Mysore – The City of Palaces attracts people because of its royal history and some of the most beautiful monuments. Located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, Mysore still retains its old world charm with its palaces, heritage buildings, traditions and temples. The very essence of this city is so endeared and prized that you can’t help yourself to fall in love with it. The list of things to do in Mysore has no edge and if you wish, you can just go on and on exploring the beauty of this amazing city.
The city holds 7 splendid palaces and the Mysore Palace is the crown of them all. The biggest attraction of the city, Mysore Palace or Amba Palace was the residence of the Wodeyar Maharaja’s of the Mysore state. The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897, during the wedding of Jayalakshammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar and was rebuilt in 1912. The present Palace built in Indo-Saracenic style and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture.
Now it is open to the public and the interior is just as colourful and beautiful as what you see outside. With beautiful paintings, intricate details and rich colours, you will be impressed by its grandeur. People come to Mysore especially during the celebration of Dusshera festival.The Dussehra festival celebrations in the Mysore Palace are touted to be one of the best affairs in the country. It is a 10 day festival during which the entire palace is decorated (as if it’s not beautiful enough) and hosts various number of parades and processions honoring the festivities. Many famous artists are welcomed to perform in the palace grounds and people from all over the country travel to enjoy the festivities.
Nestled among the Chamundi hills, Karanji Lake is the permanent haven of beautiful migratory birds, with an expanse of azure blue water, all clubbed with aviary and butterfly parks.
You can rent a cycle and traverse through the perimeters of this beautiful lake. You’ll find a breathtaking canopy of lush trees inside the premises that make it an ideal spot for picnicking or idly walking or merely admiring the nature around you. You can run around with rare, really pretty butterflies at the Butterfly Park. There’s also a separate Orchid park here that displays an array of gorgeous orchids. And after you are a little tired with all the walking, running and cycling, take a boat ride and hear the chirping sounds of the colourful birds.
If you like bird watching, head to the watch tower and you’ll have the most amazing time spotting the lake ducklings, darters, pelicans, painted storks, spoonbills. The lake is blessed with a rich natural habitat but on top of this, the park has a giant aviary, probably largest in the country. This lake is a paradise for anyone in pursuit of peace.
Chamundi Hills is the prime landmark of Mysore city, visible almost form anywhere in the city center. According to mythology, this was the domain of the demon called Mahishasura. A boon made Mahishasura so powerful that no man can kill him. Unable to stand his atrocities, people prayed to the goddess to save them from Mahishasura. Goddess Shakti, took the avatar of the fierce goddess Chamundeshwari. She killed the demon and saved the people. According to some beliefs, the Chamundi hills is in-fact in the shape of the fallen demon.
The Chamundeshwari temple located at the hilltop is sacred for Hindus and pilgrims come here to get a glimpse of the goddess. You can trek to the hilltop which involves climbing about 1000 steps. There is also an option of taking a tuktuk or bus. The view from Chamundi Hills is truly mesmerizing and very exhilarating. In fact, one of the most fascinating ways to spend your time atop the Chamundi Hills is by identifying the city’s landmarks. The best time to visit this wonderful temple is early morning when the first rays of sun grace the hills and there is hardly anyone around.
Mysore zoo is famed to be one of the oldest and the largest zoos in India. The popularity of the zoo is so much that more than 2 million of tourists visit Mysore zoo in a year from all over the world. The zoo boasts of amazing rare variety of fauna. You will see brown bear, sloth bear, brown lemur, chimpanzee, orangutan, and rhinoceros among the animals. The zoo is also known for its tigers.
A very unique feature of the Mysore Zoo is its role in the adoption and rearing of animals from around the world. Many endangered species are brought here for conservation and protection of animals. Many exotic animals are displayed in natural environment so as to create awareness about their protection and to offer an educative experience about them.
The Brindavan Garden is a beautiful terrace garden amidst a scenic backdrop. The garden was designed by Sir Mirza Ismail, Diwan of Mysore to beautify the Krishnaraj Sagar Dam (KRS) area. The inspiration was the Mughal style Shalimar Gardens of. Spread over an area of 150 acres, the Brindavan Gardens is considered as one of the best gardens in India. The garden is enriched with fountains, terraces, parterres, running and cascading water channels, lush green lawns & flower beds.
The Musical and dancing fountain, located in the North Brindavan Garden, is the main attraction of the garden. The best time to visit the gardens is after sunset when all the bright colourful fountains come alive. You can take a stroll amidst the gorgeous flora, sit and unwind, admire the fountain shows, and even take the boating ride nearby.
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