Mysore, the city of places is a city for every traveler. This cultural capital of Karnataka, not only offers richness of past but also presents a beautiful amalgamation of historical grandness with the scenic beauty of nature, its lakes, waterfalls and gardens. There are many popular places to see in Mysore, each promising a unique experience to visitors. However, if you are still pondering over what to see in Mysore then choose a few or all of these sightseeing places of Mysore for a memorable trip.
Mysore Palace/Amba Vilas Palace- Undoubtedly the most popular tourist attraction of Mysore, Mysore Maharaja Palace is located in the heart of Mysore city. One of the largest palaces in India, this palace was designed a known British architect, Henry Irwin. Residence of Mysore kings Wodeyars, the present structure of the palace was built in 1912 when the previous wooden built caught fire during a wedding ceremony of Chamaraja Wodeyar eldest daughter Jayalakshammanni. This palace is known for its architectural beauty which combines Muslim, Gothic, Hindu and Rajput style of architecture.
Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum- A unique and comparatively a new addition to the list of sightseeing places in Mysore, this museum showcase a wide array of brilliantly sculpted sand creations. One of its kinds in India, Mysore sand sculpture museum, presents sculptures made just out of sand and water, depicting unparalleled craftsmanship, precision and creative excellence.
Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery/ Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery- Jaganmohan Palace, an alternate home of Mysore royal family, was converted into an art gallery in 1915, during the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. In the honour of Sri Jaya Chamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur, this art gallery was renamed as Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery in 1955. One of the best art galleries in India, it boasts of rich collection of artefacts and paintings of the renowned painters from all over the world. It is must visit for art lovers.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace- Built in 1905, for Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar’s eldest daughter, Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace also used to be called First Rajkumari Mansion. One of the most beautiful palaces in Mysore, it has been declared as a heritage site by the government of Karnataka. This palace houses three museums namely Folklore Museum, Archaeology Museum and General Museum. This spacious palace, which is spread over 6 acres of land, has around 125 rooms and more than 250 carved doors and windows. It is located near another popular Mysore attraction Kukkarahalli Lake.
Lingabudi Lake- Located in Srirampura which is 8 km from the centre of city, Lingabudi Lake is a freshwater lake. Built in 1828 by Mysore king Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, this lake is the one of the oldest lakes in Mysore. It is also considered to be the largest lake of Mysore with an area of 260 acres. It attracts visitors with its enchanting scenic beauty.
Karanji Lake- Initially built as a source of drinking water and as a source of water for day to day chores, Karanji Lake was built by Mysore Maharaja. However, later in 1976, this lake became a part of Mysore zoo and since then it is maintained by Mysore Zoo authority. this lake is spread over 90 acres of land and if often referred as the fountain lake.
St. Philomena’s Church- It is second largest churches in Asia. It was built by Mysore King for the European residents of Mysore, setting an example of religious harmony and understanding. This church is dedicated to St. Philomena.
Bylakuppe Buddhist Golden Temple/ Namdroling Monastery- Golden temple is located in Bylakuppe which is the second largest Tibetan settlement outside Tibet. Located around 80 km away from Mysore, it is a place worth visiting. Established by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche in 1933, this monastery presents a sere spiritual atmosphere along with a captivating architecture.
Chamundeshwari Temple- No trip to Mysore in complete without a visit to Chamundeshwari Temple. Not only religiously significant, this temple attracts nature lovers too. Located on top of Chamundi Hills, this temple has been built in Dravidian architectural style. The main deity of this temple is Goddess Chamundeshwari, who is also considered at the deity of Mysore Royal family. Majestic Chamundeshwari Temple stands beautifully with the backdrop of natural beauty, making for sight worth capturing. The view of Mysore from the hills is also admirable.
Krishna Raja Sagara Dam- Popularly known as KRS Dam, this dam was built in 1932 during the reign of Wodeyar Kings. Named after Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, it is the creation of Sir M. Vishweshwaraiah, who is considered to be one of the best engineers of India. Built over Cauvery River, this dam is also the first irrigation dam of India. It is 130 feet high and has 152 sluice gates and is about 3km long. Illuminated gardens and lush green landscapes add to the beauty of the entire area. Brindavan Gardens are located in its proximity.
Mysore Zoo- At a distance of only 2 km from Mysore Palace, Mysore zoo was established by Chamarajendra Wadiyar Bahadur in 1892. It used to known as Khasa Bangle' or ‘Private Bungalow’. It is one of the oldest zoos in India. A popular attraction among nature enthusiasts, this zoo has different species of animals and birds which are brought from more than 40 countries. It is also known as a popular breeding center for varied endangered species from all over the world.
Brindavan Gardens-Brindavan gardens of Mysore is one of the best terraces gardens in the world. Built in the KRS Dam complex, construction of these gardens was completed in the year of 1932. Spread over 60 acres of land, Brindavan Gardens consist of three terrace gardens which are illuminated in evenings. Its beautiful landscapes, botanical park, and fountains create a breathtaking view. There is also the facility of boating here.
Lalitha Mahal Palace- Located at the foothills of Chamundi Hills, this palace is the second largest palace of Mysore. This palace was designed by by E.W. Fritchley. It was built in 1921, by the Mysore King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV to serve as a guest house for the then Viceroy of India. Later on it served as royal guest house. It is now converted into a heritage hotel and is maintained by ITDC. Its architectural brilliance and grandeur along with the luxury and comfort of a royal stay attracts many guests from all over the world.
Kukkarahalli Lake- Built in 1864, this lake was the brainchild of Krishnaraja Wodeyar. spread over 58 hectares, this lake is often visited by nature lovers. Its scenic beauty has mesmerised many painters and poets such as Gopalakrishna Adiga, S.L. Bhyrappa, T.S. Venkannaiah, A.N. Murthy Rao, G.S. Shivarudrappa, V. Seetharamaiah, who have praised this lake in their creations.
Mysore Rail Museum- Mysore rail museum promises a unique experience to its visitors. One of its kind, this museum was established in 1979 by Indian Railways. Another similar kind of Museum is located in Delhi- National Railway Museum. This museum displays a wide array of locomotives along with pictures and items from various stages of Indian railways development.
Tombs of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali/ Gumbaz- Gumbaz consists the tombs of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. It is located in Srirangapatna which is about 15 km from Mysore. It was built by Tipu Sultan in 1784 as tombs of his father Hyder Ali and mother. Later on in 1799 AD, Tipu Sultan was also buried here. Along with historical significance, these tombs also captivate everyone with their alluring architecture which is similar to that of Golconda Tombs.
Melody World Wax Museum- At a distance of around 3 km from Mysore Palace, this is another popular and unique museum of Mysore city. Housing the largest collection of musical instruments in Karnataka, it has many traditional and ancient musical instruments. other major attraction here are the life size wax statues of musicians in traditional attires playing different instruments. This museum was built in 2010 by an IT professional Shreeji Bhaskaran.
Somnathpur Temple/ Chennakesava Temple- Located in Somnathpur, about 35 km away from Mysore, Chennakeshava Temple is one of the best example of Hoysala architecture. This temple was built in 1268 during the reign of King Narasimha III. A heritage site, this religious shrine is maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). This temple has also been nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary- Situated 19 km away from Mysore, this bird sanctuary is not only a place for bird watchers but a must visit for anyone who wants to spend some time amid nature. Located on banks of Cauvery River, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is spread over 66 sq.km. Its scenic beauty and rich avian fauna is worth experiencing.