Next hop- Mysore!
After my visit to Nandi hills we decided to go on a car tour to Mysore. Yes! while we were in B'lore for one more day, we decided on taking the road to Mysore. Mysore is about 140 km from b'lore and is famous for its beautiful palace.The tour taxi was there on time at our place so this was also an early morning start.
The road to Mysore from B'lore is famous for the 'The town of toys' - Channapatna. I mean, somewhere between Mysore and B'lore exists this explicit town. You would know when you start noticing roadside shops selling colourful wooden toys. Unfortunately, we did not spend much time there but luckily my friend managed some pictures of the toys there.And thanks to her that I am able to share the pics from the rest of the trip too:)
These toys are non-toxic and are made of wood and natural vegetable dyes. In local (Kannada)dialect this town is called as "Gombegala ooru"-i.e, toys town.
|If you make a trip here do not forget the visit the factories and the locals to see how these toys are made|
It is said that it was Tipu Sultan who in order to encourage toy making, invited artisans from Persia to train local artisans so that they learn the art of wooden toy making.
|Our breakfast at a local food joint, mouthwatering vada- idli|
|A statue in the palace garden|
Mysore Palace- It is also known as Amba Vilas Palace. This palace is a beautiful and huge property that has been converted into a museum now. It is said that originally it was built of wood and got burnt down in 1897. It was rebuilt completely later on and was designed by English architect Henry Irwin.
Palace's interior is a beautiful mix of stained glass,mirrors,bright colours, wooden carvings and mosaic floors. Huge carved wooden doors were really impressing.I observed that there were large series of paintings that depicted important events from Mysore history. Although there were many Hindu temples inside the palace grounds but the one that caught my attention was 'Shweta Varahaswamy Temple' hehe...yep! you guessed it right, it had my name on it:) A temple dedicated to lord Vishnu. No cameras are allowed inside the palace. One can only use it outside of the palace. The palace is the official residence of the Wodeyars (the erstwhile royal family of Mysore) they ruled Mysore for seven centuries. Palace is illuminated every Sunday and all public holidays in the evenings.
We enjoyed admiring huge paintings statues artifacts depicting valuables of the royalty that were on the display but honestly I wasn't much impressed by the care given to the palace. Given the footfall this palace receives daily, it needs a little bit of more attention and care.
|View of Mysore Palace|
Mysore is famous for its Dussera celebrations. Arrangements are made for a lavish preparation with huge elephants decorated with large ornaments, dance and cultural programs. The celebrations & festivities go on for 10 days and is culminated on vijayadashmi.
|Illuminated Mysore Palace, newsonair.nic.in|
Srirangapatnam- it is a small oval town, surrounded by river Kaveri, in Karnataka located near the city of Mysore. this town is majorly famous for its beautiful shrine of Tipu Sultan and his family members. However, it also has religious, historical and cultural significance. If you are curious to know about Tipu Sultan then a visit here is a must.This whole town is surrounded by river Kaveri as it has been formed by the two subdivisions of the river. 'Sangam' meaning confluence in english. At the entry point of Srirangapatnam river kaveri splits into two streams. Sangam is a regular picnic site. One can also ride those round handwoven rafts called 'Coracle'.I noticed that People consider the presence of Kaveri as auspicious and pious.
|A beautiful view of the river Kaveri|
|And this was a special ride for me:) yes, my first ever ride on those round handwoven rafts called Coracle.|
A beautiful carved temple dedicated to lord Vishnu called Ranganath Swami Temple is also a major attraction here.The temple was originally built in the 9th century by Ganga dynasty rulers. However, one can see a impressive mix of Hoysala & Vijayanagar style of architecture on it as it was strengthened & improved by them later.
|Ranganath Swami temple in Srirangapatnam|
Daria Daulat gardens, Gumbaz & Masjid-Srirangapatnam was also the capital of Mysore under the rule of Hyder Ali & his son Tipu Sultan. It flourished during their rule.Hence, came up some Indo-Islamic structures that are today a big tourist destination here.
Chamundeshwari hills- Beautiful hills !! Famous Chamundeshwari temple is situated at a height of 3489 ft, atop Chamundi hills. This is about 13 km from the palace city. It is named after a fierce avatar of Durga that has been revered by Mysore maharaja's for centuries. Her temple stands as a beautifully carved architecture. Chamundeshwari is also considered as the patron goddess of Mysore.The view from top of the hill itself is very serene. There are both steps (around 1000 or so) and a motorable road to reach the top of the hill. A beautiful Nandi statue (16 foot black monolith) statue stands half way through the hills. I admired the way it has been carved and beautifully ornamented with anklets and pendent bell.
|The beautifully carved monolith of Nandi. A time well spent here observing the decorations on the statue and the hustle - bustle of the people around.|
|This was interesting :) there were a lot of vendors selling these small bronze idols of Hindu deities and other religious signs. I bought a small Ganesha statue for myself that day.|