Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. The city is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills. Mysore is Situated 770m above sea level and has a warm and cool climate throughout the year. Until 1947, Mysore was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore . Mysore is situated between the rivers Cauvery and Kabini, which are a source of drinking water to the city. The Hindu Goddess Chamundeeswari killed the demon Mahishasura, and the name Mysore has been derived.
Mysore is famous for the Dasara festival , the palace, the mysore painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak , the Mysore silk sarees, Insense stick, Mysore betel, the salubrious climate and the Mysore sandalwood. It is also famous for its handicrafts as well. Most of the work is wood based. The artifacts are made out of sandalwood, rosewood and teak wood. The best place to buy these handicrafts and wooden carvings is the Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium of the Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation.
- Mysore Zoo
- Railway Museum
- Lalitha Mahal
Places to visit around Mysore:
- Srirangapatna (~20 km from Mysore)
- Ranganathittu (~30 km from Mysore)
- Dornahalli (~35 km from Mysore)
- Nanjangud (30 km from Mysore)
- Somnathpur ( ~35 km from Mysore)
- Talakad (~60 km from Mysore)
- Bandipur (~100 km from Mysore)
- Nagarhole National Park (~100 km from Mysore)
- Coorg (~120 km from Mysore)
- Belur, Halebeedu, Shravanabelagola (~150 km from Mysore)
- Mahadeshwara Hills (~150 km from Mysore)
Srirangapatna is the city of historic, religious, and cultural hub situated in Mandhya district of Karnataka (India). Here you will come across the entire town as an island enclosed by River Kaveri. Srirangapatnam was the capital of the Mysore State under Tippu Sultan - The Tiger of Mysore. After the death of Tippu Sultan in 1799 AD, the British shifted the capital back to Mysore. The places in Srirangapatna are The Ranganathaswamy temple, The Dariya Daulat Palace, Tippu's Fort, Juma Majid, Gumbaz and the Sangam.
More details & photos about Srirangapatna @ http://picsfoo.blogspot.com/2009/02/srirangapatna-mysore.html
The construction of the Chennakeshava Temple, is the one dedicated to lord Keshava was started by Somanatha, a high-ranking officer under Hoysala King Narasimha III (1254-1291 AD.). He founded a village on the banks of the Cauvery and then embarked on constructing temples in a bid to further his immortality. It is a splendid example of Hoysala style of architecture. It stands on a raised platform in the center of a spacious enclosure.
Read more about Somnathpur @ http://picsfoo.blogspot.com/2009/03/somnathpur-kesava-temple.html.
Nanjangud 25Km from Mysore, a holy place, described as Garalapuri, is famous because of the huge Nanjundeswara temple. It is believed that sage Gauthama stayed here for some time and installed a Linga, the idol form of Shiva. Nanjangud is also known as 'Dakshina Kashi' or Varanasi of the South. The temple houses 121 statues of the various avatars of Lord Shiva along with 65 lingams. Nanjangud is an important industrial centre in Mysore district. On the Mysore - Ooty Road, many multinational companies have set up their units in the industrial area. The major ones are Nestle, TVS, S.Kumar's, and AT&S.
A wooden statue of the saint was found by a farmer when he was ploughing his field. Mistaking it for a doll he presented to his children to play with it. Tradition says that one night he had a dream in which a Friar wearing the same dress as that of the statue appeared to him and told him that the object was no doll but a statue of a revered catholic saint and that he would like to have a special shrine in his honor in that place of discovery and that his family would be blessed. The farmer however did not pay heed to his dream and in the course of a year he suffered heavy losses which he finally attributed to his negligence to carry out the instructions that he had received in his dream.
A visiting Catholic priest from Pondicherry was met by the farmer and invited to his village. The priest recognized the statue which was 13 1/2 inches in height and helped the farmer raise a shrine.The humble shrine is now a large church erected in 1920 due to the generosity of Mr.T.Dharmaraj Chetty brother of the late Sir Thambu Chetty, former Dewan of Mysore.This is supposed to be the most ancient place of pilgrimage of St.Anthony in India. There is also a good motorable road from Mysore to Krishnarajanagar via Dornahalli. There is a regular bus service on this road for the convenience of the pilgrims. The present Rector of the Shrine Rev. Fr. Thomas Paulus built the dome of the shrine and beautified the shrine.
Near Srirangapattana is the Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary, which is the breeding site for several bird species. A little boat takes you close to the islands where the trees are covered with birds of different species. The only sounds are the cries of birds and the ripple of water. Ideal for picnicking and bird watching.The sanctuary was declared a bird sanctuary in 1940, when the ornithologist Dr Salim Ali while surveying the birds of the area put emphasis on declaring Ranganathittu a bird sanctuary. The best time to visit is between June to October. Birds coming from Siberia, Australia and even North America can be spotted here.
Read more at http://picsfoo.blogspot.com/2009/03/ranganathittu.html .
The Bandipur National Park, which is also a Tiger Reserve is one of the most fascinating wild-life centers. Established in 1931 by the Mysore Maharajas and in 1941 it was announced as a National Park. It has been a designated tiger reserve in 1973, it is home to around seventy tigers This park is nested in the foothills of the Nilgiris. Bandipur forest office runs forest safaris of 45 minutes duration in well guarded buses.Elephant rides are also available. This open forest makes it easy for visitors to see the elephant and gaur (Indian bison) in natural surroundings.Many different species of deer, monkeys, squirrels and birds can also be seen. The reptile family is represented by Marsh Crocodiles, Pythons, Russel's Vipers, Cobras, Rat Snakes, Vine Snakes, Bamboo Pit Vipers, Turtles, Flying Lizards and many other varieties of snakes.
Talakad is a town known for its sand dunes. Talakad once had over 30 temples that today are buried in sand. Two hunters Tala and Kada, are believed to have struck the tree with an axe to find blood gushing forth, and upon the bidding of a heavenly voice, dressed the wound of the tree with thre tree's leaves and fruits. The tree healed, and the hunters became immortal. Since Shiva is believed to have healed himself through this incident, he is referred to as Vaidyeshwara. The Panchalingams here are all associated with this legend. The Vaidyeshwara temple is built in the Dravidian style of granite. Talakadu is situated at the bank of river Kaveri.
Nagarahole (Rajiv Gandhi National Park):
Nagarhole National Park has deciduous forest. Deriving its name from Kannada,’Naga’ meaning snake and ‘hole’ Referring to streams, Nagarahole is truly a delightful spot. It is located in the districts of Coorg & Mysore. The park has been recently renamed as Rajiv Gandhi National Park. It receives an average rainfall of 1000 to 1500 mm annually. There are a few rivers that drain the national park; Kabini is the largest river on which a dam was built in 1974. Other rivers that flow through the park are Lakshmana, Teentha and Nagarhole. The forest is home to animals like the wild boar, four-horned antelope, civet, wild dog, sloth bear, jungle cat, sambhar, spotted deer, elephant, flying fox, tiger, panther, gaur (Indian bison), black-naped hare, bonnet macaque, and pangolin. Cobras, vipers, crocodiles, kraits, pythons and several species of lizards are also found here.Department vehicles and guides are available for wildlife viewing.
This is one of the major tourist destinations in the district of Hassan in Karnataka, India. Belur was the capital of the Hoysala Empire. This place is famous for its exquisite temples. Belur is known as Dakshina Varanasi or Southern Banaras. It is a small town located on the banks of River Yagachi. The main attraction in Belur is the Chennakeshava temple, which is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture, built by the Hoysala Kind Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A.D. to commemorate his conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism. The Hoysalas were brilliant builders who developed a new style of temple architecture. They conceived their shrines as star-shaped structures. Facing the temple, at the entrance, stands the winged figure of Garuda, Lord Vishnu's carrier. Legend has it that it took 103 years to complete and Vishnuvardhana's grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank.
The intricate workmanship includes elephants, lions, horses, episodes from the Indian mythological epics, and sensuous dancers. There are also temples built for Narasimha, Anjaneya, etc. King Vishnuvardhana's queen Shantaladevi, a dance legend herself, built a temple in similar fashion to the main temple, which was called the Channigaraya temple.
The great city flourished as a Capital of the Hoysala Empire during the 12th & 13th centuries. During the reign of Veeraballala II, the grandson of Vishnuvardhana, it reached the greatness of its zenith. Veeraballala II extended his empire from sea to sea between the Cauvery & Krishna rivers. Its present name means old (hale) capital (bidu) but it was once referred to as Dwarasamudra (the gateway to the sea) indicating the numerous water bodies that must have been in the vicinity at the time. The main temple here is called Hoysaleshwara. The Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples in Halebidu are supreme examples of Hoysala temple architecture.
Shravenabelagola (53 kilometers from Hassan) is one of the most celebrated Jain sites in southern India. It is not to see a particular monument that one comes here but for the location and the concept. Shravanabelagola is a holy place for Jains. Their Guru is residing here in a Mutt. There is a Sanskrit Patashala to study Sanskrit and Shastras.From the early years of the Christian era Jain missionaries moved to southern India in a steady stream, spreading their philosophy of ahimsa or non-violence. Their presence is marked in the Deccan and there also Jain temples in Tamil Nadu, and in Karnataka at Karkal and Dharmasthal.
Malai Mahadeshwara hills in Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka. The height of the hill is about 3000 feet from the sea level. It is considered as one of the important pilgrim centers in Karnataka.The famous Malai Mahadeswara Temple is seen here. The temple here is dedicated to Lord Mahadeshwara (the incarnation Lord Shiva). The main festival of the temple is Maha Shivratri (February/March). Special pooja's are conducted at this time. During Deepavali festival a grand celebration can be seen in Malai Mahadeshwara Hills. The forests are inhabited by a variety of animals, birds and reptiles. They are found in large numbers too. Elephants are the most prominent species. The famous Hogenkal falls is also very nearer to this hill area which is only 45kms towards south. Hogenkal is situated in Tamilnadu.
Coorg is located in the south-western part of Karnataka bordering Kerala. The main river in Kodagu is the Kaveri (Cauvery) River. Kodagu is derived from the word Kodava, Kod means 'give' and avva means 'mother', i.e mother Kaveri, the river Kaveri. Coorg described as the Scotland of India, Coorg lies at an altitude of 1,525 m on the Western Ghats. The economy depends on agriculture, coffee plantations, forestry and tourism. The scenic beauty of Coorg, lush green valleys, coffee plantations, teak wood forests & majestic mountain ranges are mind - blowing. There are also facilities for trekking, golfing and angling.
Kodagu is considered rich with wildlife and has three wildlife sanctuaries and one national park: Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, and Nagarahole or Rajiv Gandhi National Park. The Kodagu district comprises different communities like Kodava, Tulu, Gowda, Moplah, etc, out of which the largest is the Kodava community, both economically and politically. Miracle in Coorg is, every year at a predetermined time, water gushes out from a small pond at Talacauvery, the birthplace of river Cauvery.