City of Palace

Theme: Education / Environment / Culture

Camp Code: FSL-WC-208 

From time immemorial, the fragrance of sandalwood has delighted the connoisseurs of perfume. Mysore, India’s ‘Sandalwood City’ also known as the ‘City of Palaces’ is the cultural capital of the state of Karnataka. For nearly 6 centuries, the kingdom of Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty, who were patrons of art and culture. An enlightened dynasty, the Wodeyars contributed significantly to the cultural and economic growth of the city and the state. In Mysore city, an ‘old-world’ ambience prevails. One can almost see the ghosts of years gone by, hear a faint battle-cry, the clash of weapons, or the boom of a cannon.

The Camp: Mysore being the cultural capital of Karnataka, is a great place to learn about the culture and history of the state. However, the main objective of the camp is to make a difference to the existing educational system by introducing creative learning methods to the schoolchildren, improving the facilities of the school, and creating awareness on environmental issues within the community. Gaining first-hand agricultural knowledge from local farmers, and intercultural exchange are some of the highlights of this camp.

Activities:

  • Mould young minds, teach basic English in schools with non-formal and creative learning methods like art, music, games
  • Help renovate a school to provide better facilities for schoolchildren
  • Unleash your creativity, paint educational murals on school walls
  • Conduct upcycling activities, teach schoolchildren the creative use of waste material
  • Educate schoolchildren to be eco-conscious, create awareness on waste management
  • Help to combat global warming and also create pleasant, green spots by planting trees and flowering shrubs in the community
  • Visit a local Indian family and exchange notes on your experiences
  • Be part of an exposure visit to organic farm and acquire hands-on experience in farming activities
  • Talk to local farmers and learn about their methods of natural resource management

Leisure: Mysore palace is the official residence of the Wodeyar family and was the administrative seat of the kingdom of Mysore for centuries. Built mainly in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, it houses a treasure trove of beautiful paintings and objets d’art, collected over the years by the royal family. Antique lovers will find it hard to budge from here, with such a visual feast at hand.

At Mysore, Dasara is celebrated ceremoniously in October, with the warriors as well as the state fighting for the good, displaying the state sword and weapons. Richly caparisoned elephants and horses along with the goddess Chamundeshwari in her warrior form, dancers, jugglers, musical bands and elaborate floats parade before the royal family and bedazzled tourists from the world over.

The Brindavan Gardens took 5 years to complete and lies adjoining the Krishnarajasagara Dam, which is built across the river Kaveri. It is spread across 60 acres, with an adjoining fruit orchard of 75 acres and has 3 terraces, with a topiary, gazebos and pergolas, ficus trees, foliage and flowering plants. However, the main attraction is the musical fountain which plays music synchronised to bursts of water and scintillating lights.

In Hindu folklore, Mysore was plagued by the demon-king Mahishasura, a buffalo-headed monster. An ancient stone staircase of 1008 steps leads to the temple of the goddess Chamundeshwari, who fought and killed the demon, thereby liberating the city from his tyranny. Halfway to the shrine is a huge statue of a Nandi bull, carved out of a single piece of black granite. Hiking up this historic hill is a pleasurable experience, from the top of which lies a breathtaking view of the city of Mysore.

In an interim period, Mysore was ruled by Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan known as the ‘Tiger of Mysore’, who fought valiantly against the British to keep the Deccan independent. A fact not known to many is that Tipu was also a pioneer of rocket technology in India. Srirangapatna, his capital, is where relics of Tipu’s reign can be viewed. It is also a place of pilgrimage for the Vaishnavite sect of Hinduism whose Ranganathaswamy temple draws thousands of pilgrims every year.

The Sand Sculpture museum holds more than 150 sand sculptures showcasing 16 different themes, made out of 115 lorry loads of sand, and is the only one of its kind in India. The Mysore Zoo is more than 100 years old and has been open to the public since 1902. Exotic animals, birds and reptiles are housed here and it also includes a bird sanctuary at Karanji Lake.

Location: Mysore is located in the state of Karnataka, 185 kilometres north of Bangalore, and 138 kilometres from Bangalore satellite bus station

Transport:

Nearest international airports – Bangalore

Nearest railway station – Hospet (13 kms)

Bus services available from – Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore, Goa The exact meeting point will be mentioned in the info sheet

Accommodation:: At a rented guest house or hostel, with shared rooms