Mysore – Heritage Destinations in Karnataka
Name one place that is famous for sandalwood, ivory, silk and wooden carved furniture – It has to be the Mysore of Karnataka. Located a few kilometers from Bangalore, this magnificent city (also the second largest city in the whole state of Karnataka) lies near the Chamundi Hills. It is one of the best-known tourist destinations in India. The most charming thing about it is its mystic appeal. It may have grown modern over the time, but nonetheless the mystical antique charm is still intact. Yet it is renowned for its silk and sandalwood, and that it deserves to be.
Mysore was the capital city of the famous Wodeyar dynasty since the fourteenth century and it was until India got its freedom from the British. For a brief time, it was ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, but the Wodeyars again conquered it back from that. And since then, Mysore has always been some kind of fantasyland for all of us. It welcomes tourists from within India and from other parts of the world. It has been hailed as the city of awesome temples, cool shady avenues, high imposing buildings and beautiful gardens. How can we forget the soothing atmosphere of Mysore? Lying at a level of around 770m over sea level, this place enjoys a very soothing and calm climate, neither too hot nor too cold.
The name Mysore comes from the word ‘Mahishashura’ or ‘Mahisur’. It is supposed to be the town of a demon king who lived here. The goddess Chamundeshwari killed the atrocious buffalo headed monster ‘Mahisur’. This place is very rich in history and culture. It dates back to the age of the Mahabharata. We find proofs of the Ganga dynasty who ruled here from the second to the tenth century. Then you have the Cholas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagar dynasty and then the Yadu dynasty at last in the 13th century.
If you are looking for a great tour to the India’s past, you should visit this place. You will find the Mysore Palace. You will love this mansion of a building, built on a rare Indo-Saracenic style and has seven arches just on the entrance. It is of three storeys but the tower goes up to five storeys and it is about 150ft high. The general people can only see the Gombi Thotti, Kalyana Mandapam, Amba Vila and Durbar Hall. The Kalyana Mandapam is extremely beautiful with lots of scenes of the Dasara festival printed on the walls. You will love the stained glass ceiling with the peacock design. Then there’s the Durbar Hall with some of the most wonderful pictures of the royal family painted by Raja Ravi Varma. On the first floor itself, you get the Amba Vilas with exquisite designs on doors and walls.
How can someone miss the sight of the sumptuous royal throne build fully of gold pillars and umbrella?
Are you willing to cover the 1000 steps to see the Chamundi deity? It is in the famous Chamundi hills. You will also find a giant statue of the demon ‘Mahishashura’ and the Nandi bull as well.
Built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Brindavan Gardens stand as a mark of beauty and purity to the tourists. Fraught with pretty flowerbeds, pools, fountains, these place rocks at night when it is illuminated.
Daria Daulat Bagh is one place that you should visit. It contains the memories of the brave Tipu Sultan. It roars of the bravado of Tipu Sultan against the British. Even the place where he fell dead is delineated. Then there’s the museum, the tomb of Tipu Sultan.
It is called one of the best heritage destinations in Karnataka for a reason. When you go out shopping, the sandal soaps, and the incense sticks, silk saris are enough to mesmerize anyone.
You should also visit the Jagan Mohan Art Gallery. Some of the best paintings and sculptures are to be found here.
When it is art, architecture and education, Mysore is the best heritage destination in Karnataka.