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Mysore was the political capital of the Wodeyar dynasty which ruled the state of Karnataka for some 150 years till the independence of the country from the British. These kings were great patrons of art and culture and Mysore was the cultural capital of the south under the rule of the Wodeyars. The Wodeyars made the Dasara festival an event. To showcase the rich culture and heritage of the town. Even to this date this celebration of the Dasara which is a 10 day celebration during the month of September / October is a spectacular event to watch. Mysore is a city of palaces, gardens, shady avenues and sacred temples.
Mysore Sightseeing Places: The Mysore Palace:
The palace was originally built of wood, which got burnt down in 1897 AD and was rebuilt in 1912 AD. The Mysore Palace, built is Indo-Saracenic style with domes turrets, arches and colonnades; the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. The tastefully decorated and intricately carved doors open into luxuriously decorated rooms.
The walls of the palace are painted with pictures of the Dasara processions and these paintings are painted in such a manner that from any angle you can see the procession coming towards you. The royal throne of the Wodeyars is displayed during the Dasara festival.
Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery:
It is popularly known as Jaganmohan Palace.The Jaganmohan Palace was converted into an art gallery in the year 1875. It exhibits paintings, which date back to that period. The artists of that time used natural vegetable and mineral dyes. The famous traditional Mysore "Gold leaf" paintings are also exhibited in the gallery, as oil paintings of contemporary artists like Raja Ravi Varma and Svetoslav Roerich.
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St. Church Philomena''s:
This beautiful Cathedral was built in 1956 and is one of the largest churches in the country. It has been built in the Gothic style with beautiful stain glass windows and lofty towers. The illuminated church in the evening is a wonderful site not to be missed.
Forming the backdrop of the city is the 1,100-feet-high Chamundi Hill. On the top of the hill stands the temple dedicated to the Goddess Chamundeshwari, the royal family''s patron deity. To reach the temple one can either drive through the 13-km stretch up to the summit or climb the 1,000 stone steps. Nearby the temple stands the huge statue of Mahishasura, the demon slain by the Goddess. Halfway up along the stone steps stands the majestic 4.8-metre monolith of Nandi the Bull, Lord Shiva''s chosen mount. The statue is believed to be 300 years old and its chief attraction, apart from its size, is the meticulous craftsmanship of its ornaments-from its delicate anklets to the magnificent pendant bell around its neck.
Built in 1924, this is India''s first irrigation dam. Sir M. Vishweswariah, the engineer who designed and built this dam, has shown his acumen in converting a dam site into a beautiful garden with colourful fountains and ponds downstream. Brindavan gardens is located 12 Km northwest of Mysore city and has rows-of colourful fountains. Srirangapatna: Island fortress of Tippu Sultan. Visit Tippu’s summer Palace, Gumbaz, and Sri Ranganatha temple. Ranganathittu Bird sanctuary: Just outside Srirangapatna, near Mysore, the Cauvery river meanders around a string of tiny islets, which together form a splendid nesting site for waterfowl. Experience the excitement of a boat ride that takes you within touching distance of the birds as marsh crocodiles bask in the sun. Delight in watching the winged visitors making happy forays into the water. You could also test your powers of observation by trying to spot flying foxes hanging on the highest branches of the tallest trees at dusk. Surrounding Places of Interest: Sangama: This is 3 Kms from Srirangapatna where the two branches of the river Cauvery reunite in joyful exuberance. Somanathapur 35 Kms east is this famous village which has the 13th century Hoysala Temple. The temple is in excellent condition has frescoed exteriors with episodes from the epics.
Shivanasamudra: 85 Kms east of Mysore, where the river Cauvery cascades down in two picturesque waterfalls. Falling down from a height of 75 meters into a deep rocky gorge, these falls are best during the monsoons. 1.5 Kms away is Asia''s first hydroelectric project set up in 1905.
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