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Tour Destinations In Karnataka -  Mysore

Earlier History | Culture of Karnataka | Facts & Figures | Beaches in Karnataka | Cuisines | Festivals | Around Karnataka

140 Kms from Bangalore lies the abode of untold grandeur and glory. Mysore,the capital city of the Wodeyars has always enchanted its admirers with its quaint charm,rich heritage, magnificent palaces,beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings,broad shady avenues and sacred temples. There's an old world charm about the city that reaches out and leaves no one untouched.

Mysore,or Mahishur as it was called then, traces its history back to the mythical past, when Goddess Chamundeshwari of Chamundi Hills killed the wicked buffalo-headed demon, Mahishasura

Mysore Dasara is the celebration of this victory of good over evil. Mysore also has associations with the Mahabharata and King Ashoka of the 3rd century B.C. During the Wodeyar rule Mysore reached the Zenith of its glory as a fabled centre of oriental splendour.

Mysore is the second largest city of Karnataka. Today, Mysore is a vibrant city teeming with tourists and visitors. It is known the world over for its exotic sandalwood and rich silks.Its grand and imposing palaces, majestic temples, gardens leave an ever-lasting impression on the visitor.The word Mysore is derived from Mahishuru or Mahishasurana Ooru, meaning the town of Mahishasura, the demon king who is believed to have lived here. The history of Mysore can be traced back to the time of Mahabharata. It was ruled by the Ganga Dynasty from the 2nd century to approximately 10th century. Later it was ruled by the Cholas for a century which was followed by the Chalukyas, Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar Empire and finally the Mysore Yadu rules in the 13th century.

Places of Interest


Mysore Palace
The Maharaja's Palace is one of the important sights in Mysore. Built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades,the Palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Intricately carved doors open on to luxuriously furnished rooms. The majestic Durbar Hall has an ornate ceiling and many sculpted pillars. The magnificent jewel studded golden throne of the Wodeyars is displayed here during the Dasera festival. Illuminated on Sundays and public holidays ,the palace presents a spectacle of breathtaking beauty.

Brindavan Gardens
Located at the KR Sagar Dam [Kannambadi], Brindavan Gardens is one of the best gardens in South India. Spread over 150 acres, Brindavan Gardens has since the 1960s provided the backdrop for many Indian films. Special attractions include the 'Dancing Fountains'. In Dec 2004 the entire garden was revamped with new fountains and lights.
 

Chamundi Hills
A well known 335 metres high landmark,Chamundi Hill can be reached by a 13 km road or by climbing up the 1,000 steps laid out by the Mysore Maharaja in the 17th century. Half-way up along the stone steps is Nandi, Lord Shiva's Bull, a majestic 4.8 metre monolith.At the top is the 12th century temple of Chamundeshwari, the patron goddess of the Wodeyars.Close to the temple is the gigantic statue of the demon Mahishasura. The summit offers a panoramic view of Mysore's lakes, parks and palaces.

The Art Gallery

The Jaganmohan Palace was converted into an art gallery in 1875 and exhibits paintings which date back to that period. The artists of that time used natural vegetable and mineral dyes. The famous traditional Mysore 'gold leaf ' paintings are also exhibited in the gallery, as are oil paintings of contemporary artist like Raja Ravi Varma and Svetoslav Roerich.

Daria Daulat Bagh
Tipu's Summer Palace,built in 1784,is located here.Made of teak,this Indo-Sarcenic structure has ornate and beautiful frescos.It is now a museum and tells eloquently of Tipu's valor and his losing battle against the British.

Mysore Zoo
The Mysore Zoo was set up under royal patronage in the nineteenth century. Its fauna includes rare and exotic species which are housed in lush, green surroundings. The Zoo is famous for breeding some very rare animals in captivity.
Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, which has emerged as one of finest zoos in the country to breed a wide range of animals in captivity, has embarked on a new venture to set up a state-of-the-art Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre.

As of Jan 2006 the zoo has prepared a Rs 5.5-crore plan to establish the centre and forwarded the same to the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) for approval. The plan envisages procuring a, emergency mobile ambulance for the animals.
The zoo would become the first in the country to have an emergency mobile service to rescue animals fighting for life and cater to animals in and around Bandipur, Brahmagiri, Kanakapura, Madikeri and other wildlife sanctuaries.
 

How to Reach

By Air: The nearest airport is Bangalore that is a mere 140km away. All domestic airlines are operating flights to and from Bangalore to all major cities of the country. A few international flights to the Middle East are also operated from Bangalore.

By Rail: There are many train services operating between Bangalore and Mysore. The Shatabdi Express connects Mysore to Chennai. The ideal route to reach Mysore is via Bangalore.

By Road: State Highways connect Mysore to the national Highways and to all parts of the country. Bus services by Karnataka Road Transport Corporation and transport corporations of the neighboring states as well as private tour operators make it easy to reach the city without any difficulty. It is only a 3 hour journey from Bangalore.
 

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