Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mysore Travel Guide and Sightseeing Places

Mysore is the second biggest city in Karnataka and this served as the capital of Wodeyar dynasty. Mysore is called the city of palaces and noted for its beautiful architecture. This was once a sleepy city but then evolved into a city of apartments, complexes, supermarkets, malls and IT companies. Though there is fast growth towards modernity, the old and traditional culture is still preserved.

Mysore has become one of the important tourist hubs of Karnataka and if you want to visit Mysore then you should look at the right Mysore travel guide that will help you to plan your travel. There is a domestic airport located at a distance of 12 kilometers from the main city. The Mysore Junction is one of the busiest railway stations in Karnataka and there are frequent trains from here to Bangalore. For getting around the city, you have the choice of buses, cars and auto-rickshaws.

A first time traveler would love to explore all the places of interest in Mysore. If you want to visit all these places at leisure then you need to stay at Mysore at least for four or five days. Some tour groups and state transport corporation organize one day tours and they cover all important places in just one day.

Mysore palace is the important place that you should not miss visiting. This is a beautifully built palace with rosewood doors with ornamental carving and inlaid ivory works. You can see life size and lifelike paintings of the members of the royal family here. The palace is illuminated with nearly 1, 00, 000 bulbs in weekends and national holidays from 7 PM to 8 PM.

The Brindavan Garden is one of the most beautiful places that offers good feast for your eyes. The musical fountain and the light and sound show is the favorite of everyone. You have to stop by the main bus stand at the Krishna Rajasagar Circle if you want to reach this place by bus. One of the important Hindu shrines in Mysore is Chamundi Hills and there is a famous Nandi statue located here.

Some other places of interest in Mysore are Jagmohan Palace and Art Gallery, Lalit Mahal Palace, St. Philomenas Church, Karanji Kere, Jayalakshmivilas Mansion and Mysore Zoo. Mysore Zoo is one of the oldest zoos of the world and millions of people visit here every year. The zoo also has in it the breeding houses of animals and some of the animals found here are royal Bengal tigers, elephants, white tigers, giraffe, Himalayan black bear, white peafowl and African rhino.

Mysore is famous for silk saris and sandalwood carvings. If you visit the Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium located at the Sayaji Road, then you can buy some traditional incense sticks, Chenaptna dolls and wooden toys and sandalwood figurines. Mysore is also noted for Mysore pak, the rectangular sweet and Mysore Masala Dosa. To enjoy all these pleasures you might find a comfortable place to stay and eat. A good Mysore travel guide will help you to find out the best Mysore hotels and Mysore Restaurants.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mysore Maharaja Palace

The Mysore Maharaja Palace 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.

Mysore is popularly known as the city of palaces. The Maharaja Palace of Mysore is its most famous palace. Its architectural beauty and glorious history never fail to capture the hearts of tourists who come here from far and wide. As day draws to a close it glitters like a jewel as it is illuminated with thousands of light bulbs. Designed by the renowned British architect Henry Irwin, the palace was built in the year 1912.

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 architecture of this royal structure reflects a fine blend of the traditional Dravidian and Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. It has three stories. It boasts of beautiful marble domes in pink, huge pillars, wonderful balconies, verandahs, cupolas, arches and minarets. The architectural beauty of the palace shows the height of creativity of the artists of that era. Beautiful sculptures of goddess Gajalakshmi and her elephants have been made above the central arch. The goddess symbolizes prosperity, wealth and good fortune.

Mysore is also famous for the grand celebration of the festival of Dusshera. The festival is celebrated with great fervor in the palace. The traditional dances are performed by the renowned artists.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chamundi Hills is the identifier of Mysore

Chamundi Hills can be viewed at a distance of about 8 to 10 kilometers from many of the corners of Mysore City. Chamundeshwari temple is situated on the of Chamundi hill, and that is about 3,489 ft. higher than sea level and located at a distance of 13 kilometers from Mysore. The temple is dedicated to Sri Chamundeshwari, the titular deity of the Mysore Royal Family, also described as 'Mahishasura Mardini' for having killed the buffalo headed demon Mahishasura. The temple has a very attractive idol of the goddess wearing a garland of skulls. Goddess Chamundeshwari, also spelled Chamundeswari is an incarnation of Goddess Durga, Goddess Kali is also referred to as the Goddess Chamundi.

Mysore was ruled by the demon-king Mahishasura, he was a buffalo-headed monster. For this reason, came the name of this place - Mahishuru, the town of demon Mahisha. Hearing to the prayers of Gods and Goddess to save them from the monster, Goddess Parvathi, (consort of Lord Siva), took birth as Chamundeshwari and killed the monster. After killing the demon, the Goddess resided atop the Chamundi Hills, where she is worshiped with reverence and devotion. The goddess is also called Mahishasura Mardini meaning She who slew Mahishasura.

The Chamundi temple has always been patronised by the rulers of Mysore. In 1659 Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar built 1,000 steps and big Nandi, Lord Shiva's Bull. This gigantic Nandi is likely one of the largest within India, 16 ft. (4.8 meters) tall in the front and 25 ft. (7.5 meters) in length. The magnificent pendent bells around its neckline are exquisite. Nandi as well as the temple beside it can be found at the 700th step of the Chamundi Hill.

Krishnaraja Wodeyar III repaired the holy place in 1827 and built the current attractive forty-meter and seven storied Gopura (tower at the doorway) with gold finials, and set up statues of his and his 3 queens. In 1827, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III made arrangements for festivals and processions and gifted Simhavahana in 1843.

There are two other temples dedicated near to Chamundi temple, Lakshmi Narayana Swamy and Mahabaleswara temple. Sri Mahabaleswara temple - devoted to Lord Shiva in the shape of Linga, is a oldest temple at the hill. It was built prior to the beginning of the Hoysala rule. Epigraphical evidences point to this area as Mabhala or Mabbala theertha and states that Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana has given donations to the temple in 1128 A.D.

The Mahishasura Statue - built in 1659 by Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar and Rajendra Vilas palace - was once a popular hotel earlier are few other attractions on the Chamundi hill.

A panoramic view of the city is viewed from the top of the Chamundi hills. Among other landmarks, you are able to see the race course, the Lalitha Mahal palace, Mysore Palace, Karanji and Kukkarahalli lakes. At dusk, the view of the city is very beautiful, and on Sunday evenings and during the Dasara festival, the illuminated Mysore Palace glitters resembling gold!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Mysore Zoo Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

The Mysore Zoo was was set up by Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar in the year 1892. It is also called after the name of its founder. The zoo is considered to be one of the oldest zoos in the world.

The zoo houses a large variety of animal and bird species. African Rhino, Chimpanzee, Gorilla, Baboon, Tapir, Emu, Lemur, Marmoset and many other animals inhabit the zoo. It would be a wonderful experience for both the children and the adults to witness the wildlife so closely.

A part of the Zoo, the Karanji lake in Mysore is a treasure of Nature for its unparalleled scenic beauty and the gathering of beautiful migratory birds. It has the wonderful butterfly park and India’s largest walk-through aviary. Boating Trip is also available here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Brindavan Gardens, Terrace Gardens in the World

The Brindavan Gardens, a celebrated beauty spot in this part of India is world famous for its symmetric design. It is one of the most beautifully laid out terrace gardens in the world. The creation of this garden in the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam site has been the achievement of Sir Mirza Ismail, the then Dewan of the princely State of Mysore. The beautification of the whole dam complex was conceived by Sir Mirza Ismail. Modeled on the design of the Shalimar Gardens of Kashmir in the Mughal style, the garden is enriched with a number of terraces, parterres, fountains, running and cascading waterchannels, water chutes, lush green lawns, flower beds, shrubs and trees. Today, the Brindavan Gardens is world famous for its ethereal beauty, grandeur and illumination/ musical fountain.

Located in the Krishnaraja Sagar dam site in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district, the Brindavan Gardens is at a distance of 24 Km. from the famous cultural heritage centre of Karnataka – the city of Mysore, and 143 Km. from Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka. The Krishnaraja Sagar dam is built across the river Cauvery, one of the principal rivers in South India. The Cauvery rises in the hills of Brahmagiri – in Talacauvery, Kodagu District in the Western Ghats and traverses Eastwards in Karnataka for about 320 Km. before entering Tamil Nadu and finally joining the Bay of Bengal. The dam is named after Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV during whose rule the Chief Engineer, Sir M. Vishveswaraya engineered the construction of the dam. The River Cauvery below the giant dam divides the garden into two parts.

The Garden
The Brindavan Gardens, primarily a terrace garden is laid out immediately behind the Krishnaraja Sagar dam site. The Department of Horticulture in 1927 started the work of laying out this garden, then called the Krishnarajendra Terrace Garden. Today, the garden extends over an area of 60 acres and it is laid out in the three terraces, which ends in a horseshoe shape. The slopes are planted with colourful Bougainvilleas and ornamental plants. This garden is a public park and it is one of the important tourist spots of India. The garden is enriched with innumerable fountains decorated with coloured lighting. The illuminated running waters and fountains with changing colours of lights is an event that the tourists can look forward to in the evenings. The garden has many open spaces, lawns, illuminated flower beds and ornamental plants. It also has well laid out roads and pathways. The Brindavan Gardens is the best-illuminated terrace garden in India. The boating pond in the midst of the garden is a location where the visitors can enjoy a boat ride. The whole garden when illuminated is an enchanting site to see.

The Musical and dancing fountain, is the main attraction of the visitors. The water, coloured light and music are harmonized in the fountain to create a water ballet controlled by an aquatic organ operated through a controller. Water is pumped to the fountain and the operation is computerised. All the other fountains run due to the water pressure from the dam. A laser vision has also been developed for visitors’ attraction The illumination timing is the same as that for the garden. The musical and dancing fountain is located in the North Brindavan Garden. A gallery and rain shelter are provided for the viewers.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Krishna Raja Sagara Dam, First Irrigation Dam in India

Brindavan Garden is the main attraction of Krishna Raja Sagara. A botanical park with fountains adds a unique ambiance to the garden which attracts large number of visitors. The garden was designed by Diwan Sir Mirza Ismail in 1927 on a three terrace platform.

Plant species like Duranta plumaria, Euphorbia and Bougainville have been planted in Brindavan garden in large number. Musical fountains have been added in the garden recently giving a boost to tourism.

Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary is also located in vicinity of Krishna Raja Sagara and is home to large number of faunal species.

Blue Lagoon Island located at a distance of 4 km from Krishna Raja Sagara is another worthwhile location which should be visited. This island has been formed by backwaters of Krishna Raja Sagara and can be visited at any hour of the day.

Though not many people visit Blue Lagoon Island but if you are looking for spending some moments of solitude, the Island can be a perfect retreat.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

200 years Old Gothic Style St. Philomena Church, Llargest Cathedrals in India

The church is built in the year 1956 in honor of martyred Latin Catholic Saint Philomena who is believed to have been murdered by a Roman King Diocletian at the age of fourteen. The architecture of the church is inspired from the Neo Gothic style by the then Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar.

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.