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.
Places to Visit
A place as culturally blessed with a rich history and heritage, Mysuru is made up of extremely stunning historical and religious architecture, natural places of visual treat, splendid gardens, and whatnot. It is a heaven for a travel lover with something to please for every kind of wanderer from art, history, architecture, adventurer, etc. The best places to visit in Mysuru or Mysore cannot be clamped in one single thread so here is a list of best places to visit in Mysuru according to your interest.
- Mysore Palace: The former residence of the royals of Mysore, the Mysore Palace is a breathtaking architecture of the Indo-Sarcenic style and was built in the year 1912. This is till date the biggest palaces in the country and a well-known tourist destination in Mysuru.
- Chamundeshwari Temple: A gran and beautiful temple dedicated to Goddess Durga and nestles atop Chamundi Hills, this temple dates to the 12th century and has a seven-story carved Gopuram and a silver-plated entrance.
- Jaganmohan Palace: The palace-turned-tourist-spot, this palace housed the royals before the construction of the Mysore Palace and now has a heritage museum, art gallery, and an auditorium.
- St. Philomena’s Church: Recognized as the second tallest Church of Asia, St. Philomena Church was constructed to pay tribute to the martyr and Catholic Saint of Roman catholic Church, Saint Philomena, and is one of the most significant historical sites in Mysuru visited by tourists from across the globe.
- Talakadu: An hour ride from the main city and nestled along the banks of River Cauvery, Talakaduis a small town known for its sand dunes. With a rich history and heritage, the town also has several ancient worship places which are visited by devotees for doing special worship and to witness the architecture as well.
- Trinesvaraswamy Temple: The splendor temple is located outside the Mysore Fort and is dedicated to the three eyed Shiva i.e., the Trinesvara. The Gopura of the temple got destroyed in the 18th century but the grandeur of the Dravidian architecture is still intact and amazes the visitors.
- Srikanteswara Temple: This temple which is said to have some healing powers is dedicated to Lord Shiva. With the 125-feet tall Gopura along with the 7 gold kalash, the temple is an important pilgrimage site and a must-see attraction as well.
- Lalitha Mahal Palace: The second largest palace of Mysuru, it was built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV of Mysore for the stay of the then Viceroy of India and is an architectural excellence to admire.
- 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 place for abused and injured birds, the Shuka Vana is home to over 2000 species of birds and was established by revered ornithologist Dr. Sri Ganapathy Sachidananda Swamiji.
- Bonsai Garden: Spread across 4 acres of land, the Bonsai Garden has over 100 species of Bonsai trees and plants that grace the surroundings and offers a delightful experience.
- Karanji Lake: A lake at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills in the city, this is an artificial lake built by the erstwhile kings of Mysore and is home to many species of fauna.
- Edmuri Falls: Also known s Yedmuri Falls, the Edmuri Falls is a picturesque waterfall that comes in pair with the adjoining Balmuri Falls and makes a spectacular visual. Originating from River Cauvery, the falls are surrounded by a lush green backdrop of the hills and the sparkling water in sight combines to form a visual treat.
Mysore, being a city with a rich heritage, has various interesting museums and zoo. Some of the best ones to check out are:
- Mysore Zoo: Also known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, this is one of the best zoological gardens in India with a large variety of land animals, reptiles, avian species, and amphibians along with a breeding spot for exotic and endangered species.
- Rail Museum: The Mysore Rail Museum is the second of its kind in India and depicts the models, engineering, journey, and development of the Indian railways through an opulent assortment of photographs and exhibits.
- Folklore Museum: Visit the museum for an enlightening experience of the state’s folk art depicted in the sprawling showcase. A part of the Mysore University, the museum houses one of the most elaborate collections of folk art, articles, and products.
- Sand Sculpture Museum of Mysore: As the name suggests, the museum showcases incredible sand sculptures and models that are unique in appearance and style with classic and colorful sculptures that are aesthetic looking.
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
A royal delight with a splash of history, art, and architecture, Mysuru is a place brimming with cultural amalgamation where the past and the present form a harmonious blend of exotic art, style, food, as well as nature and present you a blissful retreat to dive into.