Mysore (or Mysuru if you are up to date with the city) is one of the most magnificent cities in South India. This spellbinding city, with marvelous monuments and fascinating heritage and history is a treat for travelers.
From the World Heritage acclaimed palace to the heady spice markets, Mysore has so much to offer that is a truly unique experience. We’ve rounded up the best places to visit in Mysore for those who intend to visit soon.
Tourist Places in Mysore: Historical Sites and Museums
1. Mysore Palace
Nestled in the very heart of the city it is one of India’s true jewels – a true feast for the eyes and soul. Also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, it is full of delights. Right from the doll pavilion to the huge open air courtyard to the Kalyana Mantapa with a five storied tower creating a majestic dome overhead.
The property also has beautiful temples, each spanning different eras. There are battery-operated vehicles that can take you around this sprawling destination.
- Location: Sayyaji Rao Rd, Agrahara, Chamrajpura\
2. Jaganmohan Palace – Art Gallery & Museum
An alternate home to the Mysore royal family and host to the very first session of Legislative Council of Mysore State, Jaganmohan Palace converted to an art gallery and museum, and is now home to over two thousand paintings characteristic of Mysore, Mughal and Shantiniketan styles.
The works of Raja Ravi Varma, arguably India’s finest painter are also on display as are an array of artefacts and antiques from weapons to currency. The auditorium has many traditional dance and musical concerts during Dasara.
- Location: Jagan Mohan Palace Road, Chamrajpura
3. Regional Museum of Natural History
One of the more popular attractions of Mysore, the museum was established to create awareness about the environment and to encourage conservation of our natural treasures.
With diverse themes like rain forests, wetlands, marine life and with lots of models, audio visuals, dioramas and the like, the place is bursting with entertainment. Do not miss the panel display on Karnataka’s own Kaveri River and the walk through tunnel on the evolution of life on Earth.
- Location: T.N.Pura Road, Siddhartha Nagar, Mysuru, Karnataka 570011
4. Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum
In a city full of exciting places to visit, the Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum still manages to stand out for its sheer uniqueness. Who would have thought just sand, water and a little glue could turn into such an enchanting place to visit.
The eco-friendly museum is based in lush greenery and spread over 13500 sq feet. With over a hundred sculptures ranging from legendary myths, wildlife to mysore’s own heritage, religious epics and even Tom & Jerry, you will gasp in wonder and laugh in delight.
- Location: Chamundi Hill Road, KC Layout
5. Mysore Railway Museum
From the Chamundi Gallery’s railway paintings and photographs to the Sri Ranga Pavilion with its two real royal coaches, this museum is very interesting. Besides this, there are also many other carriages and coaches to explore.
The Maharani’s saloon carriage dating back to 1899, the Austin Railway Car, India’s first home built steam engine and other rare exhibits are a treat! There is even an actual section of the Old Srirangapatna railway station, wired fence and all. There is also a mini toy-train that takes visitors all around the museum grounds.
- Location: KRS Road, Opp. CFTRI, Medar Block, Yadavagiri
6. Folklore Museum
The museum has an abundance of artefacts, sculpture, paintings in traditional and tribal styles. There is a marvelous and massive collection of traditional farming, hunting and trapping equipment and tools.
If you ever wondered about the daily business of eating there is old-fashioned kitchen implements, which must at one time being state-of-the-art, and there’s even physical fitness equipment that is both funny and interesting. Do not miss the leather puppets and the costumes used in traditional theatre.
Location: Manasa Gangothiri
7. Melody World Wax Museum
Melody World Wax Museum started in 2010 in a heritage building. The museum has a large collection of Karnataka’s musical instruments in addition to pieces from all over India.
Expect to find instruments from various eras and genres, from classical to indigenous, Punjabi bhangra to jazz, Hindustani to hip-hop; all music has a home here, and all with life-size wax statues playing them.
- Location: 1, Vihara Marga, Siddhartha Layout
8. Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon
Built by Tipu Sultan to hold his British prisoners, the dungeon is named after Colonel Bailey who died in miserable captivity there in 1780. The 30 by 12 meter wide structure still has the prison hooks in the wall to which prisoners were tied.
The dungeons as you would imagine are dark, damp and frightening. The atmosphere still holds the sense of suffering and you rarely hear laughing even from the jolliest tourist. That said, it is an interesting place to visit especially for war history aficionados.
- Location: Srirangapatna
Tourist Places in Mysore: Outdoor Fun
9. Krishna Raja Sagar Dam
Close to confluence of the Kaveri, Hemavathi and Lakshmana Tirtha Rivers stands the mighty KRS Dam, built in 1932 the sheer magnitude of the structure is mind-blowing.
It stands at 130 feet and has over a hundred sluice gates. Historically India’s first irrigation dam and one of the main water sources for Mandya and Mysore. Magical illuminated gardens, musical fountains and more make the dam a popular location not just for tourists but also Bollywood movies.
- Location: KRS Dam Road
10. Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens
Spread over a generous hundred and fifty seven acres of land and well maintained, it is one of India’s most popular and oldest zoos, being opened to the public over a hundred years ago.
The zoo is home to a wide variety of species and has an artificial island created specially as a bird sanctuary. While there is a toy train and electric buggies to take you around, the zoo is easy to navigate and a lovely place to walk through with sandalwood trees scenting the air as you look at the elephants, giraffes, tigers and company.
- Location: Zoo Main Road, Indira Nagar
11. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
On the banks of the Kaveri River, just outside Mysore is the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Made up of six small islands, the place was declared sanctuary in the year 1940.
Walking through, there are plenty of signs with information on the birds that can be spotted: Ibis, Spoon Bills, Painted Stork, Plovers, etc. There is always a chance to run into animals too. The area is home to mongoose, flying fox, palm civets, otters, bonnet macaque and even crocodile.
- Location: Ranganathittu Road, District Mandya, Srirangapatna
12. Brindavan Gardens
Spread out over sixty acres, the gardens terraces are three tier and ends in a lucky horseshoe. Built with the Shalimar Gardens of Kashmir Mughal grandeur as its inspiration, there are fountains, terraces, parterres, laws and glorious flower beds, ornamental trees and lush green lawns.
If that isn’t enough, there are boat rides on the river and light shows at night that transform the majestic gardens into magical.
- Location: KRS Dam Road
Tourist Places in Mysore: Religious Sites
13. St. Philomena’s Church
Built in 1840, historically designed by French artist Daly and drawing heavily on Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, St. Philomena’s Church is one of India’s largest built to hold close to eight hundred people.
The buildings are built to form a cross. Points of interest are the twin spires that soar to a height of a hundred and seventy five feet, the carved altar and the beautiful statue of St. Philomena brought all the way from France.
- Location: Lourdes Nagar, Ashoka Road, Lashkar Mohalla
14. Chamundeshwari Temple
The temple is built in the intricate and beautiful style of Dravidian architecture. The seven-tier ‘Gopura’ or pyramid tower rises up to the sky, while below are silver-plated doorways, sanctums, seven golden ‘kalashas’ and so much more to see.
For devotees and tourists alike the Nandi is a huge pulling point, huge because at sixteen feet tall and carved out of black granite, this beloved Nandi of Mysore is the third largest in the whole of India.
- Location: Chamundi Hill Steps, Chamundi Hill
Tourist Places in Mysore: Food and Shopping
15. Hotel Vinayaka Mylari
While there are plenty of lovely restaurants in Mysore you must not miss out on the local cuisine. This blink and miss place is not much to look at but taste the food and you will know why it is so special. Go here for their incredible dosas and be prepared to wait for your table as it gets crowded often.
- Location: Nazarbad Main Road, Doora
16. Gayatri Tiffin Room
Gayatri Tiffin Room is another place you must go to for authentic local food. Serving authentic Mysore fare, try the butter masala dosa, filter coffee and vada.
- Location: Chamundipuram Main Road, Narayan Shasthri Rd, Chamundipuram, Ramachandra Agrahara
17. Shree Mahalaxmi Sweets
You cannot leave Mysore without sampling on its most famous sweet the Mysore Pak. Melt in the mouth or hard, buttery and crunchy you can find this and many more delicious and unique sweets in many sweet shops but the locals swear by Shree Mahalaxmi Sweets with five different types of Mysore Pak plus many other delicious sweets.
- Location: Dodda Gadiyara, Opp Tower Complex, Ashoka Rd
18. Cauvery Govt Emporium
Mysore is also famous for its fragrant sandalwood. Besides soaps and oils, visit Cauvery Emporium for authentic sandalwood and artefacts. This is the only Karnataka government approved outlet and is full of sweet smelling souvenirs.
- Location: Sayyaji Rao Road, Mandi Mohalla
19. Devaraja Market
Another not to be missed true local flavor is the Devaraja Market where you will find spices and spice mixes, flowers, vegetables and a rumored forty different types of banana to taste, it is a truly authentic experience and with lots to sample and buy to take back home.
- Location: Sayyaji Rao Rd, Devaraja Mohalla, Shivarampet
On your next visit to Mysore, don’t forget to check out these fabulous places to fully experience the place.