From Palaces To Gardens: 5 Places In Mysore You Just Can't Miss

Widely known for its opulent palaces, lively marketplaces, and beautiful landscape, Mysore is a traveller's paradise
Mysore Palace
Mysore PalaceUnsplash

Mysore, located in the heart of Karnataka, is a city that seamlessly blends a rich cultural legacy with awe-inspiring natural beauty, providing tourists with a captivating tapestry of experiences. Tucked away in the southern part of india, Mysore offers a plethora of attractions for every kind of traveller. From the majestic Mysore Palace to the tranquil Chamundi Hills, several sights in the city highlight its unique beauty and timeless appeal. Join us as we embark on a journey through five of the best places to visit in this historic city. 

Places To Visit In Mysore If You Are In The City For The First Time

1. Mysore Palace 

Mysore Palace
Mysore Palace Unsplash

Mysore Palace, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, is a stunning historical and royal residence in Mysore. This popular place in Mysore served as the official residence of the Wadiyar dynasty and the seat of the Kingdom of Mysore for centuries. This architectural marvel is a must-visit destination for any traveller to India. It is known as one of the most famous tourist attractions in the country, after the Taj Mahal.

Designed by the English architect Henry Irwin, Mysore Palace dominates the skyline. The three-story structure boasts a grand blend of architectural styles, including Indo-Saracenic, Mughal, and Gothic. The palace was built between 1897 and 1912 using granite and adorned with intricate carvings, stained glass windows, and colourful murals. Each element, from the towering arches to the delicate inlay work, showcases its creators' meticulous craftsmanship and artistry.

The interiors of the palace are equally impressive. A dazzling array of royal apartments, including the private Ambavilasa Hall with its exquisite paintings and the opulent Durbar Hall used for royal ceremonies, offer a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the Wodeyar dynasty. The Public Durbar Hall, with its silver throne and gallery, further immerses visitors in the grandeur of the royal court. A museum within the palace houses a collection of artefacts, paintings, and other treasures from the Wodeyar dynasty, offering a fascinating glimpse into the region's rich history.

A visit to Mysore Palace is incomplete without experiencing the magical light and sound show at night. The palace is illuminated with over a million lights, creating a breathtaking spectacle that narrates the palace's history and the Wodeyar dynasty.

Timings: 10 am to 5.30 pm

Entry Fee:

  • INR 50 for adults 

  • INR 20 for ages 10 to 18 

  • Free for children under 10 years

2. Chamundeshwari Temple

Chamundi Hill Temple
Chamundi Hill Temple Unsplash

Nestled atop the Chamundi Hills, approximately 13 kilometres from the vibrant city of Mysuru, lies the Chamundeshwari Temple. This ancient and revered Hindu temple, dedicated to the fierce goddess Chamundeshwari, is a place of worship and a symbol of the city's rich history and cultural heritage.

The temple's history can be traced back to the 7th century, although it has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries. The current structure, a blend of Dravidian and Hoysala architectural styles, is a testament to the craftsmanship of different eras.

As you ascend the Chamundi Hills, the temple's imposing gopurams, adorned with intricate carvings and vibrant colours, come into view. Inside, the sanctum sanctorum houses a colossal statue of Goddess Chamundeshwari, depicted in her fierce form, slaying the demon Mahishasura.

The temple complex also encompasses several other shrines dedicated to various deities, including Lord Shiva, Nandi, and Ganesha. The Kalyana Mantapa, a beautifully carved hall, is a popular venue for weddings and other auspicious ceremonies.

Beyond its religious significance, the Chamundeshwari Temple offers breathtaking panoramic views of Mysuru city and the surrounding landscape. One can even glimpse the majestic Mysore Palace in the distance on clear days.

Timings: The timings for all days of the week are 7.30 am to 2.00 pm, 3.30 pm to 6 pm, and 7.30 pm to 9 pm.

Entry Fee: No entry fee

3. Brindavan Gardens

Brindavan Gardens
Brindavan GardensUnsplash

Nestled amidst the lush greenery of Karnataka, just 12 kilometres from the city of Mysore, lies Brindavan Gardens, a popular place in Mysore. This sprawling 60-acre masterpiece represents human ingenuity and celebrates nature's beauty. Conceived by Sir Mirza Ismail, the then Diwan of Mysore, and designed by the renowned landscape architect V.R. Ginde, the gardens are a visual treat, mesmerizing visitors with their breathtaking blend of water features, meticulously manicured lawns, and vibrant flowerbeds.

The gardens are divided into three distinct sections:

The Terrace Garden

This section boasts a symmetrical layout with cascading fountains, colourful flowerbeds, and intricate topiary designs. The centrepiece is a grand fountain that throws water to a height of 140 feet, creating a mesmerizing spectacle, especially during the evenings when coloured lights illuminate it.

The Lower Garden

This section features a large lake adorned with islands and dotted with various fountains and water features. Visitors can enjoy boat rides on the lake, offering a unique perspective of the gardens and the surrounding hills.

The Musical Fountain

This renowned attraction is the highlight of the Brindavan Gardens experience. Every evening, a captivating musical fountain show occurs, where programmed fountains synchronize their movements and spray to the rhythm of music, creating a magical spectacle of light, water, and sound.

Timings: 8 am to 9 pm

Entry Fee:

  • INR 15 for adults 

  • INR 5 for children between 5 to 10 years

4. Philomena's Cathedral 

Philomena's Cathedral
Philomena's Cathedral Unsplash

Among the architectural marvels that grace the city of Mysore, St. Philomena's Cathedral stands tall, a testament to faith and artistry. This popular spot in Mysore, built in 1936, is a place of worship and a significant landmark, showcasing the city's rich heritage and religious harmony. Inspired by the iconic Cologne Cathedral of Germany, Philomena's Cathedral boasts a stunning neo-Gothic architectural style. Its twin spires soar 175 feet into the sky, dominating the skyline and offering a breathtaking sight from afar. The intricate carvings adorning the facade, the stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes, and the pointed arches all contribute to the cathedral's grandeur.

Stepping inside the cathedral is an experience in itself. The vastness of the space, the high ceilings, and the serene atmosphere create a sense of peace and tranquillity. The light filtering through the stained glass windows casts colourful hues across the interior, adding to the spiritual ambience. The cathedral was built to honour Saint Philomena, a young Roman Catholic martyr whose relics were brought to Mysore in the early 20th century. The altar, adorned with a beautiful saint statue, is a focal point for prayer and devotion. The numerous shrines dedicated to other saints within the complex offer additional spaces for reflection and spiritual connection.

Location: Lourdes Nagar, Ashoka Rd, Lashkar Mohalla, Mysuru

Timings: 5 am to 6 pm

Entry Fee: No entry fee

5. Karanji Lake 

Karanji Lake, located in the heart of Mysore, is a sprawling 90-hectare lake that offers a refreshing escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Its serene atmosphere, captivating natural beauty, and diverse recreational activities make it a must-visit for anyone exploring Mysore.

The lake is surrounded by lush green trees, providing shade and creating a peaceful ambience. The crystal-clear water reflects the surrounding greenery, creating a picture-perfect scene. Karanji Lake is also a haven for diverse bird species, making it a delightful spot for birdwatching enthusiasts.

In addition to its natural beauty, Karanji Lake offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. Boating on the lake is a popular choice, offering a unique perspective of the surrounding beauty. Paddle boats, row boats, and motorboats are available for rent.

For those seeking a more active experience, the lake offers jogging and walking trails that wind through the scenic landscape. The Karanji Butterfly Park, located within the lake complex, is home to various butterflies and offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of these beautiful insects. Families with children can enjoy the dedicated children's park, equipped with swings, slides, and other fun attractions. Additionally, the lake complex houses a food court offering a variety of snacks and refreshments.

Location: At Chamundi Hill's base

Timings: 8 30 am to 5 30 pm (Tuesdays closed)

Entry fee: INR 10 per person

6. Getting there

Although Mysore has its own airport, it's not fully operational and doesn't link to all major cities. Thus, tourists can fly to Mysore from the Bangalore airport (170km). Assuming you're travelling from New Delhi to Mysore, you can take a direct flight to Bangalore and then take a train to Mysore from Bangalore, which might take around 2 hours.

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