Top attractions in Mysuru
Mysuru, also known as Mysore, is a vibrant city located in the southern state of Karnataka, India. It is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, royal history, and stunning architectural wonders. Here are some of the top attractions in Mysuru:
The Mysore Palace, also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, is the most iconic landmark in the city. It is a magnificent palace that showcases a fusion of Hindu, Islamic, Rajput, and Gothic architectural styles. The palace is illuminated with thousands of lights during special occasions, creating a breathtaking sight.
Situated around 13 kilometers from the city center, Chamundi Hill is a popular pilgrimage spot and offers a panoramic view of Mysuru. At the hilltop, you’ll find the Chamundeshwari Temple, dedicated to the goddess Chamundeshwari, who is regarded as the guardian deity of the city.
Officially known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, the Mysore Zoo is one of the oldest and most well-maintained zoos in India. It houses a diverse collection of animals, including elephants, tigers, giraffes, gorillas, and various bird species. The zoo is known for its conservation efforts and educational programs.
Located adjacent to the Krishnarajasagara Dam, the Brindavan Gardens is a sprawling garden complex famous for its symmetrically arranged terraced gardens, musical fountains, and colorful flower beds. The gardens are particularly enchanting in the evening when the fountains are illuminated.
St. Philomena’s Church
This magnificent church is one of the tallest churches in Asia and features stunning neo-Gothic architecture. The twin spires, beautiful stained glass windows, and the serene atmosphere make it a must-visit attraction for architecture and history enthusiasts.
Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery and Auditorium
Originally built as a royal palace, Jaganmohan Palace now houses an art gallery that displays an exquisite collection of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. It also serves as an auditorium for cultural events and performances.
Mysuru Rail Museum is a treat for railway enthusiasts. It showcases a fascinating collection of vintage locomotives, carriages, and various other artifacts related to Indian Railways. The highlight of the museum is the Maharani’s Saloon, a luxurious carriage used by the royals.
A peaceful retreat in the heart of the city, Karanji Lake is a beautiful lake surrounded by a nature park. It offers boating facilities, a walk-through aviary, butterfly park, and a small zoo. The lake is a paradise for birdwatchers, with several migratory and resident bird species.
Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum
This unique museum showcases a collection of intricate sand sculptures created by artist M.N. Gowri. The sculptures depict various themes and are intricately crafted using sand from the riverbeds of the Cauvery River.
Lalitha Mahal Palace
Built in the Renaissance architectural style, Lalitha Mahal Palace is a stunning white palace that has been converted into a heritage hotel. Even if you’re not staying there, you can visit the palace to admire its grandeur and enjoy the panoramic views of the city.
These are just a few of the many attractions Mysuru has to offer. The city is also known for its colorful festivals, traditional silk weaving industry, and delectable Mysore cuisine.
Things to do in Mysuru
In addition to visiting the top attractions, Mysuru offers a range of activities and experiences for visitors. Here are some things you can do in Mysuru:
Explore the Devaraja Market
Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Devaraja Market, the city’s main market. Stroll through the bustling lanes filled with shops selling colorful flowers, fresh produce, spices, incense, handicrafts, and traditional Mysore silk sarees.
Attend the Mysuru Dasara Festival
If you happen to visit during the months of September or October, don’t miss the Mysuru Dasara Festival. It is a 10-day-long cultural extravaganza that showcases grand processions, traditional music and dance performances, and a beautiful procession of caparisoned elephants.
Witness a Traditional Art Form
Mysuru is known for its rich cultural heritage, and you can experience traditional art forms like classical dance (Bharatanatyam or Kathak), classical music (Carnatic music concerts), and puppet shows. Check for performances happening at auditoriums or cultural centers during your visit.
Take a Yoga Class
Mysuru is a hub for yoga enthusiasts. Join a yoga class or attend a yoga retreat to rejuvenate your mind and body. Many reputed yoga centers and institutes offer courses and workshops for different levels of experience.
Try Mysore Silk Shopping
Mysore is famous for its silk sarees. Visit the Government Silk Weaving Factory or other reputed silk showrooms to witness the weaving process and purchase exquisite silk garments. You can also find silk-related handicrafts and accessories.
Indulge in Mysore Cuisine
Don’t miss the opportunity to savor the authentic Mysore cuisine. Try the Mysore Masala Dosa, Mysore Pak (a sweet delicacy), Mysore Churumuri (spicy puffed rice snack), and filter coffee. Visit local eateries or upscale restaurants to taste the flavors of Mysuru.
Visit the Regional Museum of Natural History
Located near the Mysore Zoo, the Regional Museum of Natural History showcases the rich biodiversity of the region. It features exhibits on ecology, wildlife, geology, and conservation. It is an educational and informative experience for all ages.
Take a Walk in the Brindavan Gardens
Besides enjoying the musical fountains, the Brindavan Gardens also offers a tranquil environment for a leisurely stroll. Take a walk along the garden pathways, appreciate the well-manicured lawns, and enjoy the scenic beauty.
Discover the Folklore Museum
The Folklore Museum in Mysuru showcases a vast collection of artifacts, costumes, masks, puppets, and traditional art objects representing the cultural heritage of Karnataka. It provides insights into the diverse folk traditions of the region.
Explore the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
Mysuru is located near the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a day trip to Bandipur National Park or Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary to witness the rich wildlife, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and a variety of bird species.
These are just a few examples of the many things you can do in Mysuru. The city has a blend of historical, cultural, and natural attractions that offer a fulfilling and memorable experience for visitors.
Mysuru Tour Packages
FAQs on Mysuru Tourism
The best time to visit Mysuru is during the winter months, from October to February, when the weather is pleasant and suitable for outdoor activities. It’s also recommended to avoid the monsoon season (June to September) due to heavy rainfall.
Mysuru is well-connected by air, road, and rail. The nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, which is approximately 170 kilometers away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Mysuru. Mysuru has its own railway station, and several trains connect it to major cities in India. If you prefer road travel, Mysuru is well-connected by highways, and you can take a bus or hire a taxi from nearby cities.
You can explore the major attractions in Mysuru within 2-3 days. However, if you want to delve deeper into the city’s cultural heritage, attend festivals, or explore nearby wildlife sanctuaries, you may consider extending your stay for 4-5 days.
Mysuru is generally considered a safe city for tourists. However, it is advisable to take standard precautions like anywhere else, such as keeping your belongings secure, being aware of your surroundings, and using authorized transportation services. It’s also recommended to follow local guidelines and consult with your hotel or trusted sources for any specific safety concerns during your visit.
Yes, most of the attractions in Mysuru have entry fees. The fees may vary for Indian and foreign tourists. For instance, entry to Mysore Palace has separate fees for Indians and foreigners, and there may be additional charges for photography or videography. It’s best to check the official websites or inquire at the attractions for the latest information on entry fees.
Yes, hiring a guide in Mysuru is a good idea to enhance your experience and gain insights into the history and culture of the city. Official guides are available at major attractions like Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hill, and museums. They can provide detailed information and make your visit more informative and engaging.
It is advisable to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons or festivals, as Mysuru attracts a significant number of visitors. Booking in advance ensures that you have a wide range of options and can secure a place that suits your preferences and budget.
Yes, Mysuru has a well-established public transportation system. You can use city buses, auto-rickshaws, or taxis to get around the city. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are readily available, and app-based ride-hailing services are also operational. Prepaid taxi services are available at the railway station and the airport.
Yes, there are several day trip options from Mysuru. You can visit the nearby historical city of Srirangapatna, known for its ancient temples and monuments. Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, and the BR Hills are also popular wildlife destinations near Mysuru that offer exciting day trips.
Yes, you can exchange currency in Mysuru. Banks, authorized currency exchange centers, and some hotels provide currency exchange services. It’s recommended to carry Indian Rupees (INR) for most transactions in the city, as smaller establishments may not accept other currencies or credit cards.