Mysore palace illuminated at night
Located 140 Kms from the state capital Bangalore-- Mysore is the erstwhile capital of Wodeyars, the rulers of Mysore state. The Wodeyar family ruled Mysore since 14th century except for a short period of 40 years when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were the rulers. Mysore has never failed to mesmerise the tourists with its quaint charm, rich heritage, magnificent palaces, beautifully laid-out gardens, imposing buildings, broad shady avenues and sacred temples. The charm leaves no one untouched.
Mysore traces its history into the mythological books where there is reference of Mahishasur (Mahishasura) or the buffalo-headed demon king who is believed to have lived here. Goddess Chamundeshwari of Chamundi hills killed this demon and hence the Dussehra, the festival of the victory of good over evil, is celebrated with unprecedented grandeur. Today Mysore is one of the major cities of Karnataka. Mysore has emerged as a thriving market for exotic sandalwood & incense, the Mysore silk sarees and stone carved sculptures.
Mysore is a shopper's paradise. It is surrounded by sandalwood and rosewood forests. Thus, most of the tourists coming to Mysore look for items made from sandalwood or rosewood. Though a bit expensive these, pieces make excellent gift as well as decorative items. The sandalwood oil might be a bit expensive but is an essential commodity to be bought in Mysore. Mysore silk sarees are very popular and coveted by the ladies. Here you can purchase some of the finest silk. The government silk factory offers silks straight off the loom. Apart from the sandalwood items and silk, Mysore is also famous for the stone carved statues. The government run "Kaveri Emporium" located on Sayyaji rao road provides genuine sandalwood, rosewood and wooden carvings for the tourists.
While you are in Mysore, do not forget to visit the colorful Mysore City Market. Here, you can see the city market standing with it's original grandour. The market is several decades old, however the structure, layout and other features still remain the same. Here you can get to see the vegitable market, flower market, fruit market, perfume market in a organized manner. During festival times, the market is very crowded and colorful with many types of vegitables, flowers which are up for sale.
Mysore offers a wide range of accommodation facilities. There is the former Palace turned hotel called the Lalitha Mahal, a hotel in the five star category. Then there is the Ramanshree Comforts, Hotel Maurya Hoysala, Dasprakash Paradise and King's Court which are among the good hotels. There are budget hotels as well.
Mysore does not have an extreme type of climate and the weather throughout the year is pleasant. The summers are warm and winters are cool. One can visit the city any time of the year but it is advisable to avoid the rainy seasons.
The nearest Airport is the Bangalore airport from where one has to take a train or a bus to reach Mysore. There are regular train services from Bangalore to Mysore. The state transport as well as the private operators have buses plying between the state capital and the former state capital. From Bangalore one can go on conducted sightseeing tours.
TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES
- Tourist Information Center - KFC building, 48 Church street, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Tel: (91) - 80 - 579517
- Regional Tourist Office Old Exhibition Road, Mysore, Karnataka, India. Tel: (91) - 0821-22096
- Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation Yatrinivas Buildings, J.L.B Road Mysore, Karnataka, India. Tel: (91) - 0821 - 26352.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
During the month of October and November, for ten days the Dussehra festival is celebrated. This is the most famous festival of Mysore. During the festival the city is at its colour best with music & dance, Sports, Literary competitions, fairs and exhibitions all over Mysore. All This culminates in the Dussehra Procession and torch light parade.
A WORD OF CAUTION:
Though Mysore is famous for sandalwood and its products, there are many fakes available in the shops so if you are purchasing any sandalwood item make sure that they are original. Same goes with the silk sarees. To avoid any confusion buy the items from any Government Emporium or any authorised shop.