The main palace built inside a spacious courtyard covers an area of 245*156 ft. It is built of massive grey granite. It is manily a three storied building dominated by a five storied tower crowned by a gilded dome. This tower is 145 ft from the ground to the gold flag on its summit. It consists of great courtyard, the marrigae pavilion (peacock pavilion), the Durbar hall (Amba Vilas hall), the armoury, the music and drawing rooms. This is built inside a fort which hass four gates on cardinal points. An image of Shri Chamaraja Wodeyar is placed under a gold gilted dome in front of the north gate. Just to the south of this in another circle is the image of His Highness Shri Krishnaraja Wodeyar Bahadur.
The walls on the ground floor has the Dasara procession painted on them by the local painters. One of the rooms in the ground floor has the paintings of the personalities of the Royal family. Silver and glass chairs are displayed in another room. The front courtyard facing east adorns a few art objects which
includes a gold plated Howda (a seat to be placed on an elephant) and is one of the most interesting objects in the ground floor which has 40 kg of gold in it.
The great Durbar hall is on the second floor and above that are private apartments. The west wall of this hall adorns the picture storeies from Ramayana and Mahabharata - the work of the great painters Ravi Varma
and Raja Varma of Travancore. The most precious and interesting object to be seen by a visitor during Dasara only, is the throne of figweood and ivory, gold and silver.
Illumination : On Sundays 7 to 8 pm
Timings : 9 am to 5 pm
Admission : Rs 25.
Amba Vilas Durbar hall
It is a gorgeously decorated room in the Mysore palace. The teakwood ceiling with intricate carving and floor with inlay work (the precious stones used here for inlay are Jasper, Cornelian, lapislazuli etc.) are the high landmarks of beauty. The doors of silver, teakwood, rose wood are highly executed. One of the ivory inlaid panels are depicted are avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu. This hall was used for birthday parties, investitures etc.
Dasara is the State fetival celebrated in Sept/October. The entire city will be gaily decorated and illuminated. Cultural programs are arranged for the Public. A month long exhibitionis organized at the nearby ground. Navarathri is the festival of nine nights. On the tenth day a victory procession is taken out along the main route. This procession is to celebrate the victory of the godess Chamundeshwari over demon Mahishasura.
Jagan Mohan Art Gallery
This palace has two parts. The main building lying to the west and a spacious pavilion to the east. The pavilion was used for the marriages and other purposes when the old palace was burnt and till the completion of sajja in the new palace in the year 1910 AD.
The western older building is a treasury of pictures and models, illustrating Mysore history and personalities. The ground floor contains number of paintings giving the genealogy of the Mysore kings and other articles of great interest. An annexe to the south has a number of articles which
were the personal property of the Maharajas. Dasavataras carved on one rice are displayeed in the western hall.
The second floor adorns the paintings of great painters from different countries of the world. One of the most attractive painting is 'lady with the lamp'. In one of the rooms are displayed the dumbells and clubs which belonged to and to have been used by the great warrier Kantirava Narasaraja Wodeyar.
On the third storey, the rung Mahal or picture hall has many quaint and interesting mural paintings. One room here contains the pictures of the modern school, Kolkatta and some examples of the lovely work of a Mysorean, Mr K Venkatappa. One big hall is dedicated to the paintings of Raja Ravi Varma.
Timings : 8.30 am to 5 pm
Entry : Rs 2.
Chamarajendra Zoological gardens
The Zoological gardens stands a kilomtere east of Mysore Palace. There is a fine collection of animals, birds and snakes, which include lions, tigers, Hyaens, Deers, Elephants, Rhinos, Peacocks, swans etc. It owes it's origin to His highness Shri Chamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur. All the animals in the zoo are well fed and well kept. Lions and tigers roam in liberty inside the trenched land. There is a snake park with Pythons, Vipers, King cobras etc and few artificial lakes. A visit to this gardens is extremely thrilling.
Timings : 8 am to 6 pm, lunch break 12 noon to 2 pm
Entry : Rs 2, Video : Rs 100.
The Chamundeswari temple is a fine quadrangular structure with a high gopuram on the hill at 1050 m. The top commands a good view of the entire city. There is a big statue of Mahishasura, who was killed by Chamundi and got the name Mahishasuramardvhini. Goddess Kali, consort of Lord Shiva, is the family deity of Maharaja of Mysore.
The oldest temple on the top of the hill is Mahabaleswara temple standing to the south of Chamundi temple and is dated to the 13th century. A 1100 steps leads to the top of the hill. Two thirds of the way up is the 5 m high monolithic colossal figure of Nandi, the vehicle of Lord Shiva. Chamundi hills is well connecetd by City bus service (10 km).
Lalitha Mahal Palace
The beautiful palace stands west of the city which w as namwed as Summer palace. At present it serves as a Five star Hotel. From the base of the Chamundi hills it is at walkable distance. Entry only to guests.
The museum of vintage trains is located behind the Mysore railway station. It is a small museum compared to the New Delhi's Rail museum located at Chanakyapuri. Entry by tickets.
Saint Philomena's church
One of the most beautiful and tallest buildings of the city. The underground chamber of the church has a beautiful image of St Philomena.
Temples of the City
Varahaswamy temple : This is a large, one of the Hoysala type of architecture near the south gateway of the fort. The processional image of the temple, the boar, bears an inscription to the effect that it was the gift of Chikkadeva Raja Wodeyar, who brought it from Srimunshna and set it up in a temple at Srirangapatna which was destroyed later by Tippu Sultan. In 1809 the god was removed to Mysore and set up here by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III.
Prasanna Krishnaswamy temple : This temple, founded in 1825 by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, stands south of the main palace.
Trineswara temple : This is a large Dravidian structure situated to east of the palace facing the palace. It has a lofty Mahadwara.
Laxminarayanaswamy temple : This is held by some authoriteis to be the oldest temple in Mysore.
The important buildings of Mysore are The University (Manasagangothri), The Crawford hall, the technical institute, sandalwood oil factory, silk factory etc.
Ranganthittu bird sanctuary
The migratpory birds found are Bill stock, white ibis, Little egret, partridges, wild duck, spoon bill, peafowl, pond heron etc. It is 19 km from Mysore and 3 km south west of Srirangapatna. The best season is June
It was the capital of Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, 'The tiger of Mysore'. Srirangapatna remains in a ruined state recalling the battles fought and the past glory. The temple of Sriranganatha is said to have been built by the Chieftain Thirumalaiah in 894 AD. In the 18th century Mahrathas attacked Srirangapatna and forced heavy payments. Hyder drew back the Mahrathas and saved the kingdom. In 1799 Tipu fought a fierce battle (Battle of Mysore) against the British and fell bravely defending his capital. It is located in an island in Cauvery river, 19 km from Mysore.
Places of Interest
Jumma Masjid : Located near the Bangalore gate.
Water Gate : It is the place of Tipu's death on the banks of the Cauvery river. It is just a kilometre away.
Sriranganatha temple : This large temple has a huge tower and a pillared hall. There are huge gilded statues of Hanuman, Garuda and other deities. The Garbhagriha has a colosssal image of Vishnu reclining on the huge coils of the great snake Ananta. The temple chariot is kept outside the temple reminds us the great chariot festival.
Daria Daulat Bagh : Also called the Summer palace is situated half km east of the fort. The wooden walls of the palace are painted with war scenes of contemporary kings.
Gumbaz : The tomb of Hyder Ali, his wife and Tipu Sultan is located 3 km east of the fort. The domed structure is in the midst of a lovely Lal bagh garden. The tomb is on a raised platform and having a verandah of polished black basalt pillars all around. The other important things are gates of the fort, other dungeons, Tipu's racket court, flag-staff cavalier etc. Sangam -confluence - is further 1 km away.
Krishnarajendra dam was constructed across the river Cauvery during the reign of His Highness Shri Krishnaraja Wodeyar Bahadur. The dam was built keeping in view of a constant supply of water for the Hydro-electric power station at Shivasamudram, which was put up in 1902, and to have adequate supply of water for summer crop.
The dam can store water up to 124 ft high. A pleasant garden is raised east of the dam. An artificial lake divides the garden into south and north gardens. The garden is full of artificial waterfalls and different types of fountains. The entrance has a statue of Goddess Cauvery in a niche on the wall of dam. Garden is illuminated from 7 to 8 pm daily. It is an important tourist destination and is well connected to Mysore by road transport (19 km).
Hoysala temples are known for their remarkable beauty of stone carved sculputres and ornamentation. The Keshava temple is made on a 3 ft high 16 point star shaped platform in 1268 AD. The temple has a Navaranga (Dancing hall) and three sanctum sanctorums, each with a vimana (tower). The south cell has 6.5 ft Venugopala statue, west cell has Vishnu image, while north cell has Janardhana. Outside the Hoysala temple complex stands a 30 ft high gray
stone pillar. It is 38 km from Mysore via Bannur.
The Nanjangudeswara temple is built in the Dravidian style with a lofty gopuram. The 385*160 ft temple is supported by 147 coloumns. The annual car festival is celebrated in March attracts a huge crowd. It is 22 km from
Mysore on the Ooty/Kozhikode road (NH 212).