Nestled in the foothills of Chamundi Hills, Mysuru also known as Mysore is the third most populous city in Karnataka. Having developed from ‘the royal city’ to an upcoming IT hub, it has become the second largest software exporter in Karnataka. The ethnic environment and accomplishments of Mysore earned it the epithet ‘Cultural Capital of Karnataka’.
Mysuru is renowned for its heritage palaces and structures, including the Mysore Palace. The heritage palace is a seat of the former ruling Wodeyar dynasty. The town also got the privilege to be the capital city of the Kingdom of Mysore for nearly six centuries. Initially, this city served as a vassal state of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Plethora of tourists visit Mysore during the Dasara festival. Moreover, the city is also home to incense stalls and spice stores. Ashtanga yoga is another important aspect of the place. The first private radio station in India was based in Mysuru. Mysore University steals the limelight for giving several notable authors, scientists, politicians, singers, actors, and sportsmen.
One of the significant achievement of Mysuru is that it recently got rid of a 400 year old curse that haunted the city for a long span. Stories like these and numerous other tourist attractions mentioned below don’t let you sit idle for even a moment here.
Mysore Palace is the one of the splendid royal buildings of India. Once the throne of Maharajas of Wodeyar, this finely crafted palace is marvelous example of the Indo-Saracen style of architecture. The brilliant edifice is also titled as Amba Vilas Palace. There are seven other palaces in the city but no one lies close in the competition to this architectural wonder.
Mysore Palace offers spellbinding sights to behold at night when the entire palace gets lit up with lights. The light and sound show are the major attractions and lures many. One of the praiseworthy part of royal architecture is its façade which is a fusion of Muslim, Hindu, Gothic and Rajput styles.
Mysore is believed to be named after a buffalo demon named as Mahishasura. He was killed by Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari whose temple crowns the Chamundi Hills. A trip to this temple offers majestic views of the city. Devotees climb up to 1000 plus steps to reach the sanctum sanctorum and seek the blessings.
Idols of Nandi and Mahishasura are also the inevitable part of the temple. Counted as one of the Shakti Peetha, the divine aura of this holy shrine lures pilgrims on weekends. Hiking to the steep hill is made easy by driving through the interwoven valley road.
Brindavan Gardens have been featured in many musical numbers of the Bollywood films. The flowerbeds, rose gardens and lush greenery spread across a wide area of 60 acres present eye-soothing views. The garden astonishes visitors with its terrace gardens and symmetrical designs. Although numerous people visit the garden throughout the day but the place becomes highly active during the night time when it showcases the musical fountain. The scene of fountain lit up in lights of various hues and dancing to the tune of peppy Bollywood numbers is a visual retreat.
Kids love to be here for taking their turn to enjoy an enthralling ride on the swings. Delicious sweet corn or fresh brewing coffee tempts them. Boating and sunset views also grab the attention.
Dating back to 1861, this royal auditorium houses Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery. The three storied palace preserves an array of traditional Japanese art, paintings and notable works of Raja Ravi Verma.
This quaint village is named after Somnath who was the founder of this place. Somnathpur is an ideal spot for a family picnic. Admire the intricate stone carvings of Hoysala architecture at Somnathpur Temple.
Keshava Temple is a star-shaped temple adorned with stone effigies portraying various scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana and lifetimes of Hoysala Kings.
Mysore Zoo is also popular with the name of Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. This best and well maintained zoological garden was built for the royals. A natural habitat of big to small cats, reptiles to primates, and terrestrial to aquatic birds and so on, this is one of the famous and oldest Zoos in India.
Buy spices, flower garlands and conical piles of kumkum from Devaraja Market, a market dating back to Tipu Sultan’s reign.
A perfect day out with the family gets complete at Karanji Lake. This scenic lake is a home to varied species of birds and thus entices numerous bird watchers.
Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya
This lodge turned museum was the dwelling place of Colonel Arthur Wellesley. Impressive handicrafts, textiles and terracotta sculptures are the center of attraction of the museum.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion Museum Complex
A royal mansion built for Princess Jayalakshmi Ammani was restored into a museum. The museum is a home to artefacts, folklores, stone sculptures and tablets, rural costumes and a wooden puppet of the 10-headed demon king Ravana.