Mysore


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Mysore was actually called Mahishuru. According to Hindu mythology, the area was ruled by a demon called Mahishasura. He was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hill. Mahishuru later became Mahisuru and finally came to be called as Mysore. Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka and is located at the base of the Chamundi Hills.
             

Nandi on Chamundi Hills,Mysore
Nandi on Chamundi Hill

 Mysore is noted for its palaces, including the Mysore Palace

Mysore Maharaja’s Palace

and for the festivities that take place during the Dusshera, the state festival of Karnataka. Mysore is known for its rosewood inlay work, Mysore paintings, Mysore Peta (a traditional silk turban), Mysore silk saree and a sweet dish named Mysore Pak.   Until India’s Independence, Mysore served as the capital city of the Kingdom of Mysore/Princely State (the Kingdom comprise the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu including the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry). The Kingdom of Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty till the late 18th century when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan assumed power.

  One can access Mysore by the following means: –      By Air: Nearest Airport is Bangalore International Airport which is approx. 145 Kms (one way) –      By Rail: Mysore railway station –      By Road: It is very well connected with buses and taxis from Bangalore and major cities.

Kumarakom

House Boat on the Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom
Boat ride in the Kumarakom lake is a unique experience. Located in the southern Indian state of Kerala,Kumarakom offers unique boat rides for its visitors. 
 Set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake, famous for its backwaters and is habitat for many marine and freshwater fish species.   Kumarakom is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is a noted place for many species of migratory birds.   

 One can access Kumarakom by the following means: –      By Air: Nearest Airport is Cochin International Airport which is approx. 90 Kms (one way) –      By Rail: Kottayam is the nearest railway station –      By Road: It is very well connected with buses and taxis.  View Larger Map

Muktinath Temple in Nepal

Muktinath Temple is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of God Vishnu and is located at the foot of the Thorong La mountain pass of the Himalayas in the Mustang district of Nepal.
Muktinath is a sacred place for both Hindus and Buddhists. The Hindus call this place as Mukti Kshetra which means “the place of salvation” whereas the Buddhists call it Chumig Gyatsa which means in Tibetan “Hundred Waters”. The shrine is predominant among all 108 Hindu Sri Vaishnava Divyadesam stalas and is considered one of the eight most sacred shrines called the Svayam Vyakta Kshetras of Vaishnavas whereas the other seven being Srirangam, Srimushnam and Totadri Mutt in Tamil Nadu, Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, Naimisharanyam in Uttar Pradesh, Pushkar in Rajasthan and Badrinath in Uttarakhand.
The temple’s outer courtyard has 108 bull faced dhara’s (water holes) as it is said to be very auspicious to take bath on all the dhara’s as you never know which dhara is related to your zodiac sign or birth star.
According to Hindu astrology, there are 12 zodiac signs or rashi’s and 9 planets or grahas giving a combination of 108. Also there are 27 lunar houses or birth stars which are divided into 4 quarters or padas each giving a combination of 108.
Muktinath Temple

 

Muktinath Temple

 

Kali Gandaki River

 

View of Snow peaked mountains from Jomsom

 

Way to Muktinath Temple from Jomsom

 

Stairs leading to Muktinath Temple

 

Muktinath Temple another view

 

Shiva Temple in Muktinath

 

Snow peaked mountains from flight

 

Snow peaked mountains in Jomsom

 

Mountains in closeup

 

Agni Air flight from Pokhara to Jomsom

 

Flights to Jomsom

 

Jomsom Airport

 

Mountains from Jomsom

 

Sunrise view from Jomsom

 

Sunrise View

 

Other mountains from Jomsom

 

Views from Jomsom

 

Views from Jomsom

 

Pokhara Airport

 

Tara Air flight

 

Views from Muktinath

 

Kali Gandaki River from flight

 

Kali Gandaki River

 

Jomsom City
The waterway downstream from Muktinath is the Kali Gandaki River which is the source of all Silas or Saligramams (a representation of Lord Vishnu). The entire river bed has Saligramams stones which are used to worship Lord Vishnu. If you are fortunate you might get a Saligramam embossed with the Sudharshan chakra or Conch shell.  

 

The best time to visit Muktinath is between April and June due to unpredictable weather conditions.  It is always suggested to stay for a night or two in Jomsom for acclimatization as the weather might not be favorable for many because of the risk of acute mountain sickness.
Access is very difficult because of tough and varying weather conditions. However one can fly or travel by road from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then fly from Pokhara to Jomsom Airport. From Jomsom airport one has to walk till the jeep point which might be approx. 1 km. The tourists can then take a jeep to Muktinath which is approx. 22 kms, 1-1½ hrs drive. On arrival at the jeep point, the guests have to walk for a km and then they have an option to climb the hill to reach the Muktinath temple by foot or take a bike.


The dornier flights from Pokhara to Jomsom and vice versa operate only in the morning hours each day, particularly from 7am to 10:30am. Post 11am, the flight does not operate due to strong winds.