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About Mysore

Smiley faceMysore is a major tourist city of Karnataka. The city was the erstwhile capital of the state and hence has played an important role in the history of the state and of South India. Today it has developed into a modern city like many other cities in the country. But this city has not lost touch with its rich historical and cultural legacy. Mysore city is a favorate tourist destination in Karnataka. Tourist from within the country and from outside come to see the splendor of the city of Mysore. The city has a number of places a person can visit. There are a number of Royal buildings, gardens, waterparks, temples, museums, zoo and modern amusement parks.

Places In And Around Mysore

Smiley face First let’s see the attractions that are scattered within the city. The star attraction is always the Mysore Palace.
The next popular (especially among children) is Mysore Zoo. An excursion to the Chamundi Hills top is a must do for any Mysore tour. The main attraction at the hill top is the Chamundeswari temple, dedicated after goddesses Chamundeswari the presiding deity of the Maharajas of Mysore and the giant Nandi of Mysore (bull image). Somewhere around the foothills is Lalitha Mahal Palace, the second largest palace in Mysore ( now a five star hotel). Between the zoo and the hill is Karanji Lake, a large park and natural garden with aviary and a butterfly park inside.

Smiley face A little away from the main Mysore palace is Jagmohan Palace and Art Gallery. Another popular attraction is the gothic style St. Philomena’s Church on the Ashoka Road. Those interested in museums, Mysore city has a number of them. The Rail Museum is located on KRS Road close the Mysore railway station. National Museum on Natural History is on the banks of Karanji Lake. Folk Art Museum is located in Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, that is inside the Mysore University campus.Oriental Research Institute is one of its kind in the country that preserves many thousands of ancient manuscripts, including Kautilya’s Arthashastra of 4th Century BC.

Smiley faceThere are quite a few heritage structures (200 plus) in Mysore. Many of them are functioning as various offices, establishments or even as private properties. A heritage walk along the popular ‘hot spots’ is a good way to see the heritage buildings in Mysore. Some of them are the Devarajara Market, KR Cricle, New Statue Circle,Gandhi Square,DC Office, Mysore Univeristy, Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts, Cheluvamba Hospital, Lansdowne building and so on.
Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary located on the way to Brindavan Gardens from Srirangapatna is a popular place to spot migratory birds in large numbers. A little upstream are two bunds across the river, locally called Balmuri and Yedamuri Falls. This is a popular picnic site for the folks of Mysore and around. Further up is Brindavan Gardens with the KRS Dam as its backdrop. A relatively less visited, yet attractive, Venugopalaswamy Temple is located further upstream beyond the dam. This ancient and massive temple got submerged when the dam was built, as is now ‘transplanted’ stone-by-stone to the new location on the banks of KRS.

Smiley faceSrirangapatna, Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary and Brindavan Gardens needs a days time to visit. It can be visited in that order, starting with Srirangapatna during the cooler part of the day (it involves quite a deal of walking ), then proceed to Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary which is wooded and cool anyway and finally reach Brindavan Gardens by the evening (here too a few kms of walking is needed).Spend time in Bringavan till sunset and then watch the illumination and the musical fountain before returning from Brindavan.

Smiley faceTowards the eastern side is the ancient capital of Talakadu with numerous temples buried under sand dunes. Near to Talakkadu is Somnathpur, known for the Hoysala style Keshava temple. Further east of Somnathpur is Shivanasamudra (Bluff) with the twin waterfalls – Gaganachukki and Barachukki ( Bharachukki).

Mysore to Somnathpur distance is about 40km. Somnathpur to Talakadu is some 30km. Bluff is another 35km northeast of Talakadu. Somnathpur-Shivanasamudra-Talakadu make a triangular route ideal for a days trip, if one can start a bit early from Mysore and prepare for a bit hectic schedule. Both Shivanasamudra and Talakadu involves some trek.

Smiley face The Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir across the legendary Cauvery River is round 18km north-west of Mysore. The Brindavan Gardens are located just a level below the dam.Often described as the best example of illuminated terrace gardens in the country, the idea was brainchild of Sir M.Visveshwaraiah and Sir Mirza M ismail, former Devans of Mysore. The overall design here displays an orientation of Mughal patterns-with garden paths and a shimmering necklace of fountains.On the South bank there is a pavilion, where visitors can get a breathtaking view of the gardens. Other highlights at the gardens include a children’s park, a fisheries station and a hydraulic research station. Adding a touch of sanctity to the place is a beautiful sculpture of Goddess Cauvery at the foot of the dam.

Smiley faceThis beautiful St.Philomena's Church was built in 1956 and is one of the largest churches in the country. The illuminated church in the evening is a wonderful site not to be missed. St. Philomena's Cathedral is among the most majestic churches in India. Drawing inspiration from Germany's Cologne Cathedral, this colossal church built in the neo-Gothic style.

The twin spires of the Cathedral, 175 feet in height, are seen from miles around making it a distinctive city landmark. The main hall or nave of the cathedral can seat up to 800 people and is as exquisitely conceived as the ornately crafted exterior with beautiful stained glass windows depicting scenes from the birth of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ.

Smiley face Halebidu is located in Hassan district in Karnataka. Ketumalla, the chief of staff of Hoysala Kingdom, built this temple during 1121 A.D and attributed to his king, Vishnuvardhana and queen, Shantala Devi. Even then it is learnt that it took 105 years to complete. If one stands on the platform of the temple and sees around he will see the hills opposite and two big bulls facing the temple and Ganesha figure on the south.
It is believed that Queen Shantala Devi, was an epitome of beauty and fashion, she was also a great Bharatnatyam dancer and musician. Sculptors were inspired by this and the Shilabalikas, the dancing figures, are models of Queen Shantala Devi and her courtisans. History of Hoysalas mentions Shantala Devi had great influence in the adminstration and religious reforms during Vishnuvardhana reign. She was follower of Jainism and the King follower of Sri Vaishnaism and was influenced by Saint Ramanuja Charya.