The Mysore Palace was built over one thousand years ago, in AD 897. Saracenic in style, the palace has both Hindu as well as Muslim influences. After a fire in 1897, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV rebuilt the palace as we see it today, under the supervision of architect Henry Irwin. The main building is of massive gray granite with a tower covered by a gilded dome. A temple is situated within the royal courtyard.
St. Philomena's Church is one of the oldest churches in Mysore. Built in Gothic style, the church is among the largest in India. Stained glass windows and lofty towers give this cathedral an imposing look.
Shri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery was established in 1875 and has a rare collection of some beautiful paintings from the same era. The gallery is located in Jagmohan Palace and exhibits paintings by Raja Ravi Varma, Svetsolav Roerich and traditional paintings from Mysore. The traditional gold leaf paintings and some exquisitely carved statues in sandalwood, ivory and stone are also exhibited in the gallery. The old paintings in the gallery have been done in mineral and vegetable dyes and paints.
The Mysore Zoo was set up by the royal family and houses some rare and exotic birds & animals. Situated amidst lush green surroundings, the zoo has acquired fame for breeding some rare animals in captivity.
The Chamundeshwari Temple is one of the noted Hindu places of worship and is situated atop the Chamundi Hill. On way to the Chamundi Hills is the Lalitha Mahal, a guest palace now converted into a heritage hotel.
Places Around Mysore
Situated around 19 km north west of Mysore are the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam and the Vrindavan Garden. The garden attracts thousands of visitors every year who come to see its dancing musical fountains.
Fourteen km northeast of Mysore is Srirangpattnam, an island fortress and the capital of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Tipu's summer palace, Daria Daulat, has now been turned into a museum.
Sangam, the confluence of two branches of the Cauvery River, is situated around 3 km off Srirangpattnam.
Ranganathittu is a bird sanctuary situated around 18 km off Mysore and allows a close view of exotic and common birds.
Somnathpur is situated around 35 km east of Mysore and is famous for the Hoysala Temples that are still in excellent condition.
Eighty-two kilometers away is the Cauvery Fishing Camp, a paradise for anglers where the mahaseer is found in abundance.
The Bandipur National Park is 80 km off Mysore on the way to Ooty and a famous tiger reserve. Spread over an area of 875 km, the park has a variety of animals such as the tiger, barking deer, tusker, and bison.