Sunday, March 8, 2009

Complete Travel information of Mysore

Mysore, at 770 meter from sea level, also called as city of palaces or, the city of sandalwood. Mysore is a very small and beautiful city by itself. Sandalwood products like incense sticks, sandal soap, sandal oil and furniture from sandalwood are manufactured plenty here and it is a form of cottage industry here. Fragrance of sandal oil is all over there in the city. Sandalwood products of Mysore are famous worldwide and regularly being exported from here.

There is another belief and that’s why Mysore is also known as the city of Dashera festival. The name is consequential from Mahishasur, the king of demons and Mysore was his kingdom. Mysore was then known as Mahismati or Mahishasurpura and in course of time the name became Mahishur.

Five royal palaces and a dozen of royal mansions are the prime attractions of Mysore. Mysore is the centre of performing arts, literature and culture. The city is 139 km from Bangalore and is linked by regular train and bus services.

The attraction of Mysore is more the tourist because centering Mysore one can travel many beautiful tourist spots of Southern India like Belur, Halebid, Shravanabelgola, Somnathpur and Kurg. A luxury train is going to be introduced from Mysore to Goa on Konkan Railway under the joint venture of East West Airways and Indian Railways. The network of bus services from the three bus stands of Mysore helps you to reach any remote point of the state or all southern states.

Conducted Tours available from Mysore:

KSTDC, Transport Wing, C/o Hotel Mayura Yatri Nivas, 2 Jhansi Lakshmi Bai Rd, Ph: 2423652 every day starts at 8-00 Hrs and comes back at 21 -00 Hrs after touring Mysore city.

Somnathpur, Srirangapatna and Brindavan Garden starts from Lali tamahal Palace. Schedule is the same as KSTDC.

KSTDC arranges tours to Belur, Halebid and Shravanabelgola every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. Starts at 7-30 Hrs and returns at 20-30 Hrs.

They also conduct tour every day to Ooty

KSTDC arranges tours to:

Jog waterfalls on 3-day package, for
5-day package Goa-Gokama-Jog,
3-day package for Mantralaya-Tungabhadra Dam-Hampi,
5-day package for North Kamataka,
and various others packages.

Though the best season to tour Mysore is October to March but it can be visited any time of the year due to its beautiful weather. Temperature in summer is 28°C and in winter 22°C. Average rainfall is 98 cm.

Little Historical background of Mysore:

Coming from Dwaraka in Gujarat at the end of the 14th century, two brothers Vijay and Krishna built their residence in today's Mysore. Overwhelmed by the chivalry of Vijay, the king of Mysore arranged his daughter's marriage with him and gifted him his empire. The new king Vijay Yadav became the ruler. Thus Wadyar dynasty was founded in Mysore. Till 1761 they ruled Mysore. They lost their empire after being defeated by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan was also defeated by the British in the war of 1799. In 1947, Mysore became a part of the Indian Union.

Hotels at Mysore:
STD code: +91 821
Star hotels are situated on Jhansi Lakshmi Bai Rd and surrounding Central Bus Stand at Mysore.

KTDC's Ashok Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel. Mysore-570011
Ph: 2470470, DB @ INR 6000: Suite @ INR 8500. •QualityInn

Southern Star. 13, Vinobha Road-5, Ph: 2426426, A/c DB @ INR 3500-4500; Suite @ INR 6000 - 8500.

Ramanashree Comforts Inn, L-43/A. Bangalore-Nilgiri Rd-1, Ph: 2522202 A/C DB @ INR 2295-2845; Suite @ INR 3245-3795.

Hotel Gayathri, Ph: 2425654. DCB @ INR 120 DB @ INR 250-450;
Hotel New Bishnu Bhavan, DB @ INR 200-350;
Hotel Chalukya, Ph: 2427197 DB @ INR 250-450;
Hotel Indra Bhavan, Ph: 2423933, DB @ INR 250-450

Hotel Ritz. Ph: 2422668, DB @ INR 400-550;
Mysore Hotel Complex, Ph: 2426217, DB @ INR 450-650 A/C DB @ INR 850;
Hotel Roopa Ph: 2443770, DB @ INR 450-850,
Hotel Maruti Palace Ph: 2429586, DB @ INR 450-650;
Sanjib Palace Hotel, Ph: 2448039, DB @ INR 350-600;
Sri Nandini Hotel Ph: 2447085, DB @ INR 350-550

Shopping at Mysore:

CauveryArts & Crafts Emporium, Sayaji Rao Road, Mysore.

Kamataka Government sells a variety of handicrafts like sandal oil, sandal soap, incense sticks, and artistic items from ivory, rose wood and sandal wood. Whether or not you intend to buy anything you should not miss to visit the shop. Except Sunday it remains open from 10-00 to 14-00 & 15-30 to 19-30.

Other reliable shops in Mysore

Craft Emporium, Vinobha Rd
Kamataka Silk Industry, R K R Circle.
Sri Lakshmi Fine Arts & Crafts, opposite the zoo.
KSIC's Silk Shop. KR circle and Indiranagar

Places to see in Mysore:

Mysore Palace

While entering the crafted and ornamented gate of the palace the gold gilted temple-dome on the left will amaze you. A row of temples of Hindu Gods like Bhubaneswari, Gayatri, Gopal-Krishnaswami, Nabagraha, Trinayaneswar and Barahaswami are present in the palace compund. The wood-built old palace was ruined by fire 1897. The present palace was designed in the by Henry Irwin. In 1897-1921 and was built for the 24th Wadyar king. At the enhance on the ground floor there is Gombe thotti or dolls museum, where Dashera Festival used to be held with these dolls. King's Howda (elephant-seat), ornamented by pure (24 carat) gold and battery-operated red-green signal system decorated by valuable stones are exhibited.

Inside the palace, there is an octagonal pavilion used to held marriage ceremonies. The walls of the room decorated with 26 panel paintings by four Indian painters and it took 15 yearrs to complete.

Brass pillars, chandelier, peacock engraved in coloured glass, floor made of mosaic tiles, the shape of which is like a peacock, chairs (made of silver) of Maharaja and Lord Mountbatten are the main attractions of Kalyan mandap.

Climbing up the marble steps you will find the Durbar Hall where there is the famous throne made of 280 kg gold and well decorated by precious stones is exhibited. This famous throne came to Mysore as a souvenir of King Wadyar's victory over Vijayanagar. Another opinion is that, this was a gift from the emperor Aurangzeb. Durbar Hall is enriched with attractive glasses, precious ivory and stone crafts. Walls decorated with expensive stones, door of solid silver, Byzantine mosaic floor, decorated ceiling made of mahogany wood with engraved images of Vishnu (10 incarnations), intricately designed pillars has made the Durbar hall exquisite . From the hall you can see Lalitha Mahal and Chamundi Hill.

Though it is small, the decorated Amba Villa or private durbar hall is also beautiful. The three doors of the private hall are also unique. The middle door is made of silver. The 10 incarnations of Vishnu are engraved on it too. There are also guards of the eight directions of the world. The small idol of Lord Krishna is also admirable. Coloured glass from Belgium, iron pillar from Glasgow, wooden ceiling, chandelier, decorated window, mosaic floor—all these have added to the attraction of the hall.

Oil paintings of the art gallery are also priceless. Beside these, a replica of the British crown, polished in gold, is kept in a glass case, sword of Tipu and Hyder Ali, tiger-nail of Shivaji, furniture made of sandalwood and ivory articles have made the palace inimitable.

Son of the ex-Maharaja lives in the back portion of the palace. He has opened a museum there.

The palace is illuminated on holidays and in the evenings during festivals (from 19-00 to 20-00). Entrance through the southern gate, open from 10-00 to 17-00.

Jagmohan Palace or Jaya Chamrajendra Art Gallery :

The palace was built in 1861 on the occasion of Krishnaraja Wadyar's marriage and in 1915 the palace was converted into a museum of antiques.

The collection of paintings, specially on the first floor S L Haldekar's painting of the 'Lady with the lamp' is superb. If you put off the lights in the room and walk towards the painting slowly, it seems that the lady is slowly approaching towards you with the lamp in her hand. The paintings of Ravi Verma, Nicolas Roerich and others are real treasures of the museum.

The collection of musical instruments deserves special mention. The unconventional parade-clock at the entrance is unique. The wooden Ganesh image on tortoise-back is remarkable.
Camera is not allowed inside. It is open from 8-00 am to 12-00 pm and 2-30 pm to 5-00 pm, It remains closed on Thursday and holidays.

Chamrajendra Zoological Garden :

Built in 1832, Mysore Zoo is an attractive tourist spot 3 km to the east of the palace. Near about 1500 animals including tiger, elephant, lion, birds and reptiles are presen in that zoo.

Except Friday it remains open from 8-00-11-30 and 14-00 to 18-00.
KSTDC has started a restaurant Maurya Rhino Kiosk, for the refreshment of tourists at zoo.

Lalita Mahal:

On the way to Chamundi, on the hilly slope, this Royal Guest House was built by Krishnaraja IV in 1930. Now it has been converted in lo a 5-star Hotel run by ITDC. Tourists may visit the palace after taking permission from the superintendent. The Italian marble steps of the dining hall of the Hotel are simply amazing.

Chamundi Hill :

Chamundi hill has a height of 1095 meter. The temple on the top of it was built by Krishnaraja Wadyar III, where a golden idol of goddess Chamundeswari (Durga) is worshipped. The architecture of the temple is also magnificent. On the top of the temple there is an image of Mahishasur. From the hill, the illuminated Mysore city and the surrounding scenery are nice view. The journey to the hill is also delightful. Midwayto the route of Chamundi hill, amonolithic statue of Nandi carved out of black granite engross the tourists.

Chamundi can be reached either by a packaged tour from the city or a direct bus (Route -101) from Mysore . From Chamundi, the last bus goes to the city is at 21-00 Hrs. Auto, taxies are also available.

The temple remains open from 6-00 Hrs to 12-00 Hrs & 17-00 Hrs to 20-00 Hrs.

The summer resort of royal family has now been converted into a Hotel. Hotel Rajendra Vilas Palace, Chamundi Hill - 570019, Ph: 2520690.

Other places apart from these worth visiting are Lokaranjan Mahal, Cheluvamba Mansion (Food Research Centre of Central Govt), Municipal office, Krishna Rajendra Hospital, Medical College Museum, Exhibition House, St Philomona Cathedral etc.

Though the sandal-oil factory (8 km from the city) is not included in conducted tour package, you may make a separate trip there. It is open for the visitors from 8-00 Hrs to 12-00 Hrs & 13-00 Hrs to 17-00 Hrs except Sundays and Thursdays.

With prior permission you may also visit (8-00 Hrs to16-30 Hrs, except Sundays) the silk factory. You can buy silk clothes and materials here. This factory is run by the government.

There is the Art & Archaeological Museum and Chamrajendra Technical Institute. Articles made of ivory, sandal wood and metals are being manufactured there.

Railway Museum near rail station is also unique place to visit. Saloon car of the queen including royal toiletries is a great attraction. Collections from 1888 of Indian Railways are exhibited in the museum. This museum remain open to all from 10-00 Hrs to 13-00 Hrs & 15-00 Hrs to 17-00 Hrs except Monday.

Folk Art Museum (Estd in 1928), with a collection of folk art of Kamataka is another place to visit. Open from 10-30 Hrs to 17-30 Hrs, except 2nd Saturdays and Sundays.

Enthusiastic tourists may visit the Sree Mahalingeswar Temple, 13 km from the city. A temple has been built as a replica of 800 yrs old Hoysala Temple. A new image of the god has been erected as the old one is ruined. Besides, Shivalinga, Ganesha and two-handed image of Durga are there in the temple. Bus, taxi and, auto are available from the city to visit this temple.

In Mysore, another thrilling experience is to join Kheda Operation. This is the technique of trapping of wild elephants. This operation is conducted by the governmentt in Korapur forest (55 km to the south of Mysore) will be a lifetime experience.

Jagmohan Art Gallery and Palace are two spots within walking distance from the bus stand and are not included in the conducted tour to save the time.

Brindavan Garden & Krishnarajasagar Barrage

A 3 km long 40 m high dam stands on Cauveri river 16 km from Srirangapatna, 22 km from Mysore, 28 km from Somnathpur and 153 km from Bangalore. The construction was started in 1911 and was completed in 1931. Envisaged by M. Bisheswaraiya, the dam was constructed with stone (without cement) to supply water to Simsa Hydro¬electric project of Shivasamudram round the year. Boating arrangement are also there and it is a nice picnic spot.

Designed in Mughal pattern, Brindavan Garden is built step by step from below the dam. Fountains, flower beds, topiary sail have made the environment beautiful and dreamy. In the evening the garden is illuminated and looks gorgeous.

Conducted tours is also there from Bangalore to see Brindavan Gardens.

Biligirirangan :

Biligiri means white mountains. It is 90 km from Mysore, adjacent to Keyatiiadebara Gudi or K-Gudi, in a 324 sq km evergreen forest at an altitude of 4000 ft.

the Biligiri - Rangaswamy Temple Sanctuary or, Biligirirangan was established in 1974. Tiger, elephant, gaur, leopard, chital, shambar and various other species of wild animals inhabit in this Sanctuary. There are variety of birds.

Package tour visitors stay here at the tents (double bed) of B R hills wildlife adventure resorts Ph: + 91 8226 296086

Nearest railway station is Chamrajnagar, is 2 hrs by train from Mysore. Bus services are also available from Mysore and Chamrajnagar. Private cars and jeeps are also available to reach here.

Dashera festival of Mysore

Dashera is the most aattractive festival of Mysore. Mahanabami festival of Wadeyar kings used to be observed till 1610 AD. This festival has been changed into the Dashera festival. Tourists from all over the world come here to take part in this festival. A colorful procession is held to celebrate the victory of Devi Chamundeswari or Durga over Mahishasur is really amusing. After ornamentation in colorful dresses, the golden idol of Devi Chamundeswari is taken out for procession. In the past, the Maharaja himself took part in this procession on an elephant on the last day of the festival. The procession reaches Bani Mandap at the base of Chamundi Hill.

The venue of the festival is the huge courtyard of the palace. It is observed for ten days and nine nights. Cultural functions are integral part of the festival. The courtyard reverberates with songs and music.

Another attraction of the festival is torchlight parade. The entire city celebrates the festival with pomp. Fireworks also form a part of it. Generally, Dashera is celebrated in October.

If you plan to visit during Dashera book the hotel beforehand.

This resource is published in India study Channel in two parts

Part One

Part two

1 comment:

Earl John said...

Great post! Thanks for the information almost all the details that a tourist needed is here. This is the place to be for travelers because of its tourist attractions.