This historical city of Karnataka is one of India’s treasures. The Vijayanagar rules, the Wodeyars, Hyder Ali and his son, Tipu Sultan have ruled Mysore and surrounding areas. Mysore got its name after Goddess Chamundi killed the demon king, Mahishasura at Mahisuru.
During the Dussehra festival the whole city comes alive with lights, sounds and sights. Mysore is a shopper’s retreat. Shop for Mysore silk, Mysore Palace look-alikes in marble, curios and more. Mysore railway station connects you to other south Indian cities. The Bangalore airport is two hours away. There are private and government-operated inter-state buses to Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Mysore Palace was the capital of the Mysore Maharajas. It houses the royal possessions, paintings and artifacts. The palace complex has Hindu temples, a garden and an archeological office. Shops and stalls outside the palace vend jewellery and handicrafts. One lakh bulbs light up the palace exteriors every Sunday, from seven to eight p.m. It is also lit up during Dussehra. The Jaganmohan Palace to the west of the main palace building exhibits paintings by Raja Ravi Varma.
Brindavan Gardens, 20km from the city and on the banks of the Cauvery River, is a popular tourist area. There are two hotels nearby, and a musical fountain that functions in the evenings, on weekends and holidays.
Nagarhole National Park gets its name from the Kannada word meaning ‘snake den’. You can spot elephants, tigers, foxes, macaques, leopards and gaurs in this expansive park. There are forest bungalows and tree houses to stay in. A government-operated bus safari takes you deep into the forest for sight-seeing and animal-spotting.
How to get there
The city’s railway station is located to its north. The airport in Bangalore is only about two hours away from Mysore. An airport for Mysore is in the planning stages. There are private and govt-operated buses that are connected throughout the state. A city bus stand, a private bus stand and a central bus stand connects buses that ply within and outside the state. There are city buses and inter-state ones that will take you to major cities and towns in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh
Places to see
Bandipur National Park | Brindavan Gardens | Chamundi Hill | Karanji Lake Nature Park | Mysore Palace | Mysore zoo | Nagarhole National Park
Rail Museum | Ranganthittu Bird sanctuary | Shopping | Srirangapatnam | St Philomena’s Cathedral