Showing posts from February, 2015

Jaganmohan Palace

In Mysore, one is never too far from royalty. Located west of the illustrious Mysore Palace, the Jaganmohan Palace is one of the seven palaces that the Wodeyar kings built in and around the city, making it a true recipient of the royal legacy. Within the main city itself, there are seven such palaces. As one enters the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, located inside the palace, one is greeted with a striking masterpiece adorned with intricate carvings that have been carved in a short span of just 70 days. Venturing deeper, one finds wooden doors that narrate the tale of Dasavatharam, the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

The Jaganmohan Palace was built during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar-III and was completed in 1861. Since the main Ambavilas Palace, widely familiar as the Mysore Palace was burnt down in a fire, the Jaganmohan Palace was commissioned to serve as the residence of the royal family until 1912, the year when the Mysore Palace was completed. Many important decisions perta…

Brindavan Gardens

Amidst the spectacle of the setting sun, a cool breeze wafts in as one gets past the gates of Brindavan Gardens in Mysore, leading one to spot the imposing the Krishnaraja Sagara Dam, fondly known as the KRS Dam, built across the river Kaveri. With an imposing height of 8600 feet and a height of 130 feet above the river, the Krishnaraja Sagara Dam stands tall at the confluence of three rivers: Kaveri, Hemavati and Lakshmanateertha since 1924. Named after Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar-IV, who ruled Mysore from 1894 until his death in 1940, the dam was built by India's best known engineer, Sir M. Visweswaraya, then the chief engineer of Mysore, using 'surkhi', a mixture of limestone and brick powder instead of cement. Operational since 1924, the KRS Dam is one of the earliest dams in the world to use automatic sluice gates. The Krishnaraja Sagara Dam is an outstanding example of civil engineering and the Brindavan Gardens below it is a major crowd-puller. 

Mysore's Brindav…

Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple

As one gently walks towards the main entrance of the Devi Chamundeshwari temple, located atop Mysore's Chamundi Hills, one is greeted with the chants of the Sanskrit hymn, 'Mahishasuramardhini Stotram', which glorifies the victory of Goddess Chamundeshwari, the slayer of demon Mahishasura. Not surprisingly, for a city that derives its name from the demon, Devi Chamundeshwari is worshipped as the custodian of Mysore and is also the tutelary deity of the Maharajas of Mysore: the Wodeyars.

With a rich Puranic background, Devi Chamundeshwari is the main subject of the Devi Mahatmyam, which describes the victory of Goddess Durga against Mahishasura. Locals here narrate legends that Mahishasura stayed atop these very hills. The slaying of the demon after an intense nine day war which is recreated through Navratri, results in the hillock gaining its name. The temple is also counted as one of the Shakti Peethams, places of worship which have been consecrated to Goddess Sati, the wi…