Mysore is known as the ‘City of Palaces’ but it has a number of beautiful temples as well. The members of the Royal family of Mysore were very religious and hence built new temples, renovated and expanded existing ones. Most of the temples are located in the fort or around the Palace. Few of the temples existed for centuries before the Wodeyars of Mysore and some were built during their reign. There is no doubt that the Chamundeshwari temple on top of the Chamundi hills is the most famous temple in Mysore.
The Chamundeshwari TempleThe Chamundeshwari Temple is considered as a Shakti Peetha and one among the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas. It is known as Krouncha Pitham as the region was known in Puranic times as Krouncha Puri. It is located on the top of Chamundi Hills about 13 km from the palace city of Mysore in the state of Karnataka in India. The temple has a seven storey tall Gopura decorated with intricate carvings. The deity of the goddess is said to be made of gold and the temple doors of silver.
Prasanna Krishnaswamy TempleKrishnaraja Wodeyar III built the Prasanna Krishnaswamy temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna the founder of the Yadu dynasty. Construction of temple began 1825 and was completed in 1829. He presented the temple with about 40 bronze statues of Gods, Goddesses and saints. His name was inscribed next to the name of the statue. This temple is known for its Kirshna Janmashtami celebrations. During the eight day celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday a religious procession is organized from this temple.
Mahabaleshwar TempleMahabaleshwar Temple in Mysore dates back to as early as 8th century. Built by the Ganga kings, the architecture of this temple is a nice blend of the Ganga and Hoysala dynasty. The main deity of Mahabaleshwar Temple is Lord Shiva who is flanked by Parvati on his side. Then there is an idol of Nandi which is situated in front of the main idol. You will also find images of Seven Mothers (Sapta Mata) inside the temple premises. It is one among the most ancient and beautiful temples of the South.
Tipu Sultan PalaceTipu Sultan Palace also known as the Tiger of Mysore and Tipu Sahib, was a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore and a scholar, soldier and poet. Tipu was the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore and his wife Fatima Fakhr-un-Nisa. Tipu Sultan Fort was initially built by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore. The fort was later extended by Tipu Sultan, the Emperor of Mysore. Situated near the City Market, the fort dates back to the year 1537. It was here that Hyder Ali, the father of Tipu Sultan, imprisoned David Baird, along with a number of other army officers of the British.
The Jaganmohan PalaceThe Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore is one of the oldest buildings in Mysore. This Palace is more that 150 years old. Like the Mysore Palace this Palace too is a beautiful and ornamental Palace built by the Kings of Mysore. In the 150 years of its existence this Palace has witnessed a number of important events that have been instrumental in shaping the destiny of the modern State of Mysore today known as Karnataka.
Mysore Maharaja PalaceMysore Palace or Mysore Maharaja Palace is one of the largest and most spectacular monuments in the country. Also known as Amba Vilas, it is located in the heart of the city of Mysore. The palace was initially built by the Wodeyar kings in the 14th century. Unfortunately, as it was made of out wood it got burnt down in 1897 during a royal wedding. The current palace construction was commissioned in 1897 and was completed by 1912. Designed by the famous British architect, Henry Irwin, it was built for the twenty-fourth Wodeyar Raja.
The St. Philomena’s ChurchThe St. Philomena’s Church in Mysore is one of the oldest churches in India. It is over 200 years old. Initially over 250 years ago there was a small church in its place. When the capital of Mysore state was move from Srirangapatnam to Mysore city in 1799, many British officers and soldiers came and settled down in Mysore. The Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III realized the need for a Christian church for these people.
Brindavan GardenOne of the most visited places in Mysore by locals and by tourists is the famous Brindavan Gardens. Located about 19kms from the heart of Mysore these beautiful gardens are laid out below the Krishnaraja Sagar dam built across the river Cauvery. These gardens are famous for the illuminated dancing fountains that come to life after sunset. The Krishnaraja Sagar Dam itself is a superb example of excellent engineering and itself is a tourist attraction in Mysore.
The Art galleryThe art gallery contains one of the largest collection of artefacts in South India. Most of these artefacts are paintings, prominent among which are those by Raja Ravi Varma, some of which demonstrate scenes from the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharatha. The collection of paintings in the gallery exceed 2000 in number and these belong to different Indian styles of painting like Mysore, Mughal and Shantiniketan.
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