Mysore Travel Guide-: 14 Amazing Places That One Must Not Miss in the Heritage City of Mysuru (2021)
Mysore officially Mysuru famously known as the city of palaces is located at the base of Chamundi hills. The name itself reminds of palaces, rich culture, heritage, and serenity. The city is spread over an area of 155.7 square kilometer and is the largest districts in the state of Karnataka. In fact, the name Mysore is heritage since the state of Karnataka was known as Mysore until 1973. Mysore was also the former capital of the Kingdom of Mysore for nearly six centuries until 1947.
Mysore is located at 770 m above sea level and is 142 km towards the southwest of Bangalore. The population of the city is 9.21 lakhs according to the census of 2011.
The city earned the cadre of the cultural capital of the state when the kingdom was ruled by kings Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. Mysore is now known for its rich cultural and royal heritage, ancient palaces, ornate architecture with Mysore palace being a UNESCO world heritage site. Amba Vilas palace also known as Mysore palace is the most visited palace in India.
From Mysore Dasara festival where thousands of come everywhere for a week-long celebration to the grandeur of Mysore palace, the city is also famous for Mysore paintings, Mysore Pak for people with sweet tooth, country’s favorite Mysore masala dosa, Mysore Sandal Soap, Mysore Ink and the Mysore silk sarees. Mysore is also famous for the betel leaves and a rare variety of jasmine flower known as Mysore Mallige. Mysore is also called the yoga capital for Ashtanga yoga. People from all over the world come to Mysore to learn ashtanga yoga.
Mysore Travel Guide-: 14 Amazing Places That One Must Not Miss in the Heritage City of Mysuru
1. Mysore Palace or The Amba Vilas Palace
Mysore palace is an architectural marvel and a national treasure which is a blend of Hindu, Muslim and Rajput and gothic architectures. The palace has been converted into a museum which has treasures, souvenirs, famous paintings, royal jewelry worn by the kings and queens, royal costumes worn by kings at the palace and during the war and other items on display from the historical times possessed by the Wodeyars. The painted glasses and mirrors depict the history of the kings lived in the palace. It is a three storied palace with marble carvings which is exquisitely decorated and ornately designed doors leading to magnificent rooms and hallways which add to the beauty of palace.
Mysore palace is open on all weekdays from 10: 00 AM to 5: 30 PM IST.
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2. Lalitha Mahal
Lalitha mahal is also called the royal guest house and it is the second biggest palace after Mysore palace.
It was built in 1921 and its magnificent architecture, the architecture of the grand palace was inspired by St. Paul cathedral in London and was built as a guest house for the royal family’s guests. The interiors were done with the exquisite Belgian crystal chandeliers, Iranian and Persian carpets which add to the beauty of the place. A part of Lalitha mahal has been converted into a heritage hotel which is run and maintained by India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
Lalitha mahal is open to visit for the public on all weekdays between 10: 00 AM to 5: 30 PM IST.
3. Brindavan Gardens
If you like going away from the city crowd and breathe in the fresh air with lush greenery all around, Brindavan gardens is your place. The gardens are at a distance of approximately 23 kilometers from the Mysore city and is a perfect place to spend a quiet and delightful evening. Brindavan gardens are built across the famous Cauvery river and it took around 5 years to build the gardens. The gardens are divided in to two parts north and south which can be visited by a boat. Thousands of tourists visit the gardens every year. One of the main attractions of the gardens is a well-orchestrated fountain show beautiful lights and music.
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Brindavan gardens are open to visit on all days between 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM IST.
4. Somnathapura Temple
Somnathapura is a town in Mysore district around 35 kilometers from the main city which is known for the very famous somanathapura temple. The temple is also called Chennakeshava Temple which is an example of the heritage architecture in Mysore as the temple was built in 1268 A.D using soapstone.
The peculiar architecture attracts tourists from all over the world and is also declared a heritage site by the archeological survey of India. It is a famous attraction for many Shiva devotes as the temple houses Pataleshwara Shivalinga which is red in color during the day, black at noon and white in the evening.
The town is also famous for Keshava temple which is one of the last marvels remaining from the Hoysala architecture.
5. Mysore Zoo
Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens which is also known as Mysore zoo is one of the favorite tourist attractions in Mysore. It is also one of the most popular and oldest zoos in India. It is located 3 kilometers from the main city and 2 kilometers from Mysore palace is not only famous for the wide variety of animals, flora and fauna but is also famous for its scenic beauty with a view of Chamundi hills.
The zoo has more than 40 avian species which is very rarely found in any zoos in the world. Mysore zoo has all 3 varieties of rhino which makes it the only zoo in India where all 3 rhinos can be visited at one place. The zoo also houses tigers, Brown bear, sloth bear, brown lemur, Nigiri langur, chimpanzee, orangutan and the Himalayan bear. The zoo also has 85 different types of trees which makes it unique.
The zoo is open for public on all days of the week except Tuesdays between 8:30 AM to 5:30 AM.
6. Krishna Raja Sagara Dam (KRS Dam)
The Krishna Raja Sagara Dam (KRS Dam) has been built across the Kaveri river is a very peaceful, tranquilizing place to visit in Mysore. The dam was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and it is not only a major source for irrigation water in Mysore and Mandya but also is the major source of drinking water for the entire Mysore and Bangalore cities. The dam is located around 20 kilometers from the main city and is a famous driving spot and a walking spot in the evening. The bridge is lit up In the evening and people come here for evening strolls. There are many boutique, luxurious hotels near the dam where people can enjoy their holiday in calm and serenity away from the city crowd.
7. Chamundeshawari Temple and Chamundi Hills
Chamundi hills are located approximately 13 kms east of Mysore and the place is named after the Indian goddess chamundeshwari. One major highlight of this place is the chamundeshwari temple which is an ancient temple built on the hilltop. One is supposed to climb around 1000 stairs to reach the temple. The temple houses a statue of Mahishasura, the devil killed by goddess chamundeshwari at the spot. The statue has a sword in one hand and a cobra in the other.
There is a statue of goddess Chamundeshwari also known as goddess Durga in the temple’s sanctum. A day tour to the Chamundi hills and the temple is a perfect way to spend an evening in Mysore away from the city hustle.
8. Chunchanakatte Falls
It is a revitalizing experience to see Chunchanakatte Falls and a pleasant escape from the hustle bustle. Located 55 kms from Mysore, it is famous waterfall formed at Cauvery river. It is one of the favorite tourists sites in monsoon and is visited by thousand of tourists every year. On the banks there is the famous Kodanda Rama temple. Mythology says goddess Sita took a bath at this place which gives the water a yellowish or turmeric tinge. It is also a very famous spot to see and listen to the chirping of migratory birds if you are a nature lover. The best time to visit Chunchanakatte fall is during January and February.
9. Karanji Lake
Karanji lake is the largest lake in Karnataka and is considered one of the unmissable tourist spots in Karnataka. The lake is nestled around the Chamundi hills and is a home to more than 180 species of migratory birds. The lake covers an area of around 55 acres nestled with aviary, butterfly park on the banks. It is a paradise for nature lovers and people who like to walk, a perfect sightseeing spot and a good place to practice your photography skills.
The lake is open for visitors at 8:30 AM and closes at 6:00PM on all days of the week except Tuesdays.
10. Jagmohan Palace
Located in the Mysore city, an architectural marvel, a heritage building and one of the best places to visit for history buffs. Jagmohan palace was originally constructed as a residence or a retreat home for the royal family which was later converted into a gallery. The palace is built in traditional Hindu architectural style and hold historic importance as many major events have taken place from the palace.
The palace is ornated with intricate carvings of Dashavatara i.e. the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. It also has magnificent carvings about the history of royal family and houses murals of Dashavatara as well. The beauty of the palace can leave one breathless.
11. St. Philomena Church
St. Philomena Church is one of the largest churches in Asia built to honor St. Philomena and is located in the northern part of the city and is one of the oldest churches in India. If you are a fan of Gothic architecture this is the right place for you to visit in Mysore. It draws inspiration from Germany’s Cologne Cathedral is a major landmark in the city.
The main hall of the church can seat up to 800 people. The church has intricate designs on the walls and beautiful glasses with painting from the Christ’s era.
The cathedral also houses a beautiful statue which was acquired from France, of Saint Philomena which adds attraction to this place.
12. Shuka Vana
If you like spending your day walking and listening to the birds chirping around, you must visit Shuka vana. This places houses around 2000 varieties of birds and is a famous tourist spot for nature lovers. It is also a good place to spend a day amidst the nature. It has a 50-meter-high aviary covering an area of 1 acre has around 450 varied species of birds and holds a record in the famous Guinness book of world records. Shuka Vana also has a very famous Parrot park which is a part of Avadhoota Datta Peetham in the Sri Ganapathi Sachidananda Ashram and serves as a rehabilitation centre for birds who are injured or abused.
There is no entry fee to visit Shuka Vana and is open between 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM on all days.
13. Trinesvaraswamy Temple
Trinesvaraswamy temple is the famous Dravidian style temple situated right outside Mysore fort and is a major tourist spot. Trineshvara is three eyed Shiva, the worshipped deity in this temple. This place is visited by thousands of devotees every year. This temple can be seen facing the palace has a beautiful view. The temple is open between sunrise and sunset every day.
14. Bonsai Garden
A very distinctive place in Mysore which has over 100 varieties of bonsai trees, is a very unique tourist attraction. This garden is also a part of Avadoota Datta Peetham of the Sri Ganapathi Sachidananda Ashrama. It is a good spot for nature lovers to spend sometime away from the crowd.
The Bonsai garden is spread over 4 acres of land and the trees are arranged in groups based on Indian zodiac system, Indian classical music. They are also grouped on the basis of seven Indian sages, Indian nakshatra system. A visit to the bonsai garden can add to your knowledge about the Indian culture which are the basis of representation of trees in groups and can also be a refreshing experience.
Bonsai Garden is open between 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM on all days.