Mysore is commonly referred as the city of palaces and was home to several popular rules like the Wadiyars , Tippu Sultan and Hyder Ali. Mysore city at the south west of Karnataka was the capital city of the Mysore kingdom from 1347 to 1947. Mysore is famous among the traders from several centuries for ivory, Sandalwood and Silk. There are several places to see in and around Mysore and at least 4 to 5 days are required to cover most of the places.
Mysore place is probably the most common among the tourists to Mysore for obvious reasons. It is the official residence and seat of the royal family of Mysore, the Wadiyars . The palace architecture blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles. The Palace was completed in 1912 and is probably one of the most famous palace in South India.
The palace is the main venue of the Dasara festival every autumn. During the event the palace is generally decorated with lights and this is the best time to visit the palace. During the festival, several rooms, portraits and items used by the royal family are available for public viewing.
This obviously attracts several local and international tourists and is the most crowded time of the year at the palace. Photography is prohibited inside the palace and there are several police men checking for any unauthorized photography inside the palace.
virtual tour of the palace is available online and more information at official website.
Mysore Zoo , aka. Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens
Mysore zoo is one of the oldest zoo in the country and was opened back in 1892. It is inside the city and just few kms from the mysore palace. The zoo is closed on Tuesdays and is open on other days from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Mysore zoo is home to several animals including some endangered species. The zoo is usually crowded during Dasara festival, April to May and during Christmas holidays.
you can buy online tickets and avoid the long queue by visiting Official website . More information about the zoo and the animals are available in this website.
Krishna Raja sagar (KRS) dam & Brindavan Garden
KRS is one of the oldest dams in Karnataka and is said to have turned the earlier deserted Mandya and Mysore districts into one of the most fertile and cultivated land in Karnataka. The dam is built across the Kaveri river.
Brindavan Garden adjacent to the dam is a popular spot among tourist and several old movies were shot at this garden. The garden is laid out in 3 terraces which contain water fountains and garden on all sides of the fountain.
The main attraction of the park is the musical fountain in which bursts of water are synchronized to the music of songs. Best time to visit the garden is in the evening (5 PM onward) and stay back till 8 PM.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Situated on the 6 islets on the river Kaveri near Mandya district is the largest bird santuary in Karnataka. The sanctuary attracts several migrating birds from Siberia, South America and parts of North India from mid December to mid February and is the nesting base for several water birds from October to November.
The banks of the river covered with large trees and bamboos are home to thousands of bats ( Flying fox) and the river is inhabited by crocodiles and fresh water fishes.
A guided boat tour of the isles is available throughout the day with a nominal fee, and is a good way to watch birds, crocodiles and bats upclose.
You will be able to spot almost 30 different species of birds at this location and mid December to mid February is the best season to visit this place. Almost 40000 to 45000 birds migrate to this region during the peak season.
Shivanasamudra is a twin water falls (named Gaganachukki and Bharachukki) in the Mandya district at a distance of 140 KMs from Bangalore and 70 Kms from Mysore city.
Rocks on the Kaveri river divides the water into two segments before it drops from a height of 98 meters resulting a beautiful waterfall.
Waterfall is full during the peak monsoon season and public is generally stopped from getting into water during this season for safety reason. First hydro-electric power station in Asia was built at this waterfall and is still functional.
There are no restaurants and place has no decent eatery. If you value hygiene, avoid the roadside shops and bring your own packed food.
Other Places near Mysore
Somnathpura – ChennaKesava Temple made of stone sculpture, a marvel of Hoysala architecture.
Talakad Temples (from the 12th Century) buried in sand, few excavated successfully.
Tipu Sultan Cemetery
St. Philomena’s Church
Gumbaz Burial Chamber
Tipu’s Summer Palace – Dariya daulat Palace
Tipu’s death place