Bull Temple (Dodda Basavanna Temple)
The gigantic image of the celestial bull, Nandi, which stands at 4.57 meters. in height, is a classic example of Dravidian architecture. A yearly festival to celebrate the harvesting of peanuts, (Kallekai parse) is held here during the month of Nov-Dec. which attracts large crowds from all over the state.
This expanse of greenery is one of India's most beautiful botanical gardens. It was laid out by Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan in the 18th century, Within the Gardens there is a beautiful lake with a water spread area of 1.5 Sq.Kms dotted with picturesque tiny islands. It is a good picnic spot.
One of the oldest museums in the country, established in 1886, has a unique collection of sculptures, inscriptions, paintings, icons and also some relics from Mohenjodaro. Entry fee for Adults Rupees 20/- and for Children Rupees 10/- (5-10 years). Museum Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm( Tuesday to Sunday). Monday Closed.
Attara Kacheri (High Court)
"Eighteen offices" is the literal meaning of this very elegant two storied building facing Vidhana far from there is the sprawling Cubbon Park, Vishveshwaraja Museum of Science and Technology and Venkatappa Art Gallery.
This beautiful park, which spreads over 300 acres in the heart of the city, serves as the lung space of the evergrowing Banglore city. Designed by Lt. General Sir Mark Cubbon, in 1864, is dotted with beautiful statues, flowering trees, fountains and a library its midst.
A magnificent building of the Neo-Dravidian style, houses the State Legislature. It was conceived and executed by Kengal Hanumanthaiah, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka in 1956.
Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium
The sky threatre with a dome of fifteen meters in diameter attracts all the amateur astronomers and the commoners to this Planetarium, founded in 1989 to commemorate the birth centenary of Jawaharlal Nehru, the First Prime Minister of India. Entry fee for Adults 50/- and for School Students/Children 30/- (upto 16 years). Our Solar System time: 2:30 pm (Kannada) and 12:30 pm(English). Stars show time: 3:30 pm(Kannada) and 4:30 pm(English).
What to see/ Time Required: Science park - 1 hour; Exhibition Hall - 15 min; Weighing Machine - 5 mins; Sky Theatre Programme - 45 mins; Know your Stars (1st Sunday of the month) - 1 n 1/2 hour; Film Show (3rd Sunday of the month at 6pm) - 1 hour.
Indiragandhi Musical Fountain
Another attraction opposite the planetarium is the musical fountain and its dancing waters. The Bangalore Palace: Modeled after the Windsor Palace, this beautiful granite palace was built by the Wodeyars, the erstwhile rulers of Mysore
Bangalore Palace located in Bangalore city was built by Rev. J. Garrett, who was the first Principal of the Central High School in Bangalore, now known as Central College. The construction of the palace was started in 1862 and completed in 1944.
In 1884, it was bought by the then Maharaja of Mysore Chamarajendra Wadiyar X. Now owned by the Mysore Royal family, the palace has recently undergone a renovation and must see attraction in Bangalore.
The ISKCON provides much more for the soul, than those rituals. ISKCON are centers of spiritual learning through Godly association, where a visitor is inspired to learn more about Spiritual life. There is a magnificent main temple hall, which houses the altars of Their Lordships Sri Radha Krishna-Chandra, Sri Krishna Balarama & Sri Nitai Gouranga. Also one can see the Golden Chandelier that is shaped like an inverted Lotus Flower.
The palace was first a mud-brick defence built by Kempegowda in 1537. Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan later rebuilt it 1791.The two-storied structure (replica of the a Daria Daulat in Srirangapat- nam) served as Tipu's summer retreat, which he endearingly called lask-e-jannat (the envy of heaven).
An inscription on the wooden screen describes the palace as the 'abode of happiness', almost mocking the ruins that surround it. Though the palace still has elegant teak pillars, most of the painted decorations have been destroyed and it is in very bad shape
National Gallery of Modern Art
For an art lover, the National Gallery of Modern Art is perhaps a one stop halt in Bangalore to see contemporary modern paintings made by the celebrities of the by gone era. It is housed in a two story building and carries paintings of Jamini Roy, Amrita Shergill, Raja Ravi Verma and the Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore.
These paintings are neatly spread across, the corridors of the art gallery, in tiny rooms and in the large central hall. It is estimated that there are over 500 exhibits in all. A notable feature is – the paintings are catalogued category wise, like different time periods, by artists etc. so as to keep the interest of the visitor alive.
Nandi Hill is a small hill town which houses a fortress. It is at an altitude of appx. 1500 Mtrs and thus has very salubrious climate all the year round. The fortress is in itself undergoing renovation and being readied for the modern day traveller with food courts and all.
On account of the weather it was the summer capital of Tipu Sultan the then ruler of the erstwhile Mysore province. Tipu’s drop is another interesting point, where in the condemned prisoners were either pushed to or thrown to death. There are other tourist spots too like the horse way, secret escape route etc… Incidentally, the place also keeps a botanist intrigued with the local flora too.
In close proximity to the Nandi hills, lies the Devanhalli fort. There is history of the monument not known to very many. Originally constructed over 500 years ago, by Mallabairegowda, it was with their descendants till the mid-18th century , before it went into the hands of Hyder Ali and subsequently Tipu Sultan. The place is famous as it known to be the birth place of Tipu Sultan and where a plaque is seen to even this day inside the Fort. It has 12 semicircular bastions located almost at equal intervals. There are numerous small temples inside the vicinity of the Fort, probably indicating that religious tolerance towards all faiths existed during those times.
Bannerghatta National Park
This park came into existence in 1970 and two years later was declared as a National Park. This park is an excellent tourist spot especially for nature lovers. One of the objectives of the park was to create scope for development and study wild life. With this mind, in the year 2002 a small section of the park became a biological reserve.
This national park is admired by many people both amongst the tourists who visit the city and as well as the local populace. This park houses a per corner, an animal rescue centre, a butterfly centre, an aquarium, zoo and a safari park.
This is a popular temple, belonging to the thirteenth century, located some 38 Kms from Mysore, in T. Narasipura taluk. Also known as the Chenakesava temple. The temple show cases the Hoysala architecture . On account of the ancient features portrayed by the temple , it has been nominate as a UNESCO world heritage site. The entrance to the temple has a majestic stone inscription which dwells on the history of Somanatha the creator of the shrine , who is reported to be a General under King Narasimha III. The temple has both miniature and elaborate stone carvings especially conforming to the Hoysala dynasty period. The craftsmanship created some 700 years ago, is a wonder for modern day students of archeology and architecture. This temple is located close to the Shivanasamudra water falls.
The town of Talakad is located on the banks of the river Kaveri, some 45 Kms from the city of Mysore. The talking point of this place is, it is one a place which housed over two and half dozen temples which now lies buried under the sand.
There is an interesting anecdote pertaining to the Name of the Talakadu. Legend has it that two Kirata twin brothers named Tala and Kadu, were felling trees when they stumped up on that the same tree was being worshipped by elephants . The tree contained image of Lord Shiva and the elephants were the sages performing the ritual. Today, there exists tow stone pagados believed to be that of Tala and Kadu. In the entire complex, just one temple has been excavated which is the Kirti Narayana Temple.
A change in scenery of the Deccan plateau, where the ravines are interspersed with rocks forms the back drop of the Shivana Samudra falls. The falls is part of the River Kaveri, when it flows through undulating ground dropping from a height to form the falls.. The width of the falls is about a thousand feet and the vertical ascent is about 350 feet. An elevated platform has been created close to the Hydroelectric station for a better view of the falls.
A shrine of Lord Ranganatha also exists. Adi Shankara is believed to have visited this place during his preaching’s. In fact, the river branches into two wings and again joining up downstream giving the impression that the falls flow through an island.
A huge monolithic statue is the attraction of this town, believed to be the world’s largest monolithic statue, located near the city of Channrayapatna of Hassan district. The setting of Sharavanabelagola is spread across two hills Chandragiri and Vindyagiri , on the foot hills of the village. Two of the noblest men Acharya Bhadrabahu and Chandra Gupta Maurya are believed to have meditated here. This place is the home for Jain teachings for over 2300 years.
A lot of inscriptions can be found ranging from the period of 600 AD to 1830 AD can be seen in Shravana Belagola especially in the Chandragiri hills, which date back beyond the 10th century. On account of the sacred significance of Shravanabelagola the Mahamastaabhisheka is performed once every 12 years.
Belur and Halebidu Temples
The star shaped structure of Belur and Halebidu are separated by a short drive and can aptly be considered as twin cities. Both cities flourished between the 11 to the 14 century . Ivory and sandalwood work were predominantly used in these structures. Of special interest are the engineering techniques used in “ässembling”, the carved panels onto the walls and ceilings, achieving a continuous and inseparable appearance for what are essentially disparate stone structures.
A unique feature of the temples in Halebid and Belur have many sculptures where the details on the back of the idol is as exquisite as of the front of the idol. Halebidu and Belur have both figured in the list of sites to be considered in UNESCO’s world heritage sites.
The town of Srirangapatna has religious and cultural significance. Even though it is a mere 15 Km away from Mysore city, it forms part of the Mandya district. The entire town is enclosed by the two tributaries of Kaveri It has religious significance as many consider the placed sacred and akin to the Triveni Sangam in the North of India. Srirangapatna gets its name from the Ranganatha Swamy , making Srirangapatna one of the most important Vaishnavite pilgrimage centres of South India. The temple has shades of Hoysala and Vijaynagar era of architecture.
Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan were the most powerful rulers during the British regime. The Mysore Maharaja Wodeyar was defeated and is believed to be kept captive in Srirangapatna the then dejure capital of Tipu’s regime. It was a cosmopolitan capital and numerous Indo Islamic structures are visible in the town notably among them being Tipu Sultan’s Palace, the Darya Daulat and the Jumma Masjid.
An important land mark in Mysore is the Mysore Palace. It has the maximum number of tourist foot falls only next to the Taj Mahal of Agra. The legend of this places states that the present land where the palace exists was the citadel. The architecture an excellent combination of Indo-Saracenic architecture and features numerous rooms. Predominantly the architecture has Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic style of architectural ambience. The main palace consists of three floors consisting of granite walls and pink marble domes. The building has expansive arches supported by tall pillars.
This palace is over a 100 years old. The palace saw expansion somewhere around 1940 when the public Darbar hall was added. An unique feature of the palace is it has 12 Hindu temples housed inside the complex, the oldest being of the 14th century and the latest belonging to the 21st century. The palace illumination on Sundays and holidays is a spectacular event well worth a visit.Entry fee for Adults 40/-, for Children 20/- and School Students 10/-. Timing 10:00 - 17:30
This church is said to be one amongst the biggest churches in India. The beauty of this construction is the stain glass windows set amidst tall towers is an indelible land mark of Mysore. The architecture is of Gothic style. A priceless French statue of a celebrated Greek saint in a German Cathedral located in the heart of India is what has been aptly described about the church. On the marble altar is placed the statue of St. Philomena. Scenes from the bible are depicted in the paintings that can be seen abutting the glass windows of the church. The two prominent spires of the church is over 175 feet tall.
St. Philomena is believed to be the daughter of a Greek monarch . Philomena who was known thus, grew to be a pious lady. She attained Saint hood. The church is over 60 years old and Mass is held every day. The benevolence of the church can be felt till this day too and they run a small orphanage within the premises of the church.
There is a legend associated with Chamundi Hills, the Mahishassura asura, the king of those times, was killed by Godess Chamundeshwari after a fiercely fought battle. In accordance with Indian mythology Chamundi hills which is extremely rocky had two ancient temples which were Mahabaleshvara , the older of the tow and the Chamundideshvari .
Mahishasura is depicted with a sword on the left hand and a cobra on the right hand. The temple atop of the hill is quadrangular in shape.
Patronised for centuries by the Mysore rulers the temple was renovated during the reign of Krishna Woderyar the , Third in 1827. This temple is located at an elevation of 1000metres and overlooks the city of Mysore. Time spent here to get a panoramic view of the city is something not to be missed.
Mysore Zoo is perhaps, one of the oldest and most popular zoos in India. There are upward of over 150 species of animals, birds and reptiles in the zoo. The campus of the zoo is within the heart of the city and spread across a 157 acre property. Of interest, to all zoo enthusiast it would be interesting to note that the Original zoo was on a 10 acre plot of land in 1892, and it grew gradually. The founder father was Krumbeigel a German landscape and horticulturist . Soon with the expansion of the zoo, an artificial lake was also added.
A novel method of zoo funding is through the policy of adoption. The public can come forward and contribute by adopting an animal for a specific period of time. Here, famous personalities, institutions and various clubs have contributed to the adoption scheme. As of today, this zoo is over 125 years old.
Lepakshi is a village in Andhra Pradesh State which is one of the cultural day getaways from Bangalore. Lepakshi is mainly a pilgrimage place, though it captures the attention of architecture and culture enthusiasts as well.
Lepakshi is the place where Jatayu (bird) fell in a battle with Ravana (demon in Hindu mythology). Jatayu fell in the attempt to save Sita (wife of Lord Rama) from Ravana who captured her. Lord Rama, on the way to find his wife, saw Jatayu wounded from his battle and commanded it to rise. Le Pakshi literally means “rise, bird” in Telugu (the language spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh).
Conceptualized by Mr. Mirza Ismail, the Diwan of erstwhile Mysore State, in 1927, took 5 years to build, on the banks of River Kaveri abutting the KRS dam. Offering an entrancing beauty, dotted by innumerable fountains with pleasing illumination, these terrace gardens are a major attraction to the gardens. The combined effect of the musical fountains coupled with the lighting, is a treat to watch.
The magnificent structure of the Main Gate with a bed of rose gardens presents a perfect entrance to the garden. The lawns, the manicured hedges, the flower beds have all been stunningly maintained in a pattern that offers perfect symmetry. The trickling waters of the dam emptying out in to a trough before flowing down stream is the launch pad for the boat ride. Boating on the serene waters of the river, with the back drop of the Brindavan gardens is an opportunity, a tourist shouldn’t miss.
The spectacular finale to the visit to Brindavan gardens is the musical fountains. It show cases a harmonized water dance, where the water jets are controlled by a pressure valve that changes shapes to the tune of music !!!