Mysore, the city of palaces, is one of the most enchanting tourist destinations of the country. The princely state has several attractions to entice tourists to a world of ornate palaces, historical monuments, mesmerizing gardens, fascinating museums, magnificent forts, exquisite temples, brilliant churches, glorious mosques and other man-made wonders. The quaint city is also famed for the scenic beauty and the handicrafts industry.
Tourists visiting Mysore can explore a number of attractions that will introduce them to a world of classic beauty and cultural extravaganza. Some of the most popular tourist attractions of the majestic city are as follows:
Mysore Palace is one of the largest and most magnificent palaces in the country. The grand palace is located in the heart of the Mysore city. The palace is also known as Amba Vilas. It was the official residence of the erstwhile rulers of Mysore, the Wodeyar Kings.
The palace was built over a period of 15 years from 1897 to 1912 after the old palace was damaged in a massive fire in 1897.
The palace is a wonderful example of fine architecture designed by the famous British architect Henry Irwin. It has twelve beautiful temples inside the palace complex. The famed palace offers one of the most brilliant sights when it is illuminated with thousands of lights against the background of the dark night sky.
Mysore palace offers visitors a peek into the grandeur and opulence of a bygone era and is a must-visit attraction of Mysore city. [Read more]
Brindavan Gardens is one of the most beautiful and most famous show gardens of the country. The sprawling garden is located at a distance of just 19 km from the heart of the Mysore city. The Brindavan Gardens is situated adjacent to the Krishnaraja Sagara Dam, also known as KRS Dam, built across River Cauvery.
The gardens are famous for the wonderful botanical park and the boat rides beneath the dam. But the most amazing feature of the Brindavan Gardens is the musical fountains that offer a spectacular sight of colors, music and dancing water sprouts that come alive against the dark sky after sunset.
The illuminated Brindavan Gardens is a sight to behold and is one of the most famous tourist destinations of the country. [Read more]
Chamundi Hills is considered to be one of the most sacred hills of south India. It is located on the outskirts of Mysore city. The place is famous for the ancient Chamundeshwari located atop the hill. The 11th century temple is dedicated to Goddess Chamundi, an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi and the reigning deity of Mysore city and the former kings of Mysore.
The hills are also famous for the Mahabaleshwara temple and a magnificent statue of Mahishasura situated on top of the hills.
The Chamundi hills are located at a height of more than 1000 meters from the sea shore. A long stone stairway comprising of 1008 steps lead to the top of the hill. The view of the city from the top is breath-taking. The hills are a famous pilgrimage site due to the temples and are one of the most popular tourist destinations of Mysore. [Read more]
St. Philomena’s Church Mysore
St. Philomena’s Church is one of the largest cathedrals of South Asia. The church is located in the northern part of Mysore, on the Cathedral Road. The foundation for the church was laid on 28th October, 1933 by the then king of Mysore, Sri Krishnarajendra Wadeyar Bahadur IV. The church is named after Saint Philomena, a Latin Catholic Saint and martyr of the Roman Catholic Church.
The main attraction of the church is the Neo Gothic style of architecture. The ornately crafted building with beautiful stained glass windows and lofty towers is a sight to behold. The illuminated church in the evening sky presents an enchanting sight. This 175 feet tall church is one of the most distinctive landmarks of Mysore.
The church is a standing example of the secular outlook of the erstwhile Mysore rulers. Today the church is as much a place of religious significance as a famous tourist destination. [Read more]
Mysore Zoo is one of the oldest zoos of the country. The official name of the Mysore Zoo is Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens. The zoo was established in 1892 on 10 acres of land by the then king of Mysore, Sri Chamarajendra Wadiyar Bahadur and was known as the Palace Zoo. It was renamed as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens in 1909 to commemorate the famous founder.
The zoo was opened to public in the year 1902. Today the zoo is spread across a sprawling campus of 245 acres of land. It houses a wide variety of wild animals, birds and reptiles that are housed in spacious enclosures. The zoo is also known for rare species of plants and trees.
The large campus of Mysore Zoo also includes a bandstand, a museum, an aquatic birds’ enclosure, a tiger house, a chimpanzee enclosure and an artificial lake. This popular tourist attraction is located in the heart of the city and near the Mysore Palace. [Read more]
Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery
Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery is one of the most famous art galleries of South India. It is housed in the Jaganmohan Palace, one of the most majestic structures of Mysore. The art gallery was established in the year 1915 and was renamed as Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery in 1955. The art gallery is famous for a rare collection of artifacts and paintings that belonged to the royal family of Mysore.
There are several famous and invaluable paintings created by some of the most famous painters belonging to India and outside like Raja Ravi Verma, Rabindranath Tagore, S.L. Haldenkar, Ishwardas, P.P. Ruben, Aless Caddy, Nikolai Roerich, Titan and Gunoy.
The gallery also has an amazing collection of sculptures, antique coins, musical instruments, brassware, furniture, ivory and sandalwood carvings and Mysore gold leaf paintings. [Read more]
Rail Museum in Mysore
The Railway Museum was established in 1979 by Indian Railways. It is located on the Krishnaraja Sagar Road in Mysore. It is the second such museum after the National Railway Museum in Delhi. The Mysore Railway Museum is famous for being the only museum in the country that houses an outdoor exhibit of vintage locomotives.
Apart from the several ancient locomotives the museum also houses royal carriages belonging to the former Mysore rulers, the Wodeyar Kings.
There is a huge collection of rare photographs, paintings, signaling signs and objects that depict the growth of the Indian Railways. Among the famous exhibits are two royal coaches that were used by the Kings of Mysore and the first steam engine built in India.
The rail museum also has a battery-operated mini train that offers a short ride for children on the grounds of the museum. [Read more]
St. Bartholomew’s Church
St. Bartholomew’s Church was built in 1830 A.D. during the early colonial era and is the oldest church of Mysore. It was built during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, the then King of Mysore on a piece of land gifted by the king for the holy purpose.
The famous church was built in memory of Saint Bartholomew who is believed to be one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus. The single-storey historic church is well-known for its beautiful architecture and stained glass windows. The church-bell in service is a famous bell cast in France and was at service at a church near Srirangapatnam before being gifted to this church.
The church is famous for imparting education and runs a Sunday school. The church is also involved in maintaining the community cemeteries in and around Mysore. The church is frequented by devotees and tourists throughout the year. [Read more]
Karanji Lake Nature Park
Karanji Lake Nature Park, located in the heart of the Mysore city, is one of the most enthralling attractions of the historical city. The lake is set against the backdrop of Chamundi Hills and is surrounded by lush greenery. The nature park consists of the biggest walk-through aviary in India.
A butterfly park built on a small island within the Karanji Lake is a major attraction of the site. The park has more than 50 lovely species of butterflies.
The Karanji Lake Nature Park is spread across an area of 90 acres. The scenic beauty of the lake is enhanced by the various species of migratory birds that can be frequently sighted inside the park.
A major site for bird watchers, the nature park is an ideal place to watch beautiful species of birds like painted stork, grey pelican, ibis, egret, peacock, great Indian hornbill, wild fowls, cormorant and several other lovely species. [Read more]
Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai Garden
Kishkindha Moolika Bonsai Garden is one of the largest and most amazing gardens of India. The garden is located inside the serene surroundings of the Ganapathi Sachidananda Ashram in Dattanagar of Mysore. The specialty of the garden is that it contains an exquisite collection of more than 300 bonsai trees collected from all over the world.
The trees are nurtured by Pujya Sri Swamiji of Avadhoota Datta Peetham, Mysore. The huge collection of beautifully shaped and miniature trees is artistically displayed inside the huge garden. The garden is the result of careful nurturing of the bonsai trees over the last three decades. The lovely garden is a well-known destination for tourists and nature lovers. [Read more]