Situated an altitude of 770 meters, this town of erstwhile royal family, is noted for its palaces, parks and oriental opulence. This town of fragrance of sandalwood, musk, and rose, still retains its oriental aura of the royal splendor. The Dussera festival held here every year around October is very famous. For ten days and nine nights the town remains agog with much festivity, music, color and illumination. On Vijaya Dashmi, the final day of festivity, a big parade comprising of infantry, a big parade comprising of infantry, caparisoned cavalry camels and elephants is held reminding people of the royal times. Mysore has many places of interest which may be conveniently visited within 5-6 hours by a car or taxi.
Built in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and now open to public viewing, Maharaja’s Palace Complex, one of the biggest of its kind in India, is a marvel in construction and ornamentation. Only four segment of the complex is open to the public. They include Gombi Totti, Kalyan Mandapa, Durbar Hall and Amba Vilas. On festive occasion the palace is illuminated and then it is transformed into a veritable fairy land. Visitors in groups 20-30 are allowed and taken on a guided tour. The palace presents a profusion of frescoes, floor mosaic, wood carvings, solid silver portals, ornate domes, arches, colannades and sculptures.
Sri Charnarajendra Art Gallery
Close to the palace, the Art Gallery and a small Museum are housed in Jagmohan Palace. It contains many art objects, antiques and curios.
It contains a wide variety of animals and birds including snakes.
A flight of 1,000 strenuous steps leads to Sri Chamundeshwari Shrine atop a hill, 13 km. from Mysore. The climb is rewarding as it offers panoramic view of the city and the surroundings. The shrine is also accessible by bus, taxi or cars. There is also a giant statue of the demon Mahishasura who was slain by the Goddess Chamundi, the tutelary deity of the royal family.
Sandalwood Oil Factory
This Govt. factory is an interesting place where you can see how oil is extracted from the sandalwood and incense sticks manufactured. You can buy these as well.
Here you can see how saris are woven. The
Govt. Silk Weaving Factory is not far from the Sandalwood Oil
Factory and you can include it in your itinerary.
Nineteen km. from Mysore, Krishnaraj Sagar Dam and Brindavan Gardens were built in 1932. The dams built on the River Kaveri is the largest in South India having an area of 130 sq. km. with boating and fishing facilities available. The fabulous ornamental terrace gardens below the dam are a great tourist attraction. It is also a popular picnic spot with its bright flower beds, fountains, pools and illummination in the evening, there is a beautiful Hotel Krishansagar overlooking the gardens and reservoir.
Sixteen km. from Mysore on Bangalore Road, Srirangpatnam is noted for its fort, Ranganath Temple, dungeons and museum, Tipu Sultan’s summer retreat Daria Daulat and his mausoleum, the Gumbaz.
Nestled between Indragiri and Chandragiri Hill’s the ancient Sravanhelgola, is a famous Jam centre of pilgrimage. A renowned Jam ascetic and saint Gommanteshwara stood here for so long in meditation that creepers grew and entwined round his motionless legs. A colossal monolithic statue of Gommanteshwara showing his legs entwined with creepers, stands here majestically atop Indragiri Hill. This 17 metre high statue is the tallest and one of the finest in the world. A flight of 614 rock cut steps leads to the statue. The spectacular Mahamastakabhishek is eld every 12 years when the colossus is bathed in milk, curd, honey, rice, coconut, milk, ghee, almonds, saffron, o1d coins, etc. A special seaffold is erected for this purpose.
Other minor places of tourist in karnatak are Somnathpur (40
km. away from Mysore and famous for its 13th Century Keshav
Temple), Bandipur Sanctuary (80km. away and noted for rare specimen
of wild life), Coorg Region (125km. away and noted for its cool
surroundings, orange orchards and coffee plantation), Udipi,
Sringeri and Bijapur (the ‘city of victory’, noted
for Gol Gumhad and other historical monuments of Mughal/ Medieval
period). All these places can be conveniently visited keeping
your base at either Mysore or Bangalore.
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