Mysore is located at 12.30°N 76.65°E and has an average altitude of 770 metres (2,526 ft). It is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi):4 at the base of the Chamundi Hills in the southern region of Karnataka. It has several lakes, such as the Kukkarahalli, the Karanji and the Lingambudhi lakes. In 2001,Mysore is the histrical city in Karnataka state of India, which was glorious capital city of Mysore Princely Kingdom (Kingdom of Mysore) for nearly six centuries, from 1399 until 1947. It is located at the base of the Chamundi Hills about 146 km (91 mi) southwest of the state capital Bangalore.
The Kingdom of Mysore was served by the Wodeyar dynasty and in the late 18th century ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.
Mysore is famous for its palaces, including the Mysore Palace, and for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives a large number of tourists. Mysore has given its name to the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, Mysore masala dosa, the Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban),Mysore silk saree.
The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru,which means the abode of Mahisha, Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a mythological demon that could assume the form of both human and buffalo. According to Hindu mythology, the area was ruled by the demon Mahishasura.The demon was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills. Mysore is the tourist capital of India, Mysore is also known as Palace City of India, which is one of the most visited monuments in India, the glittering lights of Mysore in the night gives it awsome look.
Mysore Palace: is a palace situated in the city. It was the official residence of the former royal family of Mysore, and also housed the durbar (royal offices).The term "Palace of Mysore" specifically refers to one of these palaces, Amba Vilas.
Lalitha Mahal: is the second largest palace in Mysore. It is located near the Chamundi Hills, east of the city. The architect of this palace was Mr E W Fritchley. The palace was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV in 1921 for the exclusive stay of the Viceroy of India. The palace is pure white in colour and is built in the style of Italian palazzo with twin Ionic columns and domes. It also has a sprawling terrace and landscaped gardens.
Jaganmohan Palace: was built in 1861 by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in a predominantly Hindu style to serve as an alternate palace for the royal family. This palace housed the royal family when the older Mysore Palace was burnt down by a fire. The palace has three floors and has stained glass shutters and ventilators. It has housed the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery since the year 1915. The collections exhibited here include paintings from the famed Travancore ruler, Raja Ravi Varma, the Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich and many paintings of the Mysore painting style.
Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion: This palace was built in 1905 by Chamaraja Wodeyar for his eldest daughter Jayalakshmi Devi. This mansion has three wings and contains a series of twin Corinthian and Ionic columns, regal pediments and oval ventilators. The mansion was originally built with a cost of Rs. 7 lakhs. This mansion was acquired by the Mysore University to house its post-graduate campus. It was renovated in 2002 from funding provided by Infosys foundation. The main hall in this mansion is the Kalyana Mantapa which has an eight-petal shaped dome with stained glass windows with a gold-plated Kalasha(tower) at the top. A new gallery called as Writer's Gallery has been created in the Kalyana Mantapa hall that will exhibit personal items, photographs, awards and writings of renowned writers of Kannada. A special illumination system has also been added to this heritage structure. This mansion is said to be the first university museum complex in the country.
Gardens of Mysore
Brindavan Gardens is a show garden that has a beautiful botanical park, full of exciting fountains, as well as boat rides beneath the dam. Diwans of Mysore planned and built the gardens in connection with the construction of the dam. Display items include a musical fountain. Various biological research departments are housed here. There is a guest house for tourists. It is situated at Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) dam.
Happy Man Park : The Happy Man Park near Kamakshi Hospital, some three kilometres from the railway station, is a very popular hangout of children and parents. The park is quite compact in size but contains a mini zoo and many hens and ducks roam around the lawns freely. The park is landscaped with a little stream and ‘wooden’ bridges. Some kind of radio or music is played through little loudspeakers scattered around the park. The park is open from 4.30pm to 9.00pm and the crowd is quite big around 6.00pm. It is also open for a while in the morning for the benefit of joggers. The main attraction of the park is a statue of a ‘Happy Man’ with a pot belly representing the unhealthy eating habits of the Mysorean people.
Butterfly park in Karanji lake: This consists of a medium sized bird park, boating and very good children play area.
Parks, Gardens & children play areas: Mysore has about 180 parks and playgrounds. Most of the residential areas have their own small parks: e.g. Ambedkar Park in Jayanagar a southern city district has a 500 metre perimeter footpath. The newly built Andolan Circle Park has a walking track that takes five minutes for one round. This park is near Kuvempu Nagar in South Mysore. But many Mysoreans prefer to walk around the many lakes which pepper the landscape such as the central Kukarahalli Kere by the university where the journey around is about 4.5 kilometres. Another is the Lingabudhi Kere which has a beautiful footpath with bamboo forests and again takes more than 20 minutes for one round. This park it is a desirable neighbourhood to the southwest called Rama Krishna Nagar, 5 km away from the city centre.
The St. Philomena's Church in Mysore
St. Philomena's Church is a church built in honour of St. Philomena in the city of Mysore. It was constructed in 1956 using a Neo Gothic style and its architecture was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. In 1926, Thamboo Chetty who was a secretary to the Maharaja of Mysore, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar obtained a relic of the saint from Peter Pisani, Apostolic Delegate of the East Indies. This relic was handed over to Father Cochet who approached the king to assist him in constructing a church in honour of St. Philomena. The Maharaja of Mysore laid the foundation stone of the church on 28 October 1933. In his speech on the day of the inauguration, the Maharaja is quoted to have said: The new church will be strongly and securely built upon a double foundation — Divine compassion and the eager gratitude of men.. The construction of the church was completed under Bishop Rene Fuga's supervision. The relic of St. Philomena is preserved in a catacomb below the main altar. Open to visitors from 8:00AM to 5:00PM.
Mysore Zoo : one of the oldest and most popular zoos in India. Located on the outskirts of Mysore, the zoo is home to a wide range of wild species. The official name for the zoo is Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, though it is known commonly by its shortened name. Mysore Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions. It was established under royal patronage in 1892, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world.
Srirangapatna (also spelt Srirangapatna; anglicized to Seringapatam during the British Raj) is a town, situated a mere 13 km from Mysore city .The entire town is enclosed by Kaveri to form an island . The town takes its name from the celebrated Ranganathaswamy temple which dominates the town, making Srirangapattana one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in south India. Srirangapattana became the de facto capital of Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Other attractions include the Jumma Masjid (a Mosque) and the Daria Daulat Gardens. The Karighatta (Black Hill) and its temple of Lord Srinivasa is situated a few kilometres from the town. The deity is that of Kari-giri-vasa (one who resides on the black hill). The famous Nimishambha temple is located in the nearby district of Ganjam. The summer palace of Tipu Sultan is also a very interesting place.
Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary is a small Bird Sanctuary,being only 0.67 km². in area, and comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri River. Ranganthittu is located near the historic town of Srirangapatna. The islets came into being when a dam across the Kaveri river was built in the 18th century. The ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali observed that the isles formed an important nesting ground for birds, and persuaded the Wodeyar kings of Mysore to declare the area a wildlife sanctuary in 1940.The islands are host to numerous small mammals, including Bonnet Macaque, colonies of Flying Fox and common small mammals like Common Palm Civet and Indian Gray Mongoose and the monitor lizard.The Mugger Crocodile or Marsh Crocodile is a common inhabitant of the riverine reed beds. Roughly around 180 birdshave been observed here till date. Breeding water birds include Painted Stork, Asian Openbill Stork, Common Spoonbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Black-headed Ibis, Lesser Whistling Duck, Indian Shag, Stork-billed Kingfisher and other common birds like egrets, cormorants, Oriental Darter, and herons. The Great Stone Plover, and River Tern also nest here. The park is home to a large flock of Streak-throated Swallows.
Shivanasamudra Falls is the second biggest waterfall in India and the sixteenth largest in the world.It is situated on the banks of the river Kaveri and is the location of the first Hydro-electric Power station in Asia, which was set up in 1902.This is a segmented waterfall. Segmented waterfalls occur where the water flow is broken into two or more channels before dropping over a cliff, resulting in multiple side by side waterfalls. It has an average width of 849 meters, a height of 90 m, and an average volume of 934 cubic meters / sec. Gaganachukki on the left is a large horsetail waterfall, and Barachukki (also spelled Bharachukki) on the right is a jagged crashing cascading waterfall. During the monsoon season this waterfall grows enormous, perhaps a thousand feet in width. The right waterfall is the Bharachukki. Asia's first hydro-electric power stations, still functional, is located at the waterfall.This station was commissioned by the Diwan of Mysore, Sir K. Seshadri Iyer. The electricity produced here was initially used in the Kolar Gold Fields. Thus, Kolar Gold Fields became the first town in Asia to get hydro electricity.
Talakad or Talakadu is a town on the left bank of the Kaveri river at a spot where the river makes a sharp bend. It is 45 km from Mysore. A historic site, Talakad once had over 30 temples that today are buried in sand. Now it is a scenic and spiritual pilgrimage center.Here the eastward flowing Kaveri river changes course and seems magnificently vast as here the sand on its banks spreads over a wide area.
Temple Recovered from Sand Dunes at Talakadu
At Talakad sand covers the temples. Stone pillars, square at the base and made to fit into a wheel below the abacus, lie scattered about.Among the temples of Talakad, the Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanathee-shwara and Mallikarjuna temples, the five Lingams believed to represent the five faces of Shiva, form the Pancha pathi and have become famous. In honour of these five Shiva temples, a fair is held once every 12 years called Panchalinga Darshana, last held in 2006. The Panchalinga Darshana is held on a new moon day in the month of Karthika when two stars conjoin, the stars of Khuha Yoga and Vishaka. There is also a Vishnu temple, Keerthinarayana.