Tourist places and information
 
  Mysore
 
 
 

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 one of the major cities 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.
Situated 770m above sea level,Mysore has a warm and cool climate throughout the year.

 

  LOCAL SIGHTS

 
  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.

 
  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.

 
  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.

Timings: Monday-Friday: 6:30 PM - 7:25 PM and Saturday-Sunday: 6:30 PM - 8:25 PM
Musical Fountain
 
 St. Philomena's Church  

St. Philomenias church

A beautiful Cathedral, reminiscent of medieval architectural style,is one of the largest churches in the country. Built in the gothic style,the Church is an imposing structure with stained glass windows and lofty towers.

 
  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.
 
  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.

 
  Around Mysore
 

  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.
 
  Fort

It is here that Tipu charged at the British soldiers with his legendary sword.An obelisk in the fort marks the place where he fell -betrayed by his own men.The fort holds within it,a mosque and the Ranganathaswamy Temple.Outside the fort is the Gumbaz,Tipu's tomb with splendid ebony doors inlaid with ivory.

 
  Himvad Gopalaswamy Hills

This is a popular hill resort and a trekker's delight as well.It is situated in the verdant western ghats of Mysore District.The temple here is dedicated to Lord Hoysala.

 
 
  Melkote

Situated 50 Kms.north of Mysore,Melkote is a sacred pilgrim centre,known for its Vairamundi festival in March-April.More than one lakh devotees congregate here for the festival.Melkote is also famous for its handlooms.Ramanucharya,the Shrivaishnava saint-philosopher,took shelter here from his persecutors.

 
  Talakad

48 Kms from Mysore,It is situated on the banks of the river Cauvery and is completely buried beneath sand dunes.Only the Dravidian style Vaidyeshwara temple is visible above the ground.Its temples are opened for ceremonial worship on special occasions -once in twelve years.

 
  Shivsamudra
Shivsamudra

85 Kms east of Mysore,where the river Cauvery cascades down in two picturesque waterfalls,is Shivsamudra.Falling down from a height of 75 m into a deep gorge,these falls are best during the monsoons.1.5 kms.away is Asia's first hydro-electric power project set up in 1905.

 
  Nagarhole National Park

93 kms.from Mysore, in the forest of Nagarhole, is a National Park.Abounding in a rich variety of wildlife, one can find elephants, antelopes and even leopards here.

 
  Kabini River Lodge

Situated 80 kms. from Mysore in the Karapur forests is the old hunting lodge of the Maharajas and Viceroys. The lodge on the banks of the river Kabini arranges jeep rides into the jungle and coracle rides on the Kabini for bird watching. A naturalist guide helps you identify the many varieties of birds and wild beasts.

 
  B. R. Hills

This picturesque hill range,at a height of 5091 ft.,is 120 kms. from Mysore and is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.The temple on the hill,dedicated to Biligiri Rangaswamy attracts devotees round the year.

Mysoreans are stauch believers in protecting the greenery of their awesome city. On September 28, 2005 the forest department decided to set up a 'Tree Court' to look into the problems and permit felling of trees. The tree court would meet on the third Saturday of every month and look into applications to fell trees.

 
  Essentials
 
  Getting Here

Mysore is well-connected by road to Bangalore, Madras, Mangalore, Coimbatore, Ooty, Cannanore, Calicut and Panaji(Goa)

 
  Shopping

Mysore is famous for carved sandalwood, pure silk sarees and incense. The best place to shop is the Cauvery Arts & Crafts Emporium on Sayyaji Rao Road, which is the Main shopping area. There are also many other craft shops on Dhanavanthri Road.
The shopper's stop:Mysore is known the world over for its exotic sandalwood and rich silks. At the Government Sandalwood Oil Factory,you can buy Sandal Powder, Sandal Oil and scented incense sticks.At the Government Silk Factory you can see the master weavers at work. Buy shimmering silks straight off the looms. Shop at Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium or in the little back streets and by lanes that offer some exiting bargains.

 
  Tourist Information

The Dasara executive commitee has setup a helpline number 125711 that gives information on accomodation, tour operators, train and bus services and emergency numbers. Those dialing the number from foreign countries should predial +91-80.

Regional Tourist Information,
Old Exhibition Building,
Irwin Road,Mysore.
Phone: +91-821-2422096 / +91-80-22352828

Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation
Yatrinivas Buildings,
J.L.B.Road, Mysore.
Phone: +91-821-26352

 
  Conducted Tours

KSTDC organises sightseeing tours to many of the major sights in and around Mysore. For more details call the KSTDC Office. Phone: +91-821-26352.

 
  Sightseeing Charter Flights

Bangalore based air-charter operator, Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Ltd (TAAL), has launched sightseeing charter flights to Hampi and Mysore in Oct 2002. Contact Anjan Rao at 98440-27699 for further details.

 
 
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