A Guide to Budget Trip for the Places to Visit in Mysore
Mysore, the city with a glittering royal heritage, is also popularly known as The Palace City of India. It is a famous weekend gateway for every travel enthusiast, blended with a few sprawling gardens, stunning waterfalls and lakes, which entice at every turn with their regal splendour.
The splendour history of its majestic Palaces represents the living vibrancy of tradition and culture. The city has maintained its cosmopolitan nature imbibing modern developments with a seamless blend of old-world charm. The places to visit in Mysore are varied from highly regarded spiritual temples to the harmony of scenic beauty.
To create beautiful memories, you must plan when the city hosts one of the colourful festivals of Dussera. However, with several options, it provides to discover a unique experience of a different world.
History of Mysore
The Cultural Capital of Karnataka has bestowed its heritage structures still apparent in its atmosphere. In the late 15th century, the Wodeyar family started to govern the state, which acted as a vassal for the Vijayanagara Empire. It became a sovereign state in the 17th century, steadily expanding its territory by annexing some parts of Tamil Nadu and Southern Karnataka.
It was one of the most powerful kingdoms in southern Deccan and dominated most of the 18th century with its military power. Later on, Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan demolished parts of Mysore to remove the legacies of the Wodeyar dynasty. In the fourth Anglo-Mysore war with the British and Tipu Sultan, followed by his defeat and death, the British took direct control of the princely state.
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Backpack for The Budget Trip to Mysore
Over the years, Mysore has become a popular tourist attraction with the surge of international tourists. The beautiful calm city consists of people of all religions and facets of life who had catered for me on the budget trip. I chose to walk along the city to soak up its fascinating memory.
Though two days are enough to explore Mysore, I decided to stay a little longer to see some places around the outskirt. After a long time, I planned a solo trip to Mysore, which made me comfortable being there alone, enjoying my freedom and not giving any heed to people staring at me and wondering. Here is the list of popular places to visit in and around Mysore for a unique holiday.
The Palace of Mysore
The Palace of Mysore is a magnificent royal heritage carved with a harmonious blend of Hindu, Muslim and Gothic styles perfectly known as an Indo-Saracenic style. The three-storey architecture has tall towers at the cardinal points, a marble dome on the top, and an incredible design by the English Architect Henry Irwin.
The interior glazes with tiled flooring, stained window glass, domed ceilings, intricately carved doors, the golden howdah, royal paintings and a jewel-coated golden throne are among the artefacts that display the royalty of the Mysore Kingdom.
The palace has different chambers: Ambavilasa– the luxurious private hall; Diwan-I-Aam– the public audience hall for announcements; and Diwan-I-Khas– the private audience hall, to receive courtiers and state guests.
Timings: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM.
Illumination Timings: Sunday and Public Holidays- 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Light and Sound Show:
Kannada- Monday to Wednesday (7:00 PM to 8:00 PM) and Saturday (8:15 PM to 9:15 PM)
English- Thursday to Saturday (7:00 PM to 8:00 PM)
Tickets: Adults ₹50
Children between 7 to 12 Years: ₹30
The royal grandeur of Jaganmohan Palace is a testimony to the brilliance of the traditional Hindu architectural style. The palace once served for the Royal family as a residence, now acts as an art gallery and a function hall. The exquisitely creative excellence at the entrance has intricate carvings of Dashavatara, the ten incarnations of the Hindu God, Vishnu.
Also known as Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, it boasts one of the preeminent galleries in South India, which holds the rare paintings of Raja Ravi Verma, traditional Japanese art, gothic art of PP Ruben and miniature art by Gunoy. On the other hand, the breathtaking carvings and murals on the walls depicting the grandness of Mysore Dasara and other events related to Mysore are masterpieces to be relished by every art lover.
Timing: 10:00 am- 5:30 pm
Tickets: Adult– ₹20 and Children (5 to 10 years old)– ₹10
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Mysore City is located at the foothills of the Chamundi Hills and perhaps is visible from any corner of the metropolis. The name Mysuru came from the Kannada word Mahishooru which means village of Mahishasura. According to Hindu Puranas, Devi Chamundeshwari fought a battle on the hill and defeated Mahisasura.
The beautifully sculpted temple devoted to Goddess Chamundeshwari, located on the hilltop, is the patron deity of the Wodeyar family. You may hike through ancient thousand steps, where halfway up, you will also see the monolithic Nandi. Visiting Chamundi Hills was a perfect pleasure, with a complete panoramic view of the city.
Timing: 7:30 AM- 2:00 PM
3:30 PM- 6:00 PM
7:30 PM- 9:00 PM
Tickets: Free Entry
Though I don’t promote wildlife in a caged environment where they display it as an entity, Mysore Zoo was my unexpected tour. The visit to the zoo changed my perception somewhat as its objectives are the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals and birds, conservation education and breeding with the research and documentation study.
As planning to make a special-zoological garden, it supervises to create a natural habitat for the animals. The oldest zoo in India hosts rare species such as zebra, giraffe, African elephant, and Chimpanzees, sharing shelters with reptiles such as King Cobra, Python, crocodiles and even star-studded turtles.
Timings: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM, Closed on Tuesdays.
Time Required: 3 hours
Tickets: Adult: ₹50 (Weekdays),₹60 (Weekend),
Child (5-12 yr): ₹20 (Weekdays), ₹30 (Weekend)
St. Philomena’s Cathedral
One of the tallest cathedrals in Asia, it is famous for its Neo-Gothic style architecture, as it draws inspiration from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. In 1843, Maharaja of Mysuru Mummudi Krishnaraja Wadiyar laid the foundation in memory of the martyr St. Philomena to cater to the needs of the European people.
It is in the shape of a cross with twin spires which can be spotted even from miles away. The famous 1977 Bollywood movie Amar Akbar Antony has several scenes in this cathedral. The hall boasts exquisitely drawn paintings from various stages of Christ’s life, with stained glass windows and the sanctum adding more beauty to the entire structure.
Timings: 5:00 AM- 6:00 PM, Daily.
Tickets: Free Entry
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An awe-inspiring sight of cascading Shivanasamudra Waterfall is a popular tourist destination. The mighty river Kaveri drops off through rocks and ravines to form twin falls named Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. It creates a mesmerizing view of river water dropping from tall rock cliffs with lush green forests.
A well-maintained deck is provided as a viewpoint to observe the beauty from a safe distance. A Dravidian-style temple of the Hoysala period dedicated to Sri Ranganathaswamy exists near the waterfalls. It is peaceful around the temple as being located remotely, which sees few visitors. The post-monsoon season turns the majestic waterfalls into the visual treat it offers.
Timings: 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM
How to Travel?
Travelling in and around Mysore is easy with good connectivity of public transport. Rented bikes and scooters are available, as driving is a good option for the well-maintained road. Hiring an auto within the city is another accessible way, as one can pay by meter. But, I preferred to walk through the streets as it gave me a better space for closely watching the local culture and meeting friendly people.
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Local Cuisines to Try
The diversity of Mysore reflects its vastness of culinary delicacies and gourmet delights. The flavours of the dishes are different from the rest of India, which makes the place incredible to enjoy mouthwatering dishes. The older restaurants have maintained their iconic status of the real taste with unique recipes to try at a reasonable rate. Talking of cuisines, the name of the city is firmly affixed before them as aromatic Mysore-Pak, sizzling Mysore-Masala-Dosa, puffy Mysore-Mallige-Idli, delight Mysore-Bonda with home-made Soda Pops.
The Festivals and Fairs
The people of Mysore celebrate colourful festivals and fairs vigorously and enthusiastically, portraying the traditional legacy of the rich artistic heritage. These age-old festivals and fairs are celebrated through devotion and beliefs and take on a different avatar. The grandeur ten days festival of Dussehra and Yugadi an auspicious day performed with rituals, have a significant position. Different communities celebrate other regional, national and religious festivals with great zeal.