Mysore has always been dear to my father since his school days. I have heard innumerable stories and facts of this place. It was my mother’s idea to show me the city before I left for US for a long while.
Here’s a small fact file about Mysore:
Mysore used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore State, now renamed to Karnataka. It is the cultural capital of the state, and houses the extravagant Mysore Palace of the Wodeyar dynasty. The city’s layout is well charted with opulent markets of local produce. My blog covers the main tourist attractions alongside some offbeat adventures.
An exciting part about our journey was the drive. The roads could get a little bumpy, but it’s worth taking a chance. We stopped by Tumakuru for lunch and to our pleasant surprise. For once in a long time, we had to hunt for a restaurant without the internet’s help, and were in for a delightful meal at ‘Swadishta’.
Mysore offers many options to stay at. We went in for Hotel Sandesh Prince, a newly opened hotel. The royal ambience overwhelmed us and the staff was simply hospitable.
Apart from the in-house restaurant, the hotel offers a swimming pool and a massage parlour. There’s no greater bliss than experiencing a massage with local oils. After a long day of driving, foot massage was all I needed. The hotel was generous enough to grant us a gift voucher for the same.
MYSORE ZOO, PALACE & LOCAL MARKET:
Followed by Chamundi hills, Mysore zoo is one of the most talked about spots amongst the tourists. A home to many species, this place was flocked by tourists. I couldn’t capture all of them since I was totally enthralled by their beauty. This zoo is commendably well maintained and is spick and span. The informative boards around the zoo explain the history and facts about every species.
The whole of Karnataka brags about its local sandalwood produce and silk produce. The ‘Cauvery’ factory outlet is no different. This outlet is even special, for it houses a small furniture workshop. Ranging from fascinating wooden artefacts to soaps and cosmetics to textiles the store is a living example of the Mysorean culture.
I loved them even more for keeping up with the traditional art of doing furniture. My grandparents always hoarded furniture from Mysore, some of which is still in a good shape at home. What sets it apart from other furniture is the design. These furniture pieces are intricately designed so as to depict a mythological tale with utmost detailing.
The city’s extravagance could be solely attributed to this palace for its resplendence and history. The palace is maintained and managed religiously by the staff. It was the official residence of the Wodeyar dynasty who ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1950. Displaying Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, this sprawling building is a replacement of the old wooden building destroyed by fire in late 19th century. Commissioned by the Krishnarajendra Wadiyar IV, this palatial building comprises of two durbar halls, a number of colossal courtyards, buildings and strikingly beautiful gardens that speak volumes of the splendour of the Wadiyars.
- Hotel RRR:
This is the most talked about Andhra cuisine restaurant in Mysore. Renowned for its scrumptious Biryani thali, it’s worth the wait in the queue. It’s common to have to wait for about half an hour to get your table.
- Hotel Om Shanthi:
It was imperative to try the authentic local cuisine, and Om Shanthi was just the right place. The ginormous thali was a treat to my eyes. Not to miss, the famous Mysore Pak is what still compels me to visit Mysore again.
RANGANTITTU BIRD SANCTUARY & BRINDAVAN GARDENS:
- Rangantittu bird sanctuary:
On the outskirts of Mysore, lies Rangantittu bird sanctuary. Ann abode to numerous birds and crocodiles alike, this visit is incomplete without taking the boat ride. We were lucky to spot a few crocodiles from close, and not to miss a wide range of birds.
- Brindavan gardens:
The next most sought after tourist destination is Brindavan gardens, built on the outskirts of Mysore. It is built alongside KrishnaRajaSagara dam and boasts an alluring garden and a musical fountain. It was a lovely sight at night to witness from close.