11 Top Things to Do and See in Mysore

Mysore or previously known as Mysuru, is riddled in age old traditions, culture and a rich heritage. Located on the foothills of the holy and deeply spiritual Chamundi hills, Mysore is the southernmost region of Karnataka. Mysore is also famous for being the second largest city of Karnataka. You may know Mysore for its fine, pure and unique Mysore silk sarees, but it is so much more than just that.

The vibrantly rich environment of Mysore has rightfully earned its name as the cultural capital of Karnataka. The streets of Mysore are lined with colorful shops on either side. The air is filled with a delicious fragrance of locally prepared Mysore Pak and the warm welcoming smiles of the people will make you feel like you are at a home away from home.

Mysore is a mosaic of towering monuments, dotted with temples that redefine architecture and towering palaces. Mysore was ruled by much distinguished rulers like well-known Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. The town is the birthplace of various styles of Indian art and craft thus known as the cultural capital of Karnataka.

Absolutely a feast for the eyes, Mysore is famous for its unprecedented beauty. Mysore is one of the best tourist places in India. With its temples, forts and churches, whosoever want to explore the rich culture of Karnataka must visit Mysuru. You must set aside a day for Mysore. Mysore is a great pit stop for hill stations like Ooty and Coorg. There are many other interesting buildings, palaces, and temples to see.

In Bidadi, those who travel from Bengaluru to Mysuru are well aware of this Thatte idli breakfast with chutney. In the Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum, you can see beautiful works of art and Brindavan Gardens with the many fountains is a nice distraction. There is a place called Ranganathittu bird sanctuary which is a treat for nature lovers and photographers. Mysore is also an excellent place to buy sandalwood, and learn Ashtanga Yoga.

Things to Do and See in Mysore

Wondering where to start or where to go when in Mysore? Check out these top things to do and see in Mysore.

1. Mysore Palace

Mysore palace has to be on the top of this list. Mysore has an impressive royal heritage, with the main tourist attraction of the city being the imposing Mysore Palace. The Mysore Palace is one of the places to visit near Bangalore. The biggest attractions of Karnataka is the Mysore Palace or the Amba Vilas Palace, property of the Mysore Royal Family.

This landmark face of Karnataka is iconic in every sense. Let's just say that without a tour of this magnificent palace, any Mysore trip remains incomplete. There is no architectural style that defines the palace aesthetics. It is actually a beautiful amalgamation of different architectural styles that sets it apart.

The palace was opened in 1912. The sprawling mansion has spacious halls, rooms and hallways - all adorned with beautiful artwork from floors to ceilings. Mysore palace receives the most number of visitors every year than any other sightseeing place in Mysore. Be it morning or night, the Mysore Palace stands as a true testament to the creativity and royalty that it once housed.

Mysore Palace is undoubtedly one of the most famous places to see in Karnataka. There are three main temple exclusive buildings within the old fort and 18 in the Palace that faces the Chamundi hills. The best time to visit the palace is during Mysore Dussehra, when it is prepared for the festival. It is also the busiest time of the year. Festival lovers, write down on your calendar that the 10-day Dasara Festival is scheduled for September.

The flagship in all that splendor is the UNESCO-listed palace, with the magnificent red domes and the kaleidoscopic stained glass windows of the interior. Mysore Palace offers an unbeatable sight on Sunday night when the entire retreat bathes in the light.

2. Trinesvaraswamy Temple

Trineshwaraswamy temple in Mysore is on the northeastern corner of the Mysore Fort, which faces the grand palace. This massive temple is built elegantly in a traditional Dravidian architectural style. It is dedicated to the unique three eyed version of Shiva. The exact date of the existence of this temple goes further back than the reign of Raja Wodeyar.

The religious and historical importance of this place is huge. It is believed that Shiva appeared as himself to a sage and installed the lingam here Himself.

3. Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

Mysore or Mysuru Zoo is a 157 acre of pure wildlife experience. Located very close to Mysore palace, you can easily make a plan to visit it just after or before checking out the Mysore palace. If you are an animal lover and want to add a twist in your sightseeing plans then this zoo could be a great place to check out, especially if you are travelling with children.

The is home to giraffes, Bengal tigers, baboons, white rhinos and a range of reptiles and birds. Mysore Zoo is one of the best in India.

4. Sri Yoga Narasimha Swamy Temple

Melukote temple in Mandya district is one of the most sacred places in Karnataka. Everything about this temple oozes utmost positivity, spiritual vibes and deep tranquility. The Melkote Temple is not one, but 2 temples called Yoga Narasimha Temple and Thirunarayana Temple. While the Thirunarayana Temple is on the foothills of the Yadavagiri Hills, the Yoga Narasimha Temple is on the peak of these hills.

You can imagine the amount of deep spirituality, magnificent views and immense peace this place has to offer.

5. Talakadu

Gracing the banks of the Kaveri River, Talakadu is a charming abandoned town with a lot of history and mystique surrounding it. It is unlike any other abandoned town in the world especially because every house or piece of architecture in this small abandoned, lonely town is doused in some of the finest quality of architectural designs that cannot be replicated anywhere else.

This place reflects the mindset of the people in the bygone era and makes you feel like you have taken a time machine to the ancient era. It is just 45 kms away from Mysore and a must visit for Shiva devotees!

6. Srirangapatna

It is a known fact that Karnataka is one of the best places in India to visit for spiritual tourism. Srirangapatna remained included in the kingdom of Mysore from the early 17th century until the independence of India in the mid-20th century.

Srirangapatna in Mandya District is one of the holiest places of worship for the Vaishnavites or the avid followers of Vishnu. This pilgrimage centre which is surrounded by the holy Kaveri River is a sight to behold. This entire region is dotted with several holy places of worship, temples, historical monuments and other interesting sites of cultural significance.

It is a holy tiny town that is also home to a bird sanctuary, Srirangapatna fort, Wellesley Bridge, Tipu Sultan Gumbaz and more.

7. Daria Daulat Bagh

Among the other places worth mentioning in Srirangapatna is the summer palace of Tipu Sultan called Daria Daulat Bagh. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens and inside you will find a small palace painted to the last centimeter of its walls and balustrades. There are also places to rest in the interior of the island.

8. Chamundi Hills

The palace city of Chamundi hills is situated 13 kms east of the main city of Mysore on an elevation of just about 1,000 metres above sea level. The majestic quaint hill town is graced and snuggled in the lap of nature that draws its name from the temple of goddess Chamundi which further beautifies the hill station.

The hills are an inescapable part of your Mysore travel because these rolling hills can be seen from every corner of this iconic holy town. Being enveloped in a deep sense of utmost peace and spirituality and gazing down at the iconic Mysore palace and the entire city of Mysore from a broader and newer perspective is refreshing. Just the view of the city from Chamundi hills is worth a trip to Mysore.

9. Jaganmohan Palace

Among the top 10 things to do in Mysore, a full day visit to Jaganmohan Palace is a must. The age old architecture combined with vibrant tones of gold and other colors, creates a wonderful mosaic of history, culture and architectural brilliance. Not just the architecture, the interiors and the furniture of the palace has been preserved and very well maintained.

The palace will make you feel as if you have stepped into the era of the Wodeyars, the kings of Mysore who had built this palace during the 18th century. It also houses a grand art gallery and a wonderful function hall.

10. Lalitha Mahal Palace

The architectural indulgence continues with the Gothic St. Philomena's Cathedral and the beautiful Lalitha Mahal Palace, known for its quintessentially British high teas. If you have a sweet tooth, try Mysore Pak, a fudge-like dessert prepared with ghee. Mysore pak is a classic traditional sweet which is said to have been originated in the kitchen of Royal Mysore palace. It is made of generous amounts of ghee, sugar, gram flour and often cardamom.

11. Namdroling Monastery

Visit Bylakuppe a community of 1500 Tibetans. Located amidst sandal groves in Coorg is the Namdroling Monastery. It takes credit as the largest teaching centre of Nyingmapa in India. The monastery has a peaceful ambience where a few minutes of prayer can rejuvenate the mind. It is the perfect destination for soul seekers.

The Namdroling Nyingmapa monastery, which is also known as the Namdrol of Thegchog Shedrub Dargye Ling is said to be the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world. This monastery is located in Bylakuppe in Mysuru district.

Also known as the Golden Temple, it boasts of a golden idol of Buddha with Tibetan mythology paintings depicting the phases of Buddha's life. You can get the feel of Tibet with the shopping stalls, clanging of bells and the sizzling aroma of momos. The monks and the daily prayers add oomph to the atmosphere. The various festivities and ceremonies attract tourists all round the year. Come enjoy a slice of Tibet in this monastery.

Walk in the coffee and spice plantations. This is the opportunity to learn the difference between an Arabica and a Robusta, and explore the paths scented by the spices of Orange County to immerse yourself in the spirit of the place.

Mysore is truly a one of a kind city that deserves to be explored more and recognised for the historical and spiritual value it holds. From hills to the plains and from the iconic monuments of heritage value to the temples and palaces, the city is filled with historical riches. This underrated travel destination definitely needs to be put on the map for being one of the best places for history buffs, spiritual seekers and photographers!

Mysore is that the most demanding tourist place in Karnataka, especially for families. Numerous good resorts, homestays, cottages are available in mysore which is right for families, big groups, honeymoon couples etc. The elegant-quaint resorts and cottages in Mysore are perfect for your vacation if a visit within the lap of natural surroundings, capped up with cosiness and luxury is all you're trying to find.

They're going to cause you to feel at your dream home and also allow you to lie the happiness of serenity alongside your loved ones. So reside the most effective resorts and cottages will make your family trip to the current Gods own country, Karnataka worth recalling.

If you actually messed up together with your daily routines and you're now trying to find a family shake your hectic lives. Then find a perfect family resort or cottage for your family and you which of them could refresh your entire mind and soul. A family trip in Mysore are often more fun and enjoyable with the right place to remain.

Kalyan Panja