Mysore : The residence of Devi Mahishmardini
Very popular among the devotees of South India as well as other parts of the country for its Dusshera festival, Mysore is claimed to be the residence of Devi Mahishmardini. Chamundi Hills, 13km east of Mysore is the actual place where the temple of Chamundeshwari has been attracting pilgrims since ages. It is believed that the demon Mahishasura was killed here by Goddess Chamundi after a fierce and long-drawn-out battle. It is said that the name of the city, Mysore is derived from the name Mahishasur. Some of the best temples to visit in Mysore are Prassana Krishanswamy Temple, Shewtavarahaswamy Temple, and Trineswaraswamy Temple.
Also known as the Mysore Maharaja Palace, it is the biggest thing that you will ever notice in Mysore! The palace is situated in the city’s center, so you know, it cannot be missed anyway. The architecture is up for appreciation as it is a fine mix of Hindu, Islam, Gothic and Rajput styles. The stunning interior displays intricate craftsmanship. One would transcend to the era of Wodeyar dynasty while feasting eyes on the palace’s exclusive design and properties. The palace is decorated in a grand manner every year during theDasara festival, which propbably is the best time to visit here.
Chamundi Hills is the identifier of Mysore. It is famous for a temple that was built in the 11th century and has been renovated and turned into a tourist spot. The temple has a 5-meter tall statue that is said to have been sculptured out of a single rock. A flight of stairs with 1000 leads to Chamundi Hills that also offers spectacular vistas of the surroundings. Middle of the way, you shall also encounter the statue of Nandi the Bull.
At the foot of the famous Chamundi Hills is a huge lake called Karanji Lake. Constructed by the King of Mysore, Karanji is a 90-acre water body and is amongst the biggest lakes in Karnataka. The lake has become the shelter for migratory birds and as many as 90 species of birds can be found here. There is also a scenic park around the lake that has a huge enclosure for birds and it is considered the largest of its kind in the country.
Behind the Karanji Lake is the Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens at Mysore also known as Mysore zoo. The Zoo is spread in a 157acre of land and houses a huge range of wildlife species not only from our country but animals from around the world.
The Brindavan Gardens are located a level below the Krishna Raja Sagara dam. It is a major tourist attraction near Mysore and is also regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens in the state of Karnataka. The most exciting experience at this garden is the musical fountain show that is scheduled in the evenings.
Above the famous Brindavan Gardens, Krishna Raja Sagara dam is a major tourist place near Mysore. Almost all the tourist that make it to the palace in Mysore that ensures to offer a refreshing experience. The dam is also the first irrigation dam in India and is accounted to be one of the most beautiful tourist spots around Mysore.
St. Philomena Church
St. Philomena is a 200-year old Church, which is also known as St. Joseph’s Church. Built in Gothic Style, the church was established by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. It is amongst the largest Cathedrals in India and is dedicated to St.Philomena who was a 3rd century saint from Greece.The church has a celler where there is a statue of St.Philomena in a reclining posture and a piece of her bone and clothes are kept.
Located at a short distance from Chamundi Hills is Lalitha Mahal that happens to be the second largest palace in Mysore . Of course after Mysore Palace. The palace was built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and its architecture is inspired by St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Therefore, we can see a good mixture of several architectural forms from Europe in this palace. Another thing that caught the eye here is the magnificent view of Chamundi hills and the city.
Railway Museum is one of the most visited tourist places in Mysore. The museum is situated close to the city’s railway station and serves as a place that exhibits ancient locomotives and carriages that are still in working condition and are being used by the Indian Railways even today.
GRS Fantasy Park
GRS Fantasy Park is an amusement park that is ideal if visiting in summer. The park offers number of land and water rides that can surely excite kids and adults alike. It is located the Mysore-Bangalore highway and lie sprawled in prawling 30 acres of lush greenery. Number of features like wave pool, 5D virtual rides, telecombat and pendulum slide ensure that one actually have a time of his life here!
Somanathpura is town, which is about 35kms from Mysore. The place is known for its Chennakesava Temple also called Kesava Temple. Feel the divinity at the Kesava Temple that reflects the Hoysala architecture and explore the wildlife in its surroundings.
Srirangapatna is a majestic heritage site situated some 15kms from Mysore. The entire town is enclosed by the river Kaveri to form a river island. The town is named after the revelled Ranganathaswamy temple which dominates the town. Srirangapatna is one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in South India and the temple here was built by the Ganga Dynasty in the 9th century. The temple is a mix of the Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles of architecture. Apart from it, you can also take a tour to the toy factories of Srirangapatna and witness how the toys are made.
Situated on a river island, Shivanasamdura is where the River Kaveri falls 90m to form as waterfall. Shivanasamudra is an island town that divides River Cauvery into two falls, namely Gaganachukki Falls and Bharachukki Falls that together make Shivanasamdura Falls. It is known for being Asia’s first hydroelectric power station and is situated some 85 kms away from Mysore. It is a spectacular fall and is rated as one of the best waterfalls in India.
Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary
Not far from Mysore, Rangantittu is a popular hub for bird lovers as it is one of the biggest bird sanctuaries in South India. Sprawling in an area of 40 acres, the sanctuary is the home to about 170 birds species. Rangantittu is a short distance from the sacred town of Srirangapatna and is easily accessible.
Talakad is some 45kms from Mysore and is known as a popular pilgrimage site in Karnataka. It is situated on the left bank of River Kaveri and is amidst the serene landscape. The place once had 30 temples that now lay buried under the sands, however, people still like to go and visit the ruins of these historical temples. Apart from it Talakad has also become the epicentre of horticulture and wine making. Fine wines, exotic Zero Pesticide fresh produce, artisan cheese and diverse culinary experiences are now the identifiers of this sleepy town.
Melukote is a home to exotic temples and is some 50kms from Mysore. It makes a great destination for a one-day-trip as one can enjoy folk dances, ethnic cuisines and several cultural activities along with temple sightseeing here. This place is also a well-known location for film making as well as it is surrounded by lot of scenic areas. One of the famous temples here is Sri Yoganarasimha Swamy temple, which is situated at the hilltop. Catching a sunrise from here is a spectacular here.
Bandipur National Park
Nested amidst the Western Ghats, Bandipur National Park is an ideal weekend getaway destination from Mysore. Located at the picturesque location, this national park is the home to a large number of wild animals and birds. Together with Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala and Nagarhole National Park in the North, it creates India’s biggest biosphere reserve popularly known as the ‘Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve’.
Nagarhole National Park
Located at a short distance from the city of Mysore, Nagarahole National Park is situated in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. The national park is a home to a large number of elephants and other wild animals and birds. There are jungle safari and elephant treks that one let the visitors get the best experience in this national park.
It is an Art Gallery located to the west of the main palace. The palace for built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in 1861 to celebrate the marriage of his daughter and the museum was officially started in 1915, and has since been expended adding many artifacts. This Art Gallery showcases Mysuru style of painting. Also, the original oil paintings of Raja Ravi Varma of Travancore on display here are on many mythological themes. The painting of lady holding the lamp of the Indian Artist S.G.Heldnker is another piece. The other include artifacts made from Glass, Ceramic and Metal. A good collection of clocks are also display here along with few energravings from china and Japan and paintings of various styles like Moghal and Rajput.
Located at the foothills of Chamundi, Planet X is a popular entertainment centre in Mysore. It is an ideal for a day picnic with friends and family as this place is perfect for both kids and grown-ups. There are facilities for snooker, billiards, go-karting and video games. The complex also has a bowling alley, mini golf course, restaurant, coffee shop and even a conference room where one can spend an eventful day.