If you haven’t been to Mysore, you just haven’t seen South India. Conceited though it may sound, this is not an overstatement. An ancient city with more than 600 glorious years of legacy, Mysore is one of the most flamboyant places in India. Known for its glittering royal heritage, bustling markets, magnificent monuments, cosmopolitan culture and a friendly populace, it is also a thriving centre for the production of premium silk, sandalwood and incense. It also flaunts considerable expertise in yoga and ayurveda, two trades it markets worldwide.
Places to see in Mysore
Intricately carved rosewood doors and ceilings, some with inlaid ivory work, marble figurines, collections of caskets, paintings of the members of the royal family and other objects of personal use exhibit such opulence, though age has worn them out a bit with slight discoloration. The palace remains closed from 5-7 p.m. everyday. The palace is illuminated by close to 100,000 bulbs between 7 p.m.-8 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays.
Brindavan Gardens and Musical Fountain
Brindavan Gardens and musical fountain is located at the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam, in the neighborhood of Mysore. The musical fountain light and music show begins at 7 p.m. everyday. If you want to go there via bus, name of the bus stop is: Main Bus Stand, KR circle.
Contact +91-821-259-0027 to enquire for various service timings at temple. Chamundi Hills has a temple of Goddess Chamundeshwari (or Chamundi). Atop the hill, Goddess Chamundi’s idol is placed in a beautiful temple with marvelous architecture. It is a plastic free zone. Air Conditioned Volvo buses are available to Chamundi Hill and back, from the city bus stand every twenty minutes. The charges are very nominal. Rs. 20 for regular queue (typically longer) & Rs 100 for shorter queue.
Tipu Sultan’s Palace
Jagmohan Palace and Art Gallery: A former palace that has been converted into an art gallery featuring famous works by various Indian artists. It has an extensive collection of Ravi Varma paintings. The entry charges are 30 rupees for Indians and 120 rupees for foreigners.
Lalit Mahal Palace
Also, a former palace but now a five-star hotel, visitors should go around afternoon tea time as they serve a great British high tea. It is located near Chamundi Hill.
St. Philomenas Church
A beautiful Cathedral, reminiscent of medieval architectural style, is one of the largest churches in the country. Built in gothic style, the Church has an imposing structure with stained glass windows and lofty towers.
Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Avadhoota Datta Peetham is an ashram in Mysore. It has beautiful gardens with bonsais among other plants. You can buy some herbal tea for an infusion, grown in the gardens.
Mysore Zoo is one of the city’s most popular attractions. The zoo is closed on Tuesday. It was established under royal patronage in 1892, making it one of the oldest zoos in the world, and since then millions of people have enjoyed its wonderful animals and spectacular grounds. The parking fee collected is Rs 50/- for bus, Rs 30/- for mini-bus or tempo, Rs 10/- for cars and Rs 5/- for two wheelers, Rs 40 for adults, Rs 10 for children over 5, Battery Operated Vehicle Tour Rs 100, Rs 20 for camera.
It is a small lake inside the city. This is a favorite spot of romantic couples. You can go for a small trip of boating. The lake is surrounded by green trees and you can also see variety of birds like pelicans and painted storks on the island in Karanji Kere. In local language, Kere means Lake and thus a lake by the name of Karanji is called as Karanji Kere.
Jayalakshmivilas mansion, Manasagangotri
It was built by H.H. Vani Vilasa Sannidhana ( Maharani Regent of Mysore: 1895-1902) for her daughter Jayalakshammanni (Eldest daughter of HH Chamaraja Wadiyar – Maharaja of Mysore:1881-1894). It has around 200 rooms, an exotic dancing hall and a kalyanmantap with intricately carved wood pillars. It is converted into a museum and stores artifacts pertaining to local folk performing arts, tools and objects of various artisans and other archaeological findings.
Happy Man Park
The Happy Man Park near Kamakshi Hospital, some three kilometers from the Railway Station, is a very popular hangout place of children and parents. The park is quite compact in size but contains a mini zoo and many hen and ducks roam around the lawns freely.
National Museum on Natural History is located near Nandhini Dairy. It is open on Tue-Sun, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum showcases exhibits on plants, animals and geology of the southern region of India.
Folk Art Museum
Founded in 1968 and located in the university of Mysore campus in Jayalakshmivilas Mansion at Manasa Gangorti, the museum has over 6500 folk art and folklore articles on display and exhibits arts and crafts from all over the state of Karnataka, majority being Yakshgan and Puppet art.
The rail museum exhibits vintage locomotives. This is the second such museum set up in India after the Rail museum in Delhi. The museum is located near the railway station, The major attraction of the museum is the wagon that was used by the Queen of Mysore. There is a small Toy Train in the museum. The museum is small and can be visited while arriving or leaving Mysore during working hours.
Oriental Research Institute
Formerly known as the oriental library, it was started in 1891 and contains over 33,000 palm leaf manuscripts – the most famous of which is the Kautilya Arthashastra.
Established in October 2010, this unique wax museum is based on musicians and musical instruments from all over the world.