What do we all really want from our holiday trip? Relaxation, fun, cherished memories, enjoyment, good food and good time exploring the nooks and corners of a new place. Nothing more, nothing less! In this post, we will share with you about Mysore. With its grand & Royal Palaces, lush green gardens, mesmerizing lakes, and fine silks and sandalwood, Mysore will amaze you with its cultural, social and historical heritage.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive in and fall in love with the most charismatic places to visit in Mysore – the “City of Palaces”. Explore and take your pick from our choice of places to visit in Mysore City, from palaces to wildlife and the shopping avenues that we have covered with additional information about Mysore tourist places timings and entry fees.
Best time to visit Mysore
The best time to visit Mysore is from the month of October to February. This time of the year is blessed with pleasant cool breezes. The grand Dussehra celebrations also take place in the month of October.
A Taste of Heritage, because nothing says grand like Palaces!!!
A Magnificent and breath taking example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, Mysore Palace is one of the largest palaces in India and is a fine example of splendid architecture and historical glory. With its blend of different styles of architecture consisting of Hindu, Islamic, Rajput and Gothic style, the Palace manages to capture your attention right away. All of which makes this Palace one of the best tourist places to visit in Mysore.
Also known as Amba Vilas Palace, there is a lot of cool stuff there that you’ll get to see! Such as impressive sculptures, Doll’s Pavilion (having dolls from 19th & 20th century), paintings, exquisite carvings, various works of art, wooden Elephant Howdah and a magnificent KalyanaMantapa (Marriage Hall).
There are some other attractions to behold as well like the jewel-studded golden throne, portrait gallery, the royal armoury, collections of costumes and jewellery, delicately carved doors of mahogany and solid silver, graceful chandeliers, decorative stained-glass ceilings and ornamental frescoes. That’s why, it is the second most frequented historical place visited by both local and foreign tourists after the Taj Mahal.
Also, don’t miss out on the main attractions of the Palace, that is, its light & sound show and Dussehra celebrations. And as the Palace has several other amazing tourist spots nearby, so you should pen it down in your itinerary if you’re planning to find the best places to visit in Mysore in two days trip.
Timing: 10:00 AM -5:30 PM
Adults: INR 40
Children (between 10 and 18 years): INR 20
Foreigners: INR 20
Students: INR 10
Jagan Mohan Palace
Constructed in the traditional Hindu style of architecture, the Jagan Mohan Palace was built as an alternate home for the royal family. When their original residence, the Mysore Palace, was burnt down in a fire. Later on, it was converted into an art gallery. And it is one of the best places to visit in Mysore.
The Art Gallery is one of the best-preserved art galleries in Karnataka. It houses many valuable artifacts and artworks from South India. It has over 2000 paintings consisting of different Indian styles like Mysore, Mughal and Shanti Niketan. They have famous works of Indian artists such as Raja Ravi Verma’s oil paintings, and S.G. Heldnkr’s painting named “Lady with the lamp”. Some exquisite antiques and some intricate masterpieces are also featured at the art gallery.
Timings: 10 am- 5.30 pm
For adults – INR 20
For children – INR 10
House of Worship Because It’s India and we can always use some blessings!!
Being one of the oldest temples of Mysore, Trinesvaraswamy Temple is also one of the most visited temples which makes it one of the best pilgrimage places to visit in Mysore. And as the name Trinesvara suggests, three-eyed Lord Shiva is worshipped here. Many tourists come to this place to see the beautifully designed temple in Dravidian style of architecture.
This temple has Lingas& shrines of other deities as well, like Parvathi, Chamundeswari, Suryanarayana and Sankaracharya. And You’ll also find the statue of Dakshinamurthy, seated under a tree in the posture of meditation with a number of Naga stones under a peepal tree.
Timings: 6 am – 7 pm
Nanjundeshwara Temple – Nanjangud
Situated on the banks of Kabini river, Nanjangud temple is one of the most visited temples in Mysore due to its mythological heritage. As the name Nanjundeshwara (the God who drank the Poison) suggests, Lord Shiva is the deity who is worshipped here. The temple is built in the Dravidian style and houses Lord Nanjundeshwara, Goddess Parvathi and Lord Vishnu.
For those of you who didn’t know, it’s a mythological legend that once upon a time Gods & Demons churned the ocean in search of the potion that would give them immortality. Upon finding that, they also found a chalice of poison. The poison was so powerful that every God & demon was scared that the powerful poison would end all the creation of life. So, Lord Shiva drank the poison and that’s why in many places Lord Shiva’s throat or his whole body is portrayed in blue colour. Another legend that is connected from the place is the infamous Kapila river, where devotees take a holy dip after performing the rituals that would cleanse them of their diseases. The deity there is considered a healer among the worshippers.
Timings: 6 AM – 1 PM; 4 – 8. 30 PM
Situated atop the Chamundi hills, Chamundeshawri temple is one of the oldest temples in the Mysore city and is one of the popular tourist attractions as it provides the tourists with a panoramic view of the hills, making it one of the best places to visit in Mysore. Built-in 11th century, this temple is considered one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas. It houses the Hindu deity, Goddess Durga who destroyed Mahishasura, the demon. The temple also has the statues of Mahishasura demon and Nandi. The idol of goddess Chamundi inside the central sanctum is made of pure gold. The temple is quite crowded all the time so special darshans are available for Rs. 30 and Rs. 100 to complete the darshan quickly. There are two ways to reach the temple, either you can drive through the valley road or you can climb one thousand steps. Also, this temple has been declared as the No Plastic Zone. So, be environment-friendly!
Timings: 7:30 AM – 2 PM, 3.30 – 6 PM & 7:30 – 9 PM
Srirangapatna is an island town on the Kaveri river. The major attraction of this place is the Ranganathaswamy temple. The temple is an important Vaishnava pilgrimage site. The town is also an architectural marvel for those who love to explore the historical cities and towns in India.
Timings : 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
This is one of the first temples built during the Hoysala dynasty. It is appreciated for its architectural beauty and design finesse.
Timings : 8:30am–5:30pm
The Mysore Zoo
Mysore Zoo is home to a very large number of animal species. Other than the animals found in India, this zoo also has some exotic animals acquired from foreign country zoos. The Zoo is famous for breeding some very rare animals. It houses a beautiful array of animals like lions, tigers, hyenas, deer, elephants, rhinos, king cobras and birds. The main highlights of the zoo are Giraffes, Jaguars, African elephants and Wallaby. It is one of the oldest and one of the best zoo parks in the south region which makes it one of the best places to visit in Mysore.
So, if you’re a wildlife lover, don’t forget to give this place a visit! Also, prefer the morning time before 11 am to get a good view of all animals. And if you’re planning a short trip and thinking of places to visit in Mysore in 3 days’ time then Mysore Palace is nearby the zoo with some other equally exciting tourist spots, just waiting for you to explore.
Timings: 8 AM – 5.30 PM. Closed on Tuesdays
Entry Fee: Rs. 50 for adults, Rs. 20 for Children (5-20 years), Rs. 20 for Camera.
- Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
A paradise for bird watchers, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary houses a wide species of birds including cormorants, darters, white ibis, spoon billed storks, open billed storks, painted storks, white necked storks, egrets, herons, terns, swallows, kingfishers, sandpiper etc. Declared as a Bird Sanctuary in 1940, this place comprises of six islets on the banks of the Kaveri River, where you can also enjoy the scenic view by boat.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 60 for Indians, Rs. 30 for Indian Children, & Rs. 200 for Foreigners
Formed by River Kaveri, Chunchanakatte Falls, is one of the most beautiful waterfalls near Mysore. It is one of the top tourist places to visit in Mysore in monsoon season. The majestic waterfall is filled with scenic views of mountains, lush greenery and the tranquil environment which will take your breath away! Also, an age-old temple dedicated to Lord Kodanda Rama is situated just beside the waterfalls.
Timings: 24 hrs.
Located on the banks of Kaveri these are twin falls. It is absolutely an amazing picturesque view. Shivansamudra falls is perfect getaway for a day to relax. The waterfall is in its full glory from the months of June to September.
The museum houses a great array of various models, inspection coaches, engines from different periods, a cart running with steam, etc. Also, most of these artefacts were placed here from Mysore Palace. There is also a private train with two coaches used by the King of Mysore which is exhibited in Sri Ranga. The Pavilion also has several artefacts that were used during the initial period such as telephones, basic amenities etc.
The museum also displays memorable events in the form of photographs that denotes the development of Railway System over the years. The main attraction of the museum is its display of the first steam engine and first signals, from the beginning of the time which makes it one of the most interesting places to visit in Mysore. There’s also a mini toy train that takes the visitors around the museum. It’s a very informative place with lots of fun for kids and adults alike as you get insights about the rich history of the Indian Railways.
Timings: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM, Closed on Mondays.
Entry Fee: Free
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
The museum was initially built as a mansion for the Maharaja’s eldest daughter which was later turned into a museum and is now a part of the University of Mysore. The Palace has 125 rooms. The palace has three different museums Archaeology Museum, Folklore Museum and General Museum. Out of these three, Folklore Museum is the most popular one among the tourists.
The museum houses one of the most elaborate collections of folk art. It is home to an amazing collection of carved wooden & leather figures from Karnataka villages, rural costumes, utensils, ornaments, metal ware, implements and tools used in various rural professions. The Archaeology Museum displays lots of fun stuff such as stone sculptures, beautiful paintings, and 3D images which appear different in different lighting. There is decades old history displayed in these museums. Including the amenities used by Royals such as household stuff, bags, clothes, shoes etc., in the General museum.
Timings: All days of the week- 8:30 AM-6:00 PM
Entry Fee: INR 15 per person for adults, INR 5 per person for children
Melody World Wax Museum
Melody World Wax Museum is the third largest art museum of India which makes it a popular tourist attraction and one of the top places to visit in Mysore. The museum displays a wide array of beautiful “coming to life” wax statues and all kinds of music instruments that will be a treat for your eyes! The instruments and mementos exhibited here ranges from the current time to golden era, portraying various kinds of genres such as Jazz, Pop, Rock, Punjabi Bhangra, Hip Hop etc. The museum is built as a dedication to all the legendary artists from all over the world.
Timings: 9:30 am to 7.00 pm
Entry Fee: INR 30 per person
Karanji Lake is located at the bottom of the Chamundi Hill Road and it houses India’s largest and first walkthrough aviary and a butterfly garden. Making it one of the best places to visit in Mysore. The lake is also known as Fountain Lake (because of the huge fountain installed inside the lake) which is maintained by the Zoological department. It also houses around 70 different species of birds including some migratory birds. Which makes it a beautiful viewpoint for all the bird lovers and nature admirers due to its lush green forest area and scenic views.
Timings: Wed-Mon 8:30 am to 5.30 pm, closed on Tuesday
Entry Fee: INR 10 per person for adults and INR 05 per person for children
Located in the heart of the Mysore City, Kukkarahalli Lake is one of the most scenic tourist places being home to over 100 different species of birds. The different species include Spot-billed Pelicans, Little Cormorant, Painted Storks, Open-bill Storks, Eurasian Spoonbills, Black-crowned Night Herons and Oriental Darters etc. Also, the lake is used by the National Cadet Corps for the cadets’ boat-pulling training for the annual boat-pulling competition. You can go to this lake for a fun picnic with family while having a relaxed time enjoying the panoramic view.
Timings: 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
Shopping Mysore’s Specials
One of the most important rituals of any holiday trip is to get all the famous souvenirs, mementos and all the other special items that are connected to the Place. So, here are the must buy items with the best places to visit in Mysore to find said items!
Don’t forget to take home the most famous sweet, The Mysore Pak, which is a specialty of Mysore city. Made with simple ingredients such as sugar, flour, ghee, and a lot of love, Mysore Pak is every bit of a sinful indulgence which you should not be missing under any circumstance. Once you’ll have a taste you won’t be leaving without couple boxes packed for the trip back home. One of the best places to find the Mysore Pak is Guru Sweet Mart.
The royal city is famous for its silk sarees due to its unique shine as these sarees are made of intricate zari work made of golden thread, recognized as Mysore silk. Another must buy item are the Pashmina shawls. For getting one of these Mysore silk made sarees, you can either go to Government Silk Factory where you can see the weavers at work which makes it a popular tourist attraction. Or you can also just visit The Heritage for those famous Pashmina shawls. Also, it’s a great place to pick up souvenirs to take back home. And don’t forget to pay a visit to the infamous Mall of Mysore on your way to The Heritage.
Mysore is also known as Sandalwood City. Once upon a time Mysore used to have sandalwood forests in overabundance, then smuggling and felling took place due to the high demand and high price. You might have heard about a brigand named Veerappan who was in the business of smuggling of Sandalwood in Mysore. So, now all the sandalwood trees of Mysore are under Government Protection. Therefore, one of the places where you can buy the best quality sandalwood products will be Sandalwood Oil Factory. Established in 1916, you will find everything starting from sandalwood oil, scented sandalwood soaps, agarbattis, high-quality perfumes, cosmetics, detergents etc. Or you can also go to Devaraja Market for jewellery and genuine sandalwood products. Also, don’t miss the adorable Chenapatna Dolls when you’re in Devaraja Market.
If you’re a coffee lover then Mysore is just the place for you. Take with you the most rich, earthy and spicy flavours of coffee to enjoy with your loved ones back at home. So, Mysore is the place to find the best aromatic coffee if you too can’t start your day without a good cup of coffee! And just so you know, no tourist has ended their journey without getting some locally made coffee powder. As the coffee has a crisp, bright flavor which makes it everyone’s favorite and therefore, you can get hold of the best aromatic coffee powder at the famous Gandhi Square.
Things to do in Mysore
Mysore Dasara (Dussehra)
Mysore Dussehra is a ten day celebration during Navaratri till the day of Vijayadashami. Goddess Chamundeshwari is worshipped which is another name for goddess Durga. What’s different about Dussehra in Mysore is the royal grandeur in its celebrations. You can experience the ebullient processions, dances, local art and food mela. Experiencing the Mysore Dussehra is the best way to witness the glitz of Mysore’s rich heritage and culture.
Making sandalwood incense
Make your own incense! Mysore has an abundance of sandalwood, which is a widely used fragrance in India for incense sticks. A number of incense shops can be found in Mysore markets. They will let you make you your own incense sticks on request.
Visit Malgudi café
Malgudi café is a cozy in-house café at Green Hotel. The hotel has been established by restoring a heritage palace back to its glory. This gives it a very pleasant whimsical ambience.
Savouring the south Indian dishes is a must-do when you are in Mysore. From dishes like idli, dosa and wada to the famous Mysorepak (a famous sweet) are a treat to eat.
So, we come to an end of our beautiful journey to mysore. We hope the blog helped you in creating a city tour for one of the most visited historic destination in southern India. Until our text post, be bohemian. Happy Travelling!!