Our next destination is Mysore, famous for its many beautiful palaces. We begin our visit north of town in Srirangapantna the ancient seat of the sultan of Mysore. Though the British destroyed much of the fortifications that date back to the 900s some sights are still there. Daria Daulat Bagh served as the summer residency of Tipu Sultan, the last ruler whose resistance was finally defeated by the British in 1799.
Somanathapura 35 km west of Mysore is home to the Chennakesava Temple a masterpiece of Hoysala Architecture. The ornate temple was consecrated in 1258 and is stunningly decorated by hundreds of carved stone statues.
The present Mysore Palace rivals in size with Versaille. It was finished in 1912, after its predecessor burned to the ground. The huge structure stands on a slight incline and overlooks a big parade ground and spacious gardens. Ferociously snarling tiger sculptures dare us before we follow many school and tourist groups through truly gigantic halls with brightly painted pillars, walls and ceilings. Murals depict life and parades in Mysore during British rule.
We split for the rest of the afternoon. I visit the small but well maintained railway museum next to the main station.