140 kms from Bangalore, Karnataka
Popular As :
Maharajas's Main Palace, Chamundi Hill, Rail
Museum, St Philomena's Cathedral, Sri Chamarajendra Art Gallery, Krishna
Raja Sagar Dam etc.
Best Time To Visit :
October to March
140 kms from Karnataka's IT City, Bangalore, Mysore is famous world over for
its exotic sandalwood and rich skills. Everywhere you go in the 'Sandalwood
City', you will find yourself enveloped with the invigorating aromas of
sandalwood, jasmine, rose, musk and a hundred others. Untill India's
independence in 1947, the city was the seat of the Maharajas of Mysore, a
princely state covering much area of present day Karnataka. Even today the
walled Indo-Saracenic Palace of Mysore Maharajas attract visitors from all
over the world.
Once a small city, Mysore is now growing at a fast pace and a number of
software companies are investing in the city. Corporate culture is slowing
making steady progress into the laid-back city that still boasts of its
royal connections, its many magnificent palaces and massive temples. Mysore
is one of the major centres of incense manufacture in India and several
small family-owned agarbatti (incense) factories are scattered all over the
city and their products are exported all over the world. The city of Mysore
is also a major craft centre and there are plenty of shops selling a wide
range of ivory, sandalwood, rosewood, teak carvings and furniture.
Hence, visit this city to see the imposing palaces of Mysore Maharajas, old
temples, fort of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and many other interesting
structures. Alongwith plenty of sightseeing, during your vacation enjoy the
pleasant climate of the Mysore.
How to Reach Mysore
By Air :
Nearest airport is located at Bangalore at a
distance of 140 kms. Bangalore airport is connected by several flights to
important cities of India and world. Indian Airlines, Air Deccan,
Kingfisher, Jet Airways operate flights from Bangalore to Delhi, Mumbai,
Kolkata and Chennai.
By Train :
railway station is 2 km from downtown and is connected will all the cities
of South India and other parts of the country. Several mail and express
trains connect Mysore with Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Pune.
Auto-rickshaws and taxis are available at the railway station for transfer
to different parts of the city.
By Bus :
Good network of roads connect Mysore with
Bangalore and other major centres in the state and rest of the country.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSTC) connects Mysore with all
the important centres in South India. In addition, deluxe buses are
available to and from Bangalore, Madurai, Trichur, Ooty, Coimbatore,
Kozhikode and Mangalore. Road distances to some of the important places in
the area are Bangalore (140 km), Bandipur National Park (90 km), Hassan (130
km), Madikeri (136 km) and Udhagamandalam (Ooty -150 km).
Local Transport :
Tourist taxis, auto-rickshaws and city
bus service are major modes of local transport within the city.
Places Where You Can Stay
Mysore is dotted with plenty of hotels ranging from deluxe to economy class
hotels. Being a major tourist centre, Mysore has a number of western-style
hotels, the majority of them are equipped with modern facilities and offer
pleasant stay to guests. Some of the popular hotels of the city are Lalitha
Mahal Palace, Quality Inn Southern Star, Kings Kourt, Best Western
Ramanashree, Mayura Hoysala, Mysore Dasprakash, Sandesh The Prince etc.
Tourist Attractions in Mysore
Maharajas's Main Palace :
Maharaja's Palace was built in
1911-12 to replace the former palace which was burnt down by accidental
fire. Once the seat of the Maharaja's of Mysore, the palace now dominates
the skyline of Mysore city. Built in Indo-Saracenic style, the palace
reminds one of an Afghani waistcoat - an extravaganza of stained glass,
mirrors, gilt and gaudy colours. Apart from these, there are some
beautifully carved wooden doors, mosaic floors and interesting paintings
depicting life in Mysore during the Edwardian Raj. Maharaja's Palace also
has a its own Hindu Temple inside the walls complete with the gopuram. Every
Sunday in the night the palace is spectacularly illuminated.
Chamundi Hill :
Chamundi Hill lies 1050 mts above sea
level at a distance of 13 km from the city. You can spend a very pleasant
half day, taking a walk up the 1000 steps to the top of the hill where the
temple of Sri Chamundeswari stands. From the half way up, you get the superb
views of Mysore city and the surrounding countryside. Two-third of the way
up you come across the statue of Nandi (Shiva's bull), carved out of a solid
rock. Sri Chamundeswari temple is a huge structure having a seven-storied 40
mts high gopuram. If you don't walk up the hill or having walked up and
don't want to walk back down again, then catch the buses which ply
approximately every half hour for the central bus station.
Rail Museum :
Situated near the city railway station, the
rail museum displays railway engines and coaches used by the erstwhile royal
family of Mysore. At the museum train rides in a small toy-like train are
also conducted. Rail Museum is open daily from 10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 6
pm, closed on Mondays.
St Philomena's Cathedral :
One of the biggest churches in
India, St Philomena's Cathedral in built in the neo-Gothic style. It is an
interesting place to visit in Mysore and there is a beautiful image of
Philomena is an underground chamber.
Chamarajendra Art Gallery :
Housed in the Jaganmohan Palace, the art
gallery displays paintings of Ravi Varma. Besides, you will also find
handicrafts, historical objects of interest and rare musical instruments in
the art gallery.
Government Sandalwood Oil Factory :
Oil Factory in Mysore is really interesting place to visit. Here sandalwood
oil is distilled and incense sticks are made.
Government Silk Weaving Factory :
The government run silk
weaving factory is the place where pure silk sarees are made.
Krishna Raja Sagar Dam :
Krishna Raja Sagar Dam or KRSDam
is 12 km north-west of Mysore. There is beautiful garden and a number of
Tourist Attractions Around Mysore
Located just 14 km north-east of Mysore,
on the Bangalore Highway, the island fortress was once the capital of the
warrior kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Across the other side of the road
from the fort stands the Daria Daulat Bagh, the summer palace of Tipu
Sultan. Built in 1784, Daria Daulat Bagh is now converted into a museum and
tells of his losing battle against the British. Daria Daulat Bagh has ornate
and beautiful frescoes. Tipu's Fort at Srirangapatnam houses a mosque and
the Ranganathswamy Temple. Outside the fort lies the Gumbaz, the tomb of
Tipu Sultan with doors of ebony inlaid with ivory.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary lies at a distance of 4 km from
Srirangapatnam and 18 km from Mysore. Visit the bird sanctuary to get close
view of exotic birds such as the white ibis, open-billed stork and
cormorants. You can also see the crocodiles that resemble mud banks. Every
year between the months of June and October birds from as far away as
Siberia make this bird sanctuary their home.
Brindavan Gardens :
Located 19 km from Mysore, these
beautiful gardens are laid out below the Krishnarajasagar dam across the
Cauvery River. Brindavan Gardens is a good place for family outings or
Somnathpur is 45 km east of Mysore and houses
the Sri Channakeshara Temple. Built around 1260 AD during the hey day of the
Hoysala kings, the temple is considered one of the most beautiful and
interesting buildings in the world. Sri Channkeshara Temple is star-shaped
structure and its walls are covered with superb sculptures in stone
depicting various scenes from the mythological Ramayana and Mahabharata and
the life of the Hoysala kings.
Shivasamudram is 80 km east of Mysore,
beyond Somathpur. India's first hydro-electric power station was built here
in 1902 at the Cauvery river falls. The twin falls known as Ganganachukki
and Bharchukki, fall nearly 100 mts in a series of cascades.
Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary :
Situated 80 km south of
Mysore, Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of a larger national park that
also includes the neighbouring wildlife sanctuaries of Madumalai (Tamil
Nadu) and Wyanad (Kerala). When you visit the wildlife sanctuary there are
excellent chances of seeing the herds of bison, spotted deer, elephant,
tiger, leopard and sambar. Jeep safaris inside the wildlife sanctuary are
offered by the Forest Department.
Cauvery Fishing Camp :
Located 82 km away from Mysore at
Bhimeshwari, Cauvery Fishing Camp is a paradise for anglers where mahaseer
is found in abundance. You can enjoy angling here but the fish has to be
returned to the river.
Mysore Dussehra :
Dussehra is the most popular festival of
Mysore city and local people celebrate this festival with great pomp and
enthusiasm. Every year during the months of October - November, the Dussehra
festival is celebrated in Mysore. Dussehra in Mysore is famous for keeping
alive the royal traditions. Lakhs of people from all over the world visit
Mysore during Dussehra to see the procession of king, soldiers and
elephants. Richly caparisoned elephants, liveried retainers, cavalry, the
gaudy and flower-bedecked images of deities, make their way through the
streets of Mysore. It's a real extravaganza and you shouldn't miss if you
are anywhere in the area at this time of the year.
Shopping in Mysore
Mysore is famous for carved sandalwood and ivory products, inlay works,
silk sarees and incense (agarbatti). Main shopping area in the city is on
Sayaji Rao Road. The Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium on Sayaji Rao Road is
the one of the most popular shops of Mysore. Here you will find the whole
range of arts and crafts. There are many other crafts shops along Dhanvantri
road, some of the them specialise in ivory chess sets. The best buy includes
the carved sandalwood images of Indian deities which retain their scent for
years. You can also stroll down Devraj Urs Road, the main shopping hub of
Mysore, visit various shops for the famous Mysore silk sarees.