Mysore – The City of Palaces

I always wanted to visit Mysore city because I fell in love with the pictures of Mysore Palace when once I randomly searched it in Google. During Pongal Holidays (January 2016) we made an instant plan to visit Mysore.

“Mysuru” also called as the “Garden City” or as the “City of Palaces” is a city in Karnataka.

We boarded the train at night from Katpadi Junction and at 3 and we reached Mysore at 6am. It was 7 hours journey from Vellore to Mysore. We checked in at a hotel and booked a car for side seeing.

The first place where we were taken was “Sri Chamundeshwari Temple”. The temple is situated at Chamundi Hills which is about 13 kms from Mysore and rises to a height of 3,489 feet. The temple is of a quadrangular structure and is built in Dravidian style. It consists of the main doorway, Navaranga hall, Antharala Mantapa and Prakara. There is a beautiful seven-tier Gopura or pyramidal tower at the entrance and a ‘Vimana’ (small tower). At the top of the ‘Shikara’ i.e the tower at the entrance, are seven golden ‘Kalashas’. The temple is surrounded by natural beauty. We went there on Pongal (Makar Sankranti) so everyone was in festive mood. The temple was beautifully decorated and ceremonies were being held by the priests. It was very crowded as many people came to take blessings on that day. The priests then brought the idol of lord “Chamundi” or “Durga” out of the temple in a beautiful chariot and made a round of the temple in it. It was really amazing to see it; after that we went inside the temple.

Next we went to “Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens”. Trust me this is one of the best zoos I have seen in India. There are a lot of varieties of plants and animals. It is 157 acre zoo. There are almost 1320 animals in this zoo. There are elephants, zebras, Giraffes, Leopards, Lions, white tigers, Rhinos, Swan, Guar etc. It has not less than 9-10 elephants and I can say no other zoo has so many elephants. It also has a huge collection of snakes. The zoo also has a lake known as “Karanji Lake”. It is a great place to visit with family and friends.

The third place we went to visit was “St. Philomena’s Church”. It is a catholic church and its architecture is inspired by Cologne Catherdal in Germany. It is constructed in Neo Gothic style. The architecture is really eye catching and it is said to be one of the tallest church in Asia.

And then the wait was finally over. The next place was the great “Mysore Palace”. The very first sight of the palace made me speechless. It was huge and beautiful. It was giving a royal feeling altogether. The palace speaks about the rich cultural heritage that the kings and queens of Mysore had. The palace is a three storied building made up of granite. The domes of the palace is said to be built in an indo-Saracenic architectural style and also has a touch of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic styles ; it is build up with marbles of deep pink colour.  It also has a 145ft five story tower.  Inside the palace there are royal paintings, several secret tunnels and many unique rooms. Some of the unique rooms are Ambavilasa (this room was used by the king for his private audience), Gombe Thotti (it is a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The entry of the palace is through this room.), Kalyana Mantapa (this is a grand marriage hall), Diwan-e-aam (the general public used to meet the king in this hall). Taking pictures inside the palace is prohibited and so we won’t be able to provide pictures of interior of the palace.  (P.S.: We tried to click pictures but were caught by the security guards and had to delete all the pictures. An embarrassing moment) .

 

At last we went to the stunning “Brindavan Gardens”. It is spread across an area of 60 acres. The garden has three terraces which includes water fountains, trees, and plants.  Flower plants are scattered all over the garden which makes the garden look bright and colourful. There is also a lake in the garden where one can enjoy boating.

The boats can be taken to go to the other side of the lake where musical fountain shows takes place from 5pm (generally after the sunset). It is one of the major attractions of the garden. The fountains seem to dance with beats. The show generally starts with a small story about Mysore.

With this our trip came to an end. Next day we boarded the train and were back to Vellore.

Mysore is best to visit in weekends. There are few other places around Mysore like Chunchanakatte Falls, Shivanasamudra Falls etc. I have written about a road trip to Shivanasamudra Falls  in my earlier post .

Locate Mysore on Maps 

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