Mysore – city of Palaces

Mysore, the City of Palaces is located 140 km from Bengarulu, the capital of Karnataka state in southern India. Somnathpur is just 45 km away from Mysore.

This city is the second largest city in Karnataka state. It is well known for its temples and palaces.

Mysore was the former capital of the ancient Mysore kingdom. According to Hindu mythology, this city was the home of Mahishasura, a demon king in ancient times. Chamundeshwari (Goddess Durga) killed him on the top of the Chamundi hill near this city. Hence the city got its name as “Mahishasurana Ooru” i.e., “Mysore”.

Its history dates back to the period of the great Indian epic, Mahabharata. Between 2nd -10th centuries the city was ruled by the Ganga dynasty. Later the city was under the Cholas for a century. Afterwards, the Chalukyas, the Vijayanagar empire and at last the Mysore Yadu kings ruled this province till the 13th century. After the 13th century Wodeyar’s took over the city and made the place a prominent city in various respects. Even though Wodeyar’s rule was discontinued, at the end of the 17th century, they again ruled Mysore under the command of the British.

Industries, IT companies and tourisms are the vital keys for Mysore’s economical growth.

Chamundeshwari Temple:
The temple lies at the top of Chamundi hills. This hill is on the eastern end of Mysore. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Chamundeshwari (Goddess Durga), who killed a demon king Mahishasura in this place. Being in a Quadrangular shape, its architecture is of Dravidian style. It has a statue of Lord Ganesha on its doorway.

Mahabaleshwar Temple:This temple is older than Chamundeshwari temple. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Even though it lost its importance in course of time, the temple is worth visiting. Tourists can see lots of statues in Hoysala, Ganga and Chola styles.  It is also located atop Chamundi hills.

Lakshmiramana Swamy Temple:
This temple is located on the western side of the fort inside the palace near the Residential Museum. This temple is both historically and archaeologically important. This is one of the oldest temples in Mysore and its history dates back to the 14th century. The sanctum sanctorum houses the idols of Nambinarayana (God Vishnu) and his consort Goddess Lakshmi Devi.

Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple:
A Wodeyar ruler built this temple in the 18th century. It houses an idol of Lord Krishna. Tourists can see 40 statues of gods and goddesses here. They can also see the statue of the ruler in this temple.

Trineswaraswamy Temple:
This temple was built in the period even before Raja Wodeyar. It is located on the fort’s north east end. It has been built in the Dravidian style. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Mysore Palace:
This most splendid of palaces, that of Mysore, is located in the center of the city. This is also called as main palace or Amba Vilasa Palace. This three storeyed, grey granite building is a blend of Dravidian, Oriental, Roman and Indo-Saracenic styles of architecture. The entrance of this palace is called Doll’s pavilion (Gombe Thotti) where tourists can see the various dolls of both 19th and 20th century. The palace houses 12 temples within it. Tourists should never miss the glittering sight of the palace during Dusshera festival, when the palace is decorated with 97,000 light bulbs.

Jaganmohan Palace:
This 150 year old palace is very much like the Mysore palace. It was first built in the 18th century in wood and it burnt down sometime later. So the present palace is a rebuilt structure. This was the place where the Krishnaraja Wodeyar was coronated and wedded. It also houses an art gallery within it.

Lalitha Mahal Palace:
This was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV in 1921, as a home for the Viceroy of India. It is located atop a hillock, 11 km away from Mysore. The architecture of this palace is a perfect blend of Renaissance, Italian Palazzo and English Manor style. Tourists can see the portraits of the Royal Mysore lineage and the battle scenes of Tippu Sultan with the British.

St. Philomena’s Church:
King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV re-built this 200 year old Church in 1933. This is one of the largest cathedrals in south Asia, the church in the Gothic style of architecture.

Brindavan Gardens:
It is located 19 km away from Mysore below the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam. This is the most popular destination in Mysore. Tourists can enjoy watching Dancing Fountains in the evenings. They can also come across various flowers and plants here.

Mysore Zoo:
It is located in nearly 45 acres with Chamundi hills as its backdrop. This zoo was initially started in 10 acres, as a part of his summer palace by King Chamaraja Wodeyar. It has an artificial lake within it.

Bandipur National Park:
This is located 80 km from Mysore on the Mysore – Ooty route. Here travelers can see lots of wildlife.

This has a fort on the islands of River Cauvery. This place was the capital of Tipu Sultan. There are lots of places for tourists to visit in this place like Tipu’s fort, summer palace, Sri Ranganath temple, Jama Masjid and church of Abe Dubois.

Tourists can spend time in boating and bird watching in various lakes in and around Mysore namely Karanji Lake, Kukkaranahalli Lake and Lingabudi Lake.
The nearest airport is at Bengaluru (140 km).Mysore is well connected with major cities of India by rail and road.