Places to Visit in Mysore

Mysore, the city that is known as the cultural capital of the state of Karnataka has no shortage of places to visit. From palaces to temples to forts and gardens and of course, the famous zoo, there are several Mysore tourist places that have garnered the attention of visitors over the years, and for good reason too. Some of these places have historic value and others have entertainment and cultural value. No matter what the reason, there are several places to visit in Mysore that will enlighten you about history and what this charming city holds.

Mysore may not be as busy and bustling as its neighbour Bengaluru, but this is a good thing. Mysore today is what Bengaluru was like, two decades ago. And yet, this too seems to be changing with the entry of several IT giants in the city. Nevertheless, the city still retains a certain old-school charm and here are some of the recommended places to visit in Mysore.

If you have plans to visit Mysore for your vacation, then it will do you good to visit the SOTC website for offers and deals on some excellent Mysore tour packages and other Karnataka tour packages.

Chandramouleshwara Temple 

Very little is known about this temple’s history located on a busy intersection right in the heart of the city. Barely 2km away from the railway station, it receives a lot of visitors daily. It sports the typical South Indian temple style of architecture. Even though it is a small temple, it is one of the most popular places to visit in Mysore.

Avadhoota Datta Peetham 

Avadhoota Datta Peetham defines itself as an ‘International Spiritual, Cultural and Social Welfare’ organisation. Established in 1966, it sits at the foot of Chamundi Hills. It is a respected centre for learning yoga, the Vedas and Sanskrit language. The Universal Prayer Hall is an impressive structure. It is one of the most serene Mysore places to visit and should definitely be a part of your Mysore travel package.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary 

The Ranganahittu Bird Sanctuary is located around 19 km from Mysore and is one of the most-visited bird sanctuaries in India. Spread out along the banks of Cauvery River, it is a treat for bird-lovers and budding ornithologists. In addition to the local wildlife, you will also find a variety of migratory birds during the right season. Not very far from Mysore city, it is also a popular picnic spot among the locals and one of the most beautiful Mysore tourist places.

Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery and Museum 

The Jaganmohan Palace is one of the grandest Mysore places to visit. This thriving tourist spot was once the home of Mysore’s royal family from 1897 until 1912. A tour of this grand palace is included with most Mysore tour packages. The Jaychamrajendra Art Gallery housed within showcases 16 original paintings by Raja Ravi Verma along with those from local artists. The art gallery is among the most beautiful places to visit in Mysore.

Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai Garden 

The Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai garden is a tribute to the Japanese art of Bonsai and a popular tourist spot. It is a part of Avadhoota Datta Peetham and displays an amazing range of miniature trees that even bear fruit. It is certainly among the most fascinating places to visit in Mysore. The garden even has themed collections of Bonsai trees which are intertwined with Indian culture. They have interesting names like Raga Vana, Rashi Vana, Nakshatra Vana, Saptarshi Vana and Panchayatana Vana.

Triveni Sangama 

The Triveni Sangama is one of the holiest Mysore places to visit. It is the place where the three rivers; Spatika Sarovara, Kapila and Cauvery meet. It is also one of the most popular Mysore tourist places where locals head for swimming, especially during the hot summer months. During the Kumbh Mela, the sangam is decked up with lights and flower decorations that add colour to the proceedings. Include this in your Mysore trip package if only to see three rivers meeting at one place.

Sri Chamundeshwari Devi Temple 

Sitting at the height of 1,000 feet on Chamundi Hills, the Chamundeshwari Temple is one of the most bustling places to visit in Mysore. The seven-tiered Gopuram at the entrance is an impressive feat of architecture. While there’s a motorable road, the best way to experience the temple is to climb the 1,000 or so steps through the beautiful hilly terrain. Not many Mysore packages have this in their itinerary, so make sure you take the time to visit.

St. Philomena's Cathedral 

Constructed in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture, St Philomena’s Cathedral is also recognised as the second-tallest church in Asia. The soaring spires have become a landmark in Mysore city that is visible even from far away. Built recently in 1933, it honours St. Philomena, a catholic saint. Her remains have found a resting place here and they draw devotees from far and wide. It is one of the most solemn Mysore places to visit.

Ranganathaswamy Temple 

If you’re looking for one of those Mysore tourist places that’s a revered place of worship, head to Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is worshipped here as Lord Ranganatha. Originally built in 849 A.D., it has undergone several renovations since. The beauty of the temple’s architecture is evident at the entrance with a quartet of majestic pillars lovingly hand-carved with 24 forms of Lord Vishnu. This should be a part of your Mysore trip package.

Sri Nandi Temple 

This is one of the most recognisable places to visit in Mysore. The Sri Nandi Temple is also known as ‘Nandidurg’ or ‘Nandi Betta’. The magnificent 350-year-old Nandi statue is known to be the third largest in India. The 16-foot-tall statue is carved out from a single block of granite! It is a testament to the art of the artisans who have accomplished this intricate artwork. For its sheer majesty, Sri Nandi Temple is one of the most magnificent Mysore tourist places.

Folklore Museum 

With a collection of over 6,500 artefacts, the Folklore Museum is one of the most captivating places to visit in Mysore. It is well-laid-out and is divided into separate wings according to the exhibits. While there is no guide here, the exhibits are all labelled. From dolls and folklores to art and literature, this museum has it all. Along with Kathakali costumes and masks and puppets, you can also see the rare Hanuman Crown from the Kugala Balli village.

Balmuri Falls 

More a cascade than a waterfall, Balmuri Falls is among the most-visited Mysore tourist places. A part of many Mysore tour packages, it has been featured in many of the regional films. Apart from the soothing flow of the water, the scenery around the falls have made this a favourite picnic spot among the locals. You can even take a dip in the waters to cool off. Include this in your Mysore trip package for a wonderful time.

Daria Daulat Bagh 

Built in 1784, Daria Daulat Bagh was once the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, the 'Tiger of Mysore’. Built almost entirely of teakwood, it follows the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. It is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Mysore. An array of colourful frescoes adorn its walls, canopies, pillars and ceilings. This is one of those Mysore tourist places that is always included in Mysore tour packages.

Jayalakshmi Vilas 

Originally a palace built by Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar for his daughter Jayalakshmi Devi, it is now a sprawling museum. The 125-room erstwhile palace also featured a dancing hall and a beautiful Kalyana Mantapam. A mere 5 km away from the Railway Station, it is one of the most visited Mysore tourist places. Do not miss this one.


The final resting place of Tipu Sultan and his parents is a well-maintained structure flanked by an immaculately manicured garden. Sharing an uncanny similarity with the Golconda Tombs, this mausoleum stands 20 metres tall. The doors are decorated with inlaid ivory and the stone windows are beautifully carved. The minarets, doors and walls wear intricate carvings signifying the importance of its occupants.

Tipu Sultan Fort 

Also known as Srirangapatna Fort, this is the location of Tipu Sultan’s last stand. This is one of the most-visited Mysore tourist places. The double-walled fortification features four main gates and two dungeons. There’s even a ‘Rocket Court’ from where Tipu Sultan’s soldiers launched missiles at the British. Tipu’s original residence in the fort was destroyed by the British. As it stands today, the Tipu Sultan Fort is one of the most popular places to visit in Mysore.

Opulence reigns supreme here and you only need to set foot inside the gorgeous durbar and look up at the ornate ceilings in wonder. Once the residence of the Wadiyar dynasty, today the palace is a testament to history and culture. Beautiful and ornate doorways, corridors and pavilions make this one of the best places to visit in Mysore. Mysore Palace at night is even more spectacular when it is lit up and it’s surely something that you should aim to see during your visit here. During Dasara celebrations especially, the palace is bedecked and decorated grandly. As many as 98000 light bulbs are used to illuminate the palace at night.

One of the most popular Mysore tourist places is Brindavan Gardens, a famous spot for visitors and the crowds here are testimony to how attractive the gardens are, even decades after they were built. Modelled after Kashmir’s Shalimar Gardens, these gardens here in Mysore have featured in several movies as backdrop to a song and dance number. It’s a romantic setting for strolling in the evening but at night time especially, there is a musical fountain show which is mesmerising and totally worth waiting for.

If you are looking for historic places to go in Mysore, you will find plenty of them such as the 11th century temple atop Chamundi Hills. Reaching the temple is not easy as one has to climb 1000 steps to reach it. The beauty of the surroundings is quite mesmerising and worth the trip. The Chamundi Hills are located 13kms away from Mysore. The temple’s architecture is quite unique and has a 7-tiered gopuram with 7 golden kalash displayed on top. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga.

One of the famous Mysore tourist places is the Karanji lake which is said to be the largest lake in Karnataka. At the base of Chamundi Hills, this lake is simply beautiful and is an thriving bird-watching spot. It also has the largest walk-through aviary in India with more than 70 species of birds. Since many migratory birds visit here, it’s a great place to see unusual birds and admire the natural surroundings.

For enthusiasts who love trains and railways, this is one of the perfect places to visit in Mysore, to spend an afternoon looking at the locomotives and steam engines that are on display. There’s a mini train that takes you through the museum premises, allowing you to see all the different engines and locomotives. There’s also a section that displays how the royal dynasties of Mysore used to travel in the old days. You can see dining rooms, kitchens and even a royal toilet! This is a great place to take kids for an afternoon of enjoyment.

If you are visiting Brindavan Gardens, then you can surely take some time to visit the KRS Dam. The Krishnarajasagar Dam is built over the River Kaveri and is one of the most famous dams of South India. If you are in the vicinity, do check out the dam too.

Also known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, this is one of the most popular places to visit in Mysore. Spread over an area of 78 acres, there are several local as well as exotic animals in this zoo and it’s a great place to visit, especially with children. Be prepared to walk quite a distance though as it’s a huge zoo.

Not too far from Mysore is Srirangapatna, a town that is close to the Kaveri river and is considered to be a heritage site. The 9th century temple that is built here is in the Hoysala and Vijaynagara style. Srirangapatna is most famous for the toy factories however, where you can buy several wooden toys for kids. Not too far from here is Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, a place that boasts of more than 170 species of birds and is a famous bird watching hub.

Waterfalls are always exciting and so is this one. The road of the water as it cascades down from 90m is always enjoyable to watch. It’s a very famous spot among locals and visitors and most people make it a point to come here whenever they visit Mysore.

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