The Mysore Palace is one of the chief Mysore tourists attractions and is a living exponent of the Indo Saracenic style of architecture. The palace was constructed in the year 1912 for the twenty fourth king of the Wodeyar dynasty. Designed by the British architect, Henry Irwin, the palace of Mysore is one of the biggest palaces of the country. The palatial building is also reputed as the Amba Vilas. It was built after the former wooden palace was destroyed by fire in the year 1897. The three storied building of the palace stretches across a length of 245 feet and 156 feet in breadth. The avenue standing in front of the palace is covered with a dome that rises to a height of 145 feet and is decorated in gold. The main entrance of the palace is the royal elephant gate that is decorated with motifs and bears the royal symbol of the double headed eagle. A stroll down the Kalyana Mantapa or the pavilion for the royal marriages will reveal the stained glasses, chandeliers, glazed tiles and the iron pillars gathered from different parts of the world. The tourists may visit the Diwan-e-Aam and the Diwan-e Khas. A number of temples surround the palace complex.
Jagmohan Palace, built in 1861 in the occasion of the marriage ceremony of King Krishnaraja Wadeyor, the palace was converted into an art gallery in 1915, which now houses one of the finest collections of antiques. Among the notable works is S.L. Haldekar's "The Lady with the Lamp". The collection also includes works by Ravi Varma and Nicholas Royrick as well Rembrandt. One is often taken by surprise by the wide collection of musical instruments that are housed in this place. Don't forget to check out the musical clock while entering the museum. Cameras are not allowed inside the museum. The walls of the third floor of the gallery are covered with rich paintings dating from the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. On one side is depicted his Dasara procession.
Chamundi Hills that rises to a height of 1050 meters above sea level. Atop the hill is the temple dedicated to the ancestral Goddess of the Mysore royal family, Goddess Kali who is also referred to as the Goddess Chamundi. The Mahabaleswara temple stands close to the Chamundi Temple atop the hill. The Mahabaeswara temple is believed to be the oldest temple of the region constructed in the 13th century. The stucco figure of the demon king who was slain by the Goddess, Mahishasura is placed close to the temple. On the way to the temple on Chamundi Hills in Mysore, the tourists will come across the 4.8 meter monolithic statue of the animal companion of Lord Shiva, Nandi. The statue of the bull is ornamented with anklets and a pendent bell. The elaborate ornamentation of the bull reveals the master craftsmanship of the artisans who created it.
St. Philomena's Church is one of the largest churches of the continent of Asia. The church stands on the grounds where the older church built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III stood. The new church was constructed in the year 1933 by the grandson of the earlier king, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The church retains the heritage that is more than 200 years old. The need for a church arose when the new settlement of Christian population developed in the city of Mysore in the early 18th century. The then king realized the need for a place of worship for the Christian people and built the older church. The new church is designed by the French architect Daly who laid the church in the shape of a cross. The nave of the cross comprises of the congregation hall while the two arms of the cross form the transepts. The altar and the choir stand on the crossing.
Mysore Zoo was established in the year of 1892 by Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar. He is considered to be one of the architects of the modern Mysore city as well. To honor the famed founder the zoo was named after him as 'Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens'. The various animals that are exhibited in the zoological gardens of Mysore are provided with large, spacious and open enclosures. This enables them to have the feeling of remaining close to nature. Many mammals, reptiles and birds are exhibited at this zoo. Various exhibitions are organized by this zoo of Mysore. Insect exhibitions are regularly held here. World Environment Day is celebrated in the zoo. Different programs are organized on this occasion. There are also many training sessions arranged by the zoo committee. Summer camps for school goers are also organized here.
Brindavan Gardens are one of the most visited travel destinations in Mysore. The Gardens are laid across the River Cauvery below the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam in Mandya District, spreading over 150 acres of land. From Mysore it is a 30-minute drive to reach these exquisite gardens. On the other side of the dam lie the Brindavan Gardens. At the time of Krishnaraja Wodeyar's regime the garden is constructed below the Krishnarajasagar dam across the river Cauvery. Evenings holds an enchanting charm as the sun sets behind the mountains on the western side, the whole environ turns spectacular with the splash of golden rays reflecting through the lake. The garden is embellished with vast expanses of well-laid out lawns, diverse kaleidoscopic rows of flowers and above all the amazing site of fountains encompassing a small beautiful lake holding the charm of musical fountain in its center. In Dec 2004 the entire garden was amended with new fountains and lights. Brindavan Gardens are basically terrace gardens that have been landscaped with decorated steps where water flows in-between these ornate steps.
Karanji Lake is definitely one of them. The Karanji Lake is located at the foot hills of the Chamundi mountains which is just behind the Mysore Zoo. The Karanji Lake is very near to the center of the Mysore city and therefore visited by tourists and locals alike. The Karanji Lake is of an approximate size of 90 acres which is a home to thousands of birds, while some of them are permanent residents of the lake there are others to migrate to the Karanji Lake from far off lands. The Karanji Lake offers boating facilities and its a pleasure to row down the beautiful waters surrounded by the marvels of nature. Except on Tues days, the Karanji Lake is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. The visitors planning to take a boat ride in the lake should preferably wear a live saving jacket.
Kukkarahali Lake is one of them. The Kukkaranahali Lake is located within the Manasa Gangothri which is the campus of the Mysore University. A home to a number of birds, the Kukkarahali Lake is also a retreat for many migratory birds who fly in from the different parts of the world. The huge and variety of bird population at the Kukkarahali Lake attracts a number of bird watchers to the area. The Kukkarahali Lake is a perfect place to witness the antics and other interesting actions of some of the rarest birds. The Kukkarahali Lake is also a favorite of the sports lovers as a number of water sports are organized in the region. The less adventurous ones can opt for boating at the Kukkarahali Lake. The Kukkarahali Lake is very conveniently located near the railway station as well as the bus stop.
The Lalitha Mahal is the second largest palace in Mysore. It is located near the Chamundi Hills, east of the city of Mysore in the Indian state of Karnataka. The palace was built in 1921 at the orders of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore for the exclusive stay of the then Viceroy of India. 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 city. The palace painted in pure white colour is strikingly elegant. It was converted into a heritage hotel in 1974. It is now run as an elite hotel of the Ashok Group of the India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) under the Government of India. However, a veneer of the original royal ambience of the palace is maintained.
Datta Peetham is a religious and spiritual dwelling of Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda. One of the revered religious gurus of Mysore, Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda is known for unique concept of treating patients with serious ailments through the harmonious blend of music and meditation. Sri Ganapati Sachchidannada belongs to the lineage of Dattatreya Avadhoota and is famous for his spiritual message of love and harmony. Located at the foothills of the exotic mountain ranges of Chamunda, the spiritual ashram and meditation center of Datta Peetham draws several devotees from far and wide who have greatly benefited from the traditional method of mediation and Yoga.
Jaganmohan Art Gallery is a vast reserve of exquisite paintings and artifacts of the bygone golden era. Situated within the luxuriant Mysore Palace, the Jaganmohan Art Gallery bears testimony to the enriched traditional art and craft of the ancient times. During the year of 1875, the Jaganmohan Palace was transformed into the famous Jaganmohan Art Gallery that portrays the artistic skills and creative imagination of the artists of the ancient times. The enriched imagination of renowned artists of Raja Ravi Verma of Travancore and Svetoslav Roerich, the Russian painter has been captured in the colorful canvas of the Jaganmohan Art Gallery.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion is about a century old and is one of the five royal mansions built by Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar and it was built for his oldest daughter. It was built in 1905 and was renovated in 2002. When the mansion was built at a cost of Rs.7 lakhs and was restored at a cost of Rs.1.17 crores. Restoration work began on April 21,2000 and was completed in about 18 months. The mansion now is the property of the Mysore University. This mansion today houses the Folklore Museum and is a research center of the Mysore University. The Museum exhibits a rare collection of things related to folklore, archaeology and geology collected from different parts of India. The prominent features of this magnificent three-wing building include a series of twin Corinthian and ionic columns, regal pediments on the first floor on top of the north and east porches, pilastered window-sets in variegated ensembles of flat arches, pediments and oval ventilators all richly moulded. The interior of the mansion is extensively decorated in Indian style. A small over-bridge connects the north and south portion of the three-wing structure. The other important portions of this mansion are the dancing hall, Kalyana Mantap, and the richly decorated residential rooms.
Rajendra Vilas Palace is equipped with all the modern infrastructural amenities. Set amidst luxuriant garden, the heritage hotel supports thirty one well furnished rooms and well decorated suites for world class accommodation to the customers. The sprawling rooms of the heritage hotel are decorated with elegant furniture and exquisite paintings. Attached with the rooms are the well laid washrooms that have all the modern toiletry gadgets for the convenience of the guests. Rajendra Vilas Palace houses an in-house multi-cuisine restaurant that offers several lip smacking and mouth watering delicacies. To quench the thirst of the customers, Rajendra Vilas has a well stocked bar with a spirited range of liquors. The coffee shop relieves the stress and strains of daily mundane life.
Namma Mysore is a plethora of cultural programmes that are presented by the members of the charitable trust of Divya Deepa. Formed on the lines of social service and with a noble aim in mind, the charitable trust offers the underprivileged children with education, monetary help and selfless love and attention. The members of Namma Mysore encourage the small children to participate in the social and cultural events of the performing arts of dance, skits, dramas, western classical music and fashion show. Under the enriched guidance of famous personalities from the field of performing arts, the poor and downtrodden children explore their latent potentialities and display their artistic caliber to the rest of the world through the various cultural events organized by the trust.
Krishna Raja Sagara dam was built in the year 1932. This marathon project was conceptualized and designed by Sir Mokshagundam Vishweswaraiah and the construction work took place during the times of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The Krishna Raja Sagara dam is about 130 feet in height and 8600 feet long. The Krishna Raja Sagara dam is an excellent example of hi- tech engineering, in fact it is the first dam in the world to use sluice gates which work automatically. Commonly known as KRS, the name Krishna Raja Sagara has been given to both the Dam and the Lake that it causes. The Krishna Raja Sagara Dam has been erected on the River Kaveri which flows through the Madhya District near the Historical city of Mysore. Attached to the Krishna Raja Sagara Dam is an ornamental garden called the Vrindavan Gardens. This garden is one of the most beautiful spot in the whole of Mysore and is therefore popular among tourist.