Mysore has many things to offer which include cultural heritage, delicious food, and natural beauty. It is one of the historical city of India and is a go-to vacation destination for many tourists from Indian and overseas. If you are planning a trip to South and are fortunate enough to have included the beauteous city of Mysore, then you may want to know the places you should not miss to visit.
Here’s the list of 10 best places you should visit in Mysore –
1. Mysore Palace – Architectural Eminence
The affluence and grandeur of Mysore Palace is emblematic to the city for years. The palace is one of the best palaces that you will find in India. The palace garners 2.7 Million visitors every year. The sparkling beauty and magnificence of the monument is something that can you can only experience after you witness it. The painstakingly created architecture is the evidence of the fine craftsmanship that was involved in the building of Mysore Palace.
The best time to visit Mysore palace is afternoon so that you can visit the interiors of the monument and get the feel of the Royal living of Wadiyar Dynasty. By the time you complete the visit, it will be evening, then you can have some snacks outside and enjoy the wondrous countenance of sparkling Mysore Palace in the darkness of night, which is more than mesmerizing. If you are visiting Mysore during the Dasara Festival, then it’s cherry on the cake.
The entry fee is INR 40 for adults and INR 20 for children.
2. Karanji Lake – Peace & Tranquility
An extended meadow covered with high altitude trees with a sporadic drop of leaves that will tickle the nature lover in you, along with screeching sounds of peacock reverberating in the premises, something that collectively creates an impregnable aura of natural beauty, is what makes Karanji Lake a pure delight to nature lovers. This is the largest lake in Karnataka and has the peace, tranquility, and serenity to offer. You can sit there for hours and breathe fresh air, while the enchanting charm of the Lake will comfort your eyes. Apart from that, Karanji Lake is home to several migratory birds, which will add to the experience.
You can visit any time between 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, but I would recommend afternoon, because you won’t feel that kind of heat as it has a lot of trees and there will not be much crowd, so you will have benches empty to sit on, relax and indulge in personal musings.
3. Jaganmohan Palace – Art Galore
This place is an utter delight for the ones who love art. Jaganmohan Palace is one of the best places to visit in Mysore. It was used as a residence of a Royal family but later went on to become an art gallery, only to add to the enticement of visitors.
The gallery has many alluring artifacts and works of art intrinsic to south India. It offers the famous works of Indian artists like Raja Ravi Verma’s oil paintings and S.G. Heldnkr’s “Lady with the lamp” is also there, which makes it a perfect Artistic outing. The palace is open from 10 am to 5:30 pm. The entry fee is INR 20 for adults and INR 10 for children.
4. Lalitha Mahal – A Royal Experience
Lalitha Mahal is the second largest palace in the City of Mysore. This was initially constructed as a place to accommodate the Royals who make a visit to Mysore. The interiors of the palace have Belgian crystal chandeliers and Persian carpets, which are spectacular.
A part of the Palace has been converted into a hotel now and Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) handles it. Lalitha Mahal is open from morning 10 am to 5:30 pm and its entry fees are INR 100 per person.
5. Saint Philomena Church – A Stunning Cathedral
For those who love Churches and medieval art painted on stained glass window all around portraying the fascinating history of Christianity, Saint Philomena is the best place to visit in South India. The moment you enter the Church, you will travel back to the historical events in the life of Christ and get immersed in the essence of the cathedral church. The church has Neo-Gothic style.
The basement has catacombs below the altar. It has a congregation, choir, and Transepts over its ends. Saint Philomena Church is open from morning 5 am to evening 6 am. There is a school adjacent to the Church, so I would recommend you to go from 9 am to 12 pm and then 2 to 6, as it will have less traffic. After visiting the church, there are places to have snacks, and a shop where you can buy Mysore sandalwood and other things.
6. Chamundi Hills – Perfect Pilgrimage
This is perhaps one of the best getaways from Mysore. A journey up the hill while you can witness the whole city from the peaks followed by a pilgrimage visit to Chamundi Temple makes Chamundi Hills a Mysore essential. There are lots of shops of artifacts where you can satiate your souvenir collecting whim.
The architecture of Chamundeshwari temple is unique as it is decorated with 7 tiers Gopuram and 7 golden Kalash. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga with 8 hands. I would recommend you to plan your journey early in the morning so that you can travel downhill before lunch, or you can also divert to Nandi Hills or vice versa. There are lots of eateries between Chamundeshwari and Mysore, where you can have your lunch or dinner, and there are shops in which you can also get the famous Coorg Coffee.
If you haven’t rented a vehicle, then you need to take a bus from Mysore City Bus Stand, which has good frequency and would take you to Chamundi Hills in an hour. If you are on your vehicle, then be cautious of the blind curves.
7. Nandi Hills – Natural Beauty
As mentioned earlier, if you are visiting Chamundeshwari temple, then visit Nandi Hills too, as both are adjacent to each other. From the mythological perspective, Nandi Hills is a sacred bull and Lord Shiva’s friend. Also, this place is a biker’s paradise. You will get to see a lot of biker’s traveling uphill on your way.
The place is an exquisite blend of nature and adventure, which is something that also makes it one of the best getaways from Mysore.
8. Brindavan Gardens – Botanical Beauty
Brindavan Garden is across Krishnaraja Sagar Dam and is located 23 km away from Mysore. It is a famous spot for sight-seeing and a peaceful place to spend your evening. Magical fountains, orchards, and boat rides will add to your delight.
It is open from morning 6:00 am to evening 8:00 pm and the entry fee is just INR 15 for adults and INR 5 for children.
9. Railway Museum – Engines In Abundance
This is the second largest Railway Museum after the one in Delhi. A mini-train will take you inside the museum and then you can ride through the premises of the museum.
A section also displays the lifestyle of the Royal dynasty with rooms, kitchen etc. If you have kids with you, then I guarantee that they will be more than delighted at Railway Museum of Mysore. The timing of the museum is 10 am to 5:30 pm and it is closed on Mondays. The fee is INR 15 per adult and INR 10 per children.
10. Melody World Wax Museum – A Music Lovers Paradise
The museum showcases over 100 Wax statues and over three hundred musical instruments. The instruments and musicians displayed in the museum range from Rock n’ Roll, Jazz, Pop, Chinese, Tribal etc. This museum will leave you awestruck as it is one of the best homages to these artists from the world.
It opens at 9.30 am and closes at 7.00 pm and the entry fee is INR 30 per person.
Apart from aforementioned places, Mysore also has places to shop among which “Mall of Mysore” tops the list. It is designed in a Royal architecture style and is a great place to spend your free time during the trip. You can also roam around Mysore City Bus Stand and buy Sandalwood stuff and Mysore Pak from a famous sweet shop known as ‘Guru Sweet Mart’. It is an old shop that serves the best sweets in Mysore. I highly recommend a meal at RRR Restaurant. You will have the pleasure of having the best South Indian food, and also, it is not far from City Bus Stand.
Moreover, Mysore is a big city but it is very peaceful. It’s a city I would like to tag as ‘the perfect retirement place’. You will know what I am saying, once you finish your Mysore trip. All in all, if you are planning a Mysore trip, do not give a second thought. It is one of the best places in India that offers all kind of experiences.