Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Visit Mysore, Ooty and Coonoor:-

Visit Mysore, Ooty and Coonoor:-

Take an early morning flight to Bangalore or Mysore and begin exploring the city early in the day. There are just a handful of sites you need to visit and it can all be completed in a day if you just begin early.

Here are some of the things you must do:

Mysore - 5 things to do in Mysore- DNA, 1st Oct, 2014

1.Mysore- at Mysore a must visit is the widespread Mysore zoo which is home to a wide range of species. It hosts six Giraffe's, African Elephants, exotic Birds, a white striped Tiger and even a Gorilla. Crocodiles, Snakes, four species of Monkeys and other two-four legged creatures can all be spotted here.

The park is huge and hence it does not really seem crowded as there are different sets of people spread throughout the zoo at all times.  You will need at least two hours to move around and take a good look at all the zoo inhabitants. At the zoo you are not allowed to carry any food items as most visitors end up feeding the animals. However, there is zoo eatery where you can pick and eat some small meals. Water is available at the many drinking water stations or you can also choose to buy a bottle of water inside.

It’s open from: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and the entrance fee is Adults Rs.25/-Children (5-12 yrs) Rs.10/-.Do note the park is closed on Tuesdays.

2. The beautifully decorated, grand Mysore Palace built in 1921 is second on the list, the complete walk around the palace reeks of grandeur and royalty. From the beautiful paintings to the gifts received by the royal family to the porch area, all in all it’s just a beauty. The interiors are classic and exclusive Maharaja Style. Few may know that Queen Regent Kempananjammanni Vanivilasa Sanndihana, commissioned the well-known British architect Henry Irwin to build a Palace that would be a tribute to the legacy of Mysore and the Wodeyars.
Built in the Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, it is one of the most splendid buildings and is certainly a beautiful sight when illuminated on Sundays and festive occasions. The palace is open from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm and is located on Sayyaji Rao road.

3. While at the Palace, another interesting place to visit is St. Philomena’s Cathedral which is located at Ashoka Road and very close to the Mysore Palace. The then king of Mysore Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV laid the foundation for construction of this church in 1933. The cathedral has beautiful stained glass windows and two lofty 175 feet spires. The Cathedral also embraces a relic of Saint Philomena and just below the main altar is her catacomb. 

Photography is not allowed here and also inside the Cathedral, one can only take pictures of the fa├žade from the outside.

Built in the neo-Gothic style, the Cathedral was designed by a French architect, Reverend Rene Feuge. Its architecture is said to resemble the St. Patrick’s cathedral at New York and a church at Cologne in Germany. The Cathedral is open from 8am to 6pm and the Eucharist is celebrated both in the morning and evening. Once at the cathedral you need just about fifteen minutes to take a good look around.

4. Fourth on the list and worth a visit too is Chamarajendra Art Gallery. This gallery boasts of elaborate paintings and portraits of kings, ceramic, porcelain and glass objects that have made their way to Mysore from England and Japan and many other places too.
You could choose to skip this and head to the Railway Museum located at Krishnaraja Sagar Road if you have seen the murals at the palace and ornate articles don’t interest you so much. The museum has a beautiful collection of locomotives, photographs and paintings that display a chronology of the Railways history in India. Amongst the many engines and models that are on display, it also houses an Austin 1925 Railway Car. It is said that it was used for carrying inspection officials on track and could transmit around six people. It is the only one of its kind in the world still in running condition.

5. Built across the river Kaveri, Brindavan Gardens is your next destination.The gardens main attraction is its musical fountain where bursts of water from the fountain are harmonized to musical beats.

The garden is open on all days from 6:30 am to 9 pm and looks beautiful post sunset. It has many open places where one can just relax. Many lawns and ornamental plants also grace the park.


While at Mysore, Ooty is just few hours away.

1.  You can travel to Ooty which is just a 3.5 hour drive from Mysore. Stop en route to take a wild safari ride through the forests of Bandipur and Mudhumalai. Here you will spot the 20 tonne bison, grazing deer all around, a herd of elephants crossing your way or just brushing themselves against the bushes or even spot a tiger feasting on a fresh kill. You can spend around two hours at the sanctuary and then head to Ooty, stop on your way to grab a quick meal of either noodles, bhurji pao or else some garam chilli bhajias too.

2. Enjoy a panoramic view of Ooty, the lofty hills and grasslands while you jump on the century old toy train that goes from Ooty to Coonoor (1 hour). Here you get the opportunity to enjoy a lovely view of the valleys and pristine surroundings. All you need to do is book a train ticket in advance through the online portal or else you will have to head to the station at least an hour and a half before the train is scheduled and queue up for a ticket. 

3.   Also while at Ooty treat yourself to some yummy homemade chocolates- available at most shops all around the hill station. You could also visit the government tea and chocolate factory to see how tea leaves are processed. It includes the complete process from plucking to sipping some garam cardamom flavoured chai.

4.  Also visit Coonoor, just 40 minutes from Ooty. The complete journey from Ooty to Coonoor is graced with tea plantations and Nilgiri trees. You can take a walk through the tea plantations and breathe in some tea flavoured fresh air. Coonoor is also the turf for varied varieties of trees. In fact Sims Park sports over a thousand species planted over the years. Trees from West Indies, Texas and even Australia have taken root at the park centuries ago. At Coonoor visit Dolphin Nose (scenic view) and Kitty Valley, which offers a spectacular view of the hill station. Also visit All Saints Church and St. Anthony's Church spread across the hill.

5.   Some of the other places you could also visit include the Mukuthi National park (Deer), Government museum, Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Stephen's Church (Protestant) Stone House- the oldest British building in Ooty and Fernhill Palace a hotel now; it lies nested in the lap of Fern and Nilgiri trees. You could choose to stay here in this auburn colonial cottage for INR 11,000/- a night.