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|Posted by travelsmart Mysore on December 20, 2008 at 12:04 AM|
The erstwhile capital of the Mysore Maharajas lies 130kms from the State
Headquarters, Bangalore. Mysore is the second biggest City of Karnataka
State, which still preserves its age-old glory that in its majestic
palaces, forts and gardens. The other tourism attraction of the city is
its exquisite products. Mysore is also famous for sandalwood and rose
wood carved products. The beautiful Mysore silk sarees and sandalwood
oil are few of shopper's delights. Mysore is also famous for many
institutions propagating Carnatic Classical music and dance.
This beautiful city is situated at a most picturesque location, almost 763m above the sea level surrounded by mountain range extending from north to south. Also known as the 'Garden City' and the 'City of Palaces', Mysore City extends on an area of more than 40sq.km and has a population of over ten lakhs. Kannada is the local language of the people, other spoken languages are Tulu, Konkani, English.
History of Mysore
The Mysore Yadu dynasty came to power in 1399 AD. The dynasty also bestowed to the expansion of temples in Mysore. The Emperor of Mysore - Bettada Chamaraja Wadiyar, restructured the fort of Mysore in 1584 AD and made Mysore as his capital known as 'Mahishur'. Later Raja Waidyar shifted the capital of his kingdom from Mysore to Srirangapatna in 1610 AD.
In 1799, due to the fall of Srirangapatna and death of Tipu Sultan, Mysore again became the capital of the Wadiyars. The small town of Mysore, which restrained in the walls of the fort was expended and transfigured into a modern township at the time of Krishnaraja Wadiyar III. It was Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV who developed Mysore into a most charming city with foremost layouts, wide roads, majestic fort palaces and fairy-tale gardens.
The famous Kannada work, "Kantirava Narasaraja Vijaya", displays a gorgeous portrait of Mysore. Poet-Govinda Vaidya, describes King Kantirava Narasaraja Wadiyar as "Maisoora Narasarajendra". The Sri Mahabaladri Hills, Goddess Chamundi atop the hills, the Palace, the fort, the streets, the gardens and the people in the town of Mysore are the highlights of his work.
Main Attractions of Mysore
Historic and Cultural
The Mysore Palace:
The Mysore Palace also known as the Amba Vilas Palace is still the residence of the Wodeyars. It is one of the largest of its kind in India. It was designed by Henry Irwin and built in 1897. This Indo-Saracenic building has, among other things, a carved silver door, a solid gold throne, a gallery of exquisite paintings, carved mahogany ceilings and a carved, columned Durbar Hall.On Sunday nights and on some holidays, 97000 light bulbs spectacularly illuminate the Palace between 7 and 8 pm.
Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery
This art gallery was established in 1875 and has a rare collection of some beautiful paintings from the same era. The gallery is located in Jaganmohan Palace and exhibits paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, Svetoslav Roerich and traditional paintings from Mysore. The gallery also houses exquisitely carved statues in sandalwood, ivory and stone.
The Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel
Once the palace of the Maharaja, it is now a five star hotel. This all white building was completed in 1921.
Srirangapatnam, 16kms from Mysore on the Bangalore Highway, was the capital of one of India?s greatest patriots, Tippu Sultan. Today, it is in ruins. Tippu ans his father Hyder Ali ruled much of South India during the 18th century. Tippu took the help of the French mercenaries to fight the British. Tippu?s summer palace, the Daria Daulat Bagh with its charming ornamental gardens still stands. There are several paintings, drawings and murals depicting him and his family. 2 kms further is his impressive mausoleum.
Expended over 150 acres, Brindavan garden is the most acclaimed garden
in Indian sub-continent. Situated at the KR Sagar Dam Kannambadi,
Brindavan Garden is a popular site of the Indian Films. Since 1960s, it
is continuously used for shooting song sequences for the films. A
special attraction of the garden includes the 'Musical' Dancing
Fountains'. Today garden has gone under complete renovation with
introduction of new fountain and light system, which attracts tourist
not only from India but also from other parts of the globe and futther
helped in boasting tourism industry of Mysore.
Timings: Monday-Friday: 6:30 PM - 7:25 PM and Saturday-Sunday: 6:30 PM - 8:25 PM
The Mysore Zoo includes some of the rare species of wildlife, which are kept in natural, green surroundings. The Zoo is also notable for breeding some very rare mammals in confinement.
GRS Fantasy Park
Karnataka?s largest amusement and water park, GRS Fantasy Park, with its
fabulous rides, slides, games, adventure sports and yes, great food, has
put itself on the tourist map with its international standards. GRS
Fantasy Park, ideally located on the route to Brindavan Gardens, is a
must see for both tourists and for those who want to relax and spend
quality time with the family.
Forming the backdrop of the city is the 1,100-feet-high Chamundi Hill. On the top of the hill stands the temple dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari, the royal family's patron deity. To reach the temple one can either drive through the 13-km stretch up to the summit or climb the 1,000 stone steps. Nearby the temple stands the huge statue of Mahishasura, the demon slain by the Goddess. Halfway up along the stone steps stands the majestic 4.8-metre monolith of Nandi the Bull, Lord Shiva's chosen mount. The statue is believed to be 300 years old and its chief attraction, apart from its size, is the meticulous craftsmanship of its ornaments-from its delicate anklets to the magnificent pendant bell around its neck.
St. Philomena's Church
Another attraction of the city is exquisite Cathedral- the St. Philomena's Church. A specimen of medieval architectural style, the church is one of the biggest churches in the country showcasing stained glass windows and elevated towers.
Daytrips from Mysore
50km from Mysore, Melkote is a divine pilgrim center, known for its Vairamundi festival held in March-April. Worth a visit site.
48kms from Mysore, it is a temple site, famous for Vaidyeshwara shrine. Once in twelve years the temple is opened for ritual worships.
40km from Mysore, it has one of the finest 13th centuries Hoysala temple in the shape of a star with 16 points a most visited spot by the devotees.
99 km from Mysore is famous for 57feet high massive statue of Gomateswara. This holy figure is known to be 1000 year old.
91 km from Mysore, it has the beautiful Chennakesava 13th century temple.
117 km from Mysore, it has the famous Hoysaleswara Temple. The temple took nearly 80 years in its construction.
Shivsamudra 85km from Mysore, is famous for its scenic waterfalls. These falls are best during the monsoons falling down from a height of 75 m into a deep ravine. The other highlight of the region is Asia's first hydroelectric power project set up in 1905 set up a distance of 1.5km.
Nagarhole National Park
The National Park is 93km from Mysore, housing a rich variety of wildlife, aerial population and reptiles. Elephants, antelopes and even leopards are the common sites.
On the way to Ooty, about 80 km off Mysore, is situated the Bandipur National Park. The park, spread over an area of 875 km, is a famous tiger reserve. Besides tiger, the other animals you can see here are the barking deer, tuskers, and bison.
For bird lovers, Ranganathittu is worth a visit. This bird sanctuary is situated around 18 km from Mysore and offers a close view of the exotic and common birds.
Beside other charms of the city, Mysore holds the enthusiasm of Dussehra celebrations. Dussehra Festival is one of the most significant and renowned festivals of India that holds a notably stead in Mysore City.
In Mysore, Dasara is observed as State festival also known as 'Nadahabba', which is a 10 day celebration during the month of Oct/ Nov a marvelous event to watch. During the festive season the entire city is bedecked and illuminated with multicolored light patterns displayed on the prominent monuments and palaces. Majestic processions, of decorated elephants along with a torch light parade, dance and musical events revitalizes the beautiful city of Mysore. Many cultural programs are organized in the Mysore Palace, performed by famous artists. Sport events, poets meet, food festival, film festival are also held.
Thousands of tourist visit the city during Dussehra time and make their visit a life time experience.
Shopping In Mysore
Mysore Silk is also famous for its Silk items like Silk sarees and Magutas. One can purchase silk items from Government Silk Factory - Jhansi Lakshmibai Road famous for its silk products.
Handicraft -Mysore is famous for its handicraft products. Articles made
out of sandalwood, rosewood and teakwood are famous all over the world.
A variety of articles, including a large number of figures of gods and goddesses, are available either in sandalwood or rosewood. The Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium of the Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation is an ideal place for purchase these and other items like silk sarees, jewelry and other handicraft and artifacts.
Agarbathies- Mysore is also famous for variety of Agarbathies or fragrant sticks.
Stone carving is another traditional art item manufactured in Mysore and
is much of demand in international market.
Mysore is a reputed place for good paintings. Some of the leading painters are M. Ramanarasaiah and Raghupathi Bhat.