Mysore city is at 770m above sea level and 140 kms from Bangalore. The place is also known as the City of Palaces, and retains a quaint charm, and never fails to enchant. According to the myth it is here that Goddess Chamundi killed the demon king Mahishasur. The place derives its name from here. Situated in the southern part of the Deccan Plateau, Mysore District is like a tableland covered in parts by granite outcrops and decorated by lush forests. Mysore is a popular tourist destination, offering a number of tourist attractions that is not only confined to palaces or historical places. Mysore city is one of the favourite tourist destinations in Karnataka.
Places to see in Mysore: Also known as the ‘Sandalwood City of India’ it offers a number of sight seeing spots which include;
The Mysore Palace
The Mysore Palace is an example of the Indo Saracenic style of architecture. Once the residence of the royal family of the Wodayars, the palace still retains the regal air with which the royal family reigned in the Durbar Hall, Kalyana Mantap and the Golden Royal Elephant Throne. Another royal palace the Jaganmohan Palace has been converted into an art gallery and house the paintings and the miniatures of the 19th century.
The Brindavan Gardens
The Brindavan Gardens in Mysore is one of the most famous tourist attractions not only in South India but all over the country. Covering a land area of about 150 acres, this garden has been a very popular setting for many Indian films. The colorful fountains and lights are the major attractions of the BrindavanGardens of Mysore. On weekends the complex and the fountains appear more gorgeous when they are illuminated with multi colored lights.
The musical fountains of this place are very popular among the visitors for their beauty. The ambiance created by music, light and water make the evenings spent in the BrindavanGarden memorable one.
Three kilometers to the south east of the fort in Mysore, lays the Chamundi Hills that rises to a height of 1050 meters above sea level. Atop the hill is the temple dedicated to the ancestral Goddess of the Mysore royal family, Goddess Kali who is also referred to as the Goddess Chamundi. The Mahabaleswara temple stands close to the Chamundi Temple atop the hill. The Mahabaleswara temple is believed to be the oldest temple of the region constructed in the 13th century.
The stucco figure of the demon king Mahishasura who was slain by the Goddess, is placed close to the temple. On the way to the temple on Chamundi Hills in Mysore, the tourists will come across the 4.8 meter monolithic statue of the animal companion of Lord Shiva, Nandi. The statue of the bull is ornamented with anklets and a pendent bell. The elaborate ornamentation of the bull reveals the master craftsmanship of the artisans who created it.
The temple dedicated to the chief consort of Lord Shiva on the Chamundi Hills is one of the primary tourist attractions of Mysore. Prayers were offered by the king of Mysore who had his palace built on the hill. The RajendraVilasPalace has been now converted into a hotel which houses pilgrims who arrive to offer prayers to the Goddess and to visit the sandalwood city of Mysore. To reach the temple, the tourists may climb a flight of 100 stone steps or travel the 13 kilometer distance to the summit in the car.
Spread over a total area of 35 acre, Datta Peetham is a religious and spiritual dwelling of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda. One of the revered religious gurus of Mysore, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda is known for unique concept of treating patients with serious ailments through the harmonious blend of music and meditation. Sri Ganapati Sachchidannada belongs to the lineage of Dattatreya Avadhoota and is famous for his spiritual message of love and harmony. Located at the foothills of the exotic mountain ranges of Chamunda, the spiritual ashram and meditation center of Datta Peetham draws several devotees from far and wide who have greatly benefited from the traditional method of mediation and Yoga.
Jaganmohan Art Gallery
Upholding the traditional heritage and old grandeur of Mysore, the Jaganmohan Art Gallery is a vast reserve of exquisite paintings and artifacts of the bygone golden era. Situated within the luxuriant MysorePalace, the JaganmohanArtGallery bears testimony to the enriched traditional art and craft of the ancient times. During the year of 1875, the JaganmohanPalace was transformed into the famous JaganmohanArtGallery that portrays the artistic skills and creative imagination of the artists of the ancient times. The enriched imagination of renowned artists of Raja Ravi Verma of Travancore and Svetoslav Roerich, the Russian painter has been captured in the colorful canvas of the JaganmohanArtGallery.
Constructed by the mighty ruler of Mysore, Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar for the royal comforts of his eldest daughter, Jayalakshmi Vilas reflects the rich architectural splendour of the ancient times. The magnificent building of Jayalakshmi Vilas was erected in the year of 1905 at a huge price of rupees seven lakhs that portrays the parental affection of a father towards his daughter. At present, Jayalakshmi Vilas is a part of the MysoreUniversity and is known for its museum that contains numerous artifacts of the ancient period.
Krishna Raja Sagara: Located at a distance of about 12 Kilometers from Mysore, the Krishna Raja Sagara dam was built in the year 1932. This marathon project was conceptualized and designed by Sir Mokshagundam Vishweswaraiah and the construction work took place during the times of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The Krishna Raja Sagara dam is about 130 feet in height and 8600 feet long. The Krishna Raja Sagara dam is an excellent example of hi- tech engineering, in fact it is the first dam in the world to use sluice gates which work automatically.
KukkaranahaliLake : The Kukkaranahali Lake is located within the Manasa Gangothri which is the campus of the MysoreUniversity. A home to a number of birds, it is also a retreat for many migratory birds who fly in from the different parts of the world. The Lake is a perfect place to witness the antics and other interesting actions of these rarest birds. The KukkarahaliLake is also a favorite of the sports lovers as a number of water sports are organized in the region.
The regal mysticism of the city of Mysore lies in the majestic Lalitha Mahal that stands at the summit point of the city presenting a spectacular and panoramic view of the city that lies beneath. The Lalitha Mahal at Mysore was once the residence of the guests who visited the royal family of the Wodeyars in Mysore. It is presently one of the most reputed five star hotels of the city that still retains the heritage and the royalty of the yesteryears.
Representing the rich traditional art and craft of the ancient times, Namma is a plethora of cultural programmes that are presented by the members of the charitable trust of Divya Deepa. Formed on the lines of social service and with a noble aim in mind, the charitable trust offers the underprivileged children with education, monetary help and selfless love and attention.
St. Philomena’s Church
Built in the gothic form of architecture, St. Philomena’s Church is one of the largest churches of the continent of Asia. The church stands on the grounds where the older church built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III stood. The new church was constructed in the year 1933 by the grandson of the earlier king, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The church retains the heritage that is more than 200 years old.
Mysore Zoo was established in the year of 1892 by Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar. He is considered to be one of the architects of the modern Mysore city as well. To honor the famed founder the zoo was named after him as ‘Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens’.
Nearby attractions around Mysore: Besides the place of interest in Mysore city, there are many tourist attractions and places of interest around Mysore.
Located at a distance of 25 km, the star shaped temple at Somnathpur is a splendid example of Hoysala architecture. It is decorated with a profusion of finely sculpted friezes and panels. The Somnathpur temple is well preserved and not to be missed.
Bandipur National Park
The Bandipur National Park has open forests and facilities for viewing wildlife from elephant back.
Talakad is situated on the banks of the river Cauvery, near Mysore and is known for its sand dunes. There are a number of temples on the banks of the Cauvery in Talakad that are buried under the sand dunes and are excavated once in 12 years for special worship.
Situated at a distance of 120 kms, is a little hill-station that covers an area of 4102 sq km.
Another important pilgrim center that is close to Mysore is Melkote or Tirunarayanapuram. Melkote is about 60kms from Mysore city and is located in a hilly region that comprises some of the oldest rock formations on earth.
Another popular excursion from Mysore city is Nanjangud. Nanjangud is 25kms from Mysore. It is a holy place because of the Nanjundeswara or Srikanteswara temple. It is called Garalapuri because of this famous temple.
Shivanasamudra is about 85kms to the east of Mysore. At Shivanasamudra the river Cauvery cascades down a deep rocky gorge in two breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls- Bharachukki and Gaganachukki. The sight of these two falls is enchanting and the best time to visit them is during the monsoon.
Things to do in Mysore: Nick named as the sandal wood city of India, don’t miss to carry a piece of sandal wood from here. The saree lovers must shop the lovely Mysore silk from here. Apart from the sight seeing tour, the gorgeous city of Mysore is in itself a pleasure to wander about.
Best time to visit Mysore: Mysore can be visited throughout the year but the best time to visit is from September to March.
How to go ?
The nearest airport to Mysore is Bangalore (139 km). All the domestic airlines in the country operate their flights to Bangalore from all the major cities in the country.
Mysore is connected with a number of trains to Bangalore. The super fast luxury train the Shatabdi Express connects Mysore to Madras. The quickest and most comfortable way to reach Mysore is via Bangalore.
Mysore is 139kms to the south west of Bangalore. The state highway that connects these two cities is very well maintained. Travelling from Bangalore to Mysore by road is a pleasant experience and will take about 3hrs.
Where to stay ?
There are abundant accommodation options in Mysore. Some are:
Kings Kourt: +91 -0821 242 1142, 99452 47205 Website: www.kingskourthotel.com
Mysore Hotel Complex: +91- 0821-4192141, 2426217, 2426218 Website: www.mysorehotelcomplex.com
Hotel Royale Heritage: +91-821-4265 033, +91-821-4265 330 Website: www.hotelroyaleheritage.com
Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel: +91-0821-2526100 Website: www.lalithamahalpalace.in
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.