Ruled and dominated by some of the most prominent dynasties of South India, Mysore has always remained a center of power, prestige, and grandeur. The royal families, sultans, kings, and legendary figures of ancient Indian have etched their names in the history of Mysore, making it rich in its heritage. A trip to Mysore calls for exploring its legacy, local culture, and also discovering the beautiful natural environment that surrounds its concrete borders.
Traveling To And Around Mysore
Mysore is conveniently located on the southern part of Karnataka and is well connected to all major towns and cities of the state. If you are in or around Bangalore metro, you can always do a road trip, which will make it more interesting. Otherwise, if you are flying from another city, you can book a direct Bangalore airport to Mysore taxi.
How To Make The Most Of Mysore
Take A Tour Of The Famous Palaces
The present-day Mysore used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore from the 14th century to the mid-20th century. Across these six centuries, the city saw many changes of hands from the Wadiyar Dynasty to Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Each of these rulers offered their patronage to the art and architecture that shaped Mysore and earned it the title of City of Palaces. The top three royal palaces that are a must-visit are:
Mysore Palace – The erstwhile official residence of Wadiyar royal family, the Mysore Palace is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The overwhelming design and layout of the structure incorporate Indo-Saracenic, neoclassical, Indo-Islamic and Gothic architectural styles, making it an iconic piece of work Designed with mirrors, stained glass, mosaic, and paintings, the Mysore Palace is a marvel to look at. The best time to visit the palace is during the evening, especially on Sundays and special occasions, when the entire structure is lit up with 100,000 light bulbs.
Lalitha Mahal Palace – After the Mysore Palace, this is the second-most prominent structure. Although it now turned into a luxury retreat, a part of the original palace is still maintained with artifacts and memorabilia for visitors to see. The location of the structure at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills, also adds to its beauty. You can opt for a tour and see the exhibits. For a more inclusive experience, book a stay and indulge in their royal hospitality.
Jaganmohan Palace – This sprawling mansion is one of the seven prominent palaces of the city of Mysore. It stunning ancient architecture reflects intricate interiors and exteriors. In 1915, the palace was transformed into an art gallery and an auditorium, which hosts exclusive events art events. The gallery houses paintings of the royal family and an array of works by the legendary artist Raja Ravi Varma, along with a collection of rare and antique musical instruments.
Visit The Museums
The museums of Mysore tell stories of its illustrious past. Visit the Rail Museum and browse through the antique steam engines, railway souvenirs and memorabilia, and a railway saloon dedicated to the queen. For an understanding of local art, visit the Folk Art Museum, or the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, each of which exhibits thousands of artifacts, models, figures, and specimens from different communities of Karnataka. For a more comprehensive tour, you can avail a convenient Bangalore to Mysore tour Package which will take you around the major sites.
Walk The Food Trail
The best way to discover a city is through its food. The multicultural history of Mysore has led to the evolution of various cuisines and food specialties that is endemic to the city. And you can best explore this by taking a walking food tour. The tour takes you through popular eat streets and local diners. The food tours typically start at 10 AM and continue till evening, so you can cover all four meals at different places. Alternatively, you can visit the most popular eateries town on your own and sample the best from places like Poojaari’s Fish Land, Vinayak Mylari, or Anima Madhva Bhavan for a sumptuous meal. Don’t forget to stop by Guru Sweets, for the famous Mysore Pak.
Visit The Ancient Capital Of Srirangapatna
Historically called Seringapattinam, this ancient town was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore when Tipu Sultan moved his administration from the city of Mysore. A complete contrast to the original capital, this sleepy town sits on a river island within the Cauvery River, making it a scenic place. You can easily do a day trip from Mysore and visit the historical sites like the Tipu Sultan Gumbaz (mausoleum), or the Daria Daulat Bagh (emperor’s summer palace). The Ranganathaswamy Temple is also a famous site which serves as a major pilgrimage destination.
Explore The Wildlife
Mysore is surrounded by the richness of the nature of the Western Ghats. And you can find its simplest evidence at the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, right outside Srirangapatna. The densely forested enclave is bordered by the Cauvery River and surrounded by mangroves and backwaters, making it rich in biodiversity. If you are in Mysore during the winter months, you can visit this sanctuary for birding tours, and spot painted storks, pelicans, terns, ibis, swallows, egrets, kingfishers, herons, and other migratory species from Siberia, South America, and the Himalayas.
Apart from these, there are multitudes of places in the city of Mysore that can keep you busy and make you see the royal city from various perspectives.