One of the most beautiful, magnificent and largest palaces in India, is also known as Amba Vilas and is located centrally in the city of Mysuru . It is most popular and one of the highly visited tourist spot. Looks grandeur during the day with its imposing structure, architectural marvel and beautiful crafted carvings as well radiated in the evening when illuminated by over lakh bulbs. It is a historical place and the official residence and seat of the Wodeyas – the maharaja of Mysuru.
Located just 19kms from Mysuru city, it is one of the most beautiful show gardens of our country. It is situated adjacent to famous KRS Dam, built across river Cauvery. Botanical Gardens, Boat Rides beneath the Dam and the spectacular Musical Fountains with colour, music and dancing water sprouts is a must Illuminated Brindavan Gardens is a sight to behold.
Located in the outskirts of the city and considered one of the sacred hills, this place is famous for Chamundeshwari Temple, built in the 11th century. It can also be reached through stone stairway of 1008 steps and on halfway mark will encounter the huge statue of bull – Nandi. Another key feature of Chamundi hills is the statue of Mahishasura. The view from atop the hills of the city of Mysuru is breathtaking.
Located centrally and near the Mysuru Palace, this 245 sprawling acres zoo is one of the oldest and most popular zoos of India. The Mysuru Zoo has wide variety of animals, birds and reptiles (over 1500) and is credited for captive breeding for many animals under conservation project of animals imported from different continents. The Zoo is also known for rare species of plants and trees and most animals are kept under natural habitat
This Art Gallery (earlier 3 storied Jaganmohan Palace) is considered one of the best in India because of its remarkable collection of paintings and artifacts that once belonged to Wodeyars. The Rembrandt paintings can be found here. On display at the gallery are traditional gold leaf paintings of the Mysuru, Bengal and many European Schools. The works of famous artists across globe are displayed here and one can also see excellent collection of musical instruments.
Located inside the city, on the foot hills of Chamundi hills and adjacent to Mysuru Zoo, Karanji Lake is the biggest WALK THROUGH aviary in India alongside the Butterfly park as it is popularly known. It is also a destination for all avid bird watchers as it attracts hosts of migratory birds. It also has medicinal plant and boating facilities. The Regional Museum of Natural History is located on the banks of this river.
This church is one of the largest cathedrals of South Asia and is famous for its New Gothic’s style of architecture. Standing tall at 175 feet with twin towers resemble that of Cathedral in Cologne in Germany and St.Patrick’s in New York, this church is one of the distinctive landmarks of Mysuru. The church has a relic of the 3rd century St.Philomena, in a beautiful catacomb below the main altar.
Located 35kms from Mysuru, Somnathpur is well known for its breathtaking, 700 years old Hoysala Temple, built in a peculiar architectural style which is considered as the best preserved specimen of the Hoysala period temples. The historic Chennakesava Temple located on the banks of river kaveri is very popular attraction here. A must visit place for culture-heritage-art enthusiasts for its amazing carvings.
Situated 55kms from Mysuru is the important pilgrim centre – Melkote. The temples are built on the granite rocky hill comprising some of the oldest rock formations on earth overlooking the Cauvery valley. The famous and important temples are Cheluva Narayanaswamy & Yoga Narasimhaswamy Temple. The popular vairamudi festival is conducted annually. Melkote is also the location of Melkote Temple wildlife sanctuary.
A very popular and holy place located nearby at a distance of 25kms from Mysuru is Nanjangud and is on the banks of river Kapila, which is famous for its Nanjundeshwara or Srikanteshwara Temple. This ancient temple is built in Dravidian style being only one of its kind in Karnataka. Nanjangud is also known as "Dakshina Kashi" or the "Varanasi of the South". A very popular variety of banana locally known as Nanjangud Rasabaley has also made Nanjangud famous all over the region.
An important and worth visiting while at Mysuru, located 84kms away is Shravanabelagola is famous for the monolith statue of Lord Bahubali or Gommateshwara. The naked statue of Gommateshwara (58 feet high and 26 feet wide and has 10 feet long feet) is a picture of serenity and composure. Lakhs of devotes gather here once in 12 years to perform Mahamastakabhisheka or sacred anointment. World famous Belur and Halebid temples are located nearby with a travel time of 1 hour.
9th century built Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple enshrines Lord Vishnu as Ranganatha. This temple is visited on daily basis from all quarters and through the year. Another famous temple located is Nimishanba Devi. Nearby is the famous picnic spot called Sangam – a conflux of river Cauvery and river Lokapavani. Other historical place of interest is Gumbaz – a mausoleum of Tipu Sultan, his father Hyder Ali and mother Fathima Begum; Fort, Colonel George Bailey’s Dungeon, Dariya Daulat Palace and Masjid-e-Ala or the Jama Masjid built by Tipu Sultan.
A historic and a desert like town, Talakad is 45kms from Mysuru on the left bank of river Kaveri which once had over 30 temples that are buried in Sand. It is now a scenic and spiritual pilgrimage centre and known for its sand dunes – which is excavated once in 12 years for the special worship – The Panchalinga Darshana. The Pataleshwara Shivalinga is said to change colours according to the time of the day – red in the morning, black in the afternoon and white in the evening.
Situated about 18kms from Mysuru and located near Srirangapatna is the very popular Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, the largest bird sanctuary of Karnataka state which is also referred as “Pakshi Kashi of Karnataka”. The migratory birds flock this small islands in the river Cauvery throughout the year from across the globe where you will see the most exotic and great variety of birds. It is a sight to behold during the nestling season while marsh crocodiles make up the reptile population.
With just 90kms from Mysuru on the Mysuru-Manathavady road is the famous wildlife destination of South India. On the banks of its prime attraction, the Kabini river one can easily spot wild animals like tiger and elephants. This forest reserve is located souther-eastern part of Nagarahole Nagarahole National Park covering forestland, water bodies, mountains and steep valleys. The vicinity which also encompasses other wildlife parts and sanctuaries has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located 67kms away from Mysuru in Mandya district, Bheemeswari is known for eco-tourism and the place for the famous Mahseer Fish. Located amidst beautiful waterfalls and wildlife sanctuary, Bheemeswari is rich in flora and fauna and a visual paradise for wildlife and nature lovers. The important activities are fishing, boating, trekking, river rafting, bird watching and coracle ride.
Located in Coorg District and 97kms away from Mysuru, Dubare Elephant Camps attracts both wildlife enthusiasts and tourists. Dubare as the name suggests is known for its Elephant camp on the banks of river Cauvery. One can be with nature over here just by watching elephants. The deciduous forests of Dubare are home to many wildlife animals and birds. The main activities in the camp include elephant rides, trekking, fishing and river rafting.
A must visit while in Mysuru is the Bandipur National Park, situated 80kms away is a peaceful retreat in nature’s lap. The lush green forest offers Safari’s deep inside the forest in well protected buses and one can also take elephant safari’s where elephants are well trained. The Bandipur National Park is also known as the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The highest point of the sanctuary is the holy Himad Gopalswamy Beta which has a temple of Lord Venugopalswamy.
Another interesting getaway from Mysuru for nature enthusiasts is the famous Biligiri Rangana Hills also known as BR Hills and is located 120kms form Mysuru between the Cauvery and Kapila rivers. The name is derived from the Rangaswamy Temple located on top of a white cliff. It is also a pilgrimage site. It is a natural habitat place for wildlife and has over 250 species of Birds.
Shivasamudra is an island town that divides river Cauvery into two falls – gaganachukki and bharachukki falls and is located just 60kms from Mysuru. It is rated as the 2nd biggest waterfall and world’s top 45 out of the top 100 beautiful waterfalls of the world and it does offer a spectacular view. It also houses asia’s first Hydroelectric Power Station.
Situated in the bordering Tamilnadu state, Ooty is a famous hill station of south India nearest to Mysuru. It is also popularly known as Nilgiris, Queen of Hills and Udhagamandalam being its actual name. Situated at a height of 2240m, coffee and tea plantations are found aplenty. Ooty presents a truly breath taking kaleidoscope of visual treats and soul stirring experience. Ooty is not a honeymoon destination for newly married couples, but a beautiful and scenic place with great weather for the entire family.
A travel time of around 2:30 hours and 118kms away from Mysuru is the famous and beautiful hill station – Madikeri also known as Kodagu or more popularly Coorg. Being called as the Scotland of India by British and Kashmir of South India, Coorg has become tourist hotspot due to its natural beauty, the people, the culture and the food. The important tourist places in Madikeri Raja’s Seat, Madikeri Fort, Omkareshwara Temple, Abbey Falls, Talacauvery, Bhagamandala and Nisargadhama among others.