Located in the foothills of the Chamundi Hills about 146 kilometres southwest of the state capital Bangalore, it is spread across an area of 128.42 kilometres square. Mysore officially renamed as Mysuru, is the third most populous and the third largest city in the state of Karnataka. Mysore has a royal history, a rich and regal heritage and is regarded as an important centre of art and culture. Having evolved from ‘the royal city’ to an upcoming IT hub, Mysore is an amazing mix of the traditional as well as modern attractions. From palaces and ornate temples to gardens and galleries, there are multiple attractions here to cater to every need. With over 600 years of legacy, Mysore is a flamboyant city with exceptional weather throughout the year. It used to be the centre of commerce for South India earlier and is still one of the most important city for trading, silk, Ayurveda, yoga, sandalwood and incense. The cafes, bustling markets, Mysore zoo and the magnificent Mysore Palace are the major attractions of this royal city.
Mysore is noted for its heritage structures and palaces, including the Mysore Palace, and the festivities that take place during the Dusherra festival when the city receives a large number of tourists from across the world.
Mysore is a major tourist destination in its own right and serves as a base for other tourist attractions in the vicinity. The city receives a large number of tourists during the 10-day Dusherra festival. One of the most visited monuments in India, the Amba Vilas Palace, or Mysore Palace, is the centre of the Dusherra festivities. The Jaganmohana Palace, the Sand Sculpture Museum, the Jayalakshmi Vilas and the Lalitha Mahal are other palaces in the city. Chamundeshwari Temple, atop the Chamundi Hills, and St. Philomena’s Church, Wesley’s Cathedral are notable religious places in Mysore. The city is a centre for yoga-related health tourism that attracts domestic and foreign visitors, particularly those who, for years, came to study with the late ashtanga yoga guru K. Pattabhi Jois.
Best Time to Visit Mysore
Mysore can be visited throughout the year as the weather is never too extreme and remains pleasant throughout.
Summer (April – June) Mysore surely has hot summers. The temperature ranges from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. Evenings, however, are pleasant. Hence, you can safely visit Mysore in the summers.
Monsoon (July – September) Mysore receives medium to heavy rainfall. Temperatures range from 20 to 29 degrees Celsius. The weather is quite pleasant in the monsoon season too.
Winter (October – March) winter is the best season to visit Mysore. Temperatures range between 15 to 30 degrees Celsius and tourist activities are at their peak.
How to reach Mysore?
Although Mysore has its own airport, it is not fully functional hence tourists can access this city through the Bangalore airport (170km). Getting on a train to the Mysore railway station is the most convenient way of travel as daily trains ply over here. Frequent bus services are also operational over here and hence tourists do not face any difficulty in visiting this destination.
It is quite convenient to reach Mysore by air. The nearest airport to Mysore is in Hyderabad and Coimbatore. You can take a flight to either of the cities and then hire a taxi from the airport to Mysore. Alternatively, you can also hop on the buses that ply regularly between these cities.
A well-maintained network of roads connects Mysore with the rest of the country. Hence, roads can also be used for effective travel.
The Mysore Railway Station has direct trains connecting it to most of the cities in India.
Commuting Within Mysore-
Regular bus services are available in Mysore. Autorickshaws can also be hailed on a regular or prepaid basis. Cars on rent are the best choice to tour the city.
Places to visit in Mysore
The former residence of the royal family of Mysore, the Mysore Palace is an extremely breath-taking example of the Indo-Sarcenic style of architecture. It was built in the year 1912 for the 24th Ruler of the Wodeyar Dynasty, and is till date one of the biggest palaces in the country. It’s one of the most popular and well known tourist attractions in India.
One of the best zoological gardens in India, it was established in the year 1892 by Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar for the royals and handed over to the Department of Parks and Gardens of the State Govt on attaining freedom. Along with being home to various species of birds, mammals and reptiles, this zoo also engages in captive breeding of exotic and endangered species.
The village is named after Somnath, the commander of the Hoysala army who founded this place. It has a perfect natural setting for a family picnic. Also, the Somnathpur temple is a classic example of the stone carvings in Hoysala architecture.
Built atop the Chamundi Hills, this temple dates back to the 12th century. The idol of the main deity is made of gold. Also featured in this temple is a intricately engraved seven storey Gopuram and a silver plated entrance.
Built across the Kaveri river, these beautiful gardens were constructed by Krishnaraja Wodeyar. These gardens spread over 60 acres of land and were modeled after the Shalimar gardens of Kashmir. The beauty of these gardens multiplies in the evenings when the fountains light up in various colors.
Karanji Lake placed in Mysore Karnataka, is surrounded by a nature park comprising of a butterfly park and an aviary which is the biggest ‘walk-through aviary’ in India. Also a museum named, the Regional Museum of Natural History is placed on the banks of this lake. The area over which the Karanji lake spans is of 90 hectares. On one hand, the foreshore area covers about 35 hectares waterspread area is about 55 hectares, the foreshore area measures about 35 hectares. Karanji lake is owned by the Mysore Zoo Authority.
Nestled on the banks of River Cauvery, Talakadu is town known for its sand dunes. With a rich past and heritage, the town is also quite famous among the devotees who come here for a special worship.
A part of the Mysore University, the museum is home to one of the most elaborate collections of folk art, products and articles. Visit the museum to witness one of the most sprawling depictions of the state’s folk art.