Yesss!! Mysore is well known for its rich culture and heritage in the entire World. Having been there many times this article is a compilation of all the places I have visited at different points of time and different seasons including Dasara.
Mysore Palace also called as Amba Vilas Palace is located in the heart of the Mysore city and is a prominent tourist destination with millions of people visiting it every year. This was the official residence of Mysuru Wodeyar dynasty from 14th century to 1950. This palace is built in Indo-Saracenic style and consists of number of colossal courtyards, buildings and many beautiful gardens and also has temples within the palace complex. One has to pay 40rs as an entrance fee to enter the palace and it will take a minimum of two hours to take a look at every detail of the palace normally. If you are a historical buff and have a guide to take you through the palace then it would easily take half a day to know completely about this magnificent building. Presently the palace is converted into a museum and displays royal dresses, musical instruments, souvenirs, and weapons used by the Wodeyars. After taking a ticket to entry you get into one of the colossal courtyard with all intricate paintings around depicting the history of this palace. The entire palace inside contains all the essentials used by maharajas’s family throughout their stay here. One could find hundreds of photographs of many Wodeyars who have lived here. The Durbar hall and the Kalyan mantap add much more beauty to the palace. The palace looks much more breath-taking in the evening when they lit the palace for half an hour along with a sound and light show explaining the history of the palace and the entire palace complex is lit for whole evening at the time of Dasara, the biggest festival in Mysuru.
Chamundi hill is situated 12 kms from the city and is 3,498 feet in height. This hill is a home for goddess Chamundeswari, the Shakti Devi of Karnataka in Chamundeswari temple. Hence, the hill has got the name called Chamundi Hills. The temple is built in Dravidian quadrangular style, having a seven-tier gopura in the main entrance of the temple. This temple has seen many renovations till date. While getting down from the hill, you could find many view points and can get a bird’s eye view of Mysuru city. I had visited Chamundi hills at the time of Dasara in 2015 when it was flocked with devotees.
The next visit was to Nandi, the Bull statue, carved from a single rock. This monolithic statue is 15 feet in height and 24 feet in width is easily accessible by road and is halfway to the Chamundi temple. The Nandi sits here with a half eyes open depicting a position of Yoga and silence.
Mahishasura statue is located at the top of Chamundi hill just before you could enter the temple complex. This structure is beautifully painted with a cobra in his left hand and a sword in his right hand. The statue is said to be built I at the rule of Dodda Deva raja Wodeyar when the steps to the hill were also constructed.
Krishna Raja Sagara dam often called as KRS dam is located 20 odd kms from the Mysore city. This was constructed by Sir M Vishveshwaraiah, one of the best engineers India have ever produced. The dam was constructed in the period of Sri Krishna raja Wodeyar IV who financed the entire project. The walls has a length of 2621 metres and height of 39 metres. The entire reservoir is around 130 square kms and built across the river Cauvery. The locals also call it as Kannambadi Katte. This dam also houses a Brindavan Gardens on the other side of the dam and has its own beauty. The gardens are shown in many movies of Indian Cinema. The gardens are built in a terrace style, and mesmerizes everyone. The gardens has a music and light show in the evening and attracts many tourists at this time. These gardens are built by Sir Mirza Ismail, the then deewan of Mysore. You can find Royal Orchid hotel in the end of the gardens and can also book it in advance if you have an idea of staying at this mesmerizing place. At the entrance of the gardens you can find an aquarium to your left and it houses many variety of fishes to see. You can visit the aquarium with family and kids and can spend about half an hour here.
St. Philomena’s church:-
Speaking about culture of the Mysuru city one can’t ignore the 200 years old St. Philomena’s church, a church built in Gothic style and is also one of the largest Cathedrals of south Asia. The church is located only 2 kms from the Palace and you can plan it in your day visit to Mysuru city also. The masse prayers are held daily in the church and on August 11th every year annual fest takes place. The church is open till 6p.m. in the evening and is a very quiet place compared to busy and loud attractions in Mysuru. It will take 45 minutes at least to roam around this place and get to know about it.