Lovingly christened Palace City, Mysore still wears its royal charm that entices one and all to this beautiful place. True its claim to fame isn’t solely its ornate palaces, well-tended gardens, well planned roads and lively markets. It’s as much felt in the simple unhurried lifestyle of its locals, its rich art and culture and beautifully framed literature. It is known for its exquisitely crafted silk saris, sandalwood carvings and perfumed incense, so you know what to include in your shopping cart! The reasons for coming back here time and again are as many as its attractions – its majestic palace, rustling silk of its saris, the thick aroma of sandalwood and Mysore jasmine flowers, the sweet taste of Mysore Pak, the pungent taste of Mysore betel leaf and the rich `by-two' coffee… savor the royal experience.
We welcome you to the most exciting tourist attractions and travel destinations which are given below. We take into notice each and every details about recreation, entertainment, adventure and relaxation. By looking at the things to do in a city one can see if that spot offers romance, family fun, sightseeing or adventure. Drill down into the tourist attractions below to find out more about each place and see how the local customs create a unique atmosphere.
It has strikingly beautiful interiors, complete with ornate ceilings, jeweled mosaic floor, paintings of rulers and the royal family and beautiful chandeliers. Its Durbar Hall has the famous golden throne weighing 200 kgs. The Ambavilasa was the hall of public audience and its entrance is exquisitely carved in rosewood with gilded interiors replete with floral motifs and jewel-encrusted floors. Dolls pavilion, an entrance, has a wide array of traditional dolls from the 19th and 20th centuries and the 84 kg Golden Howdah or elephant’s seat. The Kalyana Mantapa was the marriage hall done in multihued stained glass, peacock mosaic and oil paintings depicting Dussera festivities during the days of royalties. The palace complex also has a Residential Museum, which houses the royal collection of silver, chandeliers, crystal and royal trousseau. Mysore Palace has 12 temples including the Varashaswamy Temple. The palace looks particularly enthralling at night when it is lit up by no less than 97,000 bulbs at one time.
Jagmohan Palace is located close to the Mysore Palace and was earlier the site of the Dasara Festival. Its features include a beautiful wedding hall and an art gallery that has paintings by the famous Raja Ravivarma. Another palace located close to the Mysore Palace is Jayalakshmi Vilas, which is the administrative office of the University of Mysore. Lalitha Mahal is another extremely famous and visited palace. It owes its charm to the Chamundi Hill which forms a backdrop and the sparkling white granite that it is made of. Today it is a hotel with the elitist as its guests. Vasantha Mahal was created as a special school for young princes. It is particularly noted for the fact that the front of the palace is made in soft iron. The Lokaranjan Mahal was the summer palace and has a modern style swimming pool and a zoo garden adjacent to it. Cheluvamba Vilasa is noted for its beautiful dome and today is site for the Central Food TechTap and Research Institute. Karanji Vilasa is built in Indo-Greek style on 38 acres of land. Built in Indo-British style, Rajendra Vilasa offers panoramic views of the BR Hills, Nilgiri Hills and Brindavan Gardens. It is however not open to the public.
Named after the Goddess Chamundeshwari (manifestation of Durga), the hills offer you the best view of the city, including important landmarks as the Race Course, Lalitha Mahal Palace, Mysore Palace, the Karanji and Kukkarahalli lakes. The legend that Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura renders it its name. You would reach the temple by climbing about 1000 steps, en route passing the 15 ft high monolith of the Nandi Bull. At the top of the hill is a statue of the demon Mahishasura, the Chamundeshwari Temple and several other smaller temples. The Chamundeshwari Temple atop has a seven storey tall intricately carved gopuram. The Chamunda Devi idol is said to be made in solid gold and the gates of silver.
St Philomena’s Cathedral
Undoubtedly one of South India’s largest churches, its design is typically gothic marked by beautiful stained glass windows. At a remarkable height of 175 ft, it has two spires and photography inside requires the permission of the parish priest.
Located at the KR Sagar Dam, these gardens are spectacular with terraced lawns and a range of fountains. Especially notable are the musical fountains that burst into different colours.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
A paradise for ornithologists, Ranganathittu is situated on the banks of River Cauvery. It is an important Asian nesting and breeding ground for migratory birds. In fact, authorities maintaining this sanctuary have made provisions for several more breeding grounds than the original number. The birds frequenting this area are spoonbills, open bill storks, darters, white Ibis, little cormorants, egret, heron, partridge, river tern, stone plougher and snake bird. Hire a boat to take a look at the trees for these species along the river. The oarsmen are also excellent guides and capable of providing you valuable information about these birds.
An extremely popular item is its hand woven silk garments and saris adorned with vibrant colors and exquisite motifs.
Dusherra is surely the biggest festival in Mysore. Celebrated late October or early November, during this the entire Mysore goes through a complete makeover! Goddess Bhuvaneshwari is taken out in procession, houses are decorated, gifts are exchanged and Mysore turns a shimmering spectacle with its millions of twinkling lights all over. Car Festival, Yugadi, Theppotsava are the other festivals ceebrated.
How to get there
By Road : A convenient network of roads connects Mysore to important cities in Karnataka. A state highway links the city with Bangalore (139 kms).
By Air : The nearest airport from Mysore is Bangalore. Several numbers of airlines operate regular flights to and from Bangalore and nearly all major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata.
By Rail : Mysore is linked by rail to Bangalore and many other cities in south India. Prestigious luxury trains and many other mails and express trains service this station regularly.
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