Mysore is located in the South Indian state of Karnataka around 140 km from Bangalore. Mysore is the second biggest city in the State of Karnataka. It is most clean, well-maintained and quiet, with impressive palaces, broad roads and nice people reflecting a benevolent and imperial past. Mysore was the capital city of the Wodeyars. Abode of untold grandeur and glory, where the rich heritage of the Wodeyars is carefully preserved to this day in its magnificent palaces, gardens, broad shady avenues and sacred temples. Modern Mysore is the creation of Tipu Sultan who, in 1793, levelled the old city and built the present town. Today Mysore is an important cultural centre, with the largest university in Karnataka. It is also renowned for its ivory work, silk-weaving, sandalwood incense and carvings. In the heart of the city is the Amba Vilas Palace. To its west is Jagan mohan Palace,built in 1902 to mark the coronation ceremony of Krishnaraja III.
Mysore Quick facts
Mysore Geography and Climate
Geography Mysore is located at 12.30� N 76.65� E and has an average altitude of 770 metres (2,526 ft). It is situated in the southern region of the state of Karnataka, at the base of the Chamundi Hills. Climate The cold weather season begins early in January and continues till the end of February. January is the typical cold month and records very low temperatures. The temperatures during the cold weather season (November to February) ranges form 16.1�C to 31.3�C. The Hot Weather Season begins in the month of March and increases in its intensity towards the end of May. In this season, the temperature ranges from 19.7�C to 35.1�C. The district receives a major portion of its rainfall from the southwest monsoon. The normal annual rainfall is around 760 mm, spread over a period of seven months, from the later half of April to October.
Best time to visit Mysore
September and October months are considered as the best months to make a visit to this place because of grand Navrathri celebrations in Amba Vilas Palace and Chanmundi Hills , etc,.
Mysore, or Mahishur as it was called then, traces its history back to the mythical past, when Goddess Chamundeshwari of Chamundi Hills killed the wicked buffalo-headed demon, Mahishasura. Mysore Dasara is the celebration of this victory of good over evil. Mysore also has associations with the Mahabharatha and King Ashoka of 3rd century B.C. Mysore is called the City of Palaces because of the number of palaces situated in the city, including Amba Vilas popularly known as Mysore Palace, Jaganmohana Palace which has now been converted into an art gallery, Rajendra Vilas also known as the summer palace, situated in the Chamundi Hills, Lalitha Mahal which has now been converted into a hotel and Jayalakshmi Vilas, which is now on the University of Mysore premises.
Mysore Near Getaways
Hospet Hospet, the site where the great Vijaya Nagara Kingdom was situated lies about 13 km from Hampi in the state of Karnataka, India. It is also reachable from Bangalore, capital city of Karnataka, placed 350 km away from Hospet. As has been called the gateway to Hampi. Hampi is among the most visited site in entire Karnataka. Hampi is the second largest World Heritage Site. Hampi has many times been referred to as the most beautiful ruins in India. Hampi was once the capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagara. Hampi was attacked by Muslim ruler and many parts of the city and temples got destroyed. Still many of the magnificent temples remain and continue to mesmerize its onlookers. The main attractions in Hampi are Vithala temple, Hazara Rama Temple, Ugra Narasimha and Stone Chariot. In Vithala Temple there is a hall that has 56 pillars which produce sounds. Just tap them gently and the sound echoes inside the hall. For all enthusiastic travelers, Hampi is a must visit. The nearest airport is situated at Bellary about 75 km from the place of Hospet. The Bangalore and Belgaum airport is placed about 350 kms and 200 kms.
It covers an area of more than 40 sq.km. and is administered by the Mysore City Corporation. Situated 763 meters above sea level surrounded by hill ranges from north to south, it is known as the 'Garden City' and the 'City of Palaces'.
How to reach Mysore by Road
There is a good network of roads that connects Mysore to other important cities of the region. The Central Bus Stand is located in the downtown area and provides services like computerized reservation, telecom center, cloakroom, dining hall, and toilets.
How to reach Mysore by Rail
Between Mysore and Bangalore, there are several good trains like Shatabdi and Tipu Express. The railway station is located around 2 km from the downtown. Mysore is connected with most of the metros like Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai through regular trains.
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How to reach Mysore by Air
The nearest airport from Mysore is 140 km away in Bangalore, from where one can take flights for most of the important cities in India.
Mysore Festivals and culture
Dassera Festival The Dasara festivities, which are celebrated over a ten-day period, were first introduced by King Raja Wodeyar I in 1610. The Dassera celebrations in Mysore bring back the glory and the grandeur of a bygone era. During September-October, the entire city rejoices with colour and gaiety. The ten-day festivity culminates in a grand procession on the last day - Vijayadashami. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival at Ooty attracts crowds in huge numbers.
Mysore is known as the cultural capital of Karnataka. Mysore was the capital of the Wodeyar kings who ruled over the Mysore Kingdom for many centuries. Wodeyars were great patrons of art and music and have contributed significantly to make Mysore a cultural centre. Chief language of the people, as in the State of Karnataka, is Kannada and original Kannada is spoken in this part of the area. The cuisine of Mysore resembles to a large extent the Udupi cuisine. Mysore has also lent its name to popular dishes like Mysore Masala Dosa and Mysore Pak. Mysore is the home of the famous Indian feminine wear, the Mysore silk saree. Mysore Silk is a trademark for the silk sarees produced by KSIC (Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation).
Mysore Religious Places
Chamundi Hills According to the story in the mythological Devi Purana Mysore was ruled by the demon-king Mahishasura. He was called Mahishasura, because he was a buffalo-headed monster. Hearing to the prayers of Gods and Goddess to save them from the monster, Goddess Parvathi, wife of Lord Siva, took birth as Chamundi or Chamundeswari and killed the monster. Hence, this place came to be known as Mahishuru, the city of demon Mahisha. After killing the demon, the Goddess resided atop the Chamundi Hills where she is worshipped with reverence and devotion even today. However, the original name of the hill is 'Mahabaladri Hills' and it derived the name Chamundi Hills at a later period, after 17th century. St. Philomena's Church One of the largest 'houses of god' in the country, the church is visited by thousands of devotees and visitors every day. It imposes the magnificent medieval style of architecture.
Mysore Palace Best time to visit : September to October during Dasara Timings : Open 6:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. & 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m Mysore Palace or the Maharajah's Palace is located in the heart of the city at Mirza Road. It is considered as the most attractive monument in Mysore. One of the largest palaces in the country, also known as Amba Vilas, was the residence of the Wodeyar Mahararaja's of the Mysore state. The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897 and was rebuilt for the twenty fourth Wodeyar Raja in 1912. Designed in Indo-Saracenic style by the well-known British architect, Henry Irwin, the palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. The three storeyed building, 245 feet in length and 156 in breadth has a series of square towers with arches covered by domes. There is wide open space in the front and the open courtyard in the centre is covered by a gold-plated dome about 145 feet from the ground. There are twelve temples surrounding the palace within the compound. Some of them are built in typical Dravidian style including the Varashaswamy Temple with a gopuram that set the pattern for the later Sri Chamundeswari Temple on Chamundi Hill. On special occasions, religious ceremonies are still conducted in these temples. Srirangapatna : Located at 14 Kms north east on the Bangalore Mysore highway. It was once the capital of the warrior king Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan. There are beautiful monuments that are well worth a visit.
Mysore Entertainment and Night Life
Brindavan gardens Brindavan gardens is located 12 Km northwest of Mysore city and has rows-of colourful fountains. There is a boating pond to cross the dam from the south bank to the north bank and at the northern edge are the dancing fountains. Using advanced lighting techniques, the fountains are made to jump and dance to the tune of music. The dam is over 3 Km long and is constructed at the junction of three rivers - Kaveri, Hemavati and Lakshmanathirtha. This site has been popularised over the years by the large number of Indian/foreign films shot at this location.
Mysore doesn't have much of a pub culture. There are a few bars in the five star hotels, but Mysore is not known for having a big nightlife scene. Maharajah's Palace at night : Spectacular nighttime display On Sunday nights, and during festival, the palace is lit up by an amazing 5000 lightbulb. A truly magnificent sight, and worth planning your trip around.
Kidding around Mysore
Jayachamarejendra Zoological Gardens Main attractions of the garden are the white tiger, chimpanzee, gorilla, penguin, giraffe etc. It is an idle place to hang out, children specially enjoys the site of these rare mammals in captivation. It requires minimum of two hours to cover the park. Timings : Open from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Mysore is famous for carved sandalwood, pure silk sarees and incense. The best place to shop is : 1. The Cauvery Arts & Crafts Emporium on Sayyaji Rao Road, which is the Main shopping area. 2. There are also many other craft shops on Dhanavanthri Road. 3. At the Government Sandalwood Oil Factory,you can buy Sandal Powder, Sandal Oil and scented incense sticks. 4. At the Government Silk Factory you can see the master weavers at work.
Famous To Eat at Mysore
Mysore is famous for Mysore Pak - a sweet rich in ghee. Other delicacies include spicy Rice preparations, Idli, Dosai and Vada.
Mysore Museum and Hill Stations
Mysore - Folklore Museum It is located in the Mysore University Campus. This museum has a spectacular collection of Wooden figures from Karnataka villages, Wooden and leather puppets and other interesting items from various villages around Karnataka are on display. Don't miss the carved wooden chariot. Mysore Palace has been converted into a museum. The palace now has been converted into a museum under the supervision of the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the Karnataka Government. The paintings and portraits, jewellery, royal costumes and other items possessed by the Wodeyars are displayed on the ground floor and a small collection of weapons on the upper floor. It is said that the palace displays the largest collection of gold items quantity wise. The 200kg gold royal throne of the Wodeyars with beautiful artwork, is displayed during the Dussera festival. Ooty (Hill station) Udhagamandalam (Ooty), the capital of Nilgiri district is popularly known as the "Queen of hill stations" among the tourist circuits. The establishment of numerous tea estates made Ooty famous. Lofty mountains, dense forest, sprawling grasslands and miles and miles of tea gardens greet the passengers on most routes. The annual Tea and Tourism Festival attracts crowds in huge numbers. The Government Museum At Ooty The government museum, Mysore Road, Ooty has items of tribal objects, district's ecological details and representative sculptural arts and crafts of Tamil Nadu. It was set up in 1989, with a view to provide education benefits to the residing and visiting population of Nilgiris district. Tourist Information for Government Museum At Ooty Free Timings: 10.00 am - 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm Closed On: Fridays, Second Saturdays and National Holidays. The nearest airport is at Coimbatore (100-km). Ooty on the narrow gauge railway is connected to Mettupalayam, which is directly connected to Coimbatore and Chennai on the broad gauge. There are regular bus services connecting Ooty to Coimbatore, Trichy, Bangalore, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore, Calicut, Tirupati etc.
Gardens and Parks at Mysore
Brindavan Gardens Located at the KR Sagar Dam [Kannambadi], Brindavan gardens is one of the best gardens in South India. Spread over 150 acres, Brindavan Gardens has since the 1960's provided the backdrop for many Indian films. Special attractions include the 'Dancing Fountains'. In Dec 2004 the entire garden was revamped with new fountains and lights. Timings: Monday-Friday: 6:30 PM - 7:25 PM and Saturday-Sunday: 6:30 PM - 8:25 PM
Lake at Mysore
Lakes are popular picnic spots and are frequented by nature lovers as they attract a number of migratory birds. The area around these lakes is lush green and therefore a good place to relax and rest after a hectic day's work. Karanji Lake : This lake is located at the bottom of the Chamundi hills and is close to the center of the city. This lake is spread over 90 acres and is home to more than 90 species of resident and migratory birds. The lake has boating facilities that are available on all days except Tuesday. On the banks of the Karanji lake is the Regional Museum of Natural History. With the Chamundi hills as a backdrop makes the lake look picture perfect. Lingabudi Lake : This lake is in Sriramapura and is about 8km from the center of the city. The lake has a beautiful lush green park beside it and the entire sight that is presented is one that sooths the mind and soul.
Mysore Travel Tips
Do not buy Sandalwood products or wood from unknown or unreliable person. As this place is famous for temples please leave the footwear before entering into the temple and respect the tradition and culture of this place.
Mysore Tourist Offices
Regional Tourist Information, Old Exhibition Building, Irwin Road,Mysore. Phone: +91-821-2422096 / +91-80-22352828 Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation Yatrinivas Buildings, J.L.B.Road, Mysore. Phone: +91-821-26352
HDFC Nageetha complex 1st Floor, Vishwamanav Double Road, Saraswathypuram, Mysore- 570009 HDFC No. 20, Vani Vilils Mohalla, Jayalaksmipuram, I Block, Kalidas Road, Mysore- 570012 ICICI Ground Floor, No.2950, Kalidasa Road, Vani Vilils Mohallaalla Mysore- 570002 Corporation Bank ATM Ground Floor, Shop No.1, Building No.892, New Kantharaj Urs Road, Saraswathipuram, Mysore- 570009 Global Trust Bank Loyal World Supermarket, 2902/1, Temple Road, Vani Vilils Mohalla, Mysore- 570002
Must do at Mysore
A visit to Maharaja's Palace at night is a must for pleasant experience. A visit to Brindavan Gardens makes the mysore trip perfect.