Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Royal Heritage city MYSORE

I recently visited South India. Karnataka to be precise. If  Kerala claims to be God's Own country, the state of Karnataka too has a catchy tagline:

Karnataka : One STATE, MANY WORLDS

I visited the city of MYSORE, which is the cultural capital of the state. The most popular attraction of Mysore is the Royal Palace which was bulit by the Wodeyar dynasty which ruled Mysore for over five centuries.

Mysore is well known for the festivities that take place during the period of Dasara, the state festival of Karnataka. The Dasara festivities, which are celebrated over a ten-day period, were first introduced by King Raja Wodeyar I in 1610.

 On the ninth day of Dasara, called Mahanavami, the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession of decorated elephants, camels and horses.

 On the tenth day, called Vijayadashami, the traditional Dasara procession , locally known as Jumboo Savari is held on the streets of Mysore which usually falls in the month of September or October.. An image of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed on a golden mantapa on the back of a decorated elephant and taken on a procession, accompanied by tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels. The procession starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place called Bannimantapa, where the banni tree  is worshipped.

The Dasara festivities culminate on the night of Vijayadashami with a torchlight parade.

The Chamundi Hills are located in South India, close to the prominent palace city of Mysore, Karnataka. These are among the eight most sacred hills of South India. 

According to legend, the demon Mahishasura, king of the city that is currently known as Mysore, was killed by Goddess Chamundeswari (also Chamundi) after a fierce battle. The goddess is also called Mahishasura Mardini. The hills are named after the goddess, and a temple honors her in the hills. The temple has a beautiful idol of the Goddess Chamundeswari.

The temple has always been patronized by the rulers of Mysore. In early days, the Maharajas of Mysore would decorate the ceremonial Dasara elephant during the annual Dasara festival. It is customary that the idol of Goddess Chamundi is taken on an elephant, since the seventies.
The hill owes its name to the goddess Chamundeshwari who was once a family deity of the royal family. This temple was renovated and the beautiful tall tower was built during the time of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in 1827

. The temple is a fine quadrangular structure. A statue of Mahishasura with a sword in his right hand

 and a cobra in the left is an attraction.
The main idol of the goddess inside the sanctum sanctorum is serene and beautiful.

Just along the return route of the Chamundeshwari temple is the idol of Nandi, the vahan of Lord Shiva.
The idol of Nandi at Chamundi Hills is the fourth largest Nandi in India.

Another tourist attraction is the St. Philomena'Hs Church

St. Philomena's church is a catholic church built in honour of St. Philomena in  MysoreIndia. It was constructed in 1936 using a Neo Gothic style and its architecture was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.

Another major attraction in Mysore are the Brindavan Gardens. It lies adjoining the Krishnarajasagara dam which is built across the river Kaveri.  Visited by close to 2 million tourists per year, the garden is one of the major attractions of Srirangapatna.

The garden is maintained by the Cauvery Niravari Nigama (Cauvery Irrigation Department), a Government of Karnataka enterprise. It is spread across an area of 60 acres .  The main attraction of the park is the musical fountain in which bursts of water are synchronised to the music of songs.
The garden was renovated in 2005 with a cost of Rs. 50 million The renovation included sprucing up the musical fountain using a digitised system and repairs of dysfunctional fountains.

 You'll find vendors selling unexpected foods like seafood : 

The many fountains inside the garden

There is  a musical fountain show inside the garden.  The picture below shows the site of the musical fountain just before it gets dark. The show starts at 7  pm in the night. and lasts for 10 minutes

 The enchanting fountain seem to dance to the bats of popular songs ranging from ones in Kannada to popular  songs like Made  in India, Dhoom and ending with patriotic songs . The show is an absolute must for anyone visiting the garden and hence it is advisable to visit the garden  during the evening in order to be able to enjoy the light and musical fountain show.


  1. Bangalore is a beautiful city.
    My son lives there.We had an exciting drive to Mysore.
    Hope you enjoyed your trip

    1. Yes indeed Bangalore is a gr8 city. i was visiting it after a very long time. Had a hectic but fulfilling trip :)