Mysore ranked one of the cleanest cities in the country is also the cultural capital and third most populous city in the state of Karnataka, India. Described as City of Palaces, Mysore Palace is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in India, after the Taj Mahal, and has more than 6 million visitors annually.
It served as the capital city of Kingdom of Mysore for nearly six centuries, from 1399 until 1947 and was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty except for a brief period in the late 18th century when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were in power. After India attained independence, Wadiyars ceded the kingdom to the Dominion of India and continued to stay in Mysore. After the sudden demise of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, young Yaduveer was adopted and chosen as the successor. He married his sweetheart Trishika Kumari of Rajasthan royal family in the palace as per royal traditions & rituals.
Mysore being close to Bangalore, I have visited as a child and throughout my quarter life. Unlike my previous visits I wanted a deeper insight and a closer look at Mysore this time. On a sunny afternoon I took a bus to Mysore ignoring my friend’s comments. What’s there in Mysore? Won’t you get bored there? Like always I wasn’t in a hurry to glance all the touristy places. I took time to understand the importance and history behind every place & thing which is so enchanting and rich in history. My dear friends be a traveler not a tourist in Mysore. I guarantee you will return with wealth of knowledge & the architectural marvel is a treat to one’s eyes.
Why You Should Visit Mysore
To treat your eyes with royal heritage, for joyful Tonga rides, visit museums & art galleries, practice yoga which is attracting many foreigners to the city, restore your soul at the lake & backwaters, stroll around local markets in the evening, witness Dasara festival a 10-day elaborate affair and soak in local culture.
Places To Visit In And Around Mysore
- Mysore Palace
- St. Philomena’s Church
- Mysore Zoo
- Jaganmohan Art Gallery
- Devaraja Market
- Railway Museum
- Folk Lore Museum
- Kukkarahalli & Karanji lake
- Mysore Silk Factory
- Chamundi Hills
- Brindavan Gardens
- KRS Dam
- Tippu summer palace
- Gumbaz in Srirangapatna
- Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
- Kesava Temple in Somnathpur
Where To Stay And Eat In Mysore
There are plenty of hotels in the city. Few of them are old Palaces/ Bungalows converted to luxury hotels. The Windflower Resort, Lalitha Mahal Palace and Royal Orchid are few luxury hotels.
Park Lane Hotel is famous among foreigners having a well set up terrace restaurant where live music is played with Indian instruments.
If you are a solo traveler or like to connect with other travelers I recommend you stay at Zostel Hostel. It’s an old bungalow in the city center with dorms & private rooms. They also arrange local tours and vehicles for rent.
Sonder is another hostel you can check.
Prior booking is a must when you are traveling during festivities.
When in Mysore don’t look for fancy pubs and cafes instead relish local food, taste the famous Mysore Pak or have a meal on a plantain leaf. Veg meals & Biriyani at Hotel RRR and Dosa at Hotel Mylari are local’s favorite. Mezzulluna, Jalpaan and By the way serve good food. My personal favorite is Park Lane for its beer terrace, dim lit lights, music and ambience.
How To Travel Around City
Karnataka State Tourism(KSTDC) run day tours from Mysore and Bangalore in comfortable tourist buses. Trip starts early in the morning and covers all major attractions in Mysore and the vicinity. You can book online or directly do the payment on the day of your trip. http://www.karnatakaholidays.net/city_holidays_mysore.htm.
Gomowgli is a private company priced higher than KSTDC arranging day tours http://gomowgli.in/passes/city-tours/Mysore-City-Tour
Buses: Travel in local city buses if you are on a budget.
Autos: Are faster way to commute. But autowalas don’t go by the meter and demand more. I recommend you download Jugnoo App from play store to book autos. It was convenient with competitive rates.
Nano Taxis: Are alternate mode of transport.
Believe it or Not!!
“ Talakadu Maralagi, Malangi Maduvagali, Mysooru Arasarige Makkalaagadirali ” (May Talakadu become a barren land, Malangi turn into a whirlpool and may Mysore kings never beget children).
This was a curse believed to be cast on the Wadiyars in 1612 by Alamelamma, wife of King Tirumalaraja, who ruled the Vijayanagar Empire . It is believed when her jewels were being taken under the orders of the Wodeyar ruler, she ran over to a cliff overlooking the Kaveri river and cursed before jumping to death. Since then the Wadiyar dynasty never had any children for alternate generations. Hence the adopted child becomes the king. Even till date, most parts of Talakadu lies under sand, and Malangi village in present Mysore district is getting slowly eroded due to whirlpools.