Mysore, officially known as Mysuru and fondly called as the City of Palaces, is the erstwhile capital of Mysore Kingdom and one of the top tourist destinations in Karnataka. Once ruled by the Wodeyar family of Mysore Kingdom, the city later became under the control of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan for a period of 40 years during the 18th century. After the death of Tipu Sultan, the Wodeyar family regained the ruling power. This beautiful city is blessed with a large number of tourist attractions including palaces, gardens, museums, monuments and temples. Dasara festival celebrated at the premises of Mysore Palace is a must-watch event. Bangalore International Airport is located at 180 km from Mysore. Mysore Junction railway station is well connected to major cities of the country. October to March is the best season to visit this city.
Mysore Palace: It is the royal abode of the Maharajas of Mysore and the greatest attraction of the city. It was built in Indo-Saracenic architectural style with a blend of Hindu, Muslim, Gothic and Rajput styles. It is the venue of the famous Dasara festival.
Brindavan Gardens: Spread over 150 acres below the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam, it is one of the most beautiful gardens of Karnataka. The main attraction of the garden is the Musical and Dancing fountain.
Chamundi Hills: It is famous for the 11th century Chamundeshwari Temple, which is regarded as one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas and a major pilgrimage centre in Karnataka.
Mysore Zoo: Mysore Zoo, also known as Sri Chama Rajendra Zoological Gardens, is spread over 250 acres. It is the home for large number of animals like tigers, lions, elephants, deer, and different species of birds.
Railway Museum: The Railway Museum exhibits different models of trains used in different periods of history.
Jagan Mohan Palace: Built in 1861, it is the alternate residence of the Mysore royal family. The palace also houses the Jayam Rajendra Art Gallery.
Kukkarahalli Lake: Located in the heart of the city, this serene lake is an ideal place for bird watchers. Visitors can involve in boat riding in motor and pedal boats.
There are many other famous places to visit in Mysore such as Srirangapatanam, Lalitha Mahal Palace,Vasanta Mahal Palace, Mahabaleswara Temple, St. Philomena’s Cathedral, Nagarhole National Park, Regional Museum of Natural History, etc.
Mysore is well known for Mysore silk, Mysore Pak, sandalwood, paintings, statues, incense, rosewood items and many more. Mysore silk saris are very popular, which can be purchased from the Government Silk Factory showroom. Mahalakshmi Sweets and Guru Sweet Mart are the ideal stores for best quality Mysore Pak. The Cauvery Handicraft Emporium offers beautiful handicrafts of sandalwood, teak wood and rose wood, paintings, stone sculptures, sandalwood oil, sandalwood powder and incense sticks.
There are plenty of restaurants in Mysore serving traditional South Indian as well as North Indian cuisine. One should try varieties of dosas, idlis, vadas, uthappam, uppittu, and particularly the rice based bisibelebath, a special dish of Mysore. Mane restaurant, Vinayaka Mylari, Café Armane, Anu’s Bamboo Hut, etc., are some of the good South Indian vegetarian restaurants. Shikari Restaurant at Hotel Orchid Metropole and Charcoal Restaurant at Hotel Regaalis serve good non-vegetarian cuisine; and Kadal Restaurant is famous for varieties of seafood.
Being a cultural and traditional city, Mysore is yet to come out of its traditional sheath. Hence, one may not expect much vibrant nightlife in Mysore, compared to Bangalore or Mumbai. However, after a tiring day journey, the tourists can take off their travel fatigue by visiting a bar or pub. Some of the clubs and bars in Mysore include Just Blue, Planet X, Chirag Bar, Alankar Bar, Infinit Doora, Opium Bar, etc.
Mysore beckons the visitors with a plethora of activities. One can spend a wonderful day by visiting the beautiful gardens, magnificent palaces, historic monuments, museums, structures, art galleries and religious places. Evening can be utilized for a memorable shopping for Mysore silks, sweets and sandalwood products. For adventure fanatics, there are several clubs and academies, which offer several outdoor adventurous activities like rafting, trekking, cycling, night camping, etc.