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Mysore : Places to see

Mysore PalaceMysore Palace :
Whre the Mharajas lived… You can't miss the Palace at Mysore, for all roads lead to the Maharaja's Palace. Built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the Palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Intricately carved doors open on to luxuriously furnished rooms.

The majestic Durbar Hall has an ornate ceiling and many sculpted pillars. See the magnificent jewel studded golden throne, the pride of the Wodeyars and the symbol of their sovereignty, displayed here during the Dasara. The palace, illuminated on Sundays and Public Holidays, presents a spectacle of breathtaking beauty.

Chamundi Hills :
Presiding deity; of Mysore. A well known 335 metres high landmark, Chamundi Hill can be reached by a 13 km road or by climbing up the 1,000 steps laid out by the Mysore Maharaja in the 17th century. Half-way up long the stone steps is Nandi, Lord Shiva's bull, a majestic 4.8 metre monolith. At the top is the 12th century temple of Chamundeshwari, the patron goddess of the Wodeyars. St. Philomena's ChurchThe summit offers a panoramic view of Mysore's lakes, parks and palaces. MAHISHASURA… From whom Mysore got its name Close to the temple is the gigantic stature of the demon Mahishasura.

St. Philomena's Church :

Gothic art A beautiful Cathedral, reminiscent of medieval architectural style. Stained glass windows and lofty towers make it an imposing structure.

Mysore Zoo :

Home of rare species of fauna The Mysore Zoo was set up under royal patronage in the nineteenth century. Its fauna includes rare and exotic species which are housed in lush, green surroundings. The zoo is famous for breeding some very rare animals in captivity.

Sri Jayachmarajendra Art Gallery :

A treasure house of masterpieces The Jaganmohan Palace was converted into an art gallery in 1875 and exhibits paintings which date back to that period. The artists of that time used natural vegetable and mineral dyes. The famous traditional Mysore 'gold leaf' paintings are also exhibited in the gallery, as are oil paintings of contemporary Svetoslav Roerich.

Mysore is known the world over for its exotic silks. At the Government Sandalwood Oil Factory, you can buy Sandal Powder, Sandal Oil and scented incense sticks. At the Government Silk Factory you can see the master weavers at work. Buy shimmering silks straight off the looms.

Srirangapatna :

The Tiger's Lair Take yourself back to another spot, another, time. 16 kms away from Mysore is the island fortress of Tipu Sultan, the legendary Tiger of Mysore who put up a valiant fight against British domination. The high stone walls and moats enclose palaces, temples and a great mosque. Tipu's summer Palace, with its beautiful frescoes, the tombs of Tipu and Hyder Ali at Gumbaz, Royal Mosque, Wellesley Bridge and the celebrated Sri Ranganatha Temple are other monuments from its chequered past.

Ranganathittu :

A haven for winged visitors 5 kms from Srirangapatna, lush green islands on the river Cauvery, are home for an astonishing variety of migratory birds from as far away as Siberia - Spoon bills, Open Bill Stork, White Ibis, Little Egret Darter, Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Cormorant, Wild Duck, Peafowl. A little boat takes you close to the islands where the trees are covered with birds of different species. The only sounds are the cries of birds, swoosh of wing and the ripple of water. Ideal for picnicking and bird watching. Musical Fountain, Brindavan Garden
Season: Between June and October.

Brindavan Gardens :

What dreams are made of 19.2 kms north-west of Mysore City are the famous Brindavan Gardens with the musical fountain. They stretch below the Krishnarajasagara Dam on the river Cauvery, and present a breathtaking harmony of water, colour, light and music! Illumination

Melkote :

And the Yairamudi Festival 48 kms from Mysore, on rocky hills is the Cheluva Narayana Temple at Melkote. Ramanujacharya, the Shrivaishnava saint - philosopher, took shelter here from his persecutors. In March - April the Vairamudi festival draws thousands of pilgrims.

Somanathapur :

A 13th century wonder in stone 35 kms from Mysore, in the small village of Somanathapur, is another temple of great architectural beauty built in the 13th century A.D. The star-shaped temple with three shrines named after Prasanna Chennakeshava is the latest and best preserved example of Hoysala architecture.

Talkad :

"Deep asleep, deep asleep, deep asleep it lies…" 45 kms from Mysore is a strange phenomenon - an ancient town buried under centuries of sand. Only the Dravidian style Vaidyeshwara temple is visible above the ground. Once in twelve years, during the Panchalinga Darshana, the sleeping town awakes to festivities and fairs.

Shivasamudram :

The Cauvery takes a leap ! 85 kms to the south-east of Mysore are the Gomateshwar, Shrawanabelagolapicturesque waterfalls, Ganganchukki and Bharachukki, at Shivasamudram. Asia's first Hydro-Electric Power Station ws set up here in 1902. The falls are at their best in July/August.

Kabini River Lodge :

Holiday resort for the adventurous Situated 80 kms from Mysore in The Karapur forests is the old hunting lodge of the Maharajas and Viceroys. The lodge on the banks of the river Kabini arranges jeep rides into the jungle and coracle rides on the Kabini for bird watching. A naturalist guide helps you identify the many varieties of birds and wild beasts.

Nagarhole :

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep" 93 kms from Mysore in the Forest Department has a guest house here and arranges jeep rides into the forest ot enable visitors to observe the animals at close quarters. The season is between October and May.

Bandipura :

"Tiger, Tiger burning bright" 80 kms from Mysore, on the way to Ooty is the well-known Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Lose yourself in 'Kipling's Jungle' where elephants, sambars, spotted deer, langurs, peacocks, bison and yes, the majestic tiger, live in harmony in the game sanctuary. The season here is between May and November. Closed on Mondays.

Biligirirangana Betta :

Among tribal settlements This picturesque range of hills between two rivers, 108 kms from Mysore, takes its name from the temple of Biligiri Ranganatha Swami situated on the highest point of the range. The Ratha festival is held twice annually in January and April.

Mahadesvara Batta :

A pilgrim centre Atop a hill 160 kms from Mysore is the temple of Mahadeshvara. The Ratha festival here draws thousands of devotees. So does the "antaragange", a stream flowing from a perennial source where thousands come for a holy dip.

Belur - Halebid - Shravanabelagola :

Where stones speak a language of beauty The famous Hoysal a temple of Belur and Halebid are situated 160 kms and 150 kms respectively from Mysore. The exquisite and elegant bracket figures of the Chenna Keshava temple at Belur, one of the earliest of the star-shaped temples of the Hoysalas, and the hoysaleshwara temple at Halebid present, in the words of the famous historian Percy Brown, "the supreme climax of Indian architecture".

80 kms from Mysore is Shravanabelagola, the famous 'Dasshina Kashi' of the Jainas. Situated on a hill here is the towering monolith of Gomateshwara, 17 metres high! The Mahamastakabhisheka held once in twelve years, attracts devotees from all over the country. With Mysore as your base, visit many more places of tourist interest.

27 kms away is the important polgrim centre of Najangud. 68 kms from Mysore and 8 kms from Maddur is the small bird sanctuary of Kokrebellur. 30 kms to the north-west of Mysore is the 4.88 metres tall monolith of Gomateshwara standing on a hillock at Gomatagiri. 10 kms to the south-west of Mysore is the scenic hill of Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta.

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