Mysore is the second largest city of Karnataka. It lies in the range of Chamunda Hills covering an area of 152 kms and 146km southwest of Bangalore. Mysore is known for its royalty as it was ruled by Wadiyar Dynasty during the reign of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.
There are many beautiful places to visit in Mysore, such as “Mysore Palace” with other heritage sites and festival “Mysore Dasara” which attracts innumerable tourists across the world. It is also famous for “Mysore Silk Sarees” which is a must buy for every female tourist and other products like Mysore peta, ink and sandalwood soap.
Mysore is over-crowded every year due to its major tourist attractions. Let us have a look at some of the best places to visit in Mysore which makes the city special:-
Best Places To Visit in Mysore (Palaces)
It was built by Maharaj Krishnaraja Wadiyar and Maharani Kempannanjammanni Devi. The architecture blends Hindu, Mughal, Rajput and Gothic styles perfectly in Indoscarcenic style. It is a three-story grey granite stone building with deep pink marble domes and several arches crafted beautifully.
It has some interesting unique rooms like The Golden throne, The Ambavilasa, Dolls pavilion, the Kalyana Mantapa and some famous temples in its complex. There are three entrance gates: – East gate (front gate), South Gate and West gate with a number of secret tunnels leading to confidential places. The enchanting beauty of the palace attracts about 6 million visitors annually. It is one of the best places to visit in Mysore. The beauty and historic value of the Mysore Palace make it a must visit for all the tourists.
Jaganmohan Palace was built in 1861and used to be Wadiyar’s residence till the new Mysore palace was built. The palace is magnificently built in Hindu Architecture. It includes two wooden carvings of Dshavatara, carvings of Lord Vishnu and 10 incarnations of Hindu God. It contains 2000 different kinds of paintings from Mysore, Mughal and Shantiniketan style.
It has a grand art gallery with the paintings of great Raja Ravi Verma and the famous painting of ‘lady with the lamp” by artist Heldenkar which is placed in a dark room. It also has an auditorium for cultural occasions like traditional dance performances, music festivals and many more. The beauty and art of this place attract a huge population of tourist here throughout the year.
Lalitha Mahal Palace
Located near Chamundi hills to the east of Mysore, the Lalitha Mahal Palace was built in 1921 by Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV. It follows the renaissance architecture style with fine lush green garden. It is a two-story building. Interior doors, ceilings as well some exterior parts have been decorated with stained glasses to add more glamour.
The palace has many important parts like viceroy room, Italian marble staircase, dancing floor, banquet hall. Other mesmerizing decorations includes full portraits of the Wadiyar kings, Belgian crystal chandeliers, Italian marble floor, heavy ornate furniture, cut glass lambs and many royal antique stuff which are definitely a treat to the eyes. This place will definitely leave all the visitors speechless and spellbound with beauty.
Popular Places To Visit in Mysore (Museums)
It is one of the oldest museums of India built in the year 1979 by Indian railways second to the national museum in Delhi. It is famous for its collections of primitive locomotives of India. It has two royal coaches knows as ranga pavilion which belongs to the King of Mysore. It also has the carriage used for “Maharani’s Salon” purpose which has a kitchen, a royal washroom, unit for dining cars, Austin rail motor car and an “E-Class Engine” of the 1920’s.
The Chamundi gallery is also the main attraction of the museum which shows the growth of Indian Railways over the years. This is one of the most popular tourist attraction destinations of Mysore and is totally a must visit.
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It is a contribution by Karnataka government towards the art and crafts from different areas of Karnataka. It depicts the folk culture of Karnataka in the most beautiful and intrinsic manner. The museum has a total collection of around 6,500 folklore creations.
The most famous among them are the costumes of Yakshaganas, Hanuman mukut from Bali village of North Karnataka, Kathakali dance costume, costumes of famous Karnataka folk artists, masks, leather dolls, puppets, sawdust, Folk ornaments, headwear and many more such wonderful things.
This museum has a huge variety of fascinating and stunning collection of valuable antiques that are definitely a feast for every visitor’s eye. For all those who have an eye for these unique things, this is one of the best places to visit in Mysore.
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Regional Museum of Natural History
It is an important attraction in Mysore, established on 20th may, in the year 1995. Its main objective is to educate people about preserving the biological ecosystem. Different models, audiovisuals, themes have been used to raise awareness among people. Sections like a tropical rain forest, wetlands, marine life, mangrove forests are there in the museum to help people realize the importance of our ecosystem.
There is also a section which shows killing animals with cruelty, to help people realize the value of every living creature in this world. Most attractive part is the mysterious tunnel that helps visitors to see the evolution of the ecosystem in the earth and mysterious facts associated with it. This place is very fascinating and is totally worth spending some time on.
Religious Places To Visit in Mysore
Located in Somnathpura 35kms from Mysore, this temple is a must visit. It is built in Hoyasala architectural pattern which is a unique and beautiful one. It was built in 1268 AD during the reign of Hoysalas. It follows a typical Hoysala pattern with a raised platform built in star shape 16 points with three major idols of Lord Keshava, Janardhana, and Venugopal along with their Vimana and Sukanasi.
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The Main Temple has three peaks and two attics with towers between them. The temple consists of carvings of various Hindu gods and Goddesses and depicts instances from Ramayana, Mahabharata etc. This place is an ideal destination for all those who have a spiritual soul and need to attain some peaceful time.
Chamundeshwari Temple is dedicated to Chamundeshwari Mata or Maa Durga and is located at a distance of 13 kms away from Mysore city. The temple stands at the top of Chamundi hills at an altitude of 3,489 ft above the sea level. The temple is built in the Dravidian style and is almost 1000 years old.
The entrance has a beautiful pyramidal tower known as “7 tier Gopura” while the Sanctum Sanctorum has a small tower known as “Vimana”. The temple attracts a large number of devotees every year globally as it is believed that all your dreams and wishes get fulfilled here. So if you also have a wish that is yet to be fulfilled, you can definitely consider visiting the Chamundeshwari Temple.
St. Philomena’s Church
It is an exemplary creation of neo-gothic architecture inspired by Cologne Cathedral Church of Germany. It was built in 1936 designed by a French architect named Daly. The floor of the church is designed in a cross shape pattern. The longer part of the cross is called “Nave” meaning Congregation Hall. The arms on both sides are called “Transepts”. The middle part containing the altar and the choir is the “Crossing”.
The Church consists of St.Philomena’s Statue with a crypt. The main hall has a seating arrangement of 800 people and the glass windows have stained color depicting incidents from the life of Christ. If you want some blessings along with a great experience of a beautiful church then the St.Philomena’s Church is the best one to visit.
Melkote is a holy pilgrimage of Karnataka blessed with natural and environmental beauty attracting thousands of devotees daily. It is dedicated to Sri Cheluvnarayana swami. He was worshipped by Lord Dattatreya in Kretayuga known as vedari, Narayanadri in tretayuga and finally Yadavadri as he was worshipped by Lord Krishna and Balaram.
In kalyuga king of Yathis, Sri Ramanujacharya worshipped him and invented the temple in devotion to him. Melukote is often tagged as Badrinath of South India. The temple is simple and square in architecture.
It has the metallic Utsavamurti representing Shelvapillai, Cheluva raya, and Cheluvanarayana Swamy. It is believed to be worshipped by Lord Rama and kings of Surya Vamsa from generations.
Other Popular Places To Visit in Mysore
Brindavan Gardens is located in Mandya district of Karnataka and is an amazing destination. It stands proudly on 60 acres land, fruit orchard of 75 acres, two horticultural farms, Nagavana of 30 acres and Chandravana of 5 acres. There are 3 terraces covering the entire garden. The garden has its inspiration from Shalimar gardens of Kashmir built in Mughal style.
Each terrace is decorated with flower beds, green lawns, hedges and beautiful trees. It also offers boat riding to the tourists during sunset which gives a mesmerizing view of the garden. The evening ends with colorful musical fountains show closing the garden for the day. This is one of the best places to visit in Mysore for all those who are in love with the idea and concept of nature.
The Mysore Zoo is one of the oldest zoos of India and also a major tourist attraction. It was established in the year 1892 by Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur. It covers a total area of 157 acres. It is the home to a number of wildlife species like Lions, Tigers, Jaguar, Elephant, Giraffe, Birds, Sloth bear, anacondas, leopards and many more.
The peak season to enjoy wildlife in this zoo is during the summer holidays, Dasara festival and New Year. The Mysore zoo aims towards various objectives like research work, the recreation center for the tourists, animal breeding, rehabilitation of animals and birds. It is one of the best places to visit in Mysore for people who are interested in wildlife photography, the Mysore zoo could be an ideal place to visit.
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The Karanji Lake is a perfect family destination with a wonderful lake view and a beautiful nature park surrounding the lake with the famous walk-through bird aviary and Butterfly Park. The walk-through bird sanctuary is the biggest sanctuary in India decorated with artificial waterfalls and some small water bodies. It has 17 different species of birds with 40 to 50 in number. Rare birds like Hornbills, Turkeys, White Peacocks, Black swans are a must see for the visitors.
Butterfly Park, on the other hand, has 45 different species of butterfly built on a small island. It is one of the best places to visit in Mysore for a fun day out with family and friends. Do not forget to carry your camera here as you will get an opportunity to capture some beautiful pictures.
Best Time To Visit Mysore
To enjoy the cool and pleasant weather of Mysore it is best to visit it in the winter season between the months of October to February. The temperature at this time drops down to around 10-degrees Celsius with a perfectly chilled weather and if you are lucky you may get to experience rain during this season which makes the city more beautiful and vibrant.
This season also calls for the famous Dasara festival in Mysore starting from Navratri to Vijayadashami which is a very colorful festival gathering millions of tourists each year.
How to Reach Mysore
Visiting Mysore By Air
Nearest airport to Mysore is Bangalore International Airport located at a distance of 175 km away from Mysore. Flight is available from all cities of India up to Bangalore. From Bangalore, it takes 3 hours to reach Mysore.
Visiting Mysore By Bus
Tourist buses are available from Kempegowda Bus Stop to which will be traveling to Mysore. Tickets can be booked at the counter only no pre-booking is required.
Visiting Mysore By Train
A number of express trains are available from Bangalore to Mysore that covers the distance within 3 hours. Some of the most popular trains available are Tippu Express, Chamundi Express, Kaveri express, Mysore Express.
Visiting Mysore By Road
If you want an adventurous ride to Mysore you can do it from Bangalore taking the SH 17 road to Mysore via different locations like Kangri, Ramnagaram, Mandya. You can also take the NH 209 route via Kanakpura, Mallavali, and Bannur.
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