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The Grandeur Of The Mysore Dasara

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Written on 6:53 AM by Reethi


The 10-day grand Dasara festivities began today in this historic town with lighting of a lamp and special puja to Goddess Chamundeswari, the main deity, atop the Chamundi Hills in Mysore. Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, the scion of the Mysore Royal Family, performed a puja inside the palace premises earlier today. He would also observe religious chores as laid down by the texts and ascend the priceless golden throne on the occasion.

To celebrate the ten-day festival with all its traditional glory and splendour, the state government has released Rs 10 crore for the grand event.

More About Mysore Dasara: Dasara is the Nadahabba (state-festival) of the state of Karnataka. It is also called as Navaratri (Nava-ratri = nine-nights) and is a 10-day festival with the last day being Vijayadashami, the most auspicious day of Dasara. Dasara usually falls in the month of September or October. According to a legend, Vijayadashami denotes the victory of truth over evil and was the day when the Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura. Mahishasura is the demon from whose name; the name Mysore has been derived. The city of Mysore has a long tradition of celebrating the Dasara festival and the festivities here are an elaborate affair and attract a large audience including foreigners.

Visitors Guide to Mysore Dasara:

Hotel / Resort Names Phone Nos.
Dasaprakash Paradise 2410366
Hotel Maharaja 2426665
Metropole 5255566
Lalitha Mahal Palace 2470470
Mayura Hoysala 2525349
Mayura Yatrinivas 2423492
Dasaprakash 2444455
Mysore Hotel Complex 2426217
Nalpad 2491117
Ramanashree 2522202
Roopa 2443770
Roost 2410077
Royal Inn 2415132
Sandesh de Prince 2436777
Sree Guru Residency 5269111
Siddhartha 2522999
Southern Star 2426426
The Green Hotel 2512536
President 2425111
Olive Garden 2432729

What to See At Mysore:

Temples

The Chamundeswari Temple, atop the hill of Chamundi, is of great religious significance. It is dedicated to the Goddess Chamundi or Durga, who killed the demon king. This temple earlier was a small one, but later was expanded under the Wodeyar rule. It displays Dravidian influence in some of its architecture. It is quadrangular in shape, and there is a statue of the Lord Ganesha on the doorway.

The Mahabaleshwar Temple, which is said to be older than the Chamundeswari Temple, which somehow lost its importance with the latter gaining significance. Inside this temple you can see images and statues which have been built in the styles of Hoysala, Ganga and Chola art.

The Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna, and built by a Wodeyar ruler, dates back to the 18th century. The temple is home to as many 40 bronze statues of gods and saints. One can also see the statue of the ruler who built this temple. Another very old temple is the Lakshmiramana Swamy Temple, which is home to the presiding deity Nambinarayana, said to be one of the forms of Lord Vishnu. It is located inside the Palace. The temple also has enshrined the Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Venugopala.


The Trinesvaraswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva and located in the Mysore fort's north east end, is yet another temple to visit. It has been built after the Dravidian style and belongs to a time much before the rule of Raja Wodeyar.There are many other temples that you can visit like the Gayathri Temple, Someswara Temple, Kodi Bhairava Temple and the Bhuvaneshwari Temple.

Palaces

Mysore is known as the City of Palaces. Having been the Capital of Karnataka before it shifted to Bangalore, a large many royal families ruled here. Out of the many palaces built, those from the Wodeyar Dynasty are said to be quite noteworthy. The Mysore Palace is said to be the most magnificent and looks even more captivating on festive nights when it is lit up with as many as 97,000 light bulbs. Located in the city's centre, this is said to be the fourth one that stands there on the very same site.

This Palace is also called the Main Palace or the Amba Vilasa Palace , and it has drawn influences from Dravidian, Oriental, Roman and Indo-Saracenic architectural styles and is a three storeyed structure made of grey granite. You enter this palace through a Doll's Pavilion called Gombe Thotti, which is home to dolls from the 19th and 20th centuries. Another interesting feature is the seven cannons in front of this pavilion which are still used at the beginning and end of the Dusshera festival. The Palace houses 12 temples.

The Jaganmohan Palace is 150 years old and is very much like the Mysore Palace in terms of its beauty. Built in the 18th century, this was initially built in wood, which later got burnt down and was rebuilt. This is the palace where the King Krishnaraja Wodeyar was coronated as well as wed. The Palace is home to the Jayachamarejendra Art Gallery.

The Lalita Mahal Palace is another palace located atop a hill and 11kms from Mysore. This was built during the reign of the King Krishnaraj Wodeyar, mainly as a home to the Viceroy of India. Today it has been converted into a heritage property by the India Tourism Development Corporation.

Museums

The museums talk about the rich cultural past of the city. A museum to visit is the Jayachamarejendra Art Gallery inside the Jaganmohan Palace, which is a reservoir of rare art, artefacts, and paintings. A three-storeyed structure, the ground floor comprises paintings depicting the lineage of the Mysore Kings; the first floor with paintings from artists world over and in India; the second floor, home to many musical instruments; and the third floor once again with a gallery of paintings depicting the Dusshera processions.

The other museums are the Regional Museum of Natural History, Railway Museum and the Folklore Museum.

Other sightseeing:

St. Philomena's Church is said to be one of the oldest churches in India at 200 years old. It was built in 1933 in place of a smaller church that existed there, to cater to the increasing number of Christians in the city, during the reign of King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The church is built in the Gothic style and said to be one of the largest Cathedrals in South Asia. It houses the relic of the saint Philomena, located below the altar.

Brindavan Gardens

This is one of the most popular places visited by people from all over. Located 19kms from Mysore, it is below the Dam of Krishnaraja Sagar, and is known for its dancing fountains that are illuminated and come to life in the evenings.

Mysore Zoo

With a backdrop of the Chamundi hill, and an artificial lake within it, this Zoo is a famous attraction of Mysore. It is more than a century old and was built initially in a part of the Summer Palace by the King Chamaraja Wodeyar, a passionate nature lover. In fact, he also set up the famous Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary. Later on the zoo was expanded from ten acres to 45 acres, and was thrown open to the public.

Lakes

There are several lakes that are great picnic spots, and also a bird watcher's paradise. The lakes to visit are the Karanji Lake at the foothill of Chamundi, where you can also boat, the Kukkaranahalli Lake and the Lingabudi Lake

Mysore is famous for its silk sarees and sandalwood. You can shop at places like Cauvery Art and Crafts Emporium, and on roads like Ashoka, Sayyaji Rao and Devaraj Urs.

Srirangapattana

This island on the Kaveri was Tipu Sultan's capital. Now it is a nostalgic reminder of Tipu's bravery and his final defeat in the hands of the British. Tipu's Fort lies in ruins around. You can just see remnants of the fortress ramparts, the bathing ghats, dungeons, and the moat.

Some distance away is Tipu's summer palace, which is now a museum of his belongings.

The Sri Ranganatha Temple, the Jami Masjid built by Tipu, and the Church of Abe Dubois, the French scholar who lived there during Tipu's times, are places of worship from three representative religions of India.

Excursions:

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is on a group of six small islands on the River Kaveri, 20km away from Mysore. It was established by Dr. Salim Ali and is a great place for birdwatching or simply enjoying the outdoors.

You could visit the temple of Somnathpur, built in the peak of the Hoysala rule in 1268. It is shaped like a star and has elaborate carvings on its walls. It is 40 km distance from Mysore.

The monolith of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola in Hassan district (93km from Mysore) is a must-see. The gigantic statue of Bahubali or Gomateshwara is carved out of the hill
side and is 17 m high. It draws pilgrims from all over India.

Melkote, 60kms from Mysore, is another place of pilgrimage which is also home to some of oldest rock formations in the earth's history.

The famous Bandipur National Park home to a variety of wildlife is another great place to visit. It is 80 km from Mysore along the Ootacamund highway.

Visit the waterfalls of Bharachukki and Gaganachukki at Shivanasamudra, 85 kms from Mysore.

Tourism Info:

Regional Tourist Information

Old Exhibition Building

Irwin Road,Mysore

Tel: 91-821-2422096 / 91-80-22352828



Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation

Yatrinivas Buildings

J.L.B.Road

Mysore

Tel: 91-821-26352

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