We have all heard of holiday plans getting ruined because the timing wasn’t right and at the same time, the weather has been a saving grace for so many vacations. What we are trying to say is that before you plan your trip to explore Mysore tourism, it’s best to check the weather forecast.
As is with the southern part of India, summers are extremely hot while winters are pleasant. This holds partially true for Mysore as well. Mysore summers are not extremely harsh but we can assure you that all your sightseeing tours will have to be reserved for evenings. On the other hand, winters are extremely pleasant in Mysore. October to February is undoubtedly the best time to explore Mysore tourism owing to the wonderful weather as well as the 10-day Dussehra festival. One of the biggest drawcards of Mysore tourism is the Dussehra festival. It is celebrated with much vigour in the city in September or October and is a must-attend.
Summer in Mysore is typically between March and June whereas winter starts at the beginning of November. If you are planning to explore Mysore tourism on a budget, we’d suggest planning a trip between July and September.
A cursory search on the internet will tell you that Mysore Palace is the second most visited tourist attraction in India, after the Taj Mahal! The beautiful palace is designed in Indo-Saracenic architecture and is a blend of Rajput, Hindu and Gothic styles. The official residence of the Mysore royal family, the palace was reconstructed after a deadly fire in 1897 ruined the magnificent structure.
The palace that you see today was completed in 1912. Mysore Palace boasts carved wooden doors, mosaic floors, stained glass in vibrant colours and wooden doors embellished with intricate carvings. The cost of constructing the palace was a whopping 4.5 million but you will agree that it was worth the effort.
If you are not an architectural buff, the many sculptures, paintings and artefacts will certainly have your attention. The armoury has more than 700 weapons and is quite popular with history buffs. The gardens surrounding the palace are also a must-visit and the only spot where you can take pictures. It is best to schedule a guided tour during your visit since the palace is vast and there is a wealth of information in every room.
If your Mysore tourism itinerary is flexible, we recommend heading to Mysore palace on Sunday evening. The palace is illuminated with lights in the evening and it is a sight to behold. A light show in English takes place on Thursday and Saturday, between 7 pm and 8 pm and shouldn’t be missed. We suggest reading the guidelines on the Mysore tourism site before you include this gorgeous palace in your Mysore tourism itinerary.
If you thought that Mysore tourism doesn’t offer nature lovers too many options, we’d urge you to reconsider. The Brindavan Gardens are a great addition to your Mysore tourism itinerary, especially if you are travelling with children.
The gardens are located 21 km from the city so you may have to plan ahead. The gardens are spread across River Cauvery and took approximately five years to complete. The planned tourist attraction was constructed decades ago and offers a plethora of activities to travellers. You can enjoy the lovely music and fountain show, indulge in a luxurious boating session or enjoy a culinary spread in the garden.
The primary attraction at the garden is undoubtedly the music and light show that takes place at the water fountains. Complete with laser lights and soothing music, the light and sound show is a delight for little ones. On weekdays, the show takes place between 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm while on weekends, the timings are 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Since the gardens are far from the city, you may have to book a cab for the entire duration of your trip.
Another attraction that should be on your Mysore tourism itinerary is Shuka Vana. This tourist attraction is especially recommended for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts. With more than 2000 birds, 450 varied species and a 50m high aviary, the site holds a Guinness Book of World Records for the most bird species in an aviary.
Exploring Shuka Vana might take you a couple of hours so it’s best to keep aside sufficient time in your Mysore tourism itinerary. The park is often referred to as Parrot Park and is part of the Avadhoota Datta Peetham. The park is also a rehabilitation centre for abused and abandoned birds and is a great way to introduce little ones to animal care.
Since parrots are among the most abused species of birds, you will have the opportunity to interact with these gentle, curious creatures. You will notice that the parrots are divided into various sections and you can witness a few associated with different zodiacs and months of the year. This attraction is also highly recommended if you are exploring Mysore tourism to little ones. It’s best to keep aside an hour in your Mysore tourism itinerary when exploring Shuka Vana.
Temples are an interesting way to learn more about the local culture of any city. When you are exploring Mysore tourism, there are numerous temples that will make it to your itinerary and one among them is the highly revered Chamundeshwari Temple.
A Hindu temple, Chamundeshvari is situated at a height of 1000 ft on Chamundi Hills. The temple offers majestic views of the hills and admiring the sunset from the top is an experience that you will remember. The presiding deity of the temple is Goddess Durga and you will also find statues of Nandi and Mahishasura. One of the oldest temples in Mysore, Chamundeshvari is a Shakti Peetha and one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas.
It’s important to remember that there are two ways to reach the temple. You can either choose to walk and admire the stunning landscape or drive through the long, winding valley roads. If you are travelling with the elderly or little ones, we would highly recommend the latter. The views from the temple are spellbinding and besides Chamundi hills, you can catch a glimpse of the Lalitha Mahal Palace.
The temple is a strictly no plastic zone and you have to be extremely cautious about littering. As a traveller exploring Mysore tourism, we urge you to maintain cleanliness and respect the local culture. It will take approximately an hour to explore Chamundeshvari Temple and we suggest heading here late afternoon or in the morning hours depending on your itinerary.
Picnic, learn and enjoy at Karanji Lake
Mysore tourism is a delight to explore when you are travelling with little ones. Besides a fascinating introduction to history, culture and art, the city offers a plethora of gardens where you can relax and rejuvenate. The lake is a popular picnic spot and is filled with tourists and locals in the evenings and on weekends.
We suggest including the site in your Mysore tourism itinerary if you’d like to take in the surreal views and revel in nature. It’s best to carry a picnic basket or if you’d like, there is a well-stocked coffee shop that offers a wide variety of beverages and appetizers. Owing to the incredible variety of more than 147 bird species, the park is a favourite with bird lovers as well. One can expect to spot the Asian openbill storks, cormorant, grey pelican and more. The lake is home to the largest aviary in the country.
If you want your little ones to learn more about the natural environment of South India and how one can preserve it, we suggest taking a tour of the Regional Museum of Natural History. The museum is located on the banks of the lake and offers an exciting tour of the area. The lake is home to a waterfall, an aviary and a butterfly park and packs in a bundle of experiences for travellers visiting for the first time.
Spend an afternoon shopping for Mysore silks
If shopping is among the top ten activities in your Mysore tourism itinerary, you can expect a memorable experience. The city is full of surprises and shopping enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice. Whether you want to take back souvenirs for friends and family or want to add to your personal collection, there is just so much to choose from. Of course, Mysore Pak and Mysore silk are on top of the list but we also recommend the coffee that Mysore offers.
The city’s oldest markets and age-old shops are a great place to pick up your goodies. If your list extends beyond the usual souvenirs, we’d recommend incense sticks, sandalwood products, khadi apparel and wooden toys, popularly known as Channapatna toys.
Considering that shopping is a big part of Mysore tourism, we suggest keeping aside a couple of days for shopping. It would also be advisable to spread out your shopping schedule over a few days and mix it with a few sightseeing spots as well. For those who want to try something different, we recommend visiting a silk factory where you can learn how silks are made. This not only allows you to learn more about the local culture but gives you an experience of what it means to shop local.
Some of the popular shops and markets in Mysore are Cauvery Arts & Crafts Emporium, Devaraja Market, Government Silk Factory, Government Sandalwood Oil Factory, and Ashoka Road.
Rejuvenate with a yoga retreat
Mysore tourism has grown leaps and bounds in the last decade. A huge contributor to this growth is yoga and wellness retreats. While yoga in Mysore was earlier popular only with Indian tourists, gradually travellers from across the world have discovered the huge potential in this beautiful city. Gradually Mysore has become a centre for yoga training as well.
If you are exploring Mysore tourism and have a flexible itinerary, you can book a yoga retreat. Typically the retreats are for seven days or more but there are a few courses for beginners that one can take a look at. Besides yoga, one can learn Thai yoga massage, ayurvedic deep tissue massages, more about Tibetan culture, chakra healing and pranic healing. Mysore tourism is acclaimed for its gurus and deep understanding of alternative healing techniques.
If you are interested in exploring the spiritual side of Mysore tourism, we recommend conducting thorough research of the many institutes and ashrams in Mysore and choosing one that fits your philosophy and budget.
Explore Bandipur National Park
Even though Bandipur National Park is situated 91 km from Mysore, it is among the most popular places to see in Mysore for wildlife enthusiasts exploring Mysore tourism. If you want to include this site on your trip, we recommend keeping aside a couple of days in your Mysore tourism itinerary. The national park was the erstwhile hunting ground for the Maharaja of Mysore and was established as a reserve in 1974 under Project Tiger.
Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts should definitely plan a visit here owing to the wide variety of fauna and flora. Located amidst the Nilgiris, the park is the first Biosphere Reserve in India. One can expect to spot elephants, deers, sloth bears, panthers and hornbills during the jungle safari. But if you are unable to spot your favourites, the gorgeous view will more than make up for it. The best time to visit the park is between October and February before the monsoon season. We also recommend planning your safari in advance. There are numerous options to choose from such as a gipsy safari, a boat safari and an elephant safari. The safaris are priced differently and offer dramatically different experiences.
We highly recommend the two-hour boat safari that takes you along the Kabini river and offers you spellbinding views of the surreal beauty. If you are exploring Mysore tourism on a budget, we suggest the boat safari or the bus safari.
Owing to its popularity, Mysore tourism is equipped to cater to all kinds of travellers and works well with all budgets. Earlier, it was difficult to find budget hotels in the city but owing to the increase in popularity of Mysore tourism, the city is far friendlier to those on a budget. On the other hand, for those on a luxury trip to explore Mysore tourism, there is nothing that the city doesn't offer. From sprawling resorts, boutique hotels to five-star properties, Mysore is a haven luxury travellers must explore.
To ensure you have a hassle-free experience while exploring Mysore tourism, it's best to make your bookings in advance and prepare an itinerary that covers all popular attractions. Let's take a look at some of the best hotels that are part of Mysore tourism.
Luxury hotels in Mysore
Spacious rooms reflecting the grandeur of Mysore, well-manicured lawns and a plethora of activities. Luxury hotels that are part of Mysore tourism are some of the best in the country. A few of these hotels are located in the outskirts and you have the opportunity of experiencing the countryside with lush greenery and picturesque sunsets. Below are some of the best luxury resorts that are part of Mysore tourism
Mid-budget hotels in Mysore
Mid-budget hotels in Mysore are known for their warm service, a wealth of information and delicious local cuisine. Most hotels and homestays that are part of Mysore tourism offer experiences that are beyond stay. The best way to save money on accommodation of your choice is by booking your hotel well in advance, especially if you are planning your trip during the peak season. Here are a few best mid-budget hotels that are part of Mysore tourism.
Budget hotels in Mysore
Earlier, Mysore tourism didn’t offer a plethora of options for budget travellers. However, today the case is different. Owing to the popularity of Mysore tourism, several hotels are designed to cater to backpackers and solo travellers. Spacious, comfortable and welcoming, these hotels are a delight for budget travellers. Another great addition to Mysore tourism is a large number of hostels for backpackers. Let’s take a look at some of the best hotels and hostels in Mysore.
One of the most unique features of food in India is that each state’s cuisine is a reflection of its geographical location. The local crops and herbs are primary ingredients in all dishes and that’s exactly what intrigues food lovers.
It’s a common misconception that Mysore tourism offers only Mysore Pak and the extremely spicy Mysore dosa. But you’d be surprised at the vast variety of dishes available in the city. From local stalls to high-end restaurants, you will have a memorable culinary experience everywhere.
Another thing to be noted about Mysore’s local cuisine is the hearty dose of masalas. From fresh coriander, tamarind, gunpowder to chutneys and a hearty helping of vegetables – the local dishes inspired by Udupi cuisine always offer a balanced diet. Some of the dishes that you must try are idlis, bonda, khara bath, kesari bath, uttapam, ragi muddae, vangibath, gojju, chitranna and the very delicious set dosa.
Almost all local streets are filled with small restaurants that offer you a variety of local and international cuisines. Some of the best restaurants you should include in your Mysore tourism itinerary are Oyster Bay, Mahesh Prasad, Anima Madhva Bhavan, Tiger Trail, Green Leaf, Hakka, By The Way, and Spring.
Travelling within a city can dramatically impact your travel budget and that’s why it’s best to plan ahead. If you are exploring Mysore tourism, there are numerous transport options. Besides local public transport such as buses, the city has privately-run taxis and auto-rickshaws. If you are exploring the local markets, you can easily explore on foot.
A few popular sightseeing spots that are part of Mysore tourism are situated a little further from the city and you may have to hire a cab. The city also hosts walking tours for a few heritage sites and if you are a historical buff, these are a great option to add to your Mysore tourism itinerary.
At the same time, local buses are a great way to commute for budget travellers. Not only are they extremely comfortable but run on schedule. If you are a luxury traveller and don’t want to spend too much time planning your transportation, we highly recommend booking a private cab for the entire duration of your trip.
Budget is one of the primary factors to consider when one is planning a trip. Your estimated budget helps you plan your itinerary, transport and the activities that you want to try. If you are planning a trip to explore Mysore tourism, you can plan a luxury trip as well as a budget trip depending on the activities, the accommodation you choose and your transport. Let’s take a look at the estimated costs for exploring Mysore tourism.
Luxury travellers exploring Mysore tourism can expect to spend Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000 per day. This cost includes stay, food, transport as well as activities. If you would like to include a yoga retreat in your Mysore tourism itinerary, this cost might increase by a small amount.
Mid budget travellers have a plethora of options when exploring Mysore tourism. From choosing a budget hotel with spacious rooms and great service to visiting popular Mysore tourist places, mid-budget travellers can expect to spend between Rs 5000 and Rs 8000.
Budget travellers are quite flexible regarding itineraries, activities and transport. If you are a budget traveller exploring Mysore tourism, you can expect to spend between Rs 1000 and Rs 3000 per day. The cost is on the higher side since it includes transport costs for destinations away from the city.
How many days do I need to explore Mysore tourism?
If this is your first trip to the city, we would recommend a duration of three to four days. This will ensure that you cover some of the most visited tourist attractions that are part of Mysore tourism as well as a few lesser-known sites. We also recommend planning your itinerary in advance so you don’t miss out on important sightseeing sites.
What are the things I should pack for a trip to Mysore?
Owing to Mysore’s location, summers in the city can be slightly harsh and this is the only season for which you need to be prepared. Besides the usual checklist which includes prescription medicines, sunscreen, extra cash and a good pair of walking shoes, we recommend packing a few scarves. If you are visiting religious places, this will be essential considering the local cultural norms.
Suggest three tips for planning a trip to Mysore.
Travel tips are a great way to ensure that you have a hassle-free trip. We also recommend speaking to travellers who have visited the place before or posing your questions in a travel community forum. If you are exploring Mysore tourism for the first time, here are a few tips that might come in handy.
Which are the lesser-known places to visit in Mysore tourism?
Mysore is known for its rich, cultural heritage and tourist attractions that go back centuries. However, there are a few activities and tourist attractions in Mysore that are not only offbeat but offer travellers an unforgettable experience. Some of the lesser-known spots that are part of Mysore tourism are Meenakshipuram backwaters, Ranganathittu bird sanctuary, Melody World Wax Museum, a government-run silk factory where you can learn the process of how the popular Mysore silk is made. Besides this, J Shaped Kukkaraahalli Lake, Shivana Samudra falls and Mahadevapura are two places you can include in your itinerary as well.
Which are the best places to visit near Mysore?
If you have the time and budget, there are numerous places near Mysore that should find a place in your itinerary. While some of these places are popular, others are lesser-known and stand out for the memorable experiences they offer. Kabini, Coorg, Bangalore, Bheemeshwari, Ooty, Nagarhole, Wayanad and Savandurga Hills are places that you should explore when you are in Mysore.
Which are the best restaurants in Mysore?
Mysore tourism offers an exceptional culinary experience. There are numerous restaurants in the city and most of them are part of a well planned Mysore tourism itinerary. Here are a few restaurants that stand out for their ambience, cuisine and service.
Which are the popular hill stations near Mysore?
Mysore is strategically located near tourist attractions that offer a variety of experiences for travellers. If you are looking for hill stations near Mysore, some of the popular ones are Coorg, Ooty, Madikeri, Sakleshpur, Kalpetta and Chikmagalur.
Written by Kirat Sodhi. She is a proud mom of three cats and lives for lemon tea, a good book and spontaneous travel plans.