Skip to main content

Revisiting Mysore - 1

Overview: I have been to Mysore several times, but it was mostly for family functions or as a transit point to other destinations. This time I decided to spend some time in Mysore city and soak into the rich culture.
We started off from Bangalore very early morning and headed towards Gommatagiri Kshetra, near Ilvala, and around 10kms from Mysore city. The 20 feet statue of Bahubali, known as Gommateshwara, is the main attraction here. The statue can be approached by climbing a series of 50 steps. The statue is attributed to the Vijayanagara period dating back to the 15th century. This is one of the 6 Gommateshwara statues in Karnataka. Others being in Shravanabelagola, Venur, Karkala, Aretippur and Dharmasthala.
From Gommatagiri, we visited the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, which is a heritage building and a museum. The building is named after Jayalakshmi Ammani, the first princess of the Mysore Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar. The mansion has over a 100 rooms, with exquisitely carved doorways and elegant staircases. Artifacts from the mansion such as old dresses, weapons, paintings and sculptures are on display for the visitors inside the mansion.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
After the visit, we headed towards Oriental Research Institute, passing through the Mysore University and Crawford Hall. The ORI, started as a library in 1891 under Chamarajendra Wodeyar X. The Institute is a pilgrimage place for history lovers, with written documents and manuscripts from hundreds of years have been preserved in the shelves. One of the most important manuscripts is the Arthashastra, which was translated into Kannada by Dr. R Shamashastry. Also on display are a few inscriptions from different regions in Karnataka.
Old manuscripts at the Oriental Institute
From the Oriental Institute we headed towards St Philomena's cathedral, one of the most prominent monuments in Mysore. The church was built by a French architect in 1933 in place of an old church dating back to 1843. The church has a Neo-Gothic architecture inspired from the Cologne Cathedral and is considered as one of the largest Churches in India.
St Philomena's Cathedral

From here we headed towards the Jaganmohan Palace and Art Gallery, which is right in the heart of the city. The Palace was constructed by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, and was the alternate residence for the Royal family during the re-construction of the Amba Vilas Palace. The palace is lined with the Royal collection of paintings, murals and sculptures. The most prominent paintings are from Raja Ravi Verma.
Jaganmohan Palace
Next was the main Amba Vilas Palace, which is popularly known as the Mysore Palace, which we could reach through the city crossing the Dodda Gadiyara (Big Clock), which was constructed to commemorate the silver jubilee of Nawadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, and the 1884 structure Rangacharalu Memorial Hall (Town Hall).
To wrap up the day, the last and the biggest attraction was the Amba Vilas Palace, or the Mysore Palace. Since it was a weekend, the Palace was very crowded, and one had to struggle to reach through the stairs and get inside the monument. The Palace, no doubt, is an outstanding piece of architecture, with massive halls, wide corridors, and spacious dining areas. Outside the Palace there are a few ancient temples like Bhu Varahaswamy temple, Someshwara temple and Gayathri temple. Unfortunately, all the temples were closed for repairs, so we could not see any of them. We stayed back for a spectacle at 7pm when they switch on the lights. It was indeed an experience with the crowd cheering the moment.
On day 2, we visited the Chamundi Hills, Ganapati Sachchidananda Ashrama, Wellington Lodge, RK Narayan's House and Mylari Hotel.

Dodda Gadiyara and Town Hall

Bhu Varahaswamy temple

Trinetra Temple

Inside Someshwara temple

Amba Vilas Palace

To be Contd..


  1. Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.

  2. It was very useful for me. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well. This was actually what I was looking for, and I am glad to came here! Thanks for sharing the such information with us.

  3. Mysore is an ideal amalgamation of beautiful landscape, beguiling monuments and friendly climate. If you are tourist with limited budget, you can book rooms in any of the budget hotels in Mysore.


Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

The forgotten story of a migration: Nacharamma of South India

This is a story of Nacharamma (fictionised by me to some extent), which is not documented in any inscriptions or ancient texts, but has been told by the ancestors of the community, and also been researched by some historians like M Keshavaiah, Dr Pranarthiharan and a few others.

Overview: Around the early 17th century, the Pilgrims set to sail across the Atlantic to become the first settlers of America. Much before this, a small but no less interesting migration took place in the Southern India of a community called the 'Sankethis'.
It was the summer of 1420 CE, in a place called Sengottai, in Tamil Nadu, along the foothills of the Western Ghats bordering Kerala. The place was flourishing with knowledge of the Vedas where Agraharams were set up. One of the prominent communities of learned people was the Sankethi Iyer community, also known as Sangeethi, derived from the name of the place- Sengottai or Shankotta. Another theory says that they were  The group followed Adi Shankara…

Clock Towers of Bangalore

Overview: In the middle of the 18th century, when home clocks and watches were not so common, there was the practice of having huge clocks on top of iconic buildings or religious places having visibility from all the corners. Clock towers were in fashion all across the globe in the 18th to 20th centuries, and some of them had bells as well, which used to ring at every hour. Bangalore too, has had its share of clock towers, though the city has never been known for its clock towers. The iconic Clock tower once stood at the Russell Market in Shivajinagar, which no longer stands today as it was brought down sometime during the middle of the 20th century.
A few standing clock towers can be seen at the City Market, Baldwin Boys school, Jayachamarajendra Polytechnic, Central College, Police training grounds, St John's Church, Corporation office and the newly constructed towers at South End circle and Omkar Hills. Most of these clocks have been provided by HMT.

Know your neighbourhood-3: Madivala, Agara, Koramangala, Bellandur

Overview: Now famous for high rises, branded showrooms and startups, the villages of Madivala, Agara, Koramangala and Domlur are the villages which have seen an ancient past.

Madivala village was a flourishing agrahara under the Cholas and Hoysalas. There is an ancient Chola era temple, which was later expanded by the Hoysalas behind the road opposite to the Silk Board. This Someshwara temple is of high historical importance, with Tamil inscriptions all along the outer walls of the temple. The most important being the 1247 CE inscription which talks about the grants of some lands near the big tank of Vengalur (2nd inscription of the city name after the one in Begur). This inscription is by an official Pemmataiyar of Veppur (Begur) for the deity Sembeshwaram (Someshwara) at Tamaraikkirai (Tavarekere).

Agara is situated at the junction of the ORR and Sarjapura Road, and is in existance since the Gangas. A 870 CE Ganga inscription mentions about the fixing of sluices to 2 tanks (Agara Lake…