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10 mesmerising places to visit in the majestic Mysore

Today we are talking about the city of palaces- Mysore, also known as Mysuru, meaning the citadel. Being the cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore will not let you down and stand up to the expectations of providing the most exquisite and royal experience you will ever get anywhere else. The city itself is a wonder to set our eyes on and once in this city, you cannot miss visiting these places that I am going to tell you about in this article. Every place in Mysore has a string of history attached to the Wadiyars of the Wodeyars, the royal family of Mysore. The colors and the variety of experience that you will have will not cease to give you those memory trains and let waste no more time talking but move on to know what these mesmerizing places are.

The top 10 places that you can visit in Mysore and which are the most delightful in this cultural capital are:

Mysore Palace: Exploring this heavenly city has to start with the Mysore Palace or the Mysore Aramane as it is called by the locals. The lavish and lordly palace is home to the Wodeyars and is the most exotic thing you will visit in the city. Built by the first Wodeyar king, this structure has been rebuilt and redesigned so many times and lastly transformed into this hypnotizing beauty by Sir Henry Irwin. This palace is now the second most visit historical monument in India and has an annual footfall of around 6 million. The palace is open to tourists and locals but the Royal family still lives in a part of the palace. The pomp and show of the Wodeyars and Mysore are seen during the Dasara festival in which this queen of Mysore is illuminated with approximately 98,260 bulbs. The conventional Dasara procession that starts from the palace and the celebrations inviting famous artists to perform in the festival is the main attraction to watch if you are in the city in September or October. The blinding beauty of the interiors, mahogany ceilings, kaleidoscopes, paintings, the Amba Vilas Hall, the regal seat of the Maharaja is an absolute treat to the eyes.

Philomena Church: Also known as the second tallest church in Asia, this church is a sublime beauty especially in the evening if you get the chance of watching it get illuminated. The beautiful Victorian-style structure in a shape of a cross is one of the most famous churches in India and has also been featured in many Bollywood movies because of its surreal beauty. The church is also a symbol of harmony maintained during the era of the kings as this initial church was built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar to serve the needs of the European community who had settled in Mysore. The church was expanded afterward when the European community grew a lot in number and a need for a larger church arose. The church contains the relics of St. Philomena in its catacomb that was brought from Peter Pisani, the apostolic delegates of East Indies.

Karanji Lake: This amazingly peaceful and soothing lake was built as a percolation tank by the Mysore King for catering to the needs of the people and for irrigation. Also known as the Fountain Lake, it is a complete delight for birdwatchers and photographers because of the photogenic lake, sunset, and just nature adorned with its simplicity. The excellent flora and fauna make it a perfect spot for you to relax, have a picnic with your family or just go on a quest of exploring the unmatched flora and fauna of the place. The lake is spread in around 55 hectares along with 35 hectares of foreshore area with 90 hectares of just verdant greenery. Boating in the lake would also be an amazing idea and fun activity. The flora that surrounds the lake is home to at least about 147 species of birds ranging from the sandpipers, Asian open billed stark, ringed parakeet, etc to the grey pelicans all of b=which is very rare to catch a glimpse of and you can also see some of the migratory birds come here during some seasons from all over the world. Fantastic, isn’t it?

Jagmohan Palace: The Jagmohan palace also, like most of the other attractions in Mysore is built by one of the Mysore kings, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar III. Built-in traditional Hindu architecture and was built for the royal family to shift after the Mysore Palace got burnt down during the wedding of Princess Jayalakshmi Ammani. The outlandish grandeur of the palace is a spectacle along with the extremely breathtaking carvings of Dasavatara or the incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The palace displays a plethora of rare paintings of many artists like Raja Ravi Verma, Rabindranath Tagore, and Haldenkar. There are as many as 2000 paintings in the palace now put on display for the tourists of all styles like Mughal, Mysore, and Shantiniketan. The stunning world-renowned painting of the Lady with the Lamp painted by the famous artist Haldenkar is all present in the palace and is placed as the only painting an entire room that is kept dark to give the illusion of light coming from the painting that is also illuminating the face of the beautiful lady in the picture. You sure don’t want to miss the place from your itinerary.

Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai Garden: Founded by Sri Ganapathi Sachidanand Swamiji, this adorable collection of bonsai plants of 450 varieties brought to this garden from across the world. This unique miniature garden is beautifully decorated with idols throughout the garden like those of the deities Rama, Sita, Laxman, Anjaneya, Ganapathi, and others that make the garden very appealing to the eyes. It is a must-visit for tourists in Mysore and you must include it in your itinerary for some nature-time.

Railway Museum: This unique attraction is one of the earliest such railway museums in India has a wide range of locomotives that were used at that time by the Rajas and Maharajas. Interesting, isn’t it? The one-of-its-kind museum has a lot of rare locomotives which by the way are in proper working condition! The Maharaja of Mysore also contributed some of his vehicles to this enriching treasure which contains the Maharani’s saloon containing a kitchen, a diner, and royal toilet attached to it and also the Austin rail motor car, 1920-built that was converted into a rail car after being devised first for the roads. All these and other amazing locomotives await your curious eyes in this amazing city.

Kukkarhalli Lake: Kukkarahalli Lake is another lake built as irrigation support by Krishnaraja Wodeyar and is spread around 10,000 acres of land outside the city. This is another such place where you can enjoy the soothing sight of beautiful and rare birds. The beauty of this lake has inspired many poets to awaken their creative minds and the famous poet Kuvempu to pen down one of the most fascinating poems of all time. It also finds a mention in RK Narayan’s poem in his autobiography “My Days.” The J-shaped Lake also provides a huge lung space to the city along with maintaining a lively ecosystem. With the Chamundi hills in the background, the jaw-dropping beauty of the lake is something you would not want to miss out on.

Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace: Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace is a symbol of the fatherly love king Chamraja Wodeyar had bestowed upon his daughter princess Jayalakshmi Ammani when she was married off to a diwan Sirdar M. Kantharaj Urs. This grandeur of this palace is no less than any other palace in Mysore and unmatched at that. The palace also has Kukkarahalli Lake on its side that provides a beautiful atmosphere of resplendence and serenity blended into each other. The recently constructed archaeological and folklore museum was take you on a tour of the history of Mysore with a display of rare and age-old artifacts like the 300-year-old temple cart and 6500 different folk arts. Even the people who hate history will fall in love with it once they enter this archaic palace.

Chamundeshwari Temple: Situated on the Chamundi Hills of Mysore, the Chamundeshwari temple is 12km away from Mysore but atop the hill and from the temple, you can see a panoramic view of the city of Mysore with most of its prominent structures visible from up there. This Dravidian-style architecture was built by the Wodeyar because they were ardent devotees of Goddess Chamundeshwari, a form of Goddess Durga. A huge statue of Mahishasura welcomes you to the temple. This temple is one of the 18 Maha Shaktipeeths of Goddess Shakti and thus is very popular among the devotees.

Lalitha Mahal: The Lalitha Mahal is another sumptuous palace built by the Mysore Maharajas. This palace, whoever, was built for a special reason, to host the King’s guest, the Viceroy of India. On the Chamundi Hills is this stately palace that has now been converted into a luxurious hotel molded to give you a completely royal stay experience. The palace hotel is a shimmering white structure built as an Italianate Palazzo with a huge dome that provides a breathtaking view from the hills to its tourists. The palace hotel has 54 stately suites with the most luxurious suite being the Viceroy suite alone with other deluxe and normal suites. The palace also has a lot of recreational games like the Chess Room, billiards room, tennis court, jogging track, health club, swimming pool, and other facilities and the hotel also has ties with the local Sheri Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar Golf Course for golf lovers. It is an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience for most tourists. The special “Mysore Silver Thali” at the gourmet restaurant inside the ballroom is to die for.

After visiting all of these alluring places, I am sure you won’t have any appetite left for most places on your itinerary. Visiting Mysore would be a wholesome and exhausting experience because there is just so much to see and so much to take in. These memories are going to last forever with the vibrant color and scenery all around. So, do visit these places because they are what the real and Grand Mysore stands for.

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