Mysore has been associated with royalty and with that association comes the expectations of grandeur and palace and well, Mysore does have it all! After all, the top Mysore sightseeing activities do include visits to the many palaces here. Apart from palaces, there are several other delightful things to do in Mysore. A trip here means that you will enjoy some wonderful and unique sights and sounds, get to taste delicious masala dosas, sip on the best filter coffee you’ve ever had and of course, nibble on absolutely amazing Mysore pak.
There are temples, lakes, a zoo, an aviary and a host of other things to do in Mysore. Not only will you enjoy all this, if you have children with you, do make time to visit the GRS Fantasy theme park, which they will certainly enjoy or even the railway museum which is a delight for everyone and not just kids. Here are some of the top things to do in Mysore.
A popular Mysore sightseeing spot is the lush and green Brindavan Gardens that has held people in thrall for decades. Modelled after the Shalimar Gardens in Srinagar, the meticulously designed and manicured gardens are a sight for sore eyes. People love to come here especially in the evenings as there is a wonderful musical fountain show that takes place. Whether you’re here with family or a loved one, this is indeed one of the best places to visit in Mysore.
Doesn’t everybody dream of staying in a palace at least once in their lifetime? Well, this dream can come true as there are at least three such palaces that have been converted into hotels here in Mysore. Whether it’s the Royal Orchid Brindavan Garden Palace, Fortune JP Palace or Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel, you can be assured that this will be a unique and luxurious experience that you should certainly enjoy.
This is certainly one of the amazing things to do in Mysore especially if you love history, architecture and temples. The 13th century temple is dedicated to an incarnation of Lord Krishna who is Lord Keshava. The Somnathpur temple was believed to have been built in 1268 and is the only remaining one standing from the original collection. It’s considered to be one of the best-preserved structures in Mysore.
One of the best things to do in Mysore, especially if you have children along with you, is to visit the Mysore Zoo. Also known as the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, this is an extensive zoo where you can come across several local and exotic animals. This is a wonderful way to learn about wildlife up and close.
The Mysore Palace is one of the most famous Mysore sightseeing places and often is at the top of the bucket list of anyone who visits the city. The gorgeous palace showcases royal splendour and the durbars inside are breath-takingly beautiful. There are stained-glass windows, intricately carved wooden doors, mosaic floors etc which add to the glory of a by-gone era. People come here to see the beautiful palace and if they are patient and wait until evening, they can see it being illuminated beautifully.
Learning yoga is an excellent thing to do in Mysore. The Badri Yoga school is excellent, and the classes are small and concentrated, allowing instructors to focus on each student. The idea is to improve yoga on your own and to practice it enough that you don’t need an instructor. Yoga is actually quite popular in Mysore, so it’s a great place to learn.
One of the surprisingly least known Mysore sightseeing places is the R.K Narayan Museum. Built in his former home, this is a tribute to the excellent writer where you can see photos of him with his family. There’s a certain sense of nostalgia here. The house has been maintained well and it’s quiet and contemplative, and a feeling that reminds us of who lived here. The entry is free, but you have to remove your footwear outside. This is one of those places that will surprise you with its nostalgia and quiet intensity.
The absolute grandeur and size of the St. Philomena’s Church has to be seen to be believed. This is a really tall and imposing building, standing at 175 metres above the ground. The spires of this grand cathedral can be seen from any part of Mysore. Designed like Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, St. Philomena’s Church was constructed in 1956. It has an air of elegance and quiet beauty and the interiors are hushed and beautiful. Do observe the stained-glass windows too, which depict important Biblical events.
At the foot of the Chamundi Hill, one can see the statue of Nandi the Bull. The statue is said to be more than 350 years old and has been carved from a single black granite boulder. Since Nandi is said to be the vehicle of Lord Shiva according to Hindu mythology, there’s a small shrine here, dedicated to Lord Shiva as well. Do visit this for its historic and religious value.