Mysore Maharajah's Palace (Amba Vilas)
This palace which was the seat of the Wodeyar kings was rebuilt in the year 1912 by an English architect named Henry Irwin as the original one was destroyed of fire in 1897. This palace is one of the best examples not only of the Edwardian Raj Era but also of Indian Royal architecture. The beautiful kaliedoscope of stained glass enhanced with the wood carved doors and mosaic floors is exquisite undoubtedly. The museum of weapons is a must visit along with the part of the palace where you see a number of beautifully carved statues and paintings referring to the life of Mysore in that era.The palace is lit up with hundreds of bulbs every evening from 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM and the whole evening on public holidays. This is when you get a more extravagant view of this royal beauty.
Mysore Zoo DZ
The zoo is a destination in the city much anticipated by the tourists . It is large zoo with ever stretching boundaries you feel when you get inside it. The zoo provides the animals something that stand next their natural habitat by replicating the greenery you will see in any other place like a forest. As I said before its really large zoo so it takes nothing less than 2 hours to see all that is here. If you find yourself tired enough , take the buggy service provided that will take you a round through the zoo. But exploring zoo on your foot is the best experience you can have. We got to see he only gorilla present in the zoo and not only the zoo but in the whole county there. There is animal adoption system by which you can adopt an animal and take care of all its expenses like many well known people in the country. You get to see all kinds of animals , birds, reptiles over here. Had a nice time in realizing and accepting we alone are not the owners of this planet.
My Mysore sightseeing started with "CHAMUNDI HILLS". Goddess 'Chamundi' killed the demon "Mahishasura", that's the very origin of Mysore. Chamundi Devi temple is not only visited by tourists in big numbers but also by locals, due to it's religious importance. One has to stand in long queues for the darshan, even in the VIP(Rs. 300) lines. One of the main attraction of Chamundi Hills is the statue of demon Mahishasura; painted with vibrant colors, it's so eye-full.
Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore Zoo
This beautiful zoo was established in the year 1892 by Raja Chamarajendra Wodeyar who is also said to be one of the main architects of the Mysore City. The original name of this zoo was thus Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. The zoo covers a large area and the animals are protected in a way that they have ample amount of space to roam about freely and feel close to nature. The Karanji Lake inside the zoo at present was taken over by the zoo authorities to increase the charm of this zoo as well as provide visitors with a little more. The Karanji Lake is thus a perfect place for boating and bird watching. Early hours of the day are when you will enjoy the most here with the beautiful views of gorgeous animals and also a peaceful experience with very less crowds. Regular programs and educational events such as insect exhibitions are organized here and a tour to this zoo is not only entertaining but also educative.
Chamundi Hill Bull Statue
This is the highest and probably the most important landmark of Mysore. Located very close to the Tipu Sultan's Palace, this is a perfect option for adventure seekers. Hiking is a popular activity enjoyed by tourists here and the most important attraction is of course the Chamundeshwari Temple on the peak of the Hill. This place was once named Mahishapura after the name of the Buffalo Demon. He became extremely powerful with a boon that no man could kill him. He became arrogant and started torturing all the gods and goddesses. This is when all the lords of heaven decided to take the help of Goddess Shakti who then took the form of the fierce Chamundeshwari. The goddess is said to have killed the demon on this hill after which the hill was named Chamundi Hills. The region was once also named as Mahabaleshpura as the cult Deity was Lord Shiva and there is also a lovely temple dedicated to the God of Gods, Lord Shiva here. Later, when the Wodayar kings accepted Chamundeshwari as the royal goddess, the temple of Chamundeshwari temple became more popular. There is also a life size statue of Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva. This Bull statue is the third largest bull statue of India. There is also a brightly painted statue of Mahishasura on the foothills and this is a hotspot for clicking group photos by all tourists.
Sri Chamundeshwari Temple
This is a famous religious center on top of the Chamundi Hills in Mysore. This temple was built ust after the Wodeyars started their rule on this place and the Goddess Shakti was thei cult deity. Later, many contributions were made by the Hoysalas and Vijayanagara rulers. The legend goes that after the Goddess Chamundi had slayed the demon kind Mahishasura, everyone started praying to her and thus was built a very small shrine in devotion of the Goddess. This is the same temple which was rebuilt and beautified to form what we see today.
St. Philomena's Church
This is the most beautiful church in Karnataka and was built by a French Architect in the 19th century. The church is dedicated to a 3rd century Greek Saint named Philomena whose statue is here in a reclining position. A part of the saint's bones and clothes are still in the church. The church was earlier known as St. Joseph Chaver. The church is inspired from the St. Patrick's Church in New York and a local church of Cologne. King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV laid the foundation of the church. The stained glass windows with the beautiful paintings of the incidents of the life of Jesus Christ. The most attractive are the birth of Christ and his Baptism.
Sri Nandi Temple
Also known as the Nandidurg or Nandi Betta, this is a popular hill fortress in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka. The name of the hills has been derived from the Dravidian temples dedicated to Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva. Out of these two temple one ois on top of the hill and the other is on the foothills. During the rule of the Cholas, this hill was known as the Ananadagiri or the 'hill of happiness'. The name of the hill according to two other legends talk about the presence of the sleeping Nandi Bull here and also the penace performed here by yoga Nandeeshwara. There is also a temple dedicated to Yoga Nandeeshwara on top of this hill. The temple that you find on the foothills date back to the 9th Century by the Banas Dynasty and is a beautiful blend of various temple building styles due to the repeated renovations and beautifications during various dynasties. The fort on top of the hill was a contribution of Tipu Sultan and is said to have been built in such a way that soldiers could shoot from all directions without beeing seen. The beauty of the hills is also remarkable with the lovely view of the Amrit Sarovar Lake. The rolling stretches of greenery and the evergreen forests of the nandi hills are the home to rare species such as the shaheen falcon, Malabar whilstling thrush, Uropeltid snakes, pill millepedes and yellow throated bulbuls. Trekking and paragliding are the main activities to be enjoyed here.
Devaraja Urs Market
Let's get to the roots of South....and what better than visiting "Devaraja Market"!! The essence of Local culture, the aroma of Mysore is here. Devaraja Market is local market of Mysore. Filled with colors of life. The narrow lanes are filled with wedding garlands, gajra's, ample varieties of other flowers, Holi colors, spices, huge vegetables and fruits market. Situated next to the City Bus stand.Tale of the Local Boy- This boy in picture below was so avid to see my Mini-Tripod!! His mind was constantly struggling... what the hell is this??? As I caught his eyes and smiled; much relieved, he tenderly asked....."pointing towards my Tripod".....Whats's this??? With explanation, I took his permission to click him. Shy but happy, boy looked into my camera to give his best shot.
Just outside Bhubaneshwar ,on top of the hill are Udayagiri and Khandagiri vaves. These are the twin hills of Kumargiri and contain varieties of rock-cut caves, built mainly for the Jain monks around 1st - 2nd century B.C. These are old caves partly natural and partly structured built as residences for Jain monks. You need to climb a few steps to reach to caves. Most of the caves consist of rows of cells having opening towards the common verandas or open space. The doorways have attractive carvings of animals, creepers and flowers. Climb is steep place may be hot during summer season.
This is the best market in the whole state and is full of colors. This is otherwise nothing but a local market where you can get farm fresh fruits, vegetables, tea and rangoli powder colors. The colors are decoratively exhibited in a way that it looks no less than a rainbow.
Well, then we headed back to our stay which reminds me to tell you guys about this beautiful sharing accommodation in Mysore. Its an amazing place to stay where you get sharing and also private rooms.It is property that is almost 100 years old and so you can enjoy all the vintage vibes here.It is very pocket friendly and you also have a chance to meet some new interesting travelers.
St. Philomena's Cathedral
Better known as "Amar Akbar Anthony" church, one of the most renowned movie of old times. St. Philomena's Church is beautifully built. "Goa", better known as the land of Churches; but to be honest, St. Philomena's Church over-shines the Churches of Goa, when we talk about structure and architecture. It's hardly 10 mins from Mysore Palace..... a must visit.