The Precious Heritage City : What to See in Mysore

This Royal City of south is not all about its marvelous palace but it also bewilders its visitors with its variety of natural and cultural marvels.  The city had once been the capital of the Wodeyar  and now  is a paradise for the explorers and architecture lovers. The city is also surrounded by some interesting places like Shravanbelagola, Gopalaswami Betta and even a famous tiger sanctuary of Bandipur is located just at a distance of a few kilometres.  The best time to visit is in winter (September –February) that includes the extravagant state festival of Dussera.

Follow this guide and explore the astonishing wonders of this city:

Mysore Palace – An Enchanting Architectural Beauty

mysore south india Karnataka

Built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar, this palace alone lures millions of tourists to the city every year. Unfortunately half part of this palace is open for common public. The other half is occupied by the royal family. A few parts of the current building were reconstructed, expanded and beautified during the British Era. The Rajput, Hindu, Muslim and Gothic style have been mixed to create this palace building. The earlier wooden palace was destroyed in a fire accident.

The main attractions in this palace are:  the wooden Howrah used to carry the gold idol of Goddess Durga (Chamundeshwari) during Dussesra, the gold idol of the Goddess, real elephant head stuffed with wood, beautiful paintings with 3D effects and depicting Royal Dussera function with hundreds of real people’s faces in it, the Kalyan Mandap (Marriage Hall) with peacock designed tiles and ceiling, Durbar Hall decorated with extravagant chandeliers and mosaic ceiling and the colorful floor with Italian tiles creating beautiful designs. The marriage hall is used till the date for royal family marriages and during those days the palace is closed for the visitors and thus, it is advisable to pre-enquire the entry details.

The palace premises also include around 18 main temples. The two main old temples Bhuvneshwari Temples and Varah Swami Temples and located on the right and left front of the palace.  Mysore Sandle products, silk saaries and other items are available in the shops inside the palace complex.

There is an old palace museum at the back side of the palace showcasing the ruins of the old wooden palace and the old durbar hall and paintings.  The entry fee for the same is separate.

Camel and elephant rides are also available at the back side of the palace. The elephants are also the prominent participants of Dussera festival. You can get more information about it on the Govt. Website.

  • Timings: 10:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Entry Fees: Rs. 25 (children) Rs. 40 (Adults) Rs. 200 (foreigners)
  • Entry of the children below 7 years is free
  • Light and sound show: Monday to Friday (7 pm to 7:45 pm)
  • Palace lighting: Sundays and Public Holidays – 7 pm
  • Dussera (10 days-7 pm to 10 pm) and Diwali (5 days)
  • Guide charges: Rs. 250 for Indians
  • Camera fees: Not allowed inside the palace
  • Contact No: 0821 2434425

Note: Shoes and short pants are not allowed inside the palace. Be aware of guides luring you to secret rooms and charging more. You can give a written complain for any issue to the Police Guard or at the Palace Office.

Jaganmohan Palace: The Grand Palace Substitute

This palace was a temporary resident of the king while the construction of the destroyed palace was in progress and was constructed just in 70 days. It has now been converted into an art gallery with the beautiful painting of Raja Ravi Verma and other Royal patrons. Beautiful antique items of day-to-day use, precious artifacts, brass ware, musical instruments, coins, are also open for public to see. One another unique painting on rice which can be clearly  seen through a magnifying glass can also be found here.

  • Entry Fees: Rs. 15 (Adults) Rs. 5 (children)
  • Timings: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Camera fees: Not allowed inside the palace
  • Contact No: 0821 2423693

Lalith Mahal Palace: A Luxury Stay in the City

This spectacular palace used to be a Royal Guest House and is now converted into a hotel. You can plan your stay over here or just go for a breakfast or brunch in the restaurant of the hotel.

The Mighty Chamundi Hills:

Since centuries the temple of Goddess Chamundi on the Hills, has been very important as the locals including the Royal family worship Goddess Chamundi , the one who killed the demon Mahishasur. There is a Shival temple beside the main temple which is supposed to be centuries old.

Other places to be visited at the hills:

  • Nandi: It’s a gigantic 16 ft tall monolithic of a Nandi near a caved Shiva Temple.
  • Telescope View Point: Here you can have the view of the famous places in the city through a telescope.
  • The City View point: On the to the hills you would be able to see the view of the whole Mysore City. You can come here in the evening to have the illuminated view of the palace and the city.
  • Devikere: It is a small auspicious pond.

Temple Timings: 7:30 am to 2 pm, 3:30 pm to 6 pm, 7:30 pm to 9 pm

Note: You can either opt the road transport to reach here and see all the places or you can climb the stairs and reach here, which is obviously time-consuming.

*Short pants will not be allowed in any of the temples.

Karanji  Kere: The Butterfly Lake

This lake has the shape of a butterfly which can be seen from Chamundi Hills. It is a place where you can just sit peacefully and see the birds and butterflies busy in their daily chores. Many species of migrated and local birds are found in the lake surroundings.  There is a huge aviary, a tall net closure in the lake premises which can be entered by human beings and the stunning birds of Japan, Malasiya, Sri Lanka and Africa can be seen loitering right near your feet. It is an amazing feeling to be in proximity of these cute creatures in their house cage. There is also a play area for the kids with swings, slides and the wheel rides. There is a bird watch tower in the middle of the parks and a few minutes of walk from the tower leads you to the Butterfly Park.

It is indeed a must visit place for the bird and nature lovers.

  • Timings: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Entry Fees: Rs 10 (Adults), Rs. 5 (Children)
  • Still Camera: Rs. 20
  • Video Camera: Rs. 150
  • Contact No: 0821 2439862
  • Closed on: Tuesdays

Mysore Zoo – An Animal Lover’s Paradise

The zoo inhabits a few of the rarest animals like white rhino, black rhino and Indian rhino, white peacock, Asian tiger, Himalayan bear, brown lemur and so on. It is located at the base of Chamundi hills.

  • Timings: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Closed on: Tuesdays
  • Entry fee: Rs. 50 (Adult) Rs. 20 (Children)
  • Still Camera: Rs. 20
  • Video Camera: Rs. 150
  • Batter operated vehicle: Rs. 250 (including entry fee)
  • Contact No: 0821 2440752

Sand Museum – The Art of Golden Granules

The sand art of the artist Gowri M. N. would surely not fail to leave you awestruck with its minute fineness and the depiction of variety of cultures and religions. Gowri M. N. is a very renowned, award-winning sand Sculpture artists in the country and the museum, her lifelong dream, is one of its kinds in India.

  • Timings: 8 am to 6:30 pm
  • Entry Fees: Rs. 40(Adults), Rs. 20 (Children)
  • Contact: 09448273890
  • Facebook: Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum

Jaylakshmi Vilas palace:

Located in the university campus, this Palace has the museum with best Folklore collection in the country. This Palace is located on the banks of Kukkarhalli Lake.

  • Entry Fees: Rs. 15 (Adults) Rs. 5 (children)
  • Timings: 9:30 am to 6:30 pm
  • Closed on: Sundays, Public Holidays and second Saturdays

Kukkarhalli Kere

The lake, located in the university campus, by the side of Jaylakshmi Vilas Palace is famous for jogging or walking. There is around 4.5 kilometres of walking stretch with a raw of benches at certain distance.  This is a good place to spend your leisure time or to go for bird watching specially during winter.

  • Entry : Free
  • Timings: 6 am- 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm
  • Closed on: Sundays, Public Holidays

St. Philomena’s Church:

One of the tallest churches of India, St. Philomena Church is built in Neo Gothic style of architecture with tall towers. The upper part of the church has the statue of Jesus Christ while the underground has the symbolical structure of the tomb of St. Philomena, a martyr whose relics were found at the same place with a container of her dried blood and a message in Latin saying “Peace with you, Filumina”.

  • Timing: 5:30 am to 8 pm
  • Entry fee: Free
  • Open: All days

Rail Museum near Railway Station

It has a collection of the engines used during the royal era by the kings and the ministers. It even has many antique bogies used during the British Era. If you are just waiting at the station or if you have any special interest in Rail history you must visit it.

  • open : 365 days
  • Timings: 10 am to 5:30 pm

Brindavan Gardens: The Man-made Beauty

It’s a wonderful landscape at K.R. Sagar reservoir beautified with lovely step garden, bright flowers, artificial waterfalls and amazing fountains. It would make you feel as if you have travelled back in time to the Mughal period and enjoying in the Mughal style garden. Musical fountain Show is held in the evening when the garden throws back colourful light rays projected on it.

  • Fountain Timings: 7 pm to 7:55 pm (weekdays)
  • 7 pm to 8:55 pm (holidays)
  • Boat Ride: Rs 10 to 15
  • Timings: 10 am to 8 pm
  • Closed on: Tuesdays
  • Entry fee: Rs. 15 (Adult) Rs. 5 (Children)
  • Still Camera: Free
  • Contact No: 0821 257224/257223/257227

Happy journey……… 🙂

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