Mysore- Place of Religious and Historical Importance .
City of Palaces and Patron of Art and Culture
One of the most popular tourist places in the state of Karnataka, Mysore is also the third largest city of the state. Situated at the bottom of the Chamundi hill which is close to Bangalore city, Mysore city is known as the city of palaces and patron of art and culture. Together with its astounding palaces, marvelous temples and artistic grandeur, the city is truly the cultural capital of Karnataka.
The name Mysore came from the word Mahishuru which means ‘home of Mahisha’ in local Kannada language. The term refers to the mythical demon Mahishasura who was defeated and killed by goddess Chamundeshwari whose temple rests on the hilltop of Chamundi Hills. Mahishasura later became Mahishuru, a name which even now the royal family uses. The name gradually became anglicized and came to know as Mysore.
The kingdom was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty though it was under the reign of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan during the 18th century when they were in power.
The religious importance of Mysore can be traced to the various temples built around the eras. Some of them include Gayathri temple, Someswara temple, Kodi Bhairava temple and Bhuvaneswari temple.
Built by the last Maharaja of Mysore Jayachamaraja Wodeyar in 1953, the Gayathri temple is dedicated to Devi Gayathri. Three shrines of Gayathri, Savitri and Laxmi are worshipped in the temple along with the statues of Ganesha, Shiva and Maha Vishnu sculpted by famous sculptor Shill Siddalingaswamy. Goddess Somasundari and Narayana are worshipped in Someswara temple which played an important part during Dasara festivities under the reign of Jayachamaraja Wodeyar. Kodi Bhairava temple is the abode of Lord Shiva and his statue is girdled by Bhadrakali while Bhuvaneswari temple was built in Dravidian style and displays a large Surya Mandala which is a possession of the royal family and bears auspicious significance during the Rath Saptami festivities.
Along with its temples, Mysore is also well known for its palaces including the famous Mysore Palace which was designed by British architect Henry Irwin and completed in 1912. The gorgeous rooms in the palace are visual treat including its delicately carved doors, ornate frescoes, grand paintings, jewelries, armors and royal costumes which bears testimony of its rich heritage and culture.
How to Reach
Bangalore is the nearest airport to Mysore at about 139 km away. Bangalore airport is well connected to all the major domestic as well as international cities.
By train Mysore can be reached via Bangalore or Chennai. Shatabdi Express is one of the quickest trains to reach to the destination via Chennai.
Mysore is connected through the state highway to Bangalore. Traveling from Bangalore to the city of Mysore by road takes around 3-4hrs. The Karnataka Road Service Corporation also provides excellent bus transportation services to the city. Non-stop buses run from Bangalore to Mysore every half-an-hour making it extremely accessible via road.
Flanked by rich historic temples, monuments and palaces, the city of Mysore truly bears the symbol of regal heritage of India.