Mysore (Karnataka)

Things to do - general


Mysore is noted for its palaces, including the Mysore Palace, and for the festivities that take place during the Dasara festival when the city receives a large number of tourists. It lends its name to the Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, the Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban) and the garment known as the Mysore silk saree. Tourism is the major industry, while information technology has emerged as a major employer alongside the traditional industries. With no airport, Mysore depends on rail and bus transport for inter-city connections. The city was the location of the first private radio station in India. Mysore houses Mysore University, which has produced several notable authors, particularly in the field of Kannada literature. Cricket is the most popular sport in the city. Tourism St. Philomena's Church Mysore is a major tourist destination in its own right and serves as a base for other tourist attractions in the vicinity.The city receives large number of tourists during the 10-day Dasara festival. One of the most visited monuments in India, the Amba Vilas Palace, or Mysore Palace, is the centre of the Dasara festivities. The Jaganmohana Palace, the Jayalakshmi Vilas and the Lalitha Mahal are other palaces in the city. Chamundeshwari Temple, atop the Chamundi Hills, and St. Philomena's Church are notable religious places in Mysore. The Mysore Zoo, established in 1892,and the Karanji and Kukkarahalli lakes are popular recreational destinations. Mysore has the Regional Museum of Natural History, the Folk Lore Museum, the Railway Museum and the Oriental Research Institute. The city is a centre for yoga-related health tourism that attracts domestic and foreign visitors. Melody World is a museum showcasing wax statues and musical instruments. A short distance from Mysore city is the Krishnarajasagar Dam and the adjoining Brindavan Gardens, where a musical fountain show is held every evening. Places of historic importance close to Mysore are Srirangapatna, Somanathapura and Talakad. B R Hills, Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta hill and the hill stations of Ooty, Sultan Battery and Madikeri are close to Mysore. Popular destinations for wildlife enthusiasts near Mysore include the Nagarhole National Park, the wildlife sanctuaries at Melkote and B R Hills and the bird sanctuaries at Ranganathittu and Kokrebellur. Bandipur National Park and Mudumalai National Park, which are sanctuaries for gaur, chital, elephants, tigers, Indian leopards and other threatened species, lie between 40 mi (64 km) and 60 mi (97 km) to the south. Other tourist spots near Mysore include the religious locations of Nanjanagud and Bylakuppe and the waterfalls at Shivanasamudra.

Referred to as thecultural capitalof Karnataka,Mysore is well known for the festivities that take place during the period ofthe state festival of Karnataka. TheDasarafestivities, which are celebrated over a ten-day period, were first introduced by King Raja Wodeyar I in 1610.On the ninth day ofDasara, calledMahanavami, the royal sword is worshipped and is taken on a procession of decorated elephants, camels and horses.On the tenth day, calledVijayadashami, the traditionalDasaraprocession (locally known asJumboo Savari) is held on the streets of Mysore. An image of the Goddess Chamundeshwari is placed on a goldenmantapaon the back of a decorated elephant and taken on a procession, accompanied by tableaux, dance groups, music bands, decorated elephants, horses and camels.The procession starts from the Mysore Palace and culminates at a place calledBannimantapa, where thebannitree (Prosopis spicigera) is worshipped.TheDasarafestivities culminate on the night ofVijayadashamiwith a torchlight parade, known locally asPanjina Kavayatthu.

Mysore is called theCity of Palacesbecause of several ornate examples in the city. Among the most notable areAmba Vilas, popularly known as Mysore Palace;Jaganmohana Palace, which also serves as an art gallery;Rajendra Vilas, also known as the summer palace;Lalitha Mahal, which has been converted into a hotel; andJayalakshmi Vilas.The main palace of Mysore was burned down in 1897, and the present-day structure was built on the same site. Amba Vilas palace exhibits anIndo-Saracenicstyle of architecture one outside, but a distinctlyHoysala stylein the interior.Even though theGovernment of Karnatakamaintains the Mysore palace, a small portion has been allocated for the erstwhile Royal family to live in. The Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion was constructed bySri Chamaraja Wodeyarfor his daughter Jayalakshammanni. It is now a museum dedicated to folk culture and artifacts of the royal family.

TheMysore paintingstyle is an offshoot of theVijayanagarschool of painting, and King Raja Wodeyar (1578–1617 CE) is credited with having been its patron.The distinctive feature of these paintings is thegessowork, to which gold foil is applied.Mysore is known for rosewood inlay work; around 4,000 craftsmen were estimated to be involved in this art in 2002.The city lends its name to the Mysore silk saree, a women's garment made with pure silk and goldzari(thread).Mysore Peta, the traditional indigenous turban worn by the erstwhile rulers of Mysore, is worn by men in some traditionaleremonies. A notable local dessert that traces its history to the kitchen of the Mysore pa.k

Mysore is the location of the International Ganjifa Research Centre, which researches the ancient card gameGanjifaand the art associated with it.The Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA) offers education in visual art forms such as painting, graphics, sculpture, applied art, photography, photojournalism and art history. TheRangayanarepertory company performs plays and offers certificate courses in subjects related to theatre.Kannada writers Kuvempu, Gopalakrishna Adiga and U. R. Ananthamurthy were educated in Mysore and served as professors at the Mysore University.R. K. Narayan, a popular English-language novelist and creator of the fictional town ofMalgudi, and his cartoonist brotherR. K. Laxmanspent much of their life in Mysore

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