Thursday, October 09, 2008

[ Vijayadashami & Mysore I saw.]

Today is " Vijayadhasami " a day I considered most auspicious to start any new venture,of all the ventures I remember the mill that I supervised and built with a bunch of young Maharastrian engineers and started production on the day of the holy day of Vijayadhasami still running when others have closed.
I remember the day my father took me along with my sisters and brother to see the Mysore Dasara held at the palace and the big procession of the Mysore Maharajah on top of the over 750 KG Pure Gold Howdah and another with his Son now in the palace of the same Maharajah I had seen.This son of the Maharajah I had seen is no match to his father who we still respect.
We were going to this function several times as my father's elder brother known to most of the people of Mysore of the period up to 70's as " States Engineering Co " Rama Rao,who would go to the Durbar of the Maharajah in the Durbar Dress which consisted of white Pant Long Coat with closed collar and Mysore Turban.
Those were the days that are still a happy memory to me.

More for Tourists.

Mysore City is surrounded with plenty of places of tourist interest that are beautiful, scenic and holistic.

Including Mysore, places around Mysore have very comfortable climate throughout the year. Also all the facilities that are required by the tourists are available. Boarding is available for all sorts of people who are middle class or upper class accordingly. During Dasara festival it is better to book the accommodation before visiting Mysore. There are places near by Mysore which can be visited from Mysore staying here. There is facility to stay here and go for one or two days of tours.


The Mysore palace is the major attraction for visitors. Mysore palace is built in indo-ceracenic style. Mysore was capital and administrative center of Wodeyars. Durbar Hall "Diwan-e-Khas" and personal durbar hall are of major attractions in the palace. There are paintings of Raja Ravivarma, Siddalinga Swamy and K. Venkatappa on both sides of the walls. One of the attractions during Dasara festival is the Throne" which is kept for public viewing only for 9 days in a year!. "Golden Also the Howdah or used in the elephant parade in dasara festival is "AMBAARI" which is attractive and eye catching. This Howdah weighs approximately 715 KGs.

Palace is open from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Entry fee is Rs. 15/-. Apart from the main palace, kings' personal museum is also present and can be entered with Rs.15/- entry fee. Guides are available at the entrance. No cameras are allowed inside. Every Sunday, government holidays and on dasara festival, palace is lit up in lights. Timing of lighting is 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.


The Dasara of Mysore or Mysore Dasara as it is famously called is a 10-day long festival. On the day of Dasara, a procession of caparisoned elephants carrying the idol of goddess Chamundi is taken through the city.


This zoological gardens is one of the best and large zoological gardens in india which holds lot of rare animals. This zoological gardens has more than 2000 species of animals, birds etc. This zoological gardens holds the credit of reproducing rare and endangered animals in captivity!. Main attractions are the white tiger, chimpanzee, gorilla, penguin, giraffe etc. The zoological garden is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. It requires minimum of two hours to cover the zoological gardens. Entry fee is Rs.10/- for adults and Rs.5/- for children.


This is one of the largest church's in india. This is built in gothic style of construction and eyecatching structure. There are two 165 Ft towers which are beautiful to view. "Krishnaraja Wodeyar the fourth" laid the foundation stone for this church in 1933 and was completed in 1941. This church was constructed using monetary benefits from all over the world. This church is visited by people from all religions in the city during Christmas.


This hill is in the outskirts of mysore city and 13 kms from Mysore is the temple of patron Goddess of Wodeyars, Chamundeshwari. Located on a hill 335 m high, the temple can be approached by 1000 steps. Godess Chamundeshwari is the household god of people and kings of Mysore. It is said that this temple was constructed in 11th Centuary. In 1827 the temple was repaired by kings of Mysore. In front of the temple there is a statue of "Mahishasura" the demon king. Mysore was once the city of demon king mahisha hence this place was known as "Mahishooru" and hence " Mysooru" or "Mysore" .


Half way towards the temple is the giant monolith Nandi Bull. This 4.8 meter high monolith was originally grey in colour but the application of coconut oil by the devotees has turned it black. This one of the largest statues of Nandi found in India. Close to the Chamundi temple is the giant and colorful statue of the demon Mahishasura. From the hill summit one can have a panoramic view of the Mysore city.


This important and not to be missed place is located about 15 KMs towards North-West from mysore city. This place is in "Mandya District". A dam has been constructed across river Kaveri that originates from "Bhagamandala" in Kodagu district and is used for irrigation purposes. This project was dreamt by "Krishnaraja Wodeyar the fourth" and brought "Sir M. Vishweshvariah" from Bombay government and took him as Chief Engineer for Mysore State. This dam was completed in 1932 and brought joy and helped the farmers from Mysore and Mandya district.

A garden has been made below the dam using the water resources of the dam. The lighting is fantastic in the night, the main attraction is the "Dancing Fountain" where the fountain has been made to sprinkle water according to the music being played. People stay to see this beautiful event.

Brindavan garden is open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily and during weekends the lighting are done from 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM. There will be lighting on all days during Navarathri or Dasara festival.


Rail Museum.

The Railway Museum at Mysore, the first regional Rail Museum in India was set up in 1979. The Museum sets a good pattern for regional display and has good collections. A circular gallery called Chamundi Gallery has interesting collections of photographs, series of paintings showing the development of the Railways and signaling signs right from its inception.

The adjacent building named Sri Ranga Pavilion houses two Royal coaches that formed part of the Royal train of Maharaja of Mysore reflecting the era of bygone splendor. This pavilion incorporates in its construction beautifully carved wooden pillars, doors and balustrades from the old Srirangapatna Railway Station. It is said that these carved wooden works came from the wooden royal palace of Mysore, destroyed in a fire accident. The saloon used by the Maharajas is now at the National Railway Museum at Delhi. Mysore Rail Museum has the Maharanis' saloon, kitchen and dining care unit. The eight wheeler Maharanis' saloon was built at Mysore Railway workshop in 1899 adjustable to both the broad gauge and meter gauge.



This place is located about 15 KMs towards Nort-East of Mysore city and on the Mysore-Bangalore State Highway. This place is on the banks of river Kaveri. One specialty is that this place is an Island! Where River Kaveri splits into two parts as North Kaveri and South Kaveri and again combines near a village called " Ganjam" and the place in between the two parts of the river is the town of Srirangapattanam.

Long back this place was the capital city of Mysore kings. This is the place where the legendary king "Tippu Sultan" who lived here. He fought and died while fighting against the British army. There are many places of interest here, of them the "Sri Ranganatha" temple is one of them and this temple is very huge and very artistic in construction. Here the idol of Lord Ranganatha is seen sleeping on "Kalinga" the seven-headed serpant. Tippu had a summer palace, which was known as "Dariya Daulat" , where the paintings, gardens are eye-catching and fantastic.

Tipu Palace.

On the city outskirts near the small village of "Ganjam", there is the "Gumbaz" which is the burial place of King Tippu sultan, his father Hyder Ali and his mother. Also near this place is "Nimishamba Temple" which is on the banks of river Kaveri.


This place is about 13 KMs towards North-East to the city of mysore. This bird sanctuary is located on the backwaters of river Kaveri. Nature has made small islands here to facilitate the birds to stay and breed here. Birds from far off places like Siberia, North America migrate here every year to breed new ones and fly back to their own place. The Department of Forests has made arrangements of boating inorder to watch the birds. Every year during May and September you can see large variety of birds here. There is separate entry fees for entry into the bird sanctuary and for boating.


Nanjangud Temple.

This place is 25 KMs towards south of Mysore on the way to Ooty. This is a place of worship and is located on the banks of river "KAPILA" . The temple here is of prime importance, which is the temple of "Lord Shreekanteshwara" (Shiva). The temple here is one of the largest temples of south India. The temple is spread around 1 Acres. There are 121 statues of Shiva in different avatars, also there are 65 Lingas. There will be festival during March and April where lakhs of devotees gather for the occasion.

There is very good bus facility from Mysore City by KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) a government run bus service in Karnataka to Nanjangud and the journey is of half an hour and costs around Rs. 14/-. Since there is no good facility for staying in Nanjangud, visitors stay in Mysore and visit Nanjangud.


Somanathapura Temple.

This place is 38 KMs towards east of Mysore. Somanathpur, a small village on the left bank of river Cauvery is an outstanding centre of tourist importance for its wonderful Hoysala temple, dedicated to Prasanna Chennakeshava constructed in 1268 A.D by Soma, an officer of the Hoysala Kingdom. The temple is built on a star shaped plan similar to other Hoysala temples at Belur-Halebid. It is a triple shrine temple, of which two are dedicated to Lord Janardhana and Venugopala, the two different forms of Lord Vishnu.

The Keshava temple is a trikutachala , situated in a courtyard 215 ft. in length and 177 ft. in width, surrounded by a prakara . It has a verandah along its interior, divided into 64 cells each formally housing a deity. Rows of lathe-turned pillars support the ceiling of their frontage. The temple proper stands on an elevated jagati, which is 3/4 mtr. In height and it is sufficiently broad giving the old structure the shape of a casket. The jagati enables the visitors to go round the temple and have a clear view of the fine sculptures on the outer walls. The jagati is designed with the projections and recesses in harmony with the contours of the outer wall as is common with any Hoysala temple. The outer wall is divided into two portions. The lowest having rows of elephants, another above having the moving cavalry, the third is a series of creepers and a fourth having a long sculpture gallery depicting the story of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Krishnavathara. This place can be reached by private vehicle.


This Place is 85 Kms east of Mysore river Cauvery gushes down a 75 meter deep gorge in form of two waterfalls "Gaganachukki" and "Bharachukki" . These falls are best during the monsoons, nevertheless their beauty mesmerizes tourists throughout the year.


This is the national game reserve, which is on the road to Ooty and is around 80 KMs south of Mysore City. This forest encompasses areas of neighboring Tamilnadu and Kerala states. This place is known as heaven of vivid living beings. Here animals roam in freedom. Here some of the important animals are Elephant, Tiger, Cheetah, Deer and Indian Bison. This place can be visited during April to October. Also there is facility of elephant safari. Timings here are from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Visitors need to make certain arrangements before coming to this place. There is separate entry fee for foreign tourists for elephant safari. There are jungle lodges for stay in here and need to be booked before visiting this place. For more information, "Jungle Lodges and Resorts", Shringar Shopping Complex, M.G.Road, Bangalore or Field Officer, Project Tiger, Aranya Bhavan, Ashoka Puram, Mysore can be contacted.


This National reserve is about 96 KMs towards North-West of mysore city and encompasses the districts of Mysore and Kodagu. Visitors can visit this place by staying in mysore and starting on morning and returning in evening back to mysore. This sanctuary consists of Elephant, Tiger, Cheetah, Deer, Sambars, pangolins and about 250 species of birds. There are excellent facilities for visitors to stay at the Kabini river lodge and for viewing wildlife. May to September is the suitable time to visit and the timings are from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM. There is facility for Elephant Safari and there is facility to stay here. Large rooms costs around thousand a day, there is also facility for large groups to stay together. For more information, " Chief Forest Officer, Wildlife Region (South) Aranya Bhavan, Ashoka Puram, Mysore or Forest sub-officer, Hunsur can be contacted.

Also in this national park, there is " KARAPUR Forest" which is equally beautiful and filled with wild animals. This place is about 80 KMs from Mysore. River Kabini flows through this forest. There is lodge in between the forest and tents are also available. For more information, "Jungle Lodges and Resorts", Shringar Shopping Complex, M.G.Road, Bangalore or Field Officer, Project Tiger, Aranya Bhavan, Ashoka Puram, Mysore can be contacted.


This place is located around 60 KMs east of Mysore City and is on the banks of river "KAVERI" . This place is part of T. Narasipur taluk. This place was once the capital city of "Ganga Dynasty" . Here "Lord Keerthi Narayana Swamy" is famous. Many of the temples were submerged in the sands of river kaveri and now they have been unearthed by archeological survey of India. The meeting place of two rivers Kapila and Kaveri at this place makes it a beautiful place. Since the transportation is not good to this place, visitors are advised to make their own transportation to reach this place. Also taking the food for lunch or breakfast along is advised.


This place is a religious place, which is in "Chamarajanagar District" . This place is located about 142 KMs from mysore. There are seven hills and in the center of the hills is this religious place. The lord Mahadeshwara (Shiva) temple is located in this place. This is one of the holy places for shaivaits. There are many government run guest houses for the devotees visiting the place. Facilities are good here. There are lots of Tourist buses and private buses plying to and from Mysore. This place can be visited in one day.


This place is a religious place, which is in "Chamarajanagar District" . This place is located about 90 KMs from mysore. The temple of lord Biligiri ranga is located on top of the main hill. For people interested in camping and adventure there is K.Gudi jungle camp located on the way to BR hills where they offer jungle trek and other adventure sports. There are lots of Tourist buses to this place and can be visited in one day.

OOTY (Ootchamund or Nilgiri Hills)

This famous place is in TamilNadu state and about 160 KMs south of Mysore. Previously this was part of Karnataka State and was known as "Udakamandala" . This place is in the Nilagiri hill range and has cool and pleasant climate. This place is heaven for the newly wedded couples. The 22 Acre botanical gardens is one of the beautiful places in Ooty. Climbing the hills is also a new experience for the tourists. There is facility of buses from Mysore and can be visited in one day. There are lot of lodging facility here but they are bit costly. There are rooms, which are available from one thousand to ten thousand rupees. It is better to enquire and see rooms before taking them.

Information kind Courtesy - H. N. Naveen.
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