Mysore, The Cultural Capital of Karnataka. A city that has a unique blend of cultural architectural heritage along with the essence of nature. The ultra-clean city has so much to offer to a traveller.
Here we list of some of the best places to visit in Mysore along with my own personal experience to this city which we had done in December 2019.
It was Christmas of 2019 and we boarded the Kacheguda Mysore express around 7 am from the Bengaluru city Jn. My experience says, instead of road journey do travel by train. The cheapest and fastest way to reach Mysore. It would cost you around Rs.75 per head in superfast train and you will get to see the essence of rural Karnataka between Bengaluru and Mysore.
If you want to see the journey highlights of the train journey please click the link
It took around 2.30 hrs to reach Mysore. when we stepped out Mysore Jn, we were amazed to see the cleanliness of this city. I have never seen such a clean city in my life. My personal advice to you please make a plan 1.5 -2 days to visit this beautiful place because 1 day is not enough for this. We hired a cab which charged us around 2000 for the entire day tour or you can rent a vogo or bounce scooter for the day.
This is the first place which we visited, situated on Chamundeshwari hill around 13 km from the heart of the city. You will get to see the entire view of Mysore from here. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga(Chamundeshwari), built-in Dravidian architectural style, the temple has Golden Kalash at the top. Goddess Chamundeshwari is also known as the deity of Royal of Mysore.
On Christmas, this temple was flooded with visitors however one can enjoy VIP entry to it after paying Rs 200 however you have still stand-in queue but shorter than the normal one. Statue of Maheshasur could be seen in the front of the temple, below are some pics of my visit.
2.Melody Wax Museums
Our second destinations in this tour were the melody max museum. This is one of the largest art museums in India. This museum is said to have a collection of many musicals instruments from all over India around 300 hundred in number. Some of the instruments are collected from different countries.
One can enjoy the beauty of 110 different wax statues which depict Indian Culture. This museum is the result of hard work of Shreeji Bhaskaran an IT professional from Bangalore along with his wife Reena. One can enjoy a scary house also over her. Ticket price for both the places is around 50 Rs each. It opens between 9.30 pm – 5 pm.
3.Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens
The 3rd destination in our bucket list and of the must-visit Mysore because while coming from the Chamundeshwari temple all these come in sequential order. One of the cleanest and well-maintained zoo I have visited in India with a variety of Fauna and Flora. This zoo has been built-in around 78 acres of land and there are some foreign animals in the zoo also.
There is one distinct white reindeer in the zoo. Which I haven’t seen in any of the zoological in India. I placed Mysore zoo as the 2nd best zoological garden after the Nandankanan zoo because that is one of hell of a zoo because the variety of fauna it has and the area in which it is spread.
The place for which the Mysore is known for, visiting Mysore and not visiting Mysore palace is just like Mahabharat without Lord Krishna. We visited this majestic place after having a good lunch (Kannada Chicken Biryani) around 3.30 PM because of the drastic colours at that time the beauty of the palace increases. This majestic place built by Henry Wright in 1911 and was the residence of Wodeyars dynasty who ruled over more for centuries.
The festival Dasara sees a large footfall of visitors when this palace is illuminated with around 98000 bulbs, even when we visited on Christmas we have to stand in a long queue for entry and ticket, but once you entered you will be amazed to see the architectural brilliance and do you know this is 2nd most visited place in India after the Taj Mahal.
For a detailed article about this place please do read our post on the history of Mysore palace.
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After enjoying the sublime architectural beauty of Mysore Palace. We headed to the final destination of the day the Brindavan gardens to enjoy a musical evening.
The Brindavan gardens built across the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam on the river Kaveri one can enjoy a musical evening and fountain & light show along with boat ride. It is spread across 150 acres of land and was built in 1932.
This place is flooded with visitors during the evening which is the ideal time to visit, and on the day of Christmas, we didn’t have space to put our legs. You can also visit during the day time and enjoy the beauty of the location and garden but you will miss the fountain show. Entry fees are around Rs50. So it is one of the best places to visit in Mysore and it should be there in our bucket list when you plan your travel to this exotic city.
If you are fond of birds, so visiting the Karanji lake is a must. It is one of the scenic and must-visit places in Mysore. Spread across 90 acres of land this lake is flooded with migratory birds and around 147 species of birds could be spotted along with 50 species of butterfly. It has the largest aviary in India and was the part of Mysore zoo earlier.
It opens between 8.30 am to 5.30.pm and remain closed on Tuesday.
7.St Philomena’s Church
One of the Largest Church in India. We missed this place to visit on the day of Christmas because of the time restriction we had. One of the architectural marvel and one of the gorgeous places to visit in Mysore. This Church was built in 1933 to pay tribute to Catholic Saint, St. Philomena from the Roman Catholic Church.
Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV laid the foundation of this Church for the European travellers in Mysore. This church is a built-in Neo-Gothic Structure and it is one of the tallest and the largest cathedral in Asia.
It’s the 2nd rail museum built-in I979 after the national rail museum in Delhi, this place depicts the history of Indian Railways, house varieties of loco used by the Railways in the past, history of the railways and tools used in the past. This place also depicts the history of Luxurious Travel done by Royal families of Mysore in Past with their dining coaches, kitchen etc.
Kids can enjoy a toy train ride over here. I have visited the National rail museum in Delhi many times but planning to travel to this place again in future.
Mysore is known as the city of Palace, Lalitha Mahal which is the second-largest palace of Mysore is certainly one of the Places to visit in Mysore.This palace intently built for the guests of the Wodeyars especially for the viceroy of India in 1921.
However, this palace was converted into a Heritage hotel in 1974 and is managed by Indian Tourism Development Tourism. This palace hotel is situated in Chamundi hills surrounded by lush green beautiful gardens. This beautiful palace is painted entirely white and E.W. Fritchley was the chief architect of this palace. Entry fees are around Rs 100.
Jagmohan Palace certainly one of the best places to visit in Mysore after the Mysore Palace. It was built in 1861 and was used by the Wodeyars as the place of their residence when the Mysore palace was getting reconstructed after it got damaged by an accidental fire.
It was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, and was used for the daily darbar for the kings and also used for convocation for Mysore University. This palace is built in Hindu architectural style, one could see the incarnation of Hindu God and Goddesses and Mysore Dasara festival inside the palace.
It was converted to Art Gallery and museum and consist of largest collections of paintings and artefacts in south India, most of these are made Raja Ravi Verma, Rabindranath Tagore, Nikolai Roerich and another renowned artist which depicts instances from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Hindu mythology. Entry fees of Jagmohan palace is Rs 75 for adults and Rs 20 for children.
If you are a bird or nature lover this is one of a definite place to visit in this majestic city. Shuka Van is a Rehabilitation for birds. This was established by Shri Ganapathy Sachidananda Swamiji for his divine love towards birds and he believes that birds are vital for the existence of us in nature.
Spread across 1 acre of land Shuka Van have around 2000 birds and 540 different species. One can spot some rare species of Parrots over here. Parrots over here are associated with Zodiac sign they represent and also one interesting thing one can find a parrot over here with their birth date as per the Indian Astrology. A nature lover must visit this place when planning a trip to Mysore.
Situated on the banks. river Kaveri, 35 km away from the city of Mysore in a small place called Somnathpura there is a temple known as Chennakeshava Temple. This temple once nominated for UNESCO world heritage site. One of the finest example of Hoysala architecture and one of the historical places to visit in Mysore.
A Hindu temple dedicated Lord Krishna ( Chenna means beautiful keshava= “Krishna”). It is one of 1500 temples built by Hoysala kingdom. However, due to the invasion of the Muslim empire, the idols of the temples got destroyed and this temple is not used for worship now. However, a traveller will still enjoy the architectural beauty of this place.
13.Tipu Sultan Hyder Ali Tomb ( Death Place of Tipu Of sultan)
A tourist visiting Srirangpatna must visit this place which is the place where Tipu Sultan was buried. Initially, Tipu Sultan built this tomb for the remembrance of his father Hyder Ali in 1784 AD, A stone tablet was installed by Col. Wellesly demarcate his grave.
Folklore Museum is one of the famous tourist’s places in Mysore. This place is a part of Mysore University and has numerous collections of folk art, pictures, crafts and article. It consists of nearly 6500 folklore item like dolls, literature, dolls and literature in an organised manner.
14.Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Srirangapatnam
One of the certain Places to visit in Mysore if you are a bird or nature lover. The largest bird sanctuary in the state of Mysore which has many different species of bird, situated on the river Kaveri, this sanctuary is divided into 6 small islands. It is situated in Mandya district which is nearly around 15 km away from the city centre. This area was declared as a protected area in 1940.
One could find many different varieties of flora and fauna over here like (Pied Kingfishers, River Terns, Spot-billed pelicans, Arjun Trees, Bamboo plantations could be also spotted).
14 km away from the city of Mysore, in a small village of Balmuri, Balmuri waterfalls are situated which is one of the definite places to visit in Mysore. These 6-ft tall waterfalls are a man-made marvel created by a check dam on the river Kaveri. It is one of the famous picnic spots for the residents of Bangalore and Mysore and can enjoy a cool place in the lap of nature.
Endnote:-The cultural capital of Karnataka has a lot to offer in terms of culture , nature or architectural one should visit plan a 2-day visit to enjoy the full essence of this beautiful city.
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