Nestled between the east and west coasts of India at an altitude of 770m above sea level and a distance of 140 Kms from Bangalore is Mysore... a city that is still heady from the days of being the capital of a rich princely state ruled by the erstwhile Wodeyar dynasty. Steeped in legend, it beckons with its magnificent palaces, imposing buildings, sacred temples, beautiful gardens, tree-lined avenues and to top it all, a salubrious climate. A trip to this city can be truly a rewarding experience.
MYSORE. The word is but a corrupted version of "mysooru" meaning itself is a derivative of "mahishur" or "Mahishasurana Ooru" which the town of Mahishasura in the local tongue, Kannada. Legend has it that the wicked buffalo headed demon Mahishasura was killed by goddess Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi hill near Mysore, and hence the name. The famous 10-day Dasara festival is the celebration of this victory of good over evil. Today, Mysore is a modern vibrant city that has retained its old world charm and draws tourists and visitors from around the world. Known the world over for its exotic sandalwood and rosewood artifacts, stone sculptures, incence sticks or agarbathi, ivory work and rich silk sarees, Mysore is also home to many well regarded musicians, artists and the ancient Indian yogic form - Ashtanga Yoga. The "Taanga" a horse drawn carriage that is still used, has comfortable leg space, making it an attractive but slower alternative to savour the beauty of Mysore.
While in Mysore, literally all roads lead to the magnificent Maharaja's palace around which the city's boulevards radiate. . The grand mysore palace with its four arched entrances stands at the centre of the town. Liberally covered with golden domes, turrets, arches and colonnades and home to the most expensive royal throne, or Simhasana, made of gold and studded with diamond and precious stones, this palace rivals the best in the world. During weekends the whole palace is lit with thousands of lights, a spectatacular sight! Built over a period of 15 years,it is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Intricately carved doors open on to luxuriously furnished rooms. The majestic Durbar Hall has an ornate ceiling and many sculpted pillars. During October/November, the whole of Mysore lights up to celebrate the festival of Dasara or Navaratri which culminates with the much acclaimed Dasara procession, a carnival of great pomp and grandeur.