Mysore Palace

Things To Do in Mysore (2024)

Mysore holds a special place in my heart among all the cities in Karnataka. Unlike the bustling energy of Bangalore, Mysore exudes a charming and warm ambience that captivates visitors. In this post, I aim to offer comprehensive insights into the myriad activities one can indulge in while exploring the enchanting city of Mysore.

Mysore Palace

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About Mysore

Nestled at the base of Chamundi Hills, Mysore, also known as Mysuru, is a prominent city in the southern region of Karnataka, India. Renowned for several iconic facets, Mysore has left an indelible mark on the cultural map of South India. The illustrious Mysore Palace, the grand celebration of the Mysore Dasara festival, the delectable Mysore Pak, the flavorful Mysore Masala Dosa, and the fragrant Mysore Sandal Soap are just a few examples of the city’s contributions that bear its distinguished name.

The optimal time to explore Mysore is during the monsoon and winter seasons, from July to February. Summers in Mysore can be uncomfortably hot, making it less ideal for city exploration and travel.

Legend has it that the name “Mysore,” an Anglicized term bestowed by the British, traces its origins to the mythical figure Mahishasura. This legendary daemon could transform into either a human or a buffalo. The narrative unfolds with the goddess Chamundi triumphing over Mahishasura, and Mysore is situated at the foothills of the Chamundi hills.

In Sanskrit, “Mahisha” translates to buffalo, adding an intriguing layer of symbolism to the city’s name.

Mysore Palace

Mysore has undergone significant transformations throughout its rich history. Initially governed by the Wodeyar family of the Vijayanagara Empire until the 16th century, the Kingdom of Mysore gained independence following the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire, evolving into a sovereign state with Srirangapatnam (formerly Seringapatnam) as its capital. By the 17th century, the Kingdom expanded, emerging as a formidable power in the Deccan Plateau. Under Hyder Ali’s and Tipu Sultan’s rule in the 18th century, Mysore reached the pinnacle of military prowess and dominance.

The demise of Tipu Sultan in the 18th century led to the British distributing the kingdom among their allies during the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. By the century’s end, Maharaja Chamaraja Wadiyar X assumed control, aided by a British officer and a Diwan overseeing administration. Post-Indian Independence, Mysore remained part of Karnataka.

In 1831, Mysore experienced a shift in its administrative status, with the capital relocating to Bangalore.

How to Get to Mysore?

By Air

Mysore boasts a domestic airport, Mandakalli Airport, that facilitates seven domestic flight services to the city. This airport is approximately 10 kilometres from Mysore in the village of Mandakalli, ensuring convenient access. The flight duration from Bangalore Airport to Mandakalli Airport spans about one hour, with Air India being one of the prominent flight operators serving this route.

The closest international airport to Mysore is located in Bangalore. The Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore is the primary hub for flights from various cities within and outside India.

By Road

The road distance from Bangalore to Mysore is approximately 150 kilometres, and the car journey typically spans just over 3 hours, primarily using the Mysore Road. It’s essential to be aware that the Mysore Road is frequently congested, with significant traffic delays, particularly in the Rajarajeshwari Nagar area and near BHEL in Bangalore.

By Public Transport

To reach Mysore via public transportation, there are two primary options:

  • Trains – Regular train services like Basava Express or Mysuru Shatabdi Express operate between Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna railway station (Bangalore City Railway Station) in Bangalore and Mysore Junction Railway Station. The train journey typically takes just over 2 hours. For the latest train timings and booking information, visit the IRCTC website.
  • Buses – Buses – An abundance of private and government-owned buses connect Bangalore and Mysore. The KSRTC website is the go-to resource for detailed information on bus schedules. The bus journey spans approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, with fares starting as low as INR 300.

Travelling in Mysore

  • The most recommended modes of transportation in Mysore are public transport or auto-rickshaws (tuk-tuks).
  • When opting for auto-rickshaws, it’s advisable to negotiate with the drivers as they often quote higher fares.

Here are the particulars of the auto-rickshaw driver I engaged while embarking on my solo journey in Mysore:

  • Contact Name: Puneet.
  • Contact Number: +91 89711 61689.

Things To See in Mysore

Mysore Palace

The Mysore Palace is a historic monument and serves as the ancestral residence for the Wodeyar Maharajas of Mysore. Transformed into a museum, it now houses an impressive collection of royal artifacts that once belonged to the Wodeyar Maharajas.

Situated at the heart of Mysore and overlooking the Chamundi Hills, the palace exhibits a distinctive architectural style that blends Hindu, Mughal, Rajput, and Gothic influences, collectively known as the Indo-Saracenic style.

Fun fact: Did you know that Mysore is often called the “City of Palaces” because it possesses seven palaces, including the renowned Mysore Palace?

Timings and Cost for Visiting

Indeed, a visit to the Mysore Palace offers a fascinating insight into the opulent lives of the royals. With three entrances available (Varaha, Amba Villas, and Jayarama Balarama), tickets can be obtained to explore the palace. The visiting hours are from 10 AM to 5:30 PM, and the entrance fee is INR 70 for adults and INR 30 for children (ages 10 to 18).

Mysore Dasara Festival

Commencing in 1610 under the rule of the Kings of Vijayanagara Empire, the Mysore Dasara festival unfolds over ten days in September/October, aligning with the onset of Navratri. This jubilant occasion commemorates the triumph of good over evil, symbolizing the day when Goddess Chamundi (Chamundeshwari) vanquished the demon Mahishasura.

The festivities encompass a myriad of processions, featuring the grand procession of Goddess Chamundeshwari seated in her resplendent golden mantapa atop a beautifully adorned elephant.

Cost and Bookings

Access to Mysore Dasara is facilitated through various pass options, ranging from INR 500 to the exclusive gold pass, each offering distinct packages. To acquire gold ticket passes for Mysore Dasara, individuals can contact the Mysore Dasara Committee. During my visit several years ago, general category tickets were available at a nominal cost of INR 500 per adult.

Important Tips
  • Over the years, controversy has surrounded the training and handling of elephants for the processions during the Mysore Dasara festival.
  • Having attended the festival quite some time ago, I hold reservations about returning due to concerns over the treatment of elephants by their mahouts.
  • Being a state festival, Mysore Dasara attracts a substantial crowd nationwide. For those planning to attend, arriving early is advisable. It’s essential to confirm your designated entrance gate beforehand.
  • Considering the congestion and potential parking challenges, opting for public transport or an auto-rickshaw is the recommended mode of transportation.

Brindavan Gardens and KRS Dam

Situated adjacent to the Krishnarajasagara (KRS) Dam, Brindavan Gardens is a picturesque garden established in 1927. Regarded as a prominent landmark in Mysore, the gardens were envisioned and built by Sir M. Vishweshwaraih.

The complex features a captivating fountain and welcomes visitors from 6 AM to 8 PM. A nominal entrance fee of INR 15 per adult and INR 5 per child (5 to 10 years) is applicable.

  • Located 22 kilometres from Mysore city, reaching Brindavan Gardens by road typically takes approximately 45 minutes.

Mysore Zoo

Established in 1892, the Mysore Zoo, officially known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, is one of India’s oldest and most popular zoos. Originally conceived as a private exhibition for Maharaja Sri Chamaraja Wodeyar, it now boasts diverse animal species. Personally, it is the only zoo in India I would consider visiting.

Situated approximately 4 kilometres from Mysore city, the zoo operates from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM every day except Tuesday, when it remains closed. Admission fees are INR 50 per adult and INR 20 per child (5 to 12 years). To thoroughly explore the Mysore Zoo, allocating at least 3 hours is recommended.

Mysore zoo

St Philomena’s Cathedral

Established in 1936 and crafted by the French architect Daly, St. Philomena’s Cathedral stands as a Catholic church in Mysore. The architectural marvel follows the Neo-Gothic style and pays homage to St Philomena, a Grecian princess martyred in the 4th century. The cathedral boasts two twin spires, each towering at 52.50 meters.

Accessible every day from 8 AM to 8 PM, the church welcomes visitors without any entrance fee. Conveniently located around 5 kilometres from Mysore city, St. Philomena’s Cathedral is a captivating testament to divine architecture.

St Philomena's cathedral
St Philomena’s Cathedral

Things to Eat in Mysore

Mylari Dose

Indulge in the gentlest delight with the Mylari Dose, a tender treat resembling pancakes adorned with luscious white butter. Savour this exquisite delicacy at Hotel Vinayaka Mylari, where culinary bliss awaits.

The restaurant opens from 6:30 AM to 1:30 PM and reopens in the afternoon from 3 PM to 9 PM, ensuring a delightful experience throughout the day.

Hanumanthu Pulav

When in Mysore, a culinary delight not to be missed is the pulav or biryani at Hotel Hanumanthu Original, nestled in Mandimohalla. This quaint establishment, one of the city’s oldest, is renowned for its delectable chicken and mutton biryanis.

Catering to biryani enthusiasts like myself, the restaurant opens from 7 AM to 10 PM, providing a must-try experience for aficionados of this flavoursome dish.

Mysore Pak

The delectable Mysore Pak originated during the reign of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV in the kitchens of the Mysore Palace, giving it its distinctive name. “Pak” originates in the Kannada word “paka,” denoting a sweet concoction. This mouthwatering treat, immersed in ghee, is one of India’s finest desserts.

Sri Krishna Sweets shop is the go-to destination for an authentic taste of Mysore Pak in its birthplace, welcoming visitors from 7 AM to 11 PM.

Additionally, indulge in the Mysore Pak at Janardana Bakery in Ramnagara. Once you savour this delightful treat, you’ll find yourself revisiting the place repeatedly, trust me!

Things to See Around Mysore

Mysore is encircled by numerous enchanting destinations featuring waterfalls, hills, and historical sites conveniently accessible for delightful one-day excursions.

Chamundi Betta

Situated 13 kilometres from Mysore City, Chamundi Betta is a hill boasting an elevation of 800 feet. Named after the Chamundeshwari temple atop, this sacred site is dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari. Ascending to the peak, which houses the temple, Mahishasura Mardini, and Nandi statues, requires navigating around 1008 steps from the base.

Chamundi Betta is designated as a no-plastic zone, prohibiting visitors from carrying plastic bags. The temple welcomes visitors during three-time slots daily: 7:30 AM to 2 PM, 3:30 PM to 6 PM, and 7:30 PM to 9 PM, with no entrance fee. Commuting between Mysore city and the hill’s base is facilitated by local private or KSRTC buses.

Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary

Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary is the largest avian sanctuary in the Karnataka state of India. Nestled in the Mandya district, this sanctuary spans 40 acres of land and encompasses six islets along the banks of the River Cauveri.

Conveniently situated 20 kilometres from Mysore, the nearest town is Srirangapattana.

Ranganatittu bird sanctuary
Ranganatittu Bird Sanctuary


Renowned for its ancient Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple, the town of Srirangapatna is one of the seven Taluks within the picturesque Mandya district, boasting a rich history. Located approximately 15 kilometres from Mysore city, Srirangapatna is adorned with historical treasures like Daria Daulat Bagh (summer palace), Tipu Sultan Gumbaz (tombs), Nimishamba temple, and Srirangapatna Fort.

This town is easily accessible, with numerous private and public buses providing convenient transportation. Additionally, trains make stops at Srirangapatna, enhancing its connectivity.

Balmuri Waterfalls

Balmuri Waterfalls is a charming man-made cascade nestled along a small dam. It is an ideal spot for a picturesque picnic by the water, offering tranquil views of the surroundings. Positioned in an area where the River Cauveri meanders over a rocky bed, Balmuri Waterfalls provides a serene setting.

Located approximately 16 kilometres from Mysore city, this attraction is accessible around the clock. Local buses operate between Mysore city and the waterfalls, providing convenient transportation. It’s essential to exercise caution before entering the water, as certain spots can be profound.

Chennakeshava Temple at Somnathapura

Constructed in the 13th century, the Chennakesava temple at Somnathapura is a splendid example of Hoysala architecture. Commissioned by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a general of the Hoysala King, this temple showcases the intricate beauty characteristic of Hoysala craftsmanship.

Celebrated for its exquisite carvings and sculptures, the temple is approximately 35 kilometres from Mysore city, with local buses connecting the two destinations. Open daily from 9 AM to 5:30 PM; the entrance fee is INR 5 for Indian nationals and INR 100 for foreign nationals. Exploring the temple typically takes around 3 hours.

While exterior photography and videography are permitted, capturing images or videos inside the temple is prohibited.

One-day Itinerary in Mysore

Before moving forward, it’s crucial to emphasize that a single day is unquestionably insufficient to fully appreciate and explore the wonders of the enchanting city of Mysore.


  • Commence your day by savouring the delectable Mylari Dosa at Hotel Original Vinayaka Mylari.
  • Following breakfast, go to the expansive Mysore Zoo, which has numerous exhibits, and plan for at least 2 to 3 hours to appreciate the diverse offerings fully.


  • For those who enjoy chicken or mutton, treat yourself to the flavorful Hanumanthu Pulav/Biryani for lunch.
  • If you prefer vegetarian options, explore the offerings at a local darshinis (fast food chains).
  • Following lunch, proceed to the KRS Dam and Brindavan Gardens for a delightful afternoon.


  • Don’t miss out on the authentic filter coffee experience at one of the darshinis.
  • Later, go to the Mysore Palace to witness its enchanting illumination. Remember that the museum within the Mysore Palace concludes its operations around 5:30 PM.

Is Mysore Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Mysore is generally considered a safe city, suitable for solo female travellers. However, with the increasing influx of crowds, occasional nonsensical incidents have occurred. I strongly recommend exercising caution and staying aware of your surroundings when exploring Mysore.

Closing Notes

Exploring Mysore is undeniably worthwhile, and I strongly recommend allocating at least three days to appreciate all the city offers fully.

If you’ve been to Mysore and have additional insights or recommendations not mentioned above, please share them with me at

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Things To Do in Mysore (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Things To Do in Mysore

    PIN for later reference - Things to do in Mysore
    PIN for later reference – Things to do in Mysore