Mysore City Guide – Visiting the City of Gardens and Palaces

{flickr|100|campaign}

Anyone who has visited Mysore would vouch for the charm the city has to offer. Known to be a city of gardens and palaces, it has many of them to flaunt. The entire city has a sense of serenity to it and the pace here is relaxed and laid-back. A historical town, Mysore has inherited much from its past which reflects not only in its buildings, but also the culture and lifestyle of the city.

Mysore Palace is one place that defines the city and stands tall as an emblem too. Done brilliantly in Indo-Saracenic style the palace has lavish interiors and is adorned by the paintings of the regal family. The most striking feature here is the Durbar Hall with a Golden Throne that weighs something around 200 kgs. Most other rooms and halls inside the palace have stuff of the palace on display. The Doll’s Pavilion is interesting and houses some unique and antique traditional dolls. The Residential Museum has on display things used by royalty. The royal armory is also on display here. The palace has as many as twelve temples within its walls. The best time to enjoy the beauty of the palace is after dark when it is lit up with ninety seven thousand light bulbs.

There are a good number of other palaces in Mysore which are worth watching too. The Jagmohan Palace was the venue of royal Dussera celebrations. The Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace is now the administrative office of Mysore. Lalitha Mahal is another extremely famous and visited palace and is now a class hotel. The Vasantha Mahal was the school of young princes.

The Chamundi Hills in Mysore are a major tourist as well as religious attraction. According to legends, Goddess Chamundeshwari, a manifestation of Durga, killed the demon Mahishasura on this hill. The temple can be reached through a flight of 1000 steps. The hill is home to a 15 feet high Nandi Bull statue too. The idol enshrined at Chamundeshwari Temple is made of pure gold and the gates are made of silver.

Mysore has some of the most well known churches too. The St. Philomena Cathedral here is one of the largest churches in South India. A gothic structure it is noted for its stained glass windows and high spires.  Another noted tourist attraction in Mysore is the Brindavan Gardens. They are a delight to watch for the spectacular fountains and the musical show.

Look forward to a unique shopping experience when in Mysore. The best things to shop here are silk sarees and sandalwood items. Ayurvedic items made of sandalwood are a must buy here. Visit the Kaveri Emporium on Sayyaji Rao Road for the most authentic goods. If you plan to shop on the streets, make sure you bargain well.