Quietly Resplendent Mysore
Quietly Resplendent Mysore
By Shruti Menon
If IT centre Bangalore is Karnataka’s official capital, then Mysore or Mysuru is Karnataka’s cultural capital— and this title is completely justified given the marvels of the city. Mysore city has a history dating back to 1000 years, but to this day remains well maintained, and regardless of it being a tourist destination, remains its quiet-town, peaceful charm.
The city is named so because this is said to be the spot where the Goddess Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura. There is a statue of Mahishasura and a Chamundeshwari temple on the Chamundi Hill in Mysore. The temple is definitely a must visit for the city view that can be seen from the hill top, and for a sense of the city’s cultural history.
On the way to Mysore, a stop at Daria Daulat Bagh in Srirangapatna, 14 km from Mysore, would take you to the summer palace of Tipu Sultan. The detailed panels with the artwork of victorious battles, and the Indo-Saracenic architecture, all made of teakwood, make you feel like royalty walking down the halls yourself.
A visit to Mysore cannot be complete without a visit to the Mysore Palace. Going there in the evening is a visual treat as just when the sun is setting, at 7:00 pm sharp, the Mysore Palace is lit up with rows of lights that surround the structures in the compound. The sight is absolutely breathtaking, and leaves you in awe of the spectacle, as the sky slowly changes from a cotton-candy colour to deep indigo in the background. Another visit to the palace is a must in the daytime so that you can see the inside of the palace. The grandeur of the Wodeyars and Tipu Sultan’s personal effects, the huge mural of the famous Mysuru Dasara procession (that goes on every year, even now- visit during Dasara to witness it) are fascinating peek into the curtains of the life of royalty in this city.
Other spots in Mysore that are worth a visit are places like the Brindavan Gardens, St. Philomena’s Cathedral, the Mysore Zoo, and the Sand Art Museum, which can be visited on the way back from Chamundi Hills— the sculptures are impressive, and there’s an inspiring story behind its creator.
When coming back from idyllic Mysore, you can’t be empty-handed. Try some Mysore Pak before you leave, and take a look at Mysore's famous silk sarees that have a texture you can’t get from any other fabric.
Mysore may be a city, but it doesn’t have the bustling feel that you’d normally associate with one. Mysore is calming, tranquil, and its halcyon beauty is backed with a characteristic Kannadiga pride that lasts till today and will last forevermore.