Mysore! It is difficult to say if Mysore is a modern city that is trying hard to uphold traditions, or an old world city that tries even harder to spot a modern outlook.
Whatever the truth be, the word Mysore evokes a lot of anticipation.
You can still anticipate a lot more, and Mysore has the character to match all those expectations. And lastly Mysore won’t burn a big hole in your wallet. It is more likely the time that you will get hard pressed for, rather than the budget in exploring Mysore.
This city is not a typical tourist trap, albeit the fact that it is a major tourism destination that attracts millions of visitors every year.You may a classic tourist to Mysore with a ‘must see’ and ‘must do’ checklist in hand.
Be ready for a jam-packed Mysore itinerary. Or you may be of genre wants to keep everything touristy a mile away. You’ll pleasantly surprised to the subtile side of Mysore, those guidebooks could never articulate.
As a visitor to Mysore, it is very unlikely that you would go back unsatisfied.
Mysore City is built around the palace.
Your Mysore itinerary essentially needs two parts. The first part will explore the city and its environs, in a bit touristy slang, the Mysore Attractions! The second part of the itineary is all about going out of the city.You will need to pick the right mix of places as day’s excursion from Mysore. It’s only a question of how far you can stretch the agenda, the places you would want to see around Mysore is practically endless. Here is a bunch of tips to how to organise and go about your Mysore agenda
Silkworms and its staple fresh mulberry leaves. No talk of Mysore is completed without a mention of Mysore silk, sandalwood, Mysore Pak and probably Mysore Masala Dosa.
Terraced rice paddy fields on the banks of Kaveri River. Seen in the background is the KRS Dam. Mysore city sits in the middle of vast swatches of farms lands, be it Rice, Sugarcane, Maze, Sorghum or Millet.
Wildlife in Mysore City. Yes. You read it right – wildlife in a bustling city!Well, we are not talking about those rodents that roams the household backyards and the underground drains of the city. If you thought this is about those cheeky monkeys ruling the lofty towers in the city’s temples, you are wrong again. See Mysore’s encounter with the not so occasional visitors from the forests!
There are quite a few aspects that add to the aura of Mysore. For over 500 years this has been a capital city of the region of the Wodeyar kings, later popularly called the Maharajas of Mysore. They built a large country called the Mysore Kingdom. The city of Mysore was its imperial yet human scale capital.
Mysore is sophisticated enough to receive 2.5 million visitors (more than 3 times its population) every year. And it is trying harder to attract even more. The climate is as pleasing as its population. Mysore is easily to access from the of India by road, rail and air connections. See the distances and how to reach Mysore from other cities
Nandi : Over 350 years old, this bull carved out of a granite boulder atop the Chamundi Hills is one of the oldest icons in Mysore.About 16 feet in height and 24 feet long, this Nandi atop the Chamundi Hills is the third largest in India.Mark it as the must see in your Mysore itinerary
Brindavan Gardens near Mysore
Mysore Masala Dosa served on plantain leaf. That’s breakfast for you in Mysore!
The Silver Jubilee clock tower was built in 1927 to commemorate the silver jubilee (25 years) of the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore. The cost for this was shared by the palace staff of that era. The clock tower is also called Dodda gadiara , means the “big clock tower”, the “small clock tower” being the Dufferin Clock Tower located near KR Circle. This stands in a bustling area adjacent to Chamaraja Circle and the Town Hall. The ever busy Ashoka Road starts from this locality. So is the Sri Harsha Road along the parklane. A little north of the clock tower is the Gandhi Square. Built in the socalled Indo- Saracenic style, is clock 75 feet tall tower spots features from different architectural schools. The curvilinear chhajja ( overhanging eaves supported on carved brackets) is of Rajasthani tradition. The tall double arches and framing slit windows of early English church architecture. The 5feet diameter clock spots Kannada numerals.
The soapstone carved image of ‘Lady with Mirror’ at Keshava Temple in Belur
Mysore Pak . Oozing with clarified butter and sugary, messy if not dealt diligently, and yes, Mysore Pak is not for the ones on dietary pursuits. Nevertheless visit the place this sweet was invented.Run by the of the descendants of the royal’s cook, the 75 years old unassuming corner shop in Mysore city is the most authentic place to savor this sweet wonder.
Location of Mysore in India . Mysore is in Karnataka, a state located in southern India. Mysore is about 140km (87 miles) southwest of Bangalore well connected by bus and trains (see Bangalore to Mysore train timings & bus timings), the state capital. Distance from Delhi to Mysore is about 2200km (1367 miles). A train takes two days and two nights to reach Mysore from Delhi. Mumbai to Mysore distance is about 1000km (622 miles), about 24 hours travel by train.Mysore is the name of the district and also Mysore City is the headquarters of the district. The name Mysore is also used to the mention the erstwhile Mysore kingdom.
The recorded history of founding of Mysore dates back to 1000AD. And what gap history had left behind is easily filled by the numerous myths and folklore associated with Mysore. The very name Mysore is mythical in origin. Centuries old traditions go on as regular part of Mysore’s life. Located atop the Chamundi hills in Mysore city , this brightly painted state of the demon Mahishasura statue is an iconic image in Mysore tourism. The fact the very name Mysore is associated with Mahishasura.
Peacock , the national bird of India at Mysore Zoo
Mysore Palace . Heritage, art or history , Mysore city sits in the middle of a tourism hotspot, like no other cities in this part of the country.
Mysore Palace illuminated in the evening. Mysore Palace Illumination is a much sough after event, a highlight of any Mysore itinerary
Chamundi Hill route map
The 1920 erected statue of Maharaja Chamarajendra Wodeyar (ruled 1868-1894) at the New Statue Circle . This is at the northern gateway of the palace.
Located in the heart of Mysore city, Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens , more popularly known as the Mysore zoo is a very popular tourist attraction in Mysore. It’s arguably the second sought after attraction in the city after Mysore Palace. There are many reasons for its popularity. The location is an obvious plus point from a itinerary point. More importantly this is a sprawling zoo with a great variety of exotic and rare animals. The animals are let in a natural habitat like environment. For the visitors it is a joyous place to explore in a picnic style.
Anticipation to the festivities builds up right when the Dasara elephants start their march to the palace from their base camps located in the fringes of the forest. Traditionally, the elephants walked all the way to the palace, though now they are brought on trucks, a short walk is still reserved for the ceremonial purpose. Jumbo Savari, the grand finale of the Mysore Dasara is exciting as well as a crowded affair
Approach Mysore in a casual, slow and relaxed fashion – true to very spirit of the city.Tonga (Horse Cart) is a fun way to explore the city
Thanks to the Tibetan temples and monasteries, Bylakuppe on the way to Madikeri from Mysore is a popular destination. Mysore to Bylakuppe is about 85km. Technicaly Bylakuppe is in Mysore district, but closer to Madikeri than Mysore City.
Mysore Palace Illuminated
Mysore to Ooty Route map. Note the location of Mysore airport between Mysore city and Nanjangud.
Map showing the route to Mysore palace and main attractions inside the palace complex. Most of the Temples in Mysore Palace are also shown on the map along with other attractions inside & around the palace complex
Mysore to Wayanad route map. The neighboring Coorg and Wayanad (in Kerala) makes great extended itineraries from Mysore
Traffic block of a different kind. A view from the Mysore to Bandipur road
Irwin Road in Mysore named after the architect of the the Mysore Palace
Farmlands outside Mysore city.
Snake charmer , Image from Melkote near Mysore
Gateway of the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangapatna near Mysore city