March 22, 2010

Tipu Sultan's body was found here - Tipu Sultan's Memorial, Srirangapatna, Near Mysore, India

When you visit Mysore, you should not stop just by visiting places such as Mysore Zoo, Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, and Brindavan Gardens. You should also visit nearby historical towns such as Srirangapatna, Somnathpur and Talakad. The most famous travel destination in Srirangapatna town is Ranganathaswamy temple. However, there are other sites related to Tipu Sultan found in this town. The memorial of Tipu Sultan, which was built on the site where he was killed, is one such historical site in Srirangapatna.


Hyder Ali, a son of Naik aka Chief Constable, rose to become a ruler due to his talent. He replaced Wodayar kings and started ruling the region of Mysore. During his time, the town Srirangapatna started regaining its lost glory and importance. Tipu Sultan was the first son of Hyder Ali, who became the king of Mysore after Hyder Ali. He helped his father to win British in the second Mysore war.

Even though Tipu Sultan ruled for a brief period, he became very popular. He was proficient in many languages; he got into alliance with French army to fight British; he was the one who laid the foundation for the famous Krishna Raja Sagara dam. He built various roads, public buildings and ports. It is believed that he was the first to use war rockets not only in India, but in the entire world. It is believed that he started new coinage, new banking system, a new calendar, and a new measurement for weights. There are even some controversies in the history against him. However, we need to have a separate historical blog to write more about Tipu Sultan. He was defeated by the British in the third Mysore war and killed on 4th May 1799 in Srirangapatna.

The British army was searching for the body of Tipu Sultan and found the same on the site, which has been later converted to a memorial. The memorial is a homage to the great warrior Tipu Sultan. The place has just a tomb like structure with a board stating that this was the site where Tipu Sultan's body was found.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Tipu Sultan's Memorial
Site Type: Memorial
Highlights: The site where Tipu's body was found
Location: 18 kms from Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Srirangapatna
Nearest Airport: Bangalore (around 170 kms)
Local Transport: Easily reachable from Mysore; there are lot of private and government buses
Hotel: There are few good hotels at Srirangapatna; If you are looking for good cheap and budget hotels, it is better to go with hotels of Mysore or hotels of Bangalore
Restaurants: There are few good restaurants available in Srirangapatna; better options are available in Bangalore or Mysore


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March 21, 2010

A 9th century ancient and huge temple - Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna, Near Mysore, India

After you visit Mysore Palace, Mysore Zoo, Chamundi hills, and Brindavan Gardens in Mysore, the heritage city of India, you should also visit the nearby towns such as Somnathpur, Talakad and Srirangapatna, the historical towns of Karnataka state of India. Srirangapatna town, which is popular due to its Tipu Sultan connection and history, got its name due to the huge ancient temple of Sri Ranganathaswamy temple located here.


Ranganathaswamy temple is the dominating site of Srirangapatna, even though there are other historically important sites such as Tipu's Summer Palace aka Daria Daulat Palace, Juma Masjid, Tipu's tomb, and Tipu's fort. Ranganathaswamy temple of Srirangapatna was built by a Ganga chieftain named Tirumalayaraya in 894 CE. Even though this temple was built by the Gangas, you can find a lot of contributions and expansions to the structure by Hoysalas, Vijayanagara kings and Mysore Wodeyar kings.

Almsot all the major islands formed in the Cauvery (Kaveri) river have temples to Lord Sri Ranganathaswamy (Vishnu in the reclining posture). The three towns, which are the islands formed in the Cauvery river, which constitute the main pilgrimage centers dedicated to Ranganathaswamy, are:

Adi Ranga - at Srirangapatna
Madhya Ranga - at Shivanasamudra
Antya Ranga - at Srirangam


Sri Ranganathaswamy is the presiding deity of the temple. The main shrine of the temple has the idol of Ranganathaswamy, the form of Lord Vishnu in the reclining posture on the coils of the serpent Adi Sesha. Ranganathaswamy idol of this temple is the largest Ranganathaswamy idol in the entire state of Karnataka. The main entrance of the temple has four pillars sculpted with 24 forms of Lord Vishnu. It was constructed during Vijayanagara period. Apart from this, most of the pillars of this temple are in the unique Hoysala style. You know, the pillars of Hoysala kings are always unique and stylish. In front of the main shrine you can find the ancient monolithic Garuda stambha of Vijayanagara period.


Ranganayaki is the main goddess of the temple. She has a separate shrine in the temple. Apart from the shrines of Ranganath and Ranganayaki, there are other shrines such as Narasimha and Sudarshana back to back, Gopalakrishna, Srinivasa, Rama with Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Ramanuja, and Garuda.


The temple is big in size with big prakara (corridor surrounding the temple) and big complex wall surrounding the temple complex. The temple tower (Rajagopura) which is visible from almost any part of the town has a stunning figure and it is architecturally very beautiful.


Go and visit this beautiful temple of 9th century when you happen to visit Bangalore or Mysore.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Ranganathaswamy Temple
Site Type: Ancient temple
Highlights: One of the three main pilgrimages of Sriranganath; 9th century ancient temple built by Gangas; the biggest idol of Ranganathaswamy in the state of Karnataka
Location: 18 kms from Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Srirangapatna
Nearest Airport: Bangalore (around 170 kms)
Local Transport: Easily reachable from Mysore; there are lot of private and government buses
Hotel: There are few good hotels at Srirangapatna; If you are looking for good cheap and budget hotels, it is better to go with hotels of Mysore or hotels of Bangalore
Restaurants: There are few good restaurants available in Srirangapatna; better options are available in Bangalore or Mysore


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March 20, 2010

A historical town of India - Srirangapatna, Near Mysore, India

Srirangapatna, located at a distance of around 18 kms from Mysore, the heritage city of India, is a true historical town. Srirangapatna, a small island town, is located on the banks of the river Cauvery (aka Kaveri). Those who visit to Mysore city also visit Srirangapatna. Similar to Mysore Palace, Mysore Zoo, Brindavan Gardens, and Chamundi Hills, Srirangapatna also remains as an important travel destination of Mysore.

Srirangapatna town got its name due to the huge ancient temple of Ranganathaswamy temple located in this town. Ranganathaswamy temple of Srirangapatna is the best tourist attraction of Srirangapatna town. This 9th century temple, built orginally by the Ganga kings, renovated later by Vijayanagara, Hoysala, and Wodayar kings, stands as a fine example of blended architectural beauty of Karnataka state of India.

Srirangapatna was a major city during Vijayanagara period. After the decline of the Vijayanagara kings, when the Wodayar kings came to power, the importance was given to Mysore, and hence Srirangapatna lost its political importance. However, when Tipu Sultan came to power for a brief period, he made Srirangapatna as his capital and it regained his glory and historical importance. Tipu Sultan fought bravely against British and was killed in Srirangapatna. Apart from Ranganathaswamy temple, all other sites that are related to tourism in Srirangapatna are somewhat related to Tipu Sultan. Tipu's Summer Palace aka Daria Daulat Palace, Juma Masjid, Tipu's tomb, Tipu's fort, and the site where Tipu was killed are some of the important tourist spots of Srirangapatna.


When you get a chance to visit Mysore or Bangalore, ensure that you visit Srirangapatna without fail.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Srirangapatna
Site Type: Historical monuments, Ancient temple
Location: 18 kms from Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Nearest Railway Station: Srirangapatna
Nearest Airport: Bangalore (around 170 kms)
Local Transport: Easily reachable from Mysore; there are lot of private and government buses
Hotel: There are few good hotels at Srirangapatna; If you are looking for good cheap and budget hotels, it is better to go with hotels of Mysore or hotels of Bangalore
Restaurants: There are few good restaurants available in Srirangapatna; better options are available in Bangalore or Mysore


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March 16, 2010

Bull Temple aka Nandi Temple, Chamundi Hills, Near Mysore, India

Mysore city, the heritage city of India, is famous for Mysore Palace and Mysore Zoo. Chamundi Hills, the nearby attraction of Mysore city is one of the popular tourist destinations. The most importance places in Chamundi Hills are Chamundeshwari Temple, located on the top of the hill, and the Bull Temple a.k.a Nandi Temple, located half way to the top of the hill.


Chamundi Hills rises to a height of 3,489 feet. There is motorable road till Chamundeshwari temple. There are also steps available for the devotees to reach atop the hill. Half-way to it, there is a beautiful 16-feet monolith idol of Nandi, carved in granite. The idol of Nandi (bull - the vahana of Lord Shiva) is black in color because of regular anointing with oil and other sacred waters. The beautiful carved idol was a gift by  Maharaja Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar, in 1659 CE.


The idol is very magnificent and is comparable to the beauty of Nandi idols of Tanjore Brahadeeswara temple and the Bull temple in Bangalore. There is also small cave temple for Lord Shiva on the back side of Nandi idol.


Don't miss Chamundi hills when you visit Mysore, and don't miss Nandi temple when you visit Chamundi hills.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Bull Temple
Site Type: A temple with just one big idol - without roof - located on a hill
Location: Chamundi hills, 13 kms from Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: One of the biggest idols of Nandi (bull) in India
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Climate: Warm and cool throughout the year
Local Transport: Well connected by buses, and private taxis
Hotel: You need to depend on Mysore hotels (Mysore - the nearest city)
Restaurants: Mysore's cuisine is rice-based; Idlis and dosas are also famous; You can find a lot of restaurants both vegetarian and non-vegetarian throughout the city


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March 13, 2010

Lakshmi Narayana Temple, Chamundi Hills, Near Mysore, India

Mysore city, the heritage city of India, which is famous for Mysore Palace and Mysore Zoo has a nearby tourist destination named Chamundi Hills. Bull temple and Chamundeshwari temple are the main attractions of Chamundi Hills. In addition to that, there is an ancient Mahabaleshwar temple (Shiva temple) and Lakshmi Narayana temple.

Lakshmi Narayana temple, dedicated to Lord Narayana (Vishnu), is located on the back side of the ancient Mahabaleshwar temple. This temple is always visited by the devotees who visit the Mahabaleshwar temple. The temple is very small and cute. There is only one shrine found in this temple, which is dedicated to Lord Narayana along with his consorts Sri Devi and Bhoo Devi. Even though there is no records that I can find about the history of this temple, I could say this temple is also an ancient temple. This may not be as old as Mahabaleshwar temple or Chamundeshwari temple. This temple should have been built or rebuilt in the 19th century CE.

When you visit Chamundi Hills, visit Lakshmi Narayana temple too, along with Chamundeshwari temple, bull temple, and Mahabaleshwar temple.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Lakshmi Narayana Temple
Site Type: Temple on hills
Location: Chamundi hills, 13 kms from Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: An ancient temple of Lord Vishnu
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Climate: Warm and cool throughout the year
Local Transport: Well connected by buses, and private taxis
Hotel: You need to depend on Mysore hotels (Mysore - the nearest city)
Restaurants: Mysore's cuisine is rice-based; Idlis and dosas are also famous; You can find a lot of restaurants both vegetarian and non-vegetarian throughout the city


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March 11, 2010

An unknown ancient temple near Mysore - Mahabaleshwar Temple, Chamundi Hills, Near Mysore, India

Mysore Palace and Mysore Zoo are not the only popular destinations of Mysore, the heritage city of India. Chamundi hills, which is located at a distance of around 13 kms from Mysore city is also a popular destination. The highlights of Chamundi hills might be the huge Nandi (bull) idol, Chamundeshwari temple and the large statue of Mahisasura. However, there is also another destination in Chamundi hills, which most of the people are not aware of, and easily miss out to visit. That beautiful destination is Mahabaleshwar temple.



The ancient Mahabaleshwar temple is located right next to the famous Chamundeshwari temple. This temple is much older than Chamundeshwari temple. In fact, this is the original temple of Chamundi hills. However, it is unfortunate to find that not even 1% of crowd that visit Chamundeshwari temple visit Mahabaleshwar temple. In one way, it is good to find not much crowd in this temple; we can calmly enjoy the beauty of this temple.

Mahabaleshwar temple was built in the 8th century CE by the Ganga kings. Later the temple was renovated by the Hoysala kings. The bronze idols that are found in this temple are believed to be of Chola period. Thus, this temple of Mahabaleshwar in Chamundi hills was popular in Ganga, Chola, and Hoysala period. Only during the period of Wodayar king, Chamundeshwari temple got importance and this temple got unnoticed.

Mahabaleshwar temple is architecturally beautiful. One can feel the blend of Hoysala and Ganga architecture in this temple. The main deity of the temple is Mahabaleshwar, which is in the form of Shiv linga. It is a Mukha Linga, the face of Shiva is embedded on Linga. There is Parvati’s idol found on the left side of Shiv Linga in the sanctum.

 Nandi is found as usual facing towards the sanctum.

There are idols of Sapta Matas, Ganesha, another Ganesha and Nataraj along with Sivakami. It is rare to find the stone idol of Nataraj, which is found here. In addition to that, there is a separate shrine for Nataraj along with Sivakami.

Dakshinamurti and Lingodbhava are found as the niche images. Chandikeshwara is found in his usual location. There are 4-5 sub-shrines in the prakara for Shiv Linga in different names.

When you visit Chamundi hills near Mysore, don’t miss this beautiful ancient temple. Mysore tourism remains incomplete without a visit to this temple.

Happy travelling.



Fast Facts:

Site Name: Mahabaleshwar Temple
Site Type: Temple on hills
Location: Chamundi hills, 13 kms from Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: An ancient temple of Lord Shiva
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Climate: Warm and cool throughout the year
Local Transport: Well connected by buses, and private taxis
Hotel: You need to depend on Mysore hotels (Mysore - the nearest city)
Restaurants: Mysore's cuisine is rice-based; Idlis and dosas are also famous; You can find a lot of restaurants both vegetarian and non-vegetarian throughout the city


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March 8, 2010

Chamundeshwari Temple, Chamundi Hills, Mysore, India

Mysore, the Palace city of India (remember the famous Mysore Palace), is popular not only for its spectacular palace and zoo (Mysore Zoo), but also for Chamundi Hills. Chamundi Hills is located at a distance of around 13 km from Mysore city, and it remains as one of the most favorite travel destinations in Mysore for many years. A write-up about Mysore tourism is not complete without mentioning Chamundi Hills.

The main attraction of Chamundi Hills is Chamundeshwari Temple. Chamundeshwari aka Durga is the fierce form of Shakti, the wife of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Durga killed the demon Mahisasura in Chamundi hills, and hence the city was named as Mysore. When you reach Chamundi hills, you will be welcomed by a big colorful idol of the demon Mahisasur. The original temple of Chamundeshwari belongs to  the 12th century CE and was built by the Hoysala kings. The spectacular seven storey tall temple tower is believed to have been built by the Vijayanagara kings in the 17th century CE. However, it is evident that most of the parts of the temple was renovated in 19th century CE by the Wodayar kings. The main deity of the temple, Chamundeshwari has been the goddess of Mysore kings for many centuries.


Chamundi hills can be reached in a motorable road, and it is easily reachable from Mysore. However, if you want to climb up the hills, there is a flight of 1000 steps leading to the hill. It was constructed in 1659 CE. There is a huge granite Nandi statue near 800th step.

The idol of main deity Chamundeshwari is said to have been made of gold and the temple doors are made of silver. There are many idols of Nandi found throughout the temple. The temple is always crowded by devotees. You need to wait in a long queue to enter into the temple. Apart from the main deity Chamundeshwari, there is no other idol found in the temple.
There are also temples dedicated to Shiva - Mahabaleshwar and Lakshmi Narayana - Vishnu on this hill.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Chamundeshwari Temple
Site Type: Temple on hills
Location: Chamundi hills, 13 kms from Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: A famous temple for Mother Goddess
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Climate: Warm and cool throughout the year
Local Transport: Well connected by buses, and private taxis
Hotel: You need to depend on Mysore hotels (Mysore - the nearest city)
Restaurants: Mysore's cuisine is rice-based; Idlis and dosas are also famous; You can find a lot of restaurants both vegetarian and non-vegetarian throughout the city


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March 4, 2010

A spectacular temple in the Mysore Palace - Shweta Varaha Temple, Mysore, India

As per Hinduism, Lord Vishnu has taken many incarnations, and ten incarnations are considered as most important – Dasavatar. Rama and Krishna are the most popular avatars among those ten avatars and you can find a lot of temples for Rama and Krishna. The third avatar of Vishnu is Varaha avatar (incarnation as boar). You can find only very few temples for Lord Varaha. There is one temple located inside the Mysore Palace, in Mysore city of South India, which is dedicated to Varaha.The name of the temple is Shweta Varaha temple aka Varahaswamy temple.

The beautiful temple built in Hoysala architecture is situated in the southern gate of the Mysore Palace. The Mysore King Chikka Deva Raja Wodeyar (1672-1704 A.D.) procured the stone image of Shweta Varahaswamy from Srimushnam in Tamil Nadu and installed the idol in a temple in Srirangapatna. However, this temple was demolished and the idol was shifted to Mysore and set up in this temple in the year 1809 AD.


The main deity of the temple, Varaha is made up of white stone and hence he got the name ‘Shweta Varaha’ (Shweta means white). He carries Bhoo Devi (earth). There is a separate shrine for Lakshmi. Also, there are separate shrines for Ranganath, Garuda, and Hanuman. You can also find some beautiful mural paintings in the temple.

This temple is worth watching for its beautiful Hoysala architecture especially when the palace complex is lit up in the evenings.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Shweta Varaha Temple or Varahaswamy Temple
Site Type: Temple within Palace
Location: Mysore Palace, Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: Temple within Palace built in Hoysala architectural style; Temple of Lord Varaha
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Climate: Warm and cool throughout the year
Local Transport: Well connected by buses, private taxis, and auto rickshaws; (even you can find tongos (horse driven carts)
Hotel: A lot of hotels - budget as well as high class - throughout the city
Restaurants: Mysore's cuisine is rice-based; Idlis and dosas are also famous; You can find a lot of restaurants both vegetarian and non-vegetarian throughout the city

March 2, 2010

Lakshmiramana Temple, Mysore Palace, India

The highlight of Mysore, the heritage city of India, is Mysore Palace, which is one of the most beautiful palaces in India. The Palace complex houses twelve temples. Out of all these twelve temples, Lakshmiramana temple which is located on the western part of the palace has historical importance. Not only that...the temple is one of the oldest temples in the Mysore city.


Lakshmiramana temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu (Lakshmiramana). The temple also has a separate shrine for Goddess Lakshmi. There is one more shrine for Venugopala - Lord Krishna. The temple was built by the King Narasa Nayaka of Vijayanagar in 1499 AD.
This temple has witnessed an historical event, which is the coronation of 5-year-old Krishnaraja Wodyar III by the Britishers in 1799 after the death of Tipu Sultan.

The temple, even though small in size, is very beautiful and neat. There is a belief that the prayers at this temple are always answered.

Don't miss this temple when you visit Mysore Palace.

Happy Travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Lakshmiramana Temple
Site Type: Temple within Palace
Location: Mysore Palace, Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: A temple within Mysore Palace
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Climate: Warm and cool throughout the year
Local Transport: Well connected by buses, private taxis, and auto rickshaws; (even you can find tongos (horse driven carts)
Hotel: A lot of hotels - budget as well as high class - throughout the city
Restaurants: Mysore's cuisine is rice-based; Idlis and dosas are also famous; You can find a lot of restaurants both vegetarian and non-vegetarian throughout the city


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March 1, 2010

A temple inside the Palace - Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple, Mysore Palace, India

Mysore Palace is the most attractive site of Mysore city, the heritage city of South India. Mysore Palace complex is huge and it houses around 12 temples. One of the main temples of the palace is Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple aka Bal Krishna Temple.

The highlight of the temple is that the main deity of the temple, Bal Krishna (meaning Child Krishna) is in crawling posture with butterball in the hand. This is a rare posture which cannot be generally found in other temples. Especially it is very rare to find the main deity itself in this posture is extremely rare.

As per the legend, the Mysore kind Krishnaraja Wodeyar III was fascinated by the crawling Krishna idol in a temple in Mallur, and he wanted to shift the idol to his palace. After a lot of people tried in vain to remove the idol from Mallur, the king gave up this idea, and instead he installed a similar idol in the palace and built this temple. Prasanna Krishnaswamy temple was thus built by this king in the year 1829 AD.

Apart from the main shrine of Bal Krishna, this old temple has other idols and shrines too. It has separate shrines for Hanuman, Lakshmi Narasimha on the back side of Chakrathalwar (Sudarshan), Ram, Lakshman & Sita, Vishnu, Lakshmi, and Ranganath. In addition the temple houses around 40 bronze idols. The temple also has the idol of the king Krishnaraja Wodeyar along with his two wives. There is a separate shrine for sage Atri, who was believed to be the Raja Guru for ancestors of Wodeyars. There is another shrine with idols of Ramanujacharya, Paravasudeva, Anathasavna and Rajamannar.

Another major highlight of the temple is the central pillared hall of this temple, which has the traditional Mysore paintings done on the walls. The paintings portray the stories of Bhagavatha (life history of Lord Krishna).

When you visit Mysore Palace, ensure that you visit this temple too.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple
Site Type: Temple within Palace
Location: Mysore Palace, Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: Krishna idol in crawling posture; a temple within Mysore Palace
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Climate: Warm and cool throughout the year
Local Transport: Well connected by buses, private taxis, and auto rickshaws; (even you can find tongos (horse driven carts)
Hotel: A lot of hotels - budget as well as high class - throughout the city
Restaurants: Mysore's cuisine is rice-based; Idlis and dosas are also famous; You can find a lot of restaurants both vegetarian and non-vegetarian throughout the city


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