Tourist Places in Mysore
Mysore Palace or the Mysore Maharaja Palace is located in the heart of the city. Mysore Palace is one of the most visited monuments in India. And its one of the largest palaces in the country, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, was the residence of the Wodeyar Maharaja’s of the Mysore state. The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897, during the wedding of Jayalakshammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar and was rebuilt in 1912 at the cost of ₹ 42 lakhs. The present Palace built in Indo – Saracenic style and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput.
Chamundi Hills can be viewed from a distance of about 8 to 10 kms and from all the corners of Mysore City. Chamundeshwari temple is situated on the top of Chamundi hill which is about 3,489 ft. above sea level and located at a distance of 13 kms. 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 beautiful idol of the goddess wearing a garland of skulls. Goddess Chamundeshwari.
Brindavan Gardens lies adjoining the Krishnarajasagara dam ( KRS Dam ) which is built across the river Kaveri. A dam at the length of 8600 ft. and height of 130 ft. above the river bed was built below the confluence of the three rivers – Cauvery, Hemavathi and Lakshmanateertha in 1924. The place was formerly called as Kannambadi after the Kanveshvara temple in the village submerged in the reservoir. Earlier to this, it was known as Kanvapuri, where the sage Kanva is said to have had his ashram and worshiped Shiva.The reservoir is named after Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV.
Mysore Zoo or Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is one of the oldest zoo in India. It is home to a wide range of wild species and takes the credit for alluring vast number of visitors with its rich breed of flora and fauna. Mysore Zoo is a must in the itinerary for sightseeing in Mysore. Mysore Zoo is a pleasant experience also because most animals are kept in well spaced enclosures and it’s a delight to see them move around freely. The Mysore zoo abounds in natural vegetation cover and comprises of various rare species of plants & trees.
This beautiful St.Philomena’s Church was built in 1956 and is one of the largest churches in the country. The illuminated church in the evening is a wonderful site not to be missed. St. Philomena’s Cathedral is among the most majestic churches in India. Drawing inspiration from Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, this colossal church built in the neo – Gothic style.The twin spires of the Cathedral, 175 feet in height, are seen from miles around making it a distinctive city landmark. The main hall or nave of the cathedral can seat up to 800 people and is as exquisitely conceived as the ornately crafted.
The Railway Museum
The Railway Museum in Mysore was the earliest railway museums set up in India, established in 1979 by Indian Railways is the second such museum after the National Railway Museum in Delhi. The Mysore Railway Museum was the one of a kind outdoor exhibit of locomotives in India. The Maharaja of Mysore contributed with his royal carriages enriching the treasure of the Railway Museum in Mysore. Main highlight of this museum is Sri Ranga Pavilion, two royal coaches that belonged to the Maharaja of Mysore. The museum has the `Maharani’s saloon’ carriage that has a kitchen.
The Jaganmohan Palace was built during rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in 1861, as an alternate retreat for the royal family. The Mysore Palace, which was the original home of the royal family, was burnt down in a fire and the construction of a new palace in its place was started in the year 1897. The Royal family lived in this palace till the construction of the new Amba Vilas Palace in 1912. The installation of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV took place in a pavilion inside the Jaganmohan Palace in 1902. The early convocations of the Mysore University.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
The Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion was constructed by Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar for the royal comforts of his eldest daughter Jayalakshammanni. It is situated in the lush green landscape of the University of Mysore premises. The Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion was built in 1905, with total building cost of 7 lakh rupees. Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace reflects the rich architectural splendor of the ancient times and represents the zenith of artistic caliber of the local craftsman of bygone golden era.The Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, was formerly known as the ‘First Rajkumari Mansion’.
Lalitha Mahal Palace
The Lalitha Mahal Palace is the second largest palace in Mysore. It is located near the Chamundi Hills. Lalitha Mahal Palace was built by the Maharaja Krishna Raja Wodeyar Bahaddur IV to host his most important guest, the Viceroy of India. Designed by E.W.Fritchley, a much patronised Mumbai – based architect of those days and constructed by B. Munivenkatappa, the building was built in 1931 at a cost of ₹ 13.00 lakhs. Built on a raising ground, the palace was fashioned on the lines of the St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and is one of the imposing structures of the Mysore.
Karanji Lake is a picturesque lake located at the footsteps of Chamundi Hills and behind Mysore Zoo. Karanji means ‘fountain’ in Kannada. Spread over an area of 90 acres, it is regarded as one of the biggest lakes in Karnataka. Karanji Lake is home to more than 90 species of resident and migratory birds. It also supports several species of butterflies, small mammals and is a good example of wetland ecosystem. The lake attracts painted storks, pelicans and darters and a host of other winged beauties. Karanji Lake was built by the King of Mysore about 100 years back.
Kukkarahalli Lake is spread over 58 hectares with a shoreline of roughly five kilometers in Manasagangothri, the sprawling campus of the University of Mysore. Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was responsible for getting the lake created, in the year 1864, to provide water for irrigation to about 10,000 acres of land outside the city. Reckoned to be a jewel in the crown of Mysore, the picturesque lake, which inspired poet laureate Kuvempu to pen many of his works, provides the much – needed lung – space to the city. This lake is home to more than 180 species of birds, some of them aquatic.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Just outside Srirangapatna, 4th from Srirangapatna, near Mysore, the Cauvery river meanders around a string of tiny nesting sites of waterfowls. Experiences the excitement of a boat ride that takes you within touching distance of the birds as marsh crocodiles bask in the sun. Delight watching the winged visitors making happy forays into the water. You could also you’re your powers of observation by trying to spot flying branches of the tallest trees at dusk.
Best season : January to September
Flora and Fauna
River in the forest as well as some deciduous forests, bamboo, eucalyptus, figs, jamun and Karanji. Mammals and Reptiles. The flying fox, bonnet macaque, common otter, common mongoose, palm civet are some of the mammals and reptiles like marsh crocodile are found here.
Bird life includes the little cormorant, large cormorand, darter, white ibis, spoonbill, open-billed stork, painted stork, egret, heron, river term, great stone plover, kingfisher, Indian cliff swallow, and the lesser whistling teal.
Situated in the unobtrusive village of Somanathpur, 35km from Mysore, the exquisitely carved, star – shaped temple with triple towers is a perfect example of Hoysala architecture. The friezes on its outer walls with their intricately cared rows of caparisoned elephants, charging horsemen, and mythological birds and beasts will leave you spellbound. Beautifully sculpted images of gods, godesses and scenes from the epics, as well as the remarkable ornate celings in the pillared hall take your breath away.
Karanji Lake Mysore
Picturesquely located at the foot of Chamundi hills and adjascent to the Mysore Zoo, the Karanji lake is a beautiful bird sanctuary in the heart of Mysore City which provides a wonderful habitat for more than 70 different species of avifauna. The recently re – developed lake, spanning across 90 acres has a butterfly park, boating, children’s corner, a watch tower and India’s largest walkthrough aviary.
Somnathpur is a tiny village which is situated in close to the Karnataka-Kerala border. The hamlet is located on the banks of river Cauvery and is named after its founder Somnath the chief commander of the Hoysala army. Somnathpur is a town where one can interact with nature and is an ideal picnic spot with family. The temple of Somnathpur is a typical example for Hoysala architecture. The stone carving which is inside the temple is an awesome example of stone carving. For tourists there is no accommodation facility at Somnathpur so it is advisable to halt in Mysore and then make a trip to Somnathpur.
Bandipur National Park
Bandipur, established in 1931, is a wonderful wildlife centre. Tourists visit this place to admire the breathtaking beauty of nature and also to enjoy a quiet vacation far from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is located in the district of Chamarajanagar. Situated in the Nilgiris, Bandipur is flanked by the Kabini, Moyar and Nugu Rivers which drain the area. Besides the rivers, there are many seasonal streams flowing through the region. This place is under Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and is also the first Biosphere Reserve of the country.
Bandipur was the chosen site for Project Tiger. This is an initiative taken by the Government of India to protect the endangered species. The number of tigers has increased ever since. The place is also home to a large number of animals like Elephants, Hornbill, Sambar, Wild Dog, Giant Squirrel, Deer, and Partridges. There are also a few endangered species including Four Horned Antelope, Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Mouse Deer, Pea Fowl and many more. Besides animals tourists can see some exotic trees including Bamboo, Sandalwood, Teak, Honne and Mathi.
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