Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka and is located at around 140 kilometers from the state capital of Bengaluru. The word Mysore traces back its origin in the name of Mahishasur who is a demon in the Hindu mythology. It actually means the abode of the Mahishasuru, hence Mahisasuru.
Mysore has always been famous for its numerous historical land marks which includes Palaces, Gardens and Temples. Among other attractions, the Mysore Zoo can also be given due consideration as it is one of the oldest zoos in the country. At times Mysore is also called the Palace City of India.
The city was once the administrative capital of the Wodeyar dynasty and also known as the “Sandalwood City of India” has still retained the old world charm in its shadowed alleys and busy thoroughfares. The main attractions in the city which are a must see for the visitors could be listed as below:
Mysore Palace: This was once the home of the erstwhile Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore which ruled upon it. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the country, even leaving the Red Fort of Delhi behind in 2006. The palace was constructed in 1912 for the 24th King of the Wodeyar dynasty and was designed by the British Architect, Henry Irwin. This palace is one of the biggest palaces in the whole country. Mysore Palace specifically refers to one of the palace called the Amba Vilas.
Brindavan Gardens: These gardens are the pride of Mysore. Over the years many films have been shot here capturing the beauty of the water fountains and the well laid out gardens. It is one of the most famous tourist spots in India which attracts a lot of visitors all the year through. The Brindavan Gardens are spread out over an area of 150 acres and has botanical garden, tourist lodge and also various biological research departments in its folds. The colored and musical water fountains are the main attraction in these gardens.
The Gardens are located on the downstream of the Krishnasagara Dam which is built by the Deewans of the Mysore state and was named after the ruler, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. It is located on the Cauvery River and is completely made of stone in sukhi mortar.
Chamundi Hills: The hill lies three kilometers to the Mysore fort and rises to a height of 1050 meters above sea level. The top of the hill houses the temple of the Goddess Kali which is the ancestral Goddess of the Mysore Royal Family and is also known as Goddess Chamundi.
Mysore Zoo: The zoo in the city was set up by Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar in the year 1892. It is one of the oldest and the most popular zoological parks in the country. The Mysore Zoo is home to many animal and reptile species who are kept in big open spaces to give these animals a sense of being closer to the nature. The zoo is considered to be one of the oldest zoos in the world.
St. Philomena’s Church: It is one of the largest churches in the Asian Region and dates back its history to two centuries ago. The St. Philomena’s Church was built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. It is constructed in the Gothic form of Architecture and was supervised over by the Bishop Rene Fuga. It also houses the relic of the saint which was obtained from Peter Pisani who was the Apostolic Delegate for the East Indies. It is preserved in the catacomb beneath the main altar of the church.
There are many more places to visit in this magnificent city of South India which leaves the visitor wanting for more and more.