Mysore is a highly fascinating abode of mystical charm and regal grandeur. It is the second largest city in Karnataka and its peculiar features include rich cultural heritage, exquisite gardens, architecturally rich buildings, magnanimous palaces and sacred temples. The city was earlier called Mahishur and a mythological tale goes that Goddess Chamundeshwari of Chamunda Hills killed wicked demon Mahishasura. Till the 15th century the area of Mysore was called Puragere. The fort was constructed in the year 1524 by Chamaraja Wodeyar II. Dussehra is the most celebrated festival of this city and is celebrated for 10 days. Initiated by Maharaja Wodeyar in the year 1610, the ninth day of jubiliation is known as Ramnavmi and the imperial sword is worshipped on this day. The royal procession is marked by ornamented elephants, camels and horses. The style of painting is an outgrowth of Vijay Nagar school of painting which had extensive use of Plaster of Paris . Mysore is also popular as the City of Palaces.
Places To SeeMysore Palace
This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. On display is the grandeur and opulence of the royal family. You can appreciate the inlaid ivory work, marble figurines and paintings. During weekends and national holidays, the palace is illuminated by about 100, 000 bulbs. Tip
: Photography is not allowed inside the temple. You will have to deposit your camera and leave your shoes at the entrance. Brindavan Gardens and Musical Fountain
Located at the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam, the ethereal beauty of the gardens is magnified by the musical fountain. At 7PM, you can also enjoy a music and light show. Chamundi Hills
The hills house a temple which is dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari, and hence the name Chamundi Hills. The temple has beautiful architecture. The hills are a plastic-free zone. There are charges to enter the temple, a nominal one for a regular queue and a higher one for the shorter one. Tipu Sultan's Palace
The former palace has now been converted into an art gallery. On display are paintings, sculptures and art works of famous Indian artists including works of Ravi Verma. The palace itself is not too well maintained. Lalit Mahal Palace
Also a former palace, the building is today a heritage hotel. The best time to visit is in the afternoon when the British high tea is served. The palace is located near Chamundi Hill. St. Philomenas Church
Built in medieval architectural style, St. Philomenas Church is one of the largest churches in the country. Visit the church to admire the imposing structure, stained glass windows and lofty towers. Gardens and lakes
The city of Mysore has more than 180 parks and playgrounds to its credit. Check out the Andolan Circle Park which has a scenic walking track around it. There are several other lakes in the city. One of the most popular is the Kukarahalli Kere by the University. You can also visit Lingabudhi Kere which has a beautiful footpath with bamboo forests. Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Avadhoota Datta Peetham
The ashram has beautiful garden with bonsai plants. You can also buy herbal tea which is grown in the gardens. Mysore Zoo
The zoo was established by the royal family and houses rare animals and spectacular grounds. The zoo also runs a highly successful breeding program and has animals from more than 40 different countries as well as many native Indian animals, including Royal Bengal tigers, white tigers, giraffe, elephants, Himalayan black bear, fallow deer, and African rhino. The zoo also has several resident and migratory birds. There is a souvenir shop from where you can buy excellent mementos. Karanji Kere
Surrounded by trees, the lake is a favorite among couples. You can go boating on the lake and also spend some time spotting a variety of birds such as pelicans, peacocks and painted storks. There is a tall watch tower from where you can see entire lake and birds on tree tops. Jayalakshmivilas Mansion
The mansion has around 200 rooms, an exotic dancing hall and a kalyanmantap with intricately carved wood pillars. The mansion is now a museum with artefacts, tools and object of various artisans and other archaeological findings. Happy Man Park
This is a popular hangout place for families. Though compact in size, it hosts a mini zoo, wooden bridges, and landscaped gardens. The park takes its name from the statue of happy man with a pot belly. The statue resembles the laughing Buddha.