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Mysore

The city of Mysore is popularly known as the cultural capital of the state of Karnataka . Famous for its magnificent architectural structures, temples, gardens and Dassara festival, Mysore presents an impressive mythical and historical past.

Located just 146 km from the city of Bangalore, Mysore is located at south of Karnataka, between the Kaveri and Kabini rivers. The city has many lakes, including Karanji, Kukkarahalli and Lingambudhi. It is a picturesque place dotted with small water bodies, a number of green patches and the Chamundi Hills in the closer vicinity further accentuate the beauty.


The famous mythological legend behind the name of the city indicates that the area in and around Mysore was ruled by the demon Mahishasura and the region wasnamed after him Mahishuru. The Goddess Chamundeshwari heard the prayers of the people Mahisasuru oppressed and she in turn killed Mahishasura to free the region from his atrocities. The temple on the Chamundi Hill still houses a enormous statute of the demon. Anglicized from the word Mahishuru, the place came to be known as Mysore during the British rule.


Mysore has almost always been ruled by Hindus—in succession by the Cholas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagar, and Wodeyar Dynasties. Mysore rose in prominence under the rule of Chamaraja Wodeyar. After breaking away from the mighty Vijayanagara empire in 1584, Mysore became the capital of the glorious Wodeyar Dynasty. In 1610 the capital was transferred to Sringapatna.


Although the Wodeyars ruled the region for several years, history remembers Tipu Sultan as the greatest ruler/personality of Mysore. He was the son of Haider Ali, a commander in the army of Wodeyar. Haider Ali deposed the Wodeyar king and took over the power of the state in the 18th century. His son Tipu Sultan reigned and succeeded him.


His battle with the British is denoted as an example of courage and bravery, although he lost the battle and died in 1799.
The famous festival of Dushera started from the time of the Wodeyars. During this festival, the festivities last for nearly 10 days. On the tenth day of this festival a grand victory procession with elephants, horses, bands and floats celebrates the killing of Mahishasura.

Mysore City Palace
Mysore city palace was constructed by the Maharajas of the Wodeyar dynasty. It is the most famous sight of Mysore and one of the most impressive palaces in India. This extravagant palace (43 m high and 3.5 sq/km large area) built in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture is considered a master piece of art and architecture. Also popularly known as the Amba Vilas Palace, its construction was initiated in 1897 and completed in 1912. Henry Irwin, a British architect designed the palace. The entire structure of the Maharaja's Palace is built in grey granite and pink marble domes. Nearby stands a gigantic five-storied, 45 m high tower with domes gilded in gold. The entrance of the palace through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll's Pavilion gives a majestic feeling with seven canons adorning the entrance. The canons are still used during the Dushera festivities. Other attractive features include the elephant gate, the Kalyana Mandapa with exclusive stained glass roof, a wooden elephant howdah decorated with gold which was used to carry people on the backs of the elephants. The palace also holds a vast collection of weapons, royal costumes, toys, portraits, photographs and musical instruments. There are paintings of the Ramayana and Mahabharata by Raja Ravi Varma, one of India’s most eminent painters. There are several temples including the Sweta Varahaswami Temple with its beautiful Gopuram.
Chamundi Hills
The temple devoted to goddess Chamundi is located on Chamundi Hill; it is known as the Chamundeshwari Temple. It was established in the twelfth century by Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar; 1000 granite rock steps lead to the temple. The ancient idol of the goddess in this Dravidian style temple is made of solid gold. The splendid Gopuram, a pyramidal temple tower, was added by King Krishnaraja Wodeyar III between 1825-1826. A huge and brightly painted statue of Mahishasura is located near the temple structure. A monolith statue of Lord Shiva’s vehicle which is popularly known as the Nandi Bull stands on the path midway up the hill. The hill top also houses a small palace known as the Lalithadri, which belonged to the Mysore rulers.
Brindavan Gardens
Only 15 km from Mysore City, Brindavan Gardens are famous for their green cover and beautiful plantations spreading over 150 acres. The garden is located below the KR Sagar Dam in Mandya District and has a unique musical fountain that attracts visitors. The gardens are an oasis of greenery and bring respite from mechanical city life.
Philomena Church
The church dedicated to saint Philomena is the tallest and one of the most beautiful churches in India. It was built in 1933 and designed by Reverand Rene Feuge. Situated anout 3 km from Mysore, on Cathedral Road, this church displays neo-gothic architecture. There is an underground chamber in the church where you can find a statute of saint Philomena. Gigantic windows and mesmerizing glass paintings are definitely worth looking at.
Jagmohan Palace
It was built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar in 1861. The palace is a three storied building and is now a popular art gallery. This gallery displays some of the finest paintings, handicrafts, musical items and other items of historic significance. A visit to the palace will certainly take you back in history. Mysore gold leaf painting and oil paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and Svetoslav Roerich are some of the major attractions displayed here.
Lalitha Mahal
Lalitha Mahal is located about 11 km from the city. It was designed of E.W. Fritchley. The architecture is basically renaissance style. The former guest palace was converted into a hotel in 1974. However the viceroy room, the ballroom and the banquet hall of the palace are still preserved in their original form.
Mysore Zoo
One of the oldest zoological gardens in the world, Mysore zoo is home to several rare species of animals and avifauna. It is believed that this zoo was established in 1892 under a royal scheme and since then runs several breeding programs. Animals belonging to 40 different countries and several Indian species including the Royal Bengal tigers, white tigers, elephants, giraffe, fallow deer, Himalayan black bear, Indian bison, white peafowl and African rhino reside here. Karanji Lake which is a part of this zoo attracts numerous migratory birds including the painted storks, pelicans and darters. A botanical garden here, further adds to the green coverage. This zoo is a major attraction for travellers on vacation with their families.
Museums
National Museum on Natural History, Folk Art Museum and the Rail Museum are some of the other attractions for visitors in Mysore.
Krishnaraja Sagar Dam
The dam was built in 1932 and was one of the first dams in the world to bring automatic sluice gates into use. This dam can be described as a masterpiece of engineering and architecture since it was a huge achievement in the pre-independence period. Designed by sir M Visweswaraiah, Krishnaraja Sagar dam is about 2600m long and 40mhigh. You can take a boat ride from the south to the north bank where the dancing fountains are located.
Mysore is known for Mysore silk sarees and Rose Wood and Sandal wood carvings . Craftsmen produce figures of Gods, Goddesses, jewel boxes, inlays and small furniture items like coffee table.
The best place to buy these things is the Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium of the Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation.
Mysore is very well known for its sweet dish popularly known as Mysore Pak , a sweet dish usually served as dessert  and made of ghee (clarified butter), sugar and chick pea (besan) flour. It was created by Mysore Palace  palace cook Kakasura .

Mysore Dushera:

The festival of Dushera is celebrated with utmost enthusiasm. Mysore has become synonimous with Dushera as this was started by the Wodeyars in grand style. During the 10 day festivities, the city erupts into color and activities.On the last day, of the 10 day festival, a grand procession is taken out with the Goddess Chamundi seated on a golden howdah mounted on an decorated elephant followed by a procession of tableaux. The procession begins at the Mysore Palace and ends at the Banni Mantapa grounds. The festival ends with a spectacular fireworks display.

Nearby places Train stations Airports
HINDUSTAN AIRPORT 160 Km 03H 05m
Mysore City Junction
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
17 Km 00H 25m
19 Km 00H 27m
48 Km 00H 57m
69 Km 01H 20m
79 Km 01H 27m
81 Km 01H 45m
83 Km 01H 32m
119 Km 02H 11m
17 Km 00H 25m
19 Km 00H 27m
48 Km 00H 57m
Talakad is a mystical town that offers both beautiful temples and scenic natural beauty. The town is associated with intriguing legends that explain the history of the ancient temples that lie buried in sand beside the flowing Cauvery River.
69 Km 01H 20m
79 Km 01H 27m
The private hunting reserve of the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore, Bandipur today is a mesmerizing wildlife sanctuary spread across mountains, forests and rivers. It supports a remarkable variety of flora and fauna that includes an incredible 3000 elephants and 70 tigers. Bandipur is probably the best place to see wild elephants in India.
81 Km 01H 45m
83 Km 01H 32m
Shravanbelagola is one of the most important ancient Jain pilgrimage site, famous for its spectacular 17.5 Mt high monolithic statue of the Jain sage Bahubali (Gomateshwara).
119 Km 02H 11m
Madikeri - a picturesque hill station of misty mornings and dotted with coffee and exotic spice plantations, lies in the Western Ghats of south-western Karnataka. It is the headquarter of the famous Kodagu or Coorg district of Karntaka state. Flavoured with the aroma of fresh coffee, cardamom, black pepper and Coorg honey, Madikeri offers an enchanting experience.
139 Km 02H 44m
Bangalore is the IT hub of India and the capital of the state of Karnataka. In Old days Bangalore used to be referred to as the garden city of India in reference to the numerous well maintained gardens and green space within the city. Wodeyers were the rulers of Karnataka, Mysore used to be the prime city and capital of the erstwhile Mysore state, and Bangalore came into prominence during the British rule. At present it has evolved as large cosmopolitan city.
253 Km 04H 39m
Nestled on the coastal edge Mangalore is beautifully fringed with coconut palms, streams, aroma of spicy coconut curries and also known for it rich heritage of temples.
Seasons
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Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 22 °C 38 °C
Winter 14 °C 25 °C
The climate of Mysore is temperate with moderate variations in temperature in different seasons. In summer ( March to May) the days are hot, eveings bring relief.The temperature ranges from 14�C to 38�C. Winters (December to February) with minimum temperature touching below 14�C are very pleasant. Best period to visit is September to March.
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