Sightseeing in Mysore
The palace, also known as the Maharajah's Palace, is the most popular reason people visit Mysore. Located right in the middle of the town, on Mirza road, it is one of the largest structures in India. The original palace burnt down in 1897 but was immediately rebuilt and the structure that stands today was finished by 1912.
It is three storeys high and at the highest point it reaches 146 feet. It spreads over an area of 35000 sq feet. Every year the palace hosts to the famous festival of Dussehra. During these ten days of celebration the palace is lit up with bulbs and some of the countries best artists put on all sort of shows on the palace grounds.
The palace is usually open from 9 – 6.30 and is not too expensive to look around. There is also a museum there which is included in the ticket price.
The famous Zoo in Mysore goes by the official name of Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens and is another of the city's top attractions. It is believed that it is one of the oldest zoos in the world, established in 1892. It is also situated fairly close to the centre of the city but amazingly covers an area of over 100 acres.
The Zoo has a great selection of well looked after animals including some very rare species. It is set amidst a spectacular garden with all the animal enclosure clean and naturalistic. Lions, Deer, White Tigers, Hippos, Parakeet and the Himalayan Brown bear are some of the animals in occupancy here as well as other animals form over 40 countries around the world. TIP: Get there in the morning to watch the lions being fed. Costs about 30 Rupees to get it and opens from 8.30 – 5.30, Wednesday to Monday.
About 3 kms outside of the city is Chamundi hill which can be seen from almost 12 kms away. Standing at about 1065 metres above sea level the hill is a popular tourist spot for the great views and the 11th century temple at the top. There are exactly 1000 steps to the top and they are steep so don't expect it to be easy but the views are worth it. On the 800th step of the hill is a massive statue of Nandi (the bull mount of Shiva, Hindu God) standing 15 feet high and 24 feet long. Also worth a look. You can get a taxi or rickshaw there for not very much.
Brindavan Gardens are definitely worth a peak. They spread elegantly over 150 acres and are filled with wonderful statues and brightly lit, musical fountains. The best time to come is before the sunset where you can see the garden before you witness the beauty of the sun setting behind the mountains. The entire gardens were recently renovated and now adorned with wide lawns fringed with perfect rows of flowers intermitted with the occasional statue or fountain.
The gardens, used as a scene for many films, are incredibly well laid out and they form to build a very picturesque garden with a charming atmosphere. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the gardens from Mysore but the bumpy journey is worth it and you will not be disappointed. Take a rickshaw or taxi. To reach the park you have to walk about 1.5 km from the main gate of the park.
The opening times of the gardens are as follows: Monday to friday, 7am – 8pm.
The illuminating times for Monday to Friday are between 6.30 – 7.25 and at the weekends it's from 6.30 – 8.30 pm.
More sightseeing in Mysore
If you have enough time, here are some more sightseeing in Mysore. They are all pretty local to the city but it's worth asking in a local tourist office for information on opening times etc. Enjoy!
- Jayalakshmi Vilas
- Vasantha Mahal
- Rajendra Vilas
- St. Philomena's Church
- Rajendra Vilas Mysore
- Vasantha Mahal Mysore
- St Philomenas Church Mysore