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25 Best Places to Visit in & around Mysore, Karnataka

Embrace the Land of History – Mysore

Dubbed ‘Cleanest City of India’ and a cultural centre of Karnataka, Mysore fulfils the criteria that makes it amongst the best places to visit in India. It is situated at the foothills of the lofty Chamundi Hills. One gets to trace the history of Wodeyars; witness the magnificent Mysore art and architecture; enjoy day outings at beautiful places of nature, ethereal temples and modern entertainment hubs. The city and the places around it offer everything that an avid traveller or someone seeking a rejuvenating break from work is looking for.

Quick Important Facts & Info on Mysore Tourism

Popular Landmark Destination of Mysore Mysore Palace
Old name of Mysore Mahishapura
Most Popular Religious Destination/Temple in Mysore Chamundeshwari Temple
Popular Festival of Mysore Mysore Dasara
GI Tags Product of Mysore Mysore Pak (Sweet), Mysore Ink, Mysore Sandal Soap, Mysore Masala Dosa, Mysore Silk Sarees, Mysore painting, Mysore Betel Leaf, Mysore painting.
Best Time to Visit Mysore October to February
Oldest Zoo of India Mysore Zoo
2nd Largest Church in Asia St. Philomena Church, Mysore

List of 25 best places in and around Mysore that one must visit:

  • Mysore Palace
  • Tipu Summer Palace
  • Chamundi Hills
  • Karanji Lake
  • Mysore Zoo
  • Nimishamba Temple
  • Brindavan Gardens
  • Lingabudi Lake
  • KRS Dam
  • Philomena Church
  • Lalitha Mahal
  • Railway Museum
  • Tombs of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali (Gumbaz)
  • GRS Fantasy Park
  • Somnathpura
  • Srirangapatna
  • Shivanasamudra Falls
  • Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  • Talakad
  • Melukote
  • Bandipur National Park
  • Jaganmohan Palace
  • Planet X
  • Melody World Wax Museum

Recommended Tour Packages

Mysore Palace- Legacy of Ancient Past

Mysore Palace

Also known as the Mysore Maharaja Palace, it is the biggest thing that you will ever notice in Mysore! The palace is situated in the city’s centre, so you know, it cannot be missed anyway. It is a must visit tourist attraction to include in Mysore travel Itinerary. The architecture is up for appreciation as it is a fine mix of Hindu, Islam, Gothic and Rajput styles. The stunning interior displays intricate craftsmanship. One would transcend to the era of Wodeyar dynasty while feasting eyes on the palace’s exclusive design and properties. The palace is decorated in a grand manner every year during the Dasara festival, which probably is the best time to visit here.

Timings – 10:00 am to 5:30pm

Also Check Out: Mysore Tourism Guide

Tipu Summer Palace – Abode of Happiness

Tipu Summer Palace Mysore

Also known as Dariya Daulat Bagh (Wealth of the Sea), Tipu Summer Palace used to be the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mysore. The grandeur of Tipu Sultan Palace is one of a kind. The pillars of Teak and beautiful interiors painted with floral motifs will sooth your eyes. There is a magnificent garden in the palace that brightens the architectural beauty of this grand place. In the outer walls one can see beautiful paintings of battles and different events of that time. The palace also houses a museum which showcases the belongings of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali. For example- clothes, silver vessels, coins and weapons etc. It has many names as it is also called as ‘Abode of happiness’ or ‘Envy of heaven’ etc by its constructor. It was constructed by Hyder Ali but completed by Tipu Sultan in 1784 AD.

  • Timings- 10:00am to 6:00pm all weekdays.
  • Sunday – 8:30 to 5:30pm
  • Entry Fee- Indian – INR-15 and Foreigner – INR 200

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Chamundi Hills – Grandeur of Mysore

Chamundi Hills Mysore

Chamundi Hills is the identifier of Mysore. It is famous for a temple – Chamundeshwari Temple, that was built in the 11th century and has been renovated and turned into a tourist spot. The temple has a 5-meter-tall statue that is said to have been sculpted out of a single rock. A flight of stairs with 1000 leads to Chamundi Hills that also offers spectacular vistas of the surroundings. On the way, you shall also encounter the statue of Nandi the Bull. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Mysore which you should also not miss.

Temple Timings

  • 30 AM- 02.00 PM
  • 30 PM – 06.00 PM
  • 30 PM – 09.00 PM

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Karanji Lake – Fountain Lake

Karanji Lake

At the foot of the famous Chamundi Hills is a huge lake called Karanji Lake. Constructed by the King of Mysore, Karanji is a 90-acre water body and is amongst the biggest lakes in Karnataka. It is a popular tourist attraction to visit when you are enjoying Mysore Tour. The lake has become the shelter for migratory birds and as many as 90 species of birds can be found here. There is also a scenic park around the lake that has a huge enclosure for birds and it is considered the largest of its kind in the country.

Highlights

  • For Kids, the children’s corner will entertain their soul.
  • Boating is the best thing to do in Karanji Lake.
  • For nature Lovers, the Butterfly Park is the best place to visit in Karanji Lake.

Timings- 8:30 to 5:30 pm

Charges – INR 10 and for Video Camera charges INR 25 and Still Camera charges INR 10.

Also Read: Wildlife Tourism in Karnataka

Mysore Zoo – The Oldest Zoo

Mysore Zoo

Behind the Karanji Lake is the Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens at Mysore also known as Mysore Zoo. The Zoo is spread over 157 acre of land and houses a huge range of wildlife species not only from our country but animals from around the world. It is the oldest Zoo in India. More than 2 million tourists across the world visit this zoo every year. Mysore Zoo houses rare avian species which will delight your heart. It is the only zoo where you will see all the three species of Rhino- White, Black and Indian Rhino. It is here the pair of Orangutans, Gorillas and some Chimpanzees were brought into an Indian zoo for the first time in 1977.

Timings – 8:30am to 5:30pm and During Summers – 10:30am to 3:00pm

Also Read: Heritage Tourism in Karnataka

Nimishamba Temple – Ethereal destination

Nimishamba Temple

Nimishamba Temple is dedicated to Goddess Nimishamba who is an incarnation of goddess Parvati. It is believed that goddess Nimishamba is a pillar of forgiveness and those who pay a visit to the temple the goddess will remove all the troubles from this or her life. Devotees from all over the world visit this temple to seek divine grace and get spiritual wisdom. It is one of the most incredible tourist places to visit around Mysore. It was constructed in the period of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar.

Timings- 6:30 to 8:30pm

Also Read: Pilgrimage Tourism in Karnataka

Brindavan Gardens- Nature’s Joy

Brindavan Gardens Mysore

The Brindavan Gardens are located a level below the Krishna Raja Sagara dam. It is a major tourist attraction near Mysore and is also regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens in the state of Karnataka. The most exciting experience at this garden is the musical fountain show that is scheduled in the evenings. It is one of the must visit places to enjoy in Mysore tour. Illuminated fountains, terraces, water channels, lawns, flower beds and varieties of plants and a lovely boating here will make your day. It is inspired by the Shalimar Gardens of Kashmir.

Timings- 6:00to 8:00pm and Videography is prohibited here.

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Lingabudi Lake – Lake of tranquillity

Lingabudi Lake Mysore

Spread in the area of 260 acres, Lingabudi Lake is one of the largest and oldest lakes of Mysore. It is a freshwater Lake. It is a perfect weekend getaway in Mysore if you are looking for a quiet and serene place to get away from the chaos of life. It houses more than 250 kinds of avian fauna and lush greenery and serene surroundings here will whisper bliss in your ear. It is the best place for birdwatching, more than 250 species of birds will soothe your soul with their sweet chirpings. Various flowering plants such as gulmohar, silver oaks, hibiscus, marigold are a blissful sight to behold. This is the reason why it is the best place to visit in Mysore.

Timings- 6:00am to 6:00pm

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KRS Dam- Surreal Views

KRS Dam Mysore

Above the famous Brindavan Gardens, Krishna Raja Sagara dam is a major sightseeing place near Mysore. Almost all the tourists that make it to the palace in Mysore ensure to offer a refreshing experience. The dam is also the first irrigation dam in India and is considered to be one of the most beautiful tourist spots around Mysore. Colourful and illuminated gardens, stunning water bodies and musical fountains will make your day. The dam is also known as ‘Kannambadi Katte’. Don’t forget to seek divine blessing in Kanneshwara Temple located there.

Timings- 6:30 to 9:00pm

Also Check Out: Hill Stations in Karnataka

St. Philomena Church – Embrace Spirituality

St. Philomena Church Mysore

St. Philomena is a 200-year-old Church, which is also known as St. Joseph’s Church. Built in Gothic Style, the church was established by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. It is amongst the largest Cathedrals in India and is dedicated to St. Philomena who was a 3rd century saint from Greece. The church has a cellar where there is a statue of St. Philomena in a reclining posture and a piece of her bone and clothes are kept.

Timings- 5:00 to 6:00pm

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Lalitha Mahal – Exquisite Legacy of Wodeyars

Lalitha Mahal Mysore

Located at a short distance from Chamundi Hills is Lalitha Mahal that happens to be the second largest palace in Mysore. Of course, after Mysore Palace. The palace was built by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and its architecture is inspired by St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Therefore, we can see a good mixture of several architectural forms from Europe in this palace. Another thing that caught my eye here is the magnificent view of Chamundi hills and the city. The interior of the palace is very stunning. The crystal chandeliers, Persian carpets, exquisite cut glass lamps, and marble floors are extremely gorgeous which makes it one of the top tourist attractions to visit in Mysore.

Timings- 10:00am to 6:00pm

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Railway Museum – Have Fun with History of Railways

Railway Museum Mysore

Railway Museum is one of the most visited tourist places in Mysore. The museum is situated close to the city’s railway station and serves as a place that exhibits ancient locomotives and carriages that are still in working condition and are being used by the Indian Railways even today. It was established in 1979 by Indian Railways.  You will get great insights on the stages in the development of Indian Railways. Don’t miss the fun toy train ride to look around the grounds of the museum.

Timings- 10:00am to 5:30pm

Also Read: Must Visit Museums in Karnataka

Tombs of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali (Gumbaz) – Meet the Tiger of Mysore

Tombs of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali Mysore

15 km away from Mysore in Srirangapatna the Tombs of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali is one of the best tourist attractions to see around Mysore. It was built in 1784 Ad by Tipu sultan for his parents but later he was also buried here. The architecture of the Gumbaz is as stunning as Golconda Tombs. It is surrounded by the drop dead gorgeous Lalbagh Garden. The pillars of the Gumbaz are made up of Black granite and the doors are decorated with ivory. The stone windows show the brilliant craftsmanship of that time.  Inside the complex there is a mosque called – Masjid-E- Aqsa.

Timings- 8:00am to 6:30pm

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GRS Fantasy Park – Have Fun with Family and Friends

GRS Fantasy Park Mysore

GRS Fantasy Park is an amusement park that is ideal for visiting in summer. The Park offers a number of land and water rides that can surely excite kids and adults alike. It is located on the Mysore-Bangalore highway and lies sprawled in prowling 30 acres of lush greenery. Number of features like wave pool, 5D virtual rides, telecombat and pendulum slide ensure that one actually has a time of his life here! It is a must-see place around Mysore.

Timings- 10:30 to 6:00pm

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Somnathpura – Abode of Temples

Somnathpura Mysore

Somnathpura is a town, which is about 35kms from Mysore. The place is known for its Chennakesava Temple also called Kesava Temple. It is declared as a heritage site by an archaeological survey of India. Feel the divinity at the Kesava Temple that reflects the Hoysala architecture and explore the wildlife in its surroundings. The Talakad Panchalinga Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is another religious attraction which one should not miss while enjoying Mysore Tourism. The Pataleshwar Shivlinga here changes its colour. It is red in the morning, black at noon and white in the evening.

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Srirangapatna – Beautiful Pilgrimage Destination

Srirangapatna Mysore

Srirangapatna is a majestic heritage site situated some 15kms from Mysore. It is a popular tourist attraction to visit near Mysore. The entire town is enclosed by the river Kaveri to form a river island. The town is named after the revelled Ranganathaswamy temple which dominates the town. Srirangapatna is one of the most important Vaishnavite centres of pilgrimage in South India and the temple here was built by the Ganga Dynasty in the 9th century. The temple is a mix of the Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles of architecture. Apart from it, you can also take a tour to the toy factories of Srirangapatna and witness how the toys are made.

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Shivanasamudra Falls – Sublime Scenic Setting

Shivanasamudra Falls Mysore

Situated on a river island, Shivanasamdura is where the River Cauvery falls 90m to form a waterfall. Shivanasamudra is an island town that divides River Cauvery into two falls, namely Gaganachukki Falls and Bharachukki Falls that together make Shivanasamudra Falls. It is known for being Asia’s first hydroelectric power station and is situated some 85 kms away from Mysore. It is a spectacular fall and is rated as one of the best waterfalls in India.

Timings- 8:00am to 5:00pm

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Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary – Bird Paradise

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

Not far from Mysore, Rangantittu is a popular hub for bird lovers as it is one of the biggest bird sanctuaries in South India. Sprawling in an area of 40 acres, the sanctuary is the home to about 170 bird species. Ranganathittu is a short distance from the sacred town of Srirangapatna and is easily accessible. It is one of the top tourist destinations to visit in Karnataka. It is named after Lord Ranganatha Swamy who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Little Egret, little cormorant, open-billed stork, Spoon bills, painted stork, White Ibis, river tern, Darter, Peafowl, Pond Heron, Wild Duck, are some of the most prominent birds to spot here.

Timings- 9:00 to 6:00pm and the best time to visit is between the months of June and November.

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Talakad – Quite Peaceful

Talakad Mysore

Talakad is some 45kms from Mysore and is known as a popular pilgrimage site in Karnataka. It is situated on the left bank of River Kaveri and is amidst the serene landscape. The place once had 30 temples that now lay buried under the sands, however, people still like to go and visit the ruins of these historical temples. Apart from it Talakad has also become the epicentre of horticulture and wine making. Fine wines, exotic Zero Pesticide fresh produce, artisan cheese and diverse culinary experiences are now the identifiers of this sleepy town.

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Melukote – The Land of Temples

Melukote Mysore

Melukote is a home to exotic temples and is some 50kms from Mysore. It makes a great destination for a one-day-trip as one can enjoy folk dances, ethnic cuisines and several cultural activities along with temple sightseeing here. This place is also a well-known location for film making as well as it is surrounded by a lot of scenic areas. One of the famous temples here is Sri Yoganarasimha Swamy temple, which is situated at the hilltop. Catching a sunrise from here is spectacular here. If you are in Mysore, you must visit this place.

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Bandipur National Park- Best Wildlife Destination

Bandipur National Park Tiger

Nested amidst the Western Ghats, Bandipur National Park is an ideal weekend getaway destination from Mysore. Located at the picturesque location, this national park is the home to a large number of wild animals and birds. Together with Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala and Nagarhole National Park in the North, it creates India’s biggest biosphere reserve popularly known as the ‘Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve’. If you are a wildlife enthusiast and a nature lover, travelling to Bandipur National Park would be worth it.

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Nagarhole National Park -For Enchanting Nature and Wild Vibes

Nagarhole National Park

Located at a short distance from the city of Mysore, Nagarahole National Park is situated in the Kodagu district of Karnataka. It is one of the best tourist spots to visit in Karnataka. The national park is a home to a large number of elephants and other wild animals and birds. There are jungle safari and elephant treks that one let the visitors get the best experience in this national park.

Wildlife Safari Timings – 6 AM to 8 AM and 3 PM to 5 PM

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 Jaganmohan Palace – Seat of Royalty

Jaganmohan Palace Mysore

It is an Art Gallery located to the west of the main palace. The palace was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in 1861 to celebrate the marriage of his daughter and the museum was officially started in 1915, and has since been expanded adding many artefacts. This Art Gallery showcases Mysore style of painting. Also, the original oil paintings of Raja Ravi Varma of Travancore on display here are on many mythological themes.

The painting of a lady holding the lamp of the Indian Artist S.G. Heldner is another piece. The other include artefacts made from Glass, Ceramic and Metal. A good collection of clocks is also displayed here along with a few engravings from China and Japan and paintings of various styles like Mughal and Rajput.

Timings – 10:00am to 5:30 pm

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Planet X- Relax and Have Fun

Planet X Mysore

Located at the foothills of Chamundi, Planet X is a popular entertainment centre and a tourist attraction in Mysore. It is an ideal place for a day picnic with friends and family as this place is perfect for both kids and grown-ups. snooker, billiards, go-karting and video games are some of the best activities to do here. The complex also has a bowling alley, mini golf course, restaurant, coffee shop and even a conference room where one can spend an eventful day.

Timings- Monday to Saturday 4:00pm to 11:00pm and Sunday – 12 noon to 11:00pm

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Melody World Wax Museum – World of Music

Melody World Wax Museum Mysore

Melody World Wax Museum is one of its kind places in Mysore. This place has been named as the Melody World as their musical instruments are showcased here along with wax statues of musicians playing the instruments. There are around 100 life-size wax models and over 300 musical instruments displayed here. There are as many as 19 galleries here that offer a collection of musical instruments and statues that have both musical relevance as well as social importance. A major highlight of this museum is the statue of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, a ruler of Mysore. There is also a special section in this museum, where you can play some musical instruments.

Timings- 9:30am to 7:00pm

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Some Interesting Facts About Mysore

Some Interesting Facts About Mysore

  • Mysore houses the oldest libraries of India – Oriental Research Institute which has around 50,000 rare palm leaf manuscripts from South India.
  • The walk-through aviary in Karanji Lake in Mysore is the biggest walk-through aviary in India.
  • The first ever metal-cylinder and iron cased rocket artillery was created in Mysore by Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali.
  • Wodeyars is the only Indian royal family to have ruled in India for more than 500 years.
  • Mysore Zoo is the oldest zoo of India located in the summer palace of Shri Chamaraja Wodeyar.
  • The name Mysore is an anglicised version. Its original name is Mahisuru. It is said that Mysore was ruled by the demon Mahishasura. He was killed by Maa Chamundeshwari. Chamundeshwari Temple atop the Chamundi hills is a popular tourist attraction in Mysore.
  • The state of Karnataka was earlier known as Mysore.
  • Mysore is the first state to get a university. Mysore university is the oldest and first University to have opened in Karnataka.
  • Mysore is the only place which manufactures the election ink used in Indian Election.
  • Mysore is marked as the cleanest city of India.

Also Check out: Complete South India Tourist Guide

Mysore is truly stunning and you have no reasons to miss out on this amazing place, unless you are stupid like me. It is a bliss of South India. If you are planning a trip to South India, Visiting Mysore would be worth your time. If you have already been to this place, we would like to hear your story. And if you think that I have missed out a place in this blog, please mention it in the comment box below.

If you are planning a trip to Mysore and don’t know how to go about it, give us a call at +91-9212777225 or drop us an email at info@tourmyindia.com. Tour My India offers travel packages that are reasonable and guarantees a trip that you would always remember.

Other Important Karnataka Tourism Links

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.How to Reach Mysore?

  • By Air - Bangalore is the nearest airport to Mysore and all the domestic airlines operate their flights from Bangalore which is well connected to all the other major cities.
  • By Road- It would take 3-4 hours from Bangalore to travel Mysore by Road. You can also get government owned buses from Bangalore Bus station and other states as Mysore has a very good road connectivity.
  • By Train - Bangalore is the nearest place to reach Mysore. You can get Shatabdi express which connects Mysore to Madras. You can also get numerous trains from Bangalore to reach Mysore.

Q.What are some of the top tourist attractions to visit in Mysore?

Some of the top tourist attractions in Mysore are –

  • Mysore Zoo
  • Mysore Palace
  • Karanji Lake
  • Brindavan Gardens
  • Shivanasamudra Falls
  • Chamundi Hills

Q.What are some of the best places to stay in Mysore?

Mysore has plenty of places to stay. Depending on your choice and budget, you will find comfortable accommodation facilities like 5-star, 3-star, guest house or budget hotels in Mysore. Some of the best places to stay in Mysore are –

  • Aishwarya Suites
  • Akshaya Palace Inn
  • Silent Shores Resort & Spa
  • Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel
  • Ginger Hotel
  • Sunflower Hotel

Q.Is there any hill station to visit near Mysore?

Yes, there are a plethora of hill stations to visit near Mysore. Some of them are -

  • Coorg
  • Madikeri
  • Ooty
  • Kotagiri
  • BR Hills
  • Yercaud
  • Idukki
  • Agumbe
  • Wayanad
  • Coonoor

Published: 11 Oct, 2021

About the author

Nidhi Singh

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.