4 must-see places in Mysore:
Mysore, a city in southern Indian state Karnataka, was the last stop on our journey in January 2017. I was surprised by low temperatures when we got off the coach in Mysore. So it was the first time during our three-week journey that I put on a jacket.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, which provided flawless and comfortable accommodation. And it was the perfect ending to our trip.
The most famous tourist local attraction is the Mysore palace built in the 1897-1912 by Wadiyar dynasty that ruled the Mysore Kingdom for 700 years. Its architecture combines Hindu, Islamic, Rajput and Gothic tradition, whereas it was designed by a British architect Henry Irwin. It’s a three-storeyed palace with pink marble domes and stone structure made of fine grey granite. It is partly accessible, but large-scale gardens surrounding the palace are open without restrictions.
Climbing the stairs to the Chamundi Hill was one of the most positive experiences of our journey. We got to the root of the mountain by tuk-tuk, but then merrily walked up more than 1 000 stairs. It’s a pilgrimage walk for Hindus, at the beginning of which they ring a bell hanging from the entrance gate. In one-third of it, you will pass by a monolithic 5 m high sculpture of Nandi – Shiva’s Bull carved in the 17 the century. After reaching the top of the hill you can expect a spectacular view of the country.
At the moment, when we entered the square beside the Sri Chamundeswari temple, a herd of cattle walked by. Cows looked totally strange to us. They were dark brown or even black, very short and as every cow we met in India, they were friendly and let us stroke them.
Sri Chamundeswari temple is dedicated to Shakti, worshiped for centuries by maharajas in Mysore. It is a relatively minor construction.
The Devaraja marketplace is located in the center, a walking distance from the Mysore palace. Established more than a hundred years ago it’s one of the original Indian places. You will experience sort of sensual explosion of colors, scents, and sounds. More than 800 stalls are well sorted by product range in rows, so you will not get lost. You can get vegetables, fruit, musical instruments, Hindu ceremonial devices, clothing, jewelry and much more.
We got literally caught by family producers of perfumes and brought to their stall. Firstly, they have presented their original odoriferous oils to us and then we bought several perfumes. All based on oil. They are well informed and aware of tourists’ needs and therefore dose their products into plastic bottles. I strongly recommend a visit to their stall since they were very nice to us.
The Festival celebrating rice harvest utterly surprised us. We had no idea what was going on in the city when we saw a first yellow cow on the street of Mysore. The Sankranthi festival is celebrated annually from 14th to 18th January. Cows and bulls are yellow painted with color, which has both aesthetic and disinfectant effects. This tradition secures health for cows, which provide milk for people and are traditionally irreplaceable in the rice production.
Cows are therefore rewarded for their donations. People invite cows to their doors, offer them rice dish, sugar cane, fresh coconut and bless them with flames. It was a very moving experience for me.