Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. It is the headquarters of the Mysore district and the Mysore division and lies about 140 km (87 mi) southwest of Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka. The city is spread across an area of 128.42 km2 (50 sq mi) and is situated at the base of the Chamundi Hills. Mysore is one of the most important tourist centers of the Karnataka state of India. Mysore is also known as Palace City of India. The Mysore Palace in the city is one of the most visited monuments in India, even beating Red Fort, Qutb Minar in 2006.
Mysore Palace: It is a palace situated in the city. It was the official residence of the former royal family of Mysore and also housed the durbar (royal offices). The term \"Palace of Mysore\" specifically refers to one of these palaces, Amba Vilas.
Brindavan Gardens is a show garden that has a beautiful botanical park, full of exciting fountains, as well as boat rides beneath the dam. Diwans of Mysore planned and built the gardens in connection with the construction of the dam. Display items include a musical fountain. Various biological research departments are housed here. There is a guest house for tourists. It is situated at Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) dam.
Jaganmohan Palace : It was built in 1861 by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in a predominantly Hindu style to serve as an alternate palace for the royal family. This palace housed the royal family when the older Mysore Palace was burnt down by a fire. The palace has three floors and has stained glass shutters and ventilators. It has housed Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery since the year 1915. The collections exhibited here include paintings from the famed Travancore ruler, Raja Ravi Varma and the Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich and many paintings of the Mysore painting style.
Chamundi Hills is close to the palace city of Mysore. Its average elevation is 1,000 metres. A panoramic view of the city is seen from the top of the hills. Among other landmarks, you can see the racecourse, the Lalitha Mahal palace, Mysore Palace, Karanji and Kukkarahalli lakes. At dusk, the view of the city is especially beautiful, and on Sunday evenings and during the Dasara festival, the illuminated Mysore Palace glitters like gold.
St. Philomena\'s Church : It is a church built in the honour of St. Philomena in the city of Mysore. It was constructed in 1956 using a Neo Gothic style and its architecture was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. In 1926, Thamboo Chetty who was a secretary to the Maharaja of Mysore, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar obtained a relic of the saint from Peter Pisani, Apostolic Delegate of the East Indies. This relic was handed over to Father Cochet who approached the king to assist him in constructing a church in honour of St. Philomena. The Maharaja of Mysore laid the foundation stone of the church on 28 October 1933. In his speech on the day of the inauguration, the Maharaja is quoted to have said: The new church will be strongly and securely built upon a double foundation — Divine compassion and the eager gratitude of men. The construction of the church was completed under Bishop Rene Fuga\'s supervision. The relic of St. Philomena is preserved in a catacomb below the main altar of St. Philomena\'s Church in Mysore.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion : This palace was built in 1905 by Chamaraja Wodeyar for his eldest daughter Jayalakshmi Devi. This mansion has three wings and contains a series of twin Corinthian and Ionic columns, regal pediments and oval ventilators. The mansion was originally built with a cost of Rs. 7 lakhs. This mansion was acquired by the Mysore University to house its post-graduate campus. It was renovated in 2002 from funding provided by Infosys foundation. The main hall in this mansion is the Kalyana Mantapa, which has an eight-petal shaped dome with stained glass windows with a gold-plated Kalasha(tower) at the top. A new gallery called as Writer\'s Gallery has been created in the Kalyana Mantapa hall that will exhibit personal items, photographs, awards and writings of renowned writers of Kannada. A special illumination system has also been added to this heritage structure. This mansion is said to be the first university museum complex in the country.
Lalitha Mahal: It is the second largest palace in Mysore. It is located near the Chamundi Hills, east of the city. The architect of this palace was Mr. E. W. Fritchley. The palace was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV in 1921 for the exclusive stay of the Viceroy of India. The palace is pure white in colour and is built in the style of Italian palazzo with twin Ionic columns and domes. It also has a sprawling terrace and landscaped gardens.
Regional Museum of Natural History: This museum is located on the banks of the Karanji lake in Mysore and has exhibits related to biological diversity, ecology and geology of Southern India.
Folk Lore Museum: This museum is located in the University of Mysore campus and exhibits over 6500 folk art and crafts from all over the state of Karnataka.
Elephant & calf in the Mysore Zoo
Parks and Gardens: Mysore has about 180 parks and playgrounds. Most of the residential areas have their own small parks: e.g. Ambedkar Park in Jayanagar a southern city district has a 500 metre perimeter footpath. The newly built Andolan Circle Park has a walking track that takes five minutes for one round. This park is near Kuvempu Nagar in South Bangalore, but many Mysoreans prefer to walk around the lakes, which pepper the landscape such as the central Kukarahalli Kere by the university where the journey around is about 4.5 kilometres. Another is the Lingabudhi Kere, which has a beautiful footpath with bamboo forests and again takes more than 20 minutes for one round in this park. It is a desirable neighbourhood to the southwest called Rama Krishna Nagar, 5 km away from the city centre.
Rail Museum: This museum is located near the Mysore Railway station and is the second one of its kind established in India after the one at Delhi. This museum exhibits ancient locomotives and carriages some of which are still in working condition. Photographs and books related to railway are also present.
Oriental Research Institute, formerly known as the Oriental Library, established in 1891 contains over 33000 palm leaf manuscripts .
Mysore Zoo : One of the oldest and most popular zoos in India. Located on the outskirts of Mysore. The zoo is home to a wide range of wild species. The official name for the zoo is Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, though it is known commonly by its shortened name. Mysore Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions. It was established under royal patronage in 1892, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world.
Happy Man Park : The Happy Man Park near Kamakshi Hospital, some three kilometres from the railway station is a very popular hangout of children and parents. The park is quite compact in size, but contains a mini zoo and many hens and ducks roam around the lawns freely. The park is landscaped with a little stream and ‘wooden’ bridges. Some kind of radio or music is played through little loudspeakers scattered around the park. The park is open from 4.30pm to 9.00pm and the crowd is quite big around 6.00pm. It is also open for a while in the morning for the benefit of joggers. The main attraction of the park is a statue of a ‘Happy Man’ with a pot belly representing the unhealthy eating habits of the Mysorean people.
Wax Museum - Melody World : Based on music and musical instruments. This one-of-its kind in the world wax museum exhibits over 100 life-size wax statues and over 300 musical instruments categorised in various bands and stage settings representing Stone Age to Modern instruments. Some of the bands displayed are of Indian Classical North & South, Punjabi Bhangra, South Indian, Jazz, Rock, Middle East etc. It was established in October 2010. It is open everyday from 9.30am until 7.00pm and located at #1 Vihara Marga, Sidhartha Layout, Mysore.
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