Two days Mysore itinerary isn’t enough for sightseeing the top places to visit in Mysore. So, if you are just in for a weekend you need to pririotize what you want to see in Mysore or visit Mysore for 4 days.
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?
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.
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
The hill is located on the eastern end of the city and raises to 3000 feet. The hill is particularly know for the temple 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, 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.
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, 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 Chamuni Hills temple by a direct bus from city bus stand.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
Jaganmohan Palace and Art Gallery
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.
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!
Hope through this Mysore blog post you got enough ideas going to plan your Mysore trip. Doesn’t matter how long your itinerary is – 1 day or 5 days in Mysore – it seems never enough. There’s something about Mysore that makes me come back to this Royal city again and again!