Mysore, located at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills in Karnataka, is a city with a rich cultural heritage and royal legacy.
Famous for its splendid Mysore Palace, silk sarees, and sandalwood products, it is one of the top tourist destinations in South India. While in Mysore, stay at one of the many heritage Mysore resorts to immerse yourself in old-world elegance and discover the iconic attractions of the city.
Thirteen Beautiful Places To Visit In Mysore
Here are some amazing places to see in Mysore:
1. Mysore Palace
The magnificent Mysore Palace is the most famous attraction in the city and a must-visit. Built-in 1912 in Indo-Saracenic style, this grand pale-yellow and white marble palace is the residence of the Wodeyars, the former royal family. The palace is renowned for its breathtaking architecture, intricate carvings, colorful glassworks, and gold-leaf paintings. Don't miss the dazzling ambiance in the evenings when the palace is illuminated by nearly 100,000 light bulbs!
2. Chamundeshwari Temple
Perched atop the Chamundi Hills at a height of 3489 feet, the Chamundeshwari Temple is one of the most renowned shrines in Mysore. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, the temple's idol dates back to the 12th century. The temple complex has a stunning seven-tier and forty-meter-high gopuram decorated with intricate carvings. You can reach here by climbing over 1000 steps or by taking the road going up the hill. The panoramic views of Mysore city from the hilltop are simply amazing!
3. Mysore Zoo
Spread over 250 acres, the Mysore Zoo is one of the best in India and home to diverse exotic species. It was originally created in the late 1800s for the royal family before being opened to the public. Some key attractions include gorillas, rhinos, tigers, elephants, giraffes, and zebras. You can also see rare animals like white tigers, Himalayan bears, and lions. The zoo conducts fun educational programs like animal rides, night safaris, and feeding sessions.
4. Brindavan Gardens
The wonderfully arranged Brindavan Gardens is a perfect place to spend an evening in Mysore, located beside the Krishnarajasagar dam. Symmetry and sequence are central to these 60 acres of lush gardens designed in the Mughal style. As dusk falls, the musical dancing fountain show begins with colorful illuminations and water rhythms in sync with music—a magical spectacle you cannot miss!
5. Railway Museum
The National Railway Museum in Mysore exhibits an impressive collection related to the industrial heritage of Indian railways. Spread over nearly 11 acres, it has ancient locomotives and carriages used by kings and the British, signaling equipment, antique furniture, and photographs. Wander around royal saloons, inspect model railways, and learn how trains have evolved over time in India. Kids have an enjoyable time here!
6. St. Philomena's Church
Built in Gothic style, St. Philomena's Church is one of the largest churches in South Asia. Its construction in 1936 was inspired by Germany's Cologne Cathedral. The floor plan of this grand church is in the shape of a cross, and its two imposing towers reach up to 175 feet. Walking inside, you will be amazed by the stained glass windows depicting scenes from the birth of Christ. Don't miss this architectural wonder.
7. GR Regional Museum
Housed in the majestic Kannada Maharaja Palace, built in 1884, the Government Regional Museum has an excellent collection related to archaeology, culture, and history. Spread across three floors, it has sculptures, musical instruments, folk costumes, antiques, artifacts, and weapons. You can admire ancient paintings, lampshades, porcelain, and jewelry showcased here. Mysore's heritage truly comes alive at this enlightening museum!
8. Mysore Sandalwood Factory
Mysore is famous for its quality sandalwood products like soaps, incense sticks, oils, wood carvings, and showpieces. At the Government Sandalwood Factory, you can see the entire process of how the exotic perfumes and soaps are made from scratch using pure sandalwood. You can buy these organic body care products at very reasonable rates from the outlet here. The aromas will surely lure you!
9. Somnathpur Temple
Located about 35 km from Mysore, Somnathpur Temple was built in 1268 CE and is an exemplar of ornate Hoysala architecture. This stunning temple, carved entirely out of stone, features exotic sculptures of Hindu deities, dancers, musicians, animals, and birds covering the walls, pillars, and ceilings. The intricate friezes showcase amazing craftsmanship. Historically and architecturally, it is a marvelous temple.
10. Mysore silk sarees
Mysore is famous globally for its amazing pure silk sarees—the softest and most lustrous you can find! At the century-old shops near Mysore Palace, you can see live silk loom demonstrations and buy dazzling sarees with traditional floral patterns. The Government Silk Factory has a textile museum and retail showroom. Make sure you pick up these iconic sarees as souvenirs from Mysore.
11. Talakad Temples
Around 45 km from Mysore, Talakad once had over 30 temples along the banks of the Cauvery built between the 5th and 8th centuries. Most of these temples are today buried under sand. The Pataleshwara, Maruleshwara, and Arkeshwara temples, still standing here partially on the sandy banks with architectural styles of different eras, remain an important pilgrimage. The setting amidst sand dunes makes it unique.
12. Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery
Located inside the Jaganmohan Palace, the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery has an impressive collection of ancient paintings belonging to different styles and eras. There are works from the famous traditional Mysore painting style along with European styles brought by the Wodeyars for their educational and artistic exposure. Admire intricate paintings of Hindu gods, court scenes, nature, and more here.
13. Karanji Lake and Nature Park
The scenic Karanji Lake, set amidst the sprawling regional park, makes for a rejuvenating outing in Mysore. You can stroll on the jogger's path around this freshwater lake and watch colorful birds like kingfishers, egrets, and cormorants. There is also an aviary, butterfly enclosure, and museum showcasing nature-related exhibits. Boating at the lake, surrounded by lush greenery, is a joy.
Exploring historic places like the Mysore Palace, which showcases royal splendor combined with charming nature spots, luxurious Mysore resorts, sandalwood products, and silk sarees, makes Mysore an incredible holiday destination. The rich art, culture, and architecture are sure to leave you spellbound. With so many experiences on offer, Mysore is perfect for both family vacations and solo travel.