If you are looking for a list of top places to visit in Mysore, I will say two days are good to cover them. Irrespective of the time you have in Mysore itinerary, there is plenty of things to do in Mysore for family as well solo travelers. Do you know why my love for Mysore never seems enough? In this post you will get to know the best places in mysore to visit. Find it out before your visit to Mysore!
Despite being the second biggest city and an IT hub after Bangalore, the streets of Mysore still emit a slow, and simple charm, complete with a quintessential Karnataka experience. Well all that is, except for the Mysore Dussehra festival when the town suddenly wakes up from its deep slumber and everything around starts to go maddening crazy.
Mysore had always been a historically important city; it was once a capital of famous Wodeyars dynasty. Mysore palace and the Chamundi hill temple are the two historical palaces of Mysore that should be in everyone’s itinerary.
The city prides itself with the unique distinction of being one of the cleanest city in India, year after year. Mysore also features in international tourism circuit for the practice of ancient art of yoga.
List of Mysore attractions
Chamundi hill is located on the eastern end of the Mysore city, and has a height to 3000 feet. One of the best tourist places near by Mysore, Chamundi hill is particularly known for the beautiful temple. Chamundi Hills temple is dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari, an avatar of Durga.
The temple is one of the eighteen known Maha Shakteepeth in the country. Maha Shakteepeth are the sacred places where pieces of Goddess Sati were fallen after she immolated herself in grief. It is said that hair of Sati fell here in the Chamundi Hills.
Also, in the same temple complex, you’ll find a giant statue of Mahishasura in Mysore, the asura who was killed by the Goddess Chamundi. The asura poses in an angry stance with a raised sword in one hand and a snake in another. Chamundi hill temple is undoubtedly of the must visit historical places in mysore.
Do you know you can even go for trekking on the hill!? If you consider yourself fit, considering taking the fitness test and climb up the 1008 steps that takes you to the top of the hill. On the way to the temple you’ll also find a five-meter-tall granite statue of Nandi in Mysore, the Vahana of Lord Shiva. Once at the top you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the valley. On a clear day you can even spot the Mysore Palace, and the Karanji Lake.
You can reach the Chamundi Hills temple by a direct bus from city bus stand. It’s close proximity and good public transport makes it one of the idea places around mysore for 1 day trip.
Spread over 160 acres the zoo is one of the top tourist attraction in Mysore. The park also includes a lake, Karanji Lake. The Mysore zoo was started way back in 1892 as a Palace Zoo of Maharaja Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar. The zoo boasts of an impressive list of animals including – lions, tigers, and elephants. But the true star attraction of the zoo are the hippo, giraffe, zebras, and white rhinoceroses – truly unique animals that you’d seldom see in any zoo in the country.
There are a total of more than 150 species of animals in the zoo. The Mysore zoo is regarded as one of the best maintained zoos in India. (Is there anything in Mysore which isn’t clean and well maintained? I mean seriously!)
Be warned that summer is the peak season due to school holiday so be prepared for long queues and a lot of rush. Apart from this little inconvenience I am sure you will truly enjoy Mysore Zoo as one of the fun tourist places in Mysore karnataka.
Mysore palace is at the top of my must places to see in Mysore. In my opinion Mysore Palace beats every palace in Europe all hands down – and I mean it including Versailles located near Paris. The palace is comfortably situated in the center of the city. The palace once served as a residence of the Mysore maharaja – Wodeyars dynasty which ruled mysore for hundreds of years.
The palace was commissioned by Krishnarajendra and the construction was completed in 1912. The Mysore palace has three gates – only South gate is open to public, and the west gate is opened only during Dasara festival.
Most notable is the beautiful, colorful gallery with extravagant arches and intricate artwork on the ceiling. There are several temples inside the palace complex. The palace also has a huge sprawling garden in front. And the palace is constructed in such a way that it faces the Chamundi hills.
Most exciting time to visit the Mysore Palace is during Dusherra festivities as the palace is the center of myriad cultural activities.The palace is visited by millions of tourists every year, and its popularity is only increasing every year. Note that photography is strictly prohibited inside the palace.
If you have time there are a few other palaces in Mysore to visit. Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, Lalitha Mahal Palace, Jaganmohan Palace and Rajendra Vilas Palace are some of the top palaces in Mysore. Check them out too!
St. Philomenas Church
It is an old church dedicated to St. Philomen. The church was built in 1936 in an Neo Gothic architecture, something very common in Europe but rare in India. The front of the church is dominated by Two tower rising to 170 feet. The old British era church should be in everyon’e bucket list of visiting places around mysore.
The stained glass inside the church is imported from France. It depicts several scenes from bible such as birth, baptism and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Now the most interesting part, the church was commissioned by a Hindu king, the Wodeyars!
I will recommend you to see St. Philomen church as places around mysore for 2 day trip.
Mysore dussehra festival, celebrated for 10 days, is officially the state festival of Kartnataka. The festival has a long history and is being celebrated for hundreds of years in the Mysore city. The history of the festival goes back to fifteenth century to the times of Vijayanagara empire.
Dusherra symbolizes the victory of good over evil, and in Mysore it is celebrated as the day when Goddess Chamundi killed Mahishasura. The highlight of the festival is the Jumboo Savari. Jamboo means elephant and savari is ride. It is a procession which is taken out on the last day, known as Vijayadashmi, of the festival.
The idol of Goddess Chamundi placed atop an elephant is given a ride from the Mysore Palace to Bannimantap (related to the auspicious Banni tree). The mantapa in which the idol is placed is said to be made of pure gold.
A huge crowd gathers to see the procession and it can really be uncomfortable standing out in the hot Sun. During the procession you can also various performers trying to entertain the crowd with music, dance performances and clown acts.
Also, the Mysore Palace is decorated in its full glory and is magnificently lit with more than hundred thousand (one lakh) light bulbs. Several cultural programs are also held in the palace ground.
http://www.mysoredasara.org/ – This is not an official website but updated info with current year’s Dusshera details.
Jagan Mohan Palace Art Gallery
Jagan Mohan Palace and Art Gallery is another good sight among the tourist places around mysore. It is a former palace which used as residence by the wodyars when the Mysore palace was under construction. The palace was commissioned by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III and the construction of the palace ended in 1861.
The former palace now houses an art gallery which was established in 1915. The collection includes work by famous artists such as Raja Ravi Varma with paintings depicting scenes from Mahabarata and Ramayana. Ther are more than 2000 paintings in the museum’s collection.
The highlight of the collection is Glow of Hope painted by the indian artist known as S.L. Haldenkar. The painting depicts a lady holding a lamp whose face is illuminated by the light of the lamp. The painting is not to be confused with Lady with a lamp by Raja Ravi Varma. Personally, I like Glow of hope far better than Lady with a lamp.
Among the top tourist places of mysore, I will highly recommend you to visit the Jagan mohan palace art gallery. Add it now to your list of famous places in Mysore.
If you are feeling little overwhelmed by the list of places to see in Mysore, then it is best you take a food break!
Not a Mysore travel attraction in a traditional sense but I couldn’t resist putting in here the irresistible south indian food! Don’t agree? Take a look at this South Indian Thali and decided for yourself!
One of the best places to eat in Mysore are not the fancy Mysore restaurants but small eateries where regulars and locals eat. There are plenty of such places in Mysore to eat heartful (and stomachful!) food!
So, the next time in your Mysore and have already gone through places of interest mysore, don’t forget to try the local Mysore food.
Ooty is one of the most visited hill stations in South India. Due to its closeness, you can also visit Ooty as day trips from mysore. There are plenty of palaces to visit in Ooty including the famous Tea gardens in Ooty and the serene Ooty Lake where you can even do boating.
If you are in Mysore make Coonoor as one of the site seeing places in Mysore. The beautiful south indian hill station is an ideal day trip from Mysore. Visit Coonoor, the hill station near Mysore, specially in summer to enjoy the cool weather!
How to reach Mysore from Bangalore?
It is quite easy to get to Mysore from Bangalore. if you are in Bangalore airport, you can take the flybus from Bangalore to Mysore. From the within the city, take the KSRTC bus to Mysore. It is available from the Mysore satellite bus station, which is very close to a metro station too. Check KSRTC bus timings as Mysore bus goes on scheduled time only.
If you are coming from Chennai there are also services from direct Chennai to Mysore bus. There are several private operators who run Bangalore Mysore bus service. Greenline travels and AMR transport are some of the popular options. Note, that bus from Bangalore Mysore bus takes about 3.5 hours for the whole journey.
Hope through this Mysore blog post you got enough ideas going to plan your Mysore trip. Through my blog post I have listed you the places to visit in Mysore in one day. If you have more time, expand your itinerary to 2-3 days and go for the famous places to visit in Mysore in 2 days. Keep the extra day to visit the Mysore day trips
In the end, it doesn’t matter how long your itinerary is – 1 day or 2 days or more in Mysore – it seems it is never enough! There’s something about Mysore that makes me come back to this Royal city again and again!