Mysore : The Cultural Capital of Karnataka

Mysore, a popular city is often termed as the “Cultural Capital”, “Heritage city of Karnataka”. Today Mysore is the most visited weekend destination throughout the year. As a part of history, Mysore was the capital city of Kingdom ruled by Wodeyar dynasty. The Wodeyars contributed significantly to the cultural growth of the city.

Highlights :

  • Distance from Bengaluru: 152 km
  • Time of travel: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Places to explore: Mysore Palace, Karanji lake, Mysore Zoo, St Philomena’s church, Backwaters of Kaveri, Chamundi hills.
  • Mode of transport: Train and car (within the city).
  • Type: Weekend, Sight-seeing
  • Ideal for: Friends and Family
  • Companions: Me, Teju, Abhi and Ajay
  • Budget: Min Rs.500 to Max Rs.1500

Mode of Transport

My friend Teju and I started off on an early morning and boarded Chamundi express at 7 am on a Saturday to explore Mysore. One can either travel by own vehicle, train or bus. The total journey between Bengaluru & Mysore takes around 2 hours 45 minutes.

  • Own vehicle: Start driving along the Mysore road, Ramanagara, Channapatna, Mandya, Srirangapattana and finally arriving at Mysore.
  • Train: You can reach Mysore Junction from Bengaluru City Junction by travelling on a train (just at 60 to 70 bucks per person).
  • Bus: The bus ticket price for the journey is approximately Rs. 650. One can use Namma Metro to reach Deepanjali Nagar and board a bus from there. Frequent buses to Mysore is available from Kempegowda KSRTC bus station.

After arriving at Mysore, to travel within the city one can hire a taxi or take autos.

Places to explore

Once reaching Mysore, we met our friend Abhi. We just freshened up, had nice breakfast at his home. Thanks to aunty 🙂 We finally headed to Mysore palace at 11:30 am!!

Mysore Palace

The Mysore Palace is a historical palace in Karnataka. It is the official residence and seat of the Wodeyars – the royal family of Mysore. The palace is open for public from 10 am to 3 pm. The entry fees of Rs.40 to 50 for adults.

The palace is an excellent combination of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The scenes of every detail in and around the palace attract one’s eyes. It has unique rooms includes idols, silver chairs, mirrors, and gifts (given to Wodeyars from various part of the world). A series of Oil paintings describing royal procession and Dasara celebrations of several years are displayed on the walls.

The world famous Dasara festival is an integral part of the culture and life in Mysore. To celebrate this festival, the Palace of Mysore is illuminated with more than 96,000 lights during the two-month period. The most attractive Golden Howdah, the seat or throne is decorated with 84kgs of gold. Previously Mysore Maharaja seated on this howdah on an elephant during Dasara procession. Now the goddess Chamundi will be decorated on this throne.

The Kalyana mantapa inside the palace is a feast for your eyes. The architecture of the pillars and paintings on the roof are very beautiful. The Durbar Hall was the place where the maharaja, assembly of ministers and the royal family addressed the people. The entire palace is surrounded by a large garden.The Shweta Varahaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Varahaswamy is at the entrance of the palace. Photography is strictly prohibited inside the palace.

Karanji Lake

Karanji lake is a beautiful nature park. The park has a lake, museum ( Regional Museum of National History), birds, butterfly park and the viewpoint. The lake includes boating (Rs. 50 per head) which one can enjoy watching birds in the serenity of nature. The museum includes flora and flowers.

The happiest moment was when I could watch peacocks just next to me :D. I fell in love with the peacocks there. Other birds in the aviary are hornbills, white-peacocks, turkeys and black swans. One can notice lots of colourful butterflies around.The viewpoint to watch the lake is further inside, which gives you the panoramic view of the whole lake. The Karanji lake entry fee is around Rs. 50 per head and worth visiting.

Mysore Zoo

Mysore Zoo is widespread across 157 acres of land. It consists of lions, tigers, elephants, cheetah, leopards and lots of other animals and birds. Mysore Zoo charges Rs. 60 per head and traverses a path of 2.4 km. The zoo undoubtedly consumes almost half of the day. So if you have a time crunch, skip zoo and visit Karanji lake instead.

Saint Philomena’s Church

St. Philomena’s church is the Asia’s second largest Roman Catholic church.The main hall has scenes from the birth of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion. It also has a cellar, which reminded me of the movie The Da Vinci Code :D.

Backwaters of Kaveri

The backwaters of Kaveri is situated at from the city.  On the way, we crossed by lots of Paddy fields. The place has a beautiful Venugopalaswamy temple nearby. Since this is outside the city, it is so peaceful to enjoy the evening. Lots of movies have been shot here. The backwaters and the water channels can be seen at this place.

After exploring the above places the whole day, it was already dinner time. We planned and headed to Silent shores resort. The resort had a cool lake view. The ambience and the surroundings are totally pleasing. It also includes the spa and swimming pool to relax yourselves. The dinner was well served and tasty. We headed back to home after a walk in the resort. One can find lots of lodges and hotels at the hub of the city to stay.

Chamundi hills

The next day, we headed towards Chamundi hills (3,300 ft elevation), which is 13kms from Mysore to seek blessings from the goddess Chamundi. On the way, there is a mantapa, one can stop by. According to a legend, the asura Mahishasura was killed by goddess Chamundeswari after a fierce battle. The goddess is also called Mahishasura Mardini. The statue of Mahishasura with a sword in right hand and a cobra in the left hand is at the top of the hill. The temple’s sanctum has the idol of the goddess Chamundi. The goddess was the main deity of worship by the royal family.

On the way down the hill, there is a monolithic Nandi statue and a Shiva temple. Also, there is a Viewpoint after driving for a while, from which the whole Mysore city is visible. Other places to visit around are Lalith Mahal, Sand Museum, KRS Brindavan.

Finally, we explored Mysore in one and a half day and headed towards Bengaluru via train. It is one of memorable trip till date.  Just 3 hours from Bengaluru can fetch you a relaxing weekend. Suggestions and comments are welcome.

Keep travelling !! 🙂

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Smitha,

    Thanks for the follow 🙂 Your blog is so helpful as I am about to explore more and more places in and around Karnataka. Great info!

    Love, T.

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