GENERAL CULTURE TOUR – MYSORE
People often compare Mysore with what Bangalore used to be. A preservation of old world charm, with conservative steps towards modernisation and growth, keeps the city proud of its rich heritage and yet grounded in its core values.
Our General culture tour of Mysore provides our guests a mix of History, Monuments, Food, Markets, Craft, Art, Interactions with people and visits to places of worship. Like all our tours, the General Culture Tour of Mysore is enriched with conversations that give you deep insights into the city’s story.
• 9:00 a.m.: Traditional South Indian/Karnataka coffee and a snack.
• 10:00 a.m.: Mysore flower and bangle bazaar.
• Noon: A bespoke tour of Mysore Palace where you are provided with information by a guide who can tell stories of the royal family.
• 1:30 Pm: Lunch with the royal family that gives you an intimate view into the lives of erstwhile royalty and their lives today, in contrast with India before the formation of the republic.
• Visit to palace that was converted into an art gallery displaying the private collection of the Mysore Royal family, housing acclaimed artists and historical works of art.
• Sunset Prayer on Chamundi hill at the bull temple where the Aarti is a beautiful way to close the day.
• Visit a sculptor
• Go shopping for crafts, fabric and local souvenirs or fashion
ROYAL MYSORE PALACE TOUR
The Mysore Palace, or more fondly known by the locals as The Amba Villas Palace, was originally constructed in the 14 th century (reconstructed several times). Built by king Yaduraya Wadiyar, this marvel demonstrates the beautiful Indo-Saracenic revival style of architecture. Located at the heart of the old capital of the state, Mysore City, and built to face facing the Chamundi Hill, to show the devotion of the Royal family to Goddess Chamundi. It served as the official residence of the Wadiyar family that ruled the Mysore State from 1399 to 1950.
Our service offers to enable your visit, assisting you in buying tickets, navigating through protocol and giving you insights through anecdotes and stories.
• 10:00 Am: meet and greet
• 10:15 Am: our guide assists you in purchasing tickets (costs extra over and above our fee) and walks you to the counter where cameras are declared and shoes are deposited for safekeeping by palace authorities
CHAMUNDI HILL CLIMB EXPERIENCE
Named after the Goddess Chamundi, the Chamundeshwari temple, sits at the summit of this hill. The 1008 step climb leads to the main quadrangle structure of the temple from which one can see the entire city of Mysore, The Palace, Karanji lake and various other temples..
Legend has it that there was once an evil king named Mahishasura, after whom the
city was named ‘Mahisooru’ which means ‘The City of Mahishasura’. The great Goddess Chamundi is said to have overthrown the evil king in a fierce battle and has hence been worshipped by the locals of Mysore.
Once a year, during the festival of Dusshera, the deity of the Goddess is taken for a procession around the city, making The Mysore Dusshera one of the most anticipated events of the year with a footfall of over 100,000 every year.
• 6:00 Am: meet at the foothills of Chamundi hill
• 6:15 Am: Commence 1008 step climb up the hill
• 7:30 Am: Walk around the summit of the hill, to view the temple from the outside (since it is very often long hours of waiting to enter).
• 8:00 Am: Walk back down the hill and close tour
• Have a car waiting at the summit to take you on a tour to the legendary statue of Mahishasura after whom Mysore city was named, and the famous Mysore bull temple.
HISTORICAL TOUR OF SRIRANGAPATNA
Srirangapatna was once the seat of the Generals of the Mysorean army, the de-facto Sultan Hyder Ali, and his heir Tipu Sultan. It was also the venue of the famous 17 year long Anglo- Mysore war, whose three battles of resistance showed the power and capability of the “Tiger of Mysore”, feared by the British forces for his merciless dislike for them.
The tour of Srirangapatna takes you through the history of this town’s river-front fort, but also to see the present-day life, culture, nature and people.
• 9 :00 Am: Meet and Greet
• 9 :15 Am: Visit one of the oldest temples, The Ranganathaswamy Temple, a representation of the secular era of a Muslim king who constructed a temple for his Hindu subjects.
• 11:30 Am: Drive through the fort of Tipu sultan that was once considered impenetrable.
• 12:30 Pm: Visit a sugarcane field and factory
• 1:15 Pm: Lunch on the riverside
• 2:45 Pm: Visit Sangam, where the holy river Pashchim Vahini is a station for Hindus who bring ashes of the dead to send away with the river, the final funeral ritual.
• 3:00 Pm: Close
TOUR THE TOYLAND OF INDIA
Known as the Toyland of Karnataka, Channapatna is home to over 2000 artisans who specialize in the art of making wooden toys. This skill has been passed on from generation to generation and is the main source of family income to a majority of the locals.
This art is said to have been introduced by the emperor Tipu Sultan, who brought
Persian craftspeople to train the local artisans, over 200 years ago.
Though the industry is declining rapidly due to other job opportunities that are
emerging, and due to industrialization, some artisans still choose to preserve this craft as a heritage and family pride. Traditionally, ivory and wood were the main raw material used for making toys, while now rosewood and sandalwood are used. The product range too has diversified. It was once only toys but now it includes a variety of accessories and implements, from ashtrays to cutlery to acupressure therapeutic.
• 9:00 Am: Leave Mysore by car
• 10:30 Am: Arrive in Channapatna at a toy factory where you witness the craftspeople at work
ART AND CRAFT TOUR
The historic state of Mysore has long been known to hone a myriad of art forms, patronized by its series of rulers. This tour gives the traveler a glimpse into Mysore’s heritage, some of which is preserved in museums, and some of which lives on, taken forward by descendants of artists, sculptors and
communities, as traditions. You get to visit crafts studios, stores, museums, and factories. You also get to witness everyday life.
• 9:00 Am: Visit the family of the royal sculptor of Mysore, who have been responsible for the creation of religious and ancestral idols and busts that are now monumental in the city.
• 12:00 Noon: Visit the Jaganmohan Gallery, once a palace, and now converted into an art museum, housing paintings by the most famous artists, the personal art collection of the Maharajas of Mysore state.
• 1:00 Pm: Close
• 1:30 Pm: Dine in the home of an artist / art collector and enjoy conversations about craft and heritage.
Get an introduction to the heritage of Mysore city, told by popular story teller
Stephen. You get to cycle through the city, past heritage buildings, meandering the traditional circles on the road with umbrellas celebrating the erstwhile maharajas with magnificent statues and busts crafted by royal sculptors; you pass by the institutional buildings created by the Maharajas. The tour includes a late breakfast.
• 7:00 am Meet and Greet and get a view on the program