Mysuru (earlier known as Mysore) is a city in the south-west Indian state Karnataka. It is an ancient city with a deep-rooted history – for many years it was the capital of the region (which was then known as Kingdom of Mysore) from late 14th century till India’s independence from the British, in 1947.
Mysuru has many attractions including historical and religious sites, and other places of interest such as:
- Brindavan Gardens – Considered to be the most beautiful and one of the most popular gardens in southern India, these gardens are a major tourist attraction.
- Shuka Vana – A large rehabilitation center for birds; established by a revered ornithologist, Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji.
- Kishkinda Moolika Bonsai Garden – A pretty garden full of nicely planted and beautifully maintained Bonsai trees of different kinds.
- Chamundi Hills – A beautiful hill, which offers a stunning panoramic view of Mysuru city; a great place for nature lovers and trekking enthusiasts.
- Karanji Lake – A lake at the foot of Chamundi hills in the city; this is actually an artificial lake constructed years ago by the king(s) of Mysore.
- Kukkarahalli Lake – A J-shaped lake, in the heart of the city; great for boating.
If you are planning a trip to Mysuru, do not forget to pay a visit to these below listed places :
- Mysore Palace – Easily the most popular place to see in the city – Mysore Palace is the place that first comes to mind when the city’s name is mentioned. This is an ancient and grand palace that built by British architect Henry Irwin on the commission of Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar-IV, the 24th King of the Kingdom of Mysore (the state of Karnataka, decades ago); it was completed in the year 1912.
- Sri Chamundeshwari Temple – A large and beautiful (Hindu) temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga.
- Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery & Auditorium – A beautiful palace-turned-tourist spot, which consists of a heritage museum, art gallery and an auditorium too.
- St. Philomena’s Cathedral – A 200-year-old majestic church; and one of the popular tourist attractions in the city.
- Lalita Mahal palace – A palace built in 1921 to serve as the exclusive resting place of the then Viceroy of India; its design was inspired by the St. Paul’s cathedral in London.
- Shree Shvetha Varaha Swamy Temple
Mysore, being a city with a rich heritage, has various interesting museums. Some of the best ones to check out are:
- Railway Museum Mysore – A museum of trains, their engineering and history of railways in India.
- Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery & Auditorium – A heritage museum inside a palace-turned-tourist spot.
- Mysuru Sand Sculpture Museum – As the name suggests, this is a museum that has incredible sand sculptures and models.
- Melody World Wax Museum – A museum having wax statues of various local celebrities and other famous personalities of the country.
- Folklore Museum – A gallery/museum displaying the folk culture, arts etc of the region.
Major festivals celebrated in Mysuru are:
- Maha Shivaratri – A festival dedicated to Lord Shiva
- Ganesh Chaturthi – A major festival in the state of Maharashtra, this is celebrated in all cites and town in this state, to worship Lord Ganesh Who is also the son of Lord Shiva
- Navrathri – A 10-day Hindu festival, where Goddess Durga is worshipped
- Deepavali – The festival of Lights; India’s most popular and widely celebrated festival
- Naga Panchami – Where snakes are worshipped and offered milk; a tribute to Snake deity/God
- Christmas – A Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus; most Christians and Hindus also celebrate this famous festival here
Mysuru is famous for being a significant producer of sandalwood and sandalwood products, which are loved for their earthy and divine fragrance. Authentic sandalwood products like artefacts for home décor, soaps, perfumes, incense sticks, talc and so on can be purchased from many shops here (especially government factory outlets and the outlets of the popular brand “Mysore Sandal” – which is famous across India). Apart from these, some other things to shop for in Mysuru include silk sarees, rosewood artifacts, coffee powder, and sweets (esp. Mysore Pak).
Some of the best shopping spots in the city are as listed:
- Devaraja Market
- Government Sandalwood Oil factory
- Government Silk factory
- Mall of Mysore
- Garuda Mall Mysuru
Mysuru’s food includes many delicacies belonging to Karnataka cuisine. Some local delicacies to try when in Mysuru are:
- Uppittu – A dish made with semolina boiled with sauteed vegetables and topped with ghee and roasted cashew nuts (also referred to as “Upma’, and sometimes even as “Kichadi”).
- Mysore Pak – A popular sweet – a melt-in-your-mouth sweet gram flour fudge, loved across the country; it is named after this city it originated in!
- Bonda – A snack made of cooked potato and onion (flavored with curry leaves and chillies) shaped into a ball, dipped in batter and deep fried.
- Huli Saaru – A creamy broth of coconuts, lentils and vegetables; usually served with steamed rice.
Some of the best restaurants and eateries to eat at in Mysuru include the following:
- La Uppu
- Hotel Mylari
- Spring Restaurant
- Depth N Green
- Silk Bar
- By The Blue
- Mosaic – The Global Cuisine Restaurant
- The Old House
- Oyster Bay
Mysuru has many good hotels and resorts for a comfortable stay. Here are some of the most recommended ones:
- Royal Orchid Metropole Hotel
- Fortune JP Palace
- Grand Mercure Mysore
- Hotel Le Ruchi The Prince
- Pai Vista
- Hotel Sandesh The Prince
- Regenta Central Herald by Royal Orchid Hotels
- Roopa Elite
- Silent Shores Resort & Spa
- The Dawn Hotel
- Sunflower Hotel
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Mysore
Mysuru also has some great pubs and bars for an entertaining time, or to simply hang out at during the late hours, such as:
- Purple Haze
- Infinit Lounge Bar
- Pelican Pub
- Myst Lounge Bar
- Khedda Bar
- The Road
Mysuru STD Code – 0821 (to be used before dialling numbers from a number that is not locally registered).
Common emergency numbers:
- Police Control Room: 100
- Ambulance helpline: 108
- Medical helpline: 104
- Child helpline: 1098
- Women helpline: 1091
- Fire and Rescue: 101
Kannada is the official language of Mysuru.
- Hello - namaskra
- How are you? - athava kshemana?
- Welcome - susvgata
- What's your name? - nimma hesarenu?
- My name is - nanna hesaru
- Good morning - shubhodaya