a great mosque. The tomb of Tipu Sultan, the Summer Palace with ornate arches, ceilings, beautiful paintings and galleries is situated within a well maintained garden. The tomb of Haidar Ali at Ganjam, Daria Daulat Garden, Gumbaj, the cemetery, the Ranganatha Temple and the Wellesley bridge are worth seeing and interesting places.