Mysore > Mysore Tourist Information
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Mysore (pronounced Mysore. in English; Kannada: Maisūru) is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. It is the headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division and lies about 146 km (91 mi) southwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru, which means the abode of Mahisha. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a demon from Hindu mythology. The city is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi) and is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills.
Mysore is famous for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives a large number of tourists. Mysore also lends its name to the Mysore mallige, Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, Mysore Peta (traditional silk turban) and the garment called the Mysore silk saree. In an exercise carried out by the Urban Development Ministry under the national urban sanitation policy, Mysore was placed 2nd cleanest city in the country.
Fairs & Festivals in Mysore, During the month of October and November, for ten days the Dussehra festival is celebrated. This is the most famous festival of Mysore. During the festival the city is at its colour best with music & dance, Sports, Literary competitions, fairs and exhibitions all over Mysore. All This culminates in the Dussehra Procession and torch light parade.
Tourist Places in Mysore
Mysore (or Mysuru), a city in India's southwestern Karnataka state, was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947. In its center is opulent Mysore Palace, seat of the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty. The palace blends Hindu, Islamic, Gothic and Rajput styles. Mysore is also home to the centuries-old Devaraja Market, filled with spices, silk and sandalwood.
Mysore City Palace and Museum
Mysore City Palace and Museum The palace at the heart of the city forms the focal point around which the city functions. Located at Mirza Road, the Palace is open daily from 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Entry fee - Rs.10. Shoes cannot be worn inside the palace. Camera not allowed. The palace is illuminated on Sundays, national holidays from 7:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. and during Dassera festival from 7:00 p.m. to 9 p.m.One of the largest palaces in India and the residence of the Wodeyar Maharaja's of the Mysore state, it was designed by British architect Henry Irwin and built in 1912, after a fire burnt down the old wooden palace. The stained glass roof of the 'Kalyana Mandapa' (marriage pavilion), wall paintings, ivory inlaid rosewood doors and the ornate golden throne here, are all remarkable. The palace now under the supervision of Department of Archaeology and Museums of the Karnataka Government is converted into a museum. The royal costumes, children's toys, musical instruments, photographs and numerous portraits are placed at the ground floor. A small collection of weapons are displayed on the upper floor.
Chamundi Hill The 1150meter Chamundi Hill is one of the landmark tourist attraction of Mysore. It is located about 13kms South east of Mysore. The Chamundeswari temple on the top of the hill, dating back to the twelfth century, is dedicated to Durga Devi or goddess Chamundi (avatar of Parvathi, Shiva's consort) for celebrating her victory over the demon Mahishasura. The idol of goddess Chamundi inside the sanctorum sanctuary is in solid gold. The temple is a fine example of Dravidian temple architecture. The temple tower is 40m high with seven stories. Behind the main temple there is a small shrine dedicated to Mahabaleswara which is over a thousand years old. From the top of hill you can have a panoramic view of Mysore. There is a giant statue of Mahishasura, the demon who was killed by the goddess Chamundi (Durga Devi) near the temple. Halfway up the hill a ornamented monolithic statue of the Nandi Bull can be found. It is carved out of a single block of black granite.
Saint Philomena's Church
Saint Philomena's Church Built in 1933 and designed by Reverand Rene Feuge, St. Philomena's church is one among the grandest churches in India. Located about 3 kms from the city on Cathedral road, it is the tallest Church in India built in the neo-Gothic style. A statue of 3rd century saint, Philomena is placed in an underground chamber. The twin spires are 175 feet in height and are visible from miles around. Some fine attractive glass paintings depicting scenes from the birth of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ can also be seen here. Presently it is known as St. Joseph's Church. Open from 8 am to 6 pm.
Jaganmohan Palace, built in 1861 by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar, is one of the oldest building in Mysore. This three storied palace with stained glass shutters and ventilators is located about 10 minutes walk from the city bus stand. It is now converted into Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, a treasure house of paintings of unparalleled beauty, handicrafts, a rare collection of musical instruments and historical memorabilia dating back to the nineteenth century and earlier.
Lalitha Mahal Palace
Lalitha Mahal Palace The heritage building, is located about 11 kms from the city of Mysore. This twin storied palace was commissioned in 1921 by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and was designed by E.W Fritchley in the Renaissance style with concepts from the Italina palazzo and the English manor. Nestling at the foot of the Chamundi Hills, the pleasing white structure was modeled in the lines of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. In 1974, India Tourist Development Corporation converted this royal guest palace into a star hotel. However, the building continues to retain various aspects of the Palace including the viceroy room, the banquet hall, the ballroom and the stately Italian marble staircases. The Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel offers royal living and dining in the environs of a real palace.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace
Jayalakshmi Vilas, located in the lush green landscape of the University of Mysore around 5 kilometers to the west of the city reflects the rich architectural splendor of the ancient times. Built in 1905 as the mansion of the eldest daughter of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar, the palace was known as Rajkumari Mansion. The building itself is made up of a three wing structure but so connected as to give the appearance of a single massive structure. The north and south portion of this structure is connected with a small over bridge and the interior have extensively rich carvings and mouldings of ancient Indian design. Other architectural features like the twin Corinthian and ionic columns, regal pediments, pilastered window-sets and oval ventilators adds to the grace and glory of this huge monument. A dancing hall with a wooden floor and a 12 pillar, square Kalyana Mantapam are the major attractions of the palace which represent the zenith of artistic caliber of the local craftsman of the bygone golden era. The 40 x 25 feet dancing hall has a viewers gallery and a first floor, and the 40 feet high roof at the central portion is decorated with painted glass. The Kalyana Mantap, the most beautiful portion of the mansion, has an eight-petal shaped dome with glass windows and a gold -plated 'Kalasha" or tower on top. Besides the main entrance, the mansion has entrances on each side, different from each other. The entrance on the northern side has an extrusion on the stairs probably to be used as an alighting platform from cars and chariots. At the centre of the main building, there is a small courtyard with a fountain. The north side pediment of the mansion has a sculpture of the Goddess Lakshmi and the south side has a sculpture of Goddess Bhuvaneswari under a domed canopy. Renovated in 2002, Jayalakshmi Vilas is now a part of the Mysore University and has been converted to a museum (Folklore museum) and a research center of the University. The exhibits in the museum include priceless collection of artifacts, folklore, archaeology and geology, collected from various parts of India etc. The research center offers the students to carry their projects on several important topics with much ease and convenience.
Vasantha Mahal Palace
Vasantha Mahal Palace is nested amidst lush green surroundings, the three (two) -storied structure of Vasantha Mahal was built in 1842 by the then ruler of Wodeyar Dynasty. Sprawls over an area of 36 acres of land, it was built as a pleasure palace to house special school for the education of young Princes. The most interesting feature of the palace is its protruding front portions made of wrought-iron grills of three graceful arches which leads to a curving verandah and an over shaped hall. The long verandah stretches along the wings to connect it with the other parts of the building. The first floor is the replica of the ground floor. The columns of the palace are reminiscent of Tuscan style of architecture. Later, Vasantha Mahal has converted to a hotel and now it has been closed.
Rajendra Vilas Palace
Rajendra Vilas Palace The imposing structure of Rajendra Vilas Palace, is located 1000 feet above the city in the picturesque backdrop of Chamundi Hills around 13 kms south east of Mysore. Known for its splendid decor and architectural splendor, Rajendra Vilas is one of the best example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, with a strong Rajput flavour. The central dome of the palace, that resembles Mysore Palace, rests on a high neck and four chhatris built distinctly in Rajasthani style surrounds the central dome. A semi-circular verandah to the north provides a panoramic view of the city. The first floor opens to spacious terraces adjoining the chhatris. Once the summer palace of the erstwhile Mysore Royal family, Rajendra Vilas Palace became the property of Karnataka Government when Mysore merged with the state and was converted into a heritage hotel. The sprawling 45 to 50 suites of the hotel are adorned with elegant furniture and exquisite paintings. ll modern and deluxe amenities are made available to the guests residing here.
Krishnaraja Sagar Dam or KRS Dam
KRS dam, built in 1932, is located 12 kms north-west of Mysore. The project was designed by the farsighted engineer Sir M. Vishweswaraiah and constructed during the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The dam is around 8600 feet long and 130 feet high with a reservoir spread over an area of 130 sq.kms. It represents a marvel of civil engineering achievement in pre-independence India and was among the first in the world to use automatic sluice gates. There is a boating pond to cross the dam from the south bank to the north bank and at the northern edge are the dancing fountains. The beautiful terraced Brindavan Gardens is located just below the KRS dam.