Mysore, often called the “City of Palaces” and the “Cultural Capital of Karnataka,” is steeped in history and adorned with architectural marvels. Nestled in the southern part of India, Mysore is a popular tourist destination known for its regal heritage, festivals and remarkable landmarks.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore 20 of the most captivating tourist places in Mysore that make it a must-visit destination for travellers from all over the world.
Starting strong, you have Mysore Palace, also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, which is the crown jewel of Mysore’s architectural splendour. This opulent palace is a magnificent example of Indo-Saracene architecture, a blend of Gothic, Rajput, Hindu and Muslim styles. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in India.
It’s fascinating that it was only built in the 20th century and is the fourth structure to be constructed in the same location.
Location: Sayyaji Rao Road, Agrahara, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001, India
Chamundi Hill is a sacred location that’s about 13 kilometres from Mysore. At the summit, you’ll find the Chamundeshwari Temple, dedicated to the goddess Chamundeshwari.
The temple, with its Dravidian architecture, offers a panoramic view of Mysore city. The climb to the hill is a culturally enriching experience, and the Nandi Statue is something you can bask in during your adventures, which is remarkable.
You can reach the hill summit either via road or for hiking enthusiasts, by the stone stairs.
Location: 13 kilometres east of Mysore
Timings: 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The temple is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day.
The Brindavan Gardens, situated approximately 23 kilometres from Mysore, are a beautifully landscaped garden surrounding the Krishnarajasagar Dam.
The garden comes alive in the evening with a musical fountain show that captivates visitors with its synchronised music and water dance.
St Philomena’s Cathedral
St. Philomena’s Cathedral is a neo-gothic-style church over 200 years old located in Mysore and is one of the largest in India. Its striking architecture, stained glass windows and serene ambience make it a must-visit destination for history and architecture enthusiasts.
Maharaja Krishnaraka Wodeyar rebuilt it from a small church. It is one of the largest cathedrals in all of South Asia.
Location: Lourdes Nagar, Ashoka Road, Lashkar Mohalla, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001
Timings: 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Jaganmohan Palace is another architectural gem in Mysore. Once a famous home to the kings of Mysore, it was established in 1861 and is now regarded as one of the most impeccable contributions of the Wodeyar kings.
It houses an impressive collection of art and artefacts, including paintings by renowned artists such as Raja Ravi Varma and over 2,000 more from other established artists. This is a significant tourist destination and should be on your list.
Location: Deshika Rd., opp. City Bus Stand, Devaraja Mohalla, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka 570024, India
Timings: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Karanji Lake holds the meaning of ‘fountain’ and is a serene place that is located in Mysore and not far from Cahmundi Hills.
This lake is a perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and is home to a variety of migratory birds, a butterfly park, and a walk-through aviary, making this delightful place a haven for nature enthusiasts.
Location: Chamundipuram, Mysore, India
Timings: 08.30 a.m. to 05.30 p.m.
Mysore Zoo: Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens
Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is one of the oldest and most well-maintained zoos in India. It houses a diverse range of animals, including tigers, lions, elephants and much more.
This can be an educational trip, a chance to slowly stroll through the enclosures, or a fun family day out.
Location: Zoo, Main Rd., Indira Nagar, Mysuru, Karnataka 570010
Timings: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The second largest palace in Mysore is the Lalitha Mahal, a stunning heritage hotel from 1974 that was once a royal palace of the Wadiyar dynasty from 1921. The design was inspired by London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The grounds are covered in sprawling gardens and the balcony offers a beautiful view of Chamindi Hills to the left and city views directly in front.
Experience a different museum in Mysore; it is a fascinating place for rail enthusiasts. Showcasing an impressive collection of vintage locomotives, coaches, and other railway memorabilia.
The museum offers a true once-in-a-lifetime experience into the history of Indian railways.
Location: KRS Rd., Opp. CFTRI, Medar Block, Yadavagiri, Mysuru, Karnataka 570005
Timings: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a haven for birdwatchers and enthusiasts. Located along the banks of the Kaveri River, it is home to a diverse avian population, including painted storks, pelicans, herons and much more.
A boat ride through the sanctuary is picturesque and provides a closer encounter with these magnificent birds.
Distance from Mysore: 18.1 Km
Timings: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kukkarahalli Lake is another pristine lake in Mysore known for its natural beauty and tranquillity. The J-shaped lake spreads over 58 hectares and has a shoreline of 5 kilometres. It offers a great spot for birdwatching, picnics and leisurely walks across the shoreline.
Location: Kukkarahalli Lake, Saraswathipuram, Mysore, Karnataka, 570011, India
Timings: 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
GRS Fantasy Park
GRS Fantasy Park is a perfect spot for a fun-filled day with family or friends. It’s an amusement and water park that offers a wide variety of rides and activities that can keep you entertained for hours.
Location: KRS Rd., Metagalli, Mysuru, Karnataka 570016
Timings: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It is a fun and quirky park and one of Mysore’s most sought-after spots, boasting several fun rides and swings. This is the perfect spot for families, nature lovers and fitness enthusiasts, so be sure to wear some gym leggings before you travel to Javaregowda Park.
The paved pathways are ideal for jogging and walking activities, while the manicured garden floors are perfect for yoga, meditation and a family picnic. The park gives you access to 10 pieces of gym equipment, from shoulder presses to a cross trainer. You can relax and get your sweat out in this great outdoor space.
Location: 179, 11th Main Road, Saraswathipuram, Mysuru, Karnataka 570009, India
Timings: 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 pm
Nagarahole National Park
Located a short distance from the city of Mysore is Nagarahole National Park, which belongs to the Kodagu district of Karnataka.
This area is home to Mysore’s great animals and is one of the most popular attractions if you are lucky enough to spot some wild elephants and deer.
Distance from Mysore: 89.2 Kms
Talakadu is a historic town known for its archaeological significance. It is home to the famous Panchalinga Darashana, where you can witness firsthand the five astounding temples built in the sand dunes. The town’s enigmatic charm and cultural heritage make it a place of intrigue for history enthusiasts.
Distance from Mysore: 48.8 Km
Timings: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm
The Folklore Museum in Mysore is a treasure trove of traditional art and artefacts. It showcases the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka, including costumes, masks, jewellery, and more, providing an insight into the state’s vibrant traditions.
Boasting over 6500 unique memorabilia dedicated to dance, music, literature, art and much more, the museum also holds a place for the weird and wonderful collection of puppets, props, masks and other folk objects that have been a common aspect of folk drama.
Location: Manasa Gangotri, Mysuru, Karnataka 570006, India
Timings: 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 pm; 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm, closed on Sunday
Shree Shvetha Varaha Swamy Temple
Also known as Varahaswamy Temple, Shree Shvetha Varaha Swamy Temple is among the most religiously significant Mysore tourist places and portrays a fine example of Hoysla-style architecture. The craftsmanship of every square inch of this temple is remarkable all around the goddess’s shrine.
Within the walls of this temple are several beautiful mural paintings, which depict the life of Lord Krishna as well as two famous Hindu gods, the Ramayana and the Bhagavata. Alongside several inscriptions on the pedestals, including one that commemorates its donor, Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar.
Location: Near South Gate, Agrahara, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka 570004, India
Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
A must-visit destination is Devaraja Market, which conveniently includes many of the heritage walks covering Mysore.
Featuring over 300 shops, it spreads over 3 acres so you cannot miss it. They have a vast amount of things to choose from, from fresh fruit to one-of-a-kind men’s graphic tees that are the perfect souvenir.
There are four entrances to this showstopping market complex, and shops are arranged in three aisles. Even if spending isn’t on your agenda, there is no need, as this is a perfect spot for window shopping and provides many photogenic spots.
Location: Devaraja Mohalla, Mandi Mohalla, Mysuru, Karnataka
Timing: 6.30 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.
Melody World Wax Museum
One of the most enjoyable tourist destinations in Mysore for music enthusiasts is the Melody World Wax Museum, which is dedicated entirely to music. Housed in a historically significant structure, the museum opened its doors in 2010 and is home to more than 300 musical instruments from throughout the nation and the globe.
The collection is reportedly the biggest in Karnataka. As you navigate the museum’s 19 rooms, you will see about a hundred life-size wax effigies of well-known performers, each dedicated to a particular musical genre.
Location: 1, Vihara Marga, Kurubara Halli, Siddhartha Layout, Mysuru, Karnataka 570011, India
Timings: 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Take a tour of the Cauvery River’s birthplace while you see other local tourist attractions, such as Shivanasamudra, a Cauvery River-originating waterfall. The two falls, Gaganachukki and Bharachukki, are collectively known as Shivanasamudra.
It is also one of the most well-liked waterfalls in India, not just in the south. Being the first hydroelectric power plant in Asia, it is well-known.
Distance from Mysore: 73.3 Km
Timings: Open 24 hours