Mysore is a renowned city in South India which is loved and admired equally by historians, art lovers and nature lovers. Once known as Mysore in the royal era, the city has been recently branded as Mysore.
The royal heritage and magnificent monuments have been luring the tourists to this city since years. What has added more to the popularity of this place is the presence of the most precious asset, Mysore Palace, which enjoys the status of being a World Heritage site.
Besides being a tourist city, Mysore is also known as a production center of premium silk, incense and sandalwood. There is yet another attraction in the city drawing thousands of tourists, which is its nature blessed charms like lakes and gardens.
1. Mysore Palace
The beautiful palace was once the seat of Wodeyar dynasty. It’s one of the grandest buildings of India. In 1897, a huge fire gutted this palace and the new look of palace which is seen today was designed by renowned architect Henry Irwin at a whopping cost of ₹4.5 million.
The grand palace sings the songs of the grandeur of the past. There are beautiful mirrors, lavish colors and an exquisite architecture which will leave you speechless.
The beautifully carved doors, amazing painting portraying the life of Mysore people and lovely mosaic tiles speak volumes of the royal era of past. There is a wide collection of sculptures, artefacts and armory in the palace which can be an asset for the historians.
The most beautiful aspect of this fort comes to fore on Sunday as well as on national holidays when the palace gets illuminated by over a lakh of light bulbs. The view is beautiful as it enhances the mighty profile of the palace. Photography is not allowed inside the palace and hence it’s a little depressing news for those passionate about clicking pictures. However, you can take different angles of exteriors with your camera to fill that void!
This palatial building narrates the tales of the royal past. It’s the proud possession of Mysore and one of India’s most visited places.
2. Brindavan Gardens
Want to see the ultimate beauty of well-manicured gardens in India? Visit Brindavan Gardens once and you will be surprised by its magnificence. Its area stretches to around 150 acres. Situated adjacently to Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir built across the Cauvery or Kaveri River, it’s 19 kms away from the city. The fountain gardens are a feast to the eyes. The garden construction work started in 1927 as a part of the beautification phase soon after the finishing of Krishnaraja Sagar Dam work.
Locals of Mysore enthusiastically sing the songs of brilliance of Brindavan Gardens. Now, the names of these gardens are on every tourist’s minds. The Brindavan Gardens are considered to be the most beautiful terrace gardens in India. They are blessed with beautiful terraces, fountains, cascading channels of water, lush green lawns, shrubs, trees, parterres and what not. They have been designed on the theme of Shalimar gardens situated in Kashmir. The garden is divided into two parts by River Cauvery flowing below the giant KRS dam.
3. Kabini Dam
A live example of engineering marvel constructed on river Kabini in Mysore, Kabini Dam covers an area of 55 hectares including forests, lakes, valleys and rivers. Rising up to a height of around 2284 feet, it enjoys a storage capacity of 19.52 thousand million cubic liters. The dam was built in 1974 and it has a length of 696 metre. A special arrangement of lifting and transferring water (to the tune of 28.00 TMC during monsoons) from Kabini dam to other smaller dams has been made.
4. Suvarnavathi Dam
If you want to enjoy the ultimate beauty of dams, then Suvarnathi Dam is one of the best in Mysore. Located about 16 kilometers away from Chamarajanagar – a small town in Karnataka, the width of top of the dams is 18 feet. However, its overflow length is around 160 feet. Besides, the dam enjoys 1258.76 mft of a storage capacity. The surroundings of this dam are lush green in color which adds more to the beauty of this place. You can also trace many elephants walking around if you visit the dam in May and June months.
5. Thonnur Lake
If you want to visit a picturesque site a little far off from the city, you should visit Thinner Lake. With its mesmerising beauty, you will be left stunned and surprised. The water of the lake is so clear that each pebble or stone can be clearly seen in the lake from above. Tipu Sultan, the renowned ruler of Mysore, referred to this lake as Moti Talab because of its clarity to see the pebbles down the lake.
6. Folklore Museum
If you want to explore a wide range of artworks and crafts from different parts of Karnataka, then you should visit the Folklore Museum. It was established in the year 1968 in Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, within the widespread area of Mysore University Campus.
7. Karanji Lake
A diverse variety of indigenous and migratory birds can be seen in and around this beautiful lake. The lake area spreads for around 90 acres and encompasses a butterfly park and the biggest ‘walk-through aviary’ in the entire country.
The banks of the lake are surrounded by a museum and a regional museum of natural history.
8. Somnathpur Temple
Situated at a stretch of 35 kilometers from Mysore, Somnathpur Temple is one of the most prominent attractions built by Hoysala rulers. A witness to beautiful architecture of the bygone era, this temple is also known by the name of Keshava and Chennakesava temples.
It is one of the finest examples of architecture existing in Hoysala era and at present, it’s a protected heritage site under Archaeological Survey of India.
9. GRS Fantasy Park
If you want to visit a family-friendly place which is full of entertainment for people of all ages, you should definitely visit GRS Fantasy Park. It has been branded under the category of amusement park and is located at a distance of 6 kilometers from city center. The fun-filled rides enthrall and excite everyone, including adults and kids. It sprawls in area of 10000 square meters. It’s a national award winner park promising many rides, events, and activities.
10. Kukkaranahalli Lake
Built by Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in the year 1864, this lake once used to be a major source of irrigation. It is one of the most known attractions of the city and situated in the center of Manasagangothri (Mysore University area). The area around is a feast to the eyes as there are amazing views seen from this lake. For bird watchers, this lake could be a paradise as they can see lot many varieties of species here.
11. St Philomena’s Church
This church finds its match with that of the grand churches of Germany such as Cologne Cathedral and it simultaneously speaks of architecture of Neo-Gothic style.
Being one of the largest churches in India, this attraction is visible from a far off distance owing to its twin spires which are 175 feet long.
12. Chamarajeshwara Temple
Thronged by devotees throughout the year, this temple was constructed in the year 1826. The shrine is located in Chamarajanagar town in Karnataka and was built by Mummadi Krishna Raja Wodeyar, son of Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar. There are beautiful towers adorning this temple. The temple has an idol of lord Eeshwara as the main deity. Many religious programmes are organized here all through the year.
This city is full of history, art, culture and heritage. The music, food and paintings of this place has made a mark on the world map and eventually a lot many tourists keep visiting this place.
If you too are a foodie or an art lover or a historian, you shouldn’t wait to visit this place as its grandeur is different from the rest of the royal palaces as well as places. One visit to this city will open up your eyes to visualize the royal and magnanimous era of India in those times.