(Last Updated on : 18-06-2014)
Mysore is the second largest city of Karnataka. It is the headquarters of the district and is situated about 139 km west of Bangalore. It was ruled by the Hoysalas and Chalukyas, who made wonderful temples here. Apart from these beautiful temples, Mysore has lots of beautiful places to visit. Some of them are given here:
The zoo at Mysore is known as Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. It attracts a number of visitors. There is rare collection of animals and birds of the world in this zoo. It covers an area of over 37 hectares of green land. There is a separate enclosure for reptiles too. Friday is the weekly holiday. The visitors are allowed to enter from 08:00 hrs to 11:30 hrs and 14:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs. A minimum entrance fee of Rs. 1 is needed for the adults and 0.50 for the children.
Chamaraja Technical Institute
The exhibition hall of this institute contains some exquisite specimens of local artwork. The chief attractions here are the ivory and sandalwood carvings and metallic images. This institute also provides training in various crafts and manufactures excellent articles of rose wood and sandalwood.
The Mysore Palace
This wonderful palace was built in 1897. The courtyard of the palace contains a gorgeous garden and exclusively architectural temples dedicated to Goddess Gayatri, Goddess Buvaneswari, Lord Gopalakrishna, Navagraha, Lord Sri Varaha and Lord Trinayaneswara. The structure of the palace is styled on the Hoysala School of architecture. The exquisite art and paintings, ancient swords, crystal furniture and other historical items can be seen inside the palace.
The visitors need to keep their shoes outside. Boxes and bags or any other personal belongings are also not allowed inside. Photography is prohibited and the visitors are allowed to enter from 10:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs. A minimum entrance fees Rs.2 is taken.
Rail Museum of Mysore
It is situated near the Mysore railway station. This is a small but exciting railway museum comprising a good collection of old coaches which have been put out of track by their modern rivals. A special attraction here is the queen's royal saloon. Visiting hours are from 10.00 hrs to 13:00 hrs and 15:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs.
The Brindavan Gardens and Krishnaraja Sagar Dam
This is a picturesque garden and is laid out in beautiful cascade. The garden has enchanting fountains, musical fountains and slides and swings for children. The fountains are provided with special lights. In the evening, when the garden lights are lit, it looks very beautiful. This beautiful sight can be enjoyed between 19:00 hrs and 19.55 hrs on week days and between 19:00 hrs and 20:55 hrs on Sundays.
The Krishnaraja Sagar Dam is built across the beautiful Cauvery River, which extends to 3000 m in length and 40 m in width. This place is suitable for pleasure boating as it spreads over an expanse of 130 sq. km. It took 20 long years to construct this huge dam of Mysore. This dam takes care of the water supply to the Simsa Hydroelectric Power Project at Sivasamudram.
It is situated 22 km from the Mysore city. The visitors need to pay the entrance fees of Rs. 5.
Chamundi Hill of Mysore
There is a beautiful temple built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in this hill of Mysore. It is situated at 1095-meter altitude. Goddess Chamundeswary, who killed the demon Mahishasur, is the presiding deity of this temple. The gopuram or the portal tower of the temple is 7 storeyed and 40 m in height. A panoramic view of the beauties below can be had from the vantage points in the temple.
Mahabala Temple of Mysore
This temple is situated close to the beautiful Chamundi Hills. It was built during the 10th century. It was earlier known as 'Marbala Betta'. On the way to the temple, the visitors can see a huge monolithic Nandi. It stands 16 ft x 2 5 ft in height with an ornamental chain around the neck with a bell attached to it.
Varahaswamy Temple of temple of Mysore
This temple is dedicated to 'Lord Varaha', an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The grand Hoysala type architecture is reflected in this temple. There are excellent sculptural works and inscriptions.
Sri Lakshmi Narayana Swamy Temple of Mysore
This temple is dedicated to Lord Lakshmi Narayana, a variation of Lord Vishnu. It is believed to be the oldest in the city.
Trineswara Temple of Mysore
This is an ancient temple built in Dravidian style of architecture. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is situated facing the Mysore palace.
Prasanna Krishna Swamy Temple of Mysore
It is situated on the south of the main palace. This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It was built in the year 1825 by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III.
The Lake of Thousand Lights of Mysore
The lake got its name so because thousand lights are lit during the 'Teppotsava' or the ceremonial sailing of the 'Holy Raft'. This festival with a thousand light illuminations attracts lots of visitors to experience the grandeur. This festival is celebrated on the full moon day during the Dasara season in the beautiful evening with the Sun filling the sky with crimson. This lake is situated on the east of Chamundi hills.
Somnathpur in Mysore
It is situated 26 km from Srirangapatnam and 40 km from Mysore. There are three ancient wonderful temples in a complex called Prasanna Chenna Keshab here. Somnath Dhandanayaka, the commander in the army of Hoysala Narasimha III built these three temples known as 'Trikuta' on an elevated star-shaped base in 1268. The exterior walls of this triple-shrine are decorated with reliefs of scenes from the great epics and life of Hoysala Kings. The Cauvery and Kabini rivers meet here.
Talkad in Mysore
This place is located about 30 km southeast of Somnathpur on the way to Sivasamudram. This historic place is now the headquarters of the Taluk. Earlier, it was the ancient capital of the Ganga and the Chola Kings. The 'Pancha Linga' or five Lingas comprising the ones at different Siva Temples here are very well known here. A grand festival called 'Uatra' is celebrated once in 12 years in honour of these five Lingas. The devotees can have the 'darshan' of all the 5 Lingas during this festival. The Dravidian style is followed while building these temples. There are as many as 6 famous temples here.
There is an ancient temple in Talkad, dedicated to 'Lord Vaideeswara', the healer of all diseases who is a variation of Lord Siva. This temple is a grand granite structure of the 14th century. One can see the reliefs of Lord Siva in various postures here.
Kesava Temple of Mysore
The presiding deity of this ancient temple is Lord Kesava, one of the forms of Lord Vishnu. The courtyard of this temple measures 215 ft in length and 177 ft in breadth. The visitors can have a glance of the rows of elegantly carved reliefs of various deities such as Natya Ganapathi, Lord Ganesa in a dancing posture, Natya Saraswathy, Lord Siva, Varaha, one of the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, Indra. Various mythical events are also depicted here. The outer walls of this temple are ornately sculptured and the panels bear the sign-manuals of great sculptors like Baleya, Chaudeya, Mattitamma Chamaya, Bharmaya, Yalasamayya and Nanjayya.
Jaganmohan Art Gallery of Mysore
This art gallery contains beautiful portraits displaying eminent historic personalities and the events in the history of Mysore. The south enclosure in the ground floor has the nostalgic things of the kings of the olden times. One of the stunning carvings here is that of 'Dasavathara' or the 'ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu' on single grains of rice. This gallery is known as the Chamarajendra Art Gallery. Some exquisite articles of 1861, made for the special occasion of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar's wedding can be seen here. The ageless paintings of the legend Raja Ravi Varma graciously fill up a huge hall. There is also a good collection of musical instruments on display here. There is also big imposing clock in this gallery, which attracts lots of tourists here.
This is a picturesque hill resort near the mighty Eastern Ghats. It is about 142 km from Mysore. This is the favourite spot of thousands of tourists who come here to get carried away in the natural beauty. Good accommodation facilities are available.
Lalitha Mahal Palace
This beautiful palace was the residence of the royal family. It is situated on the highest point in the city. It offers a panoramic view of the magnificent city and has been converted into a posh hotel now. This is one of the most visited tourist places of Mysore.