An ancient city with more than 600 glorious years of legacy, Mysore is one of the most flamboyant places in India.

Today, Mysore is an important cultural centre, with the largest university in Karnataka. Several elegant public buildings, erected under the Wodeyars, the erstwhile rulers of the princely state, enhance the wide, tree-lined streets. Of all the places to visit in Mysore, no attraction is more glamorous and popular than the stunning, borderline gaudy Indo-Saracenic Mysore Palace. Located on the eastern fringes of the city, Mysore Zoo is one of the top Mysore attractions for young and old alike; it is also one of the oldest and most popular zoos in India. For some religious fervour, head up to Chamundi Hills, an ever-visible landmark to the south. Atop the hill, Sri Chamundeswari Temple is home to the goddess Chamundi who is worshipped in this city. On the outskirts of the city are the empty ruins of Srirangapatna, the island fortress of Britain’s nemesis Tipu Sultan, and the bird-crammed Ranganathittu Sanctuary.

Mysore is also a thriving centre for the production of premium silk, sandalwood and incense which can be sourced in many of its bustling markets. If you’re looking for things to do in Mysore, why not pay a visit to the colourful and vibrant Mysore market located near the palace. You will need to practice your bargaining skills before visiting the perfume and sandalwood incense shop.

Mysore also flaunts considerable expertise in yoga and ayurveda, two trades it markets worldwide. If you’re after some yoga practice, pay a visit to Sri Pattabhi Jois and his Mysore-style ashtanga yoga practice. This all happens outside the chaotic centre, in the city’s beautiful Brahmin suburbs, where wide boulevard-like streets are overhung with bougainvillea.

Below is a list of the popular places to visit in Mysore. 


1. Mysore Palace

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Among the grandest of India’s royal buildings, the Mysore Palace, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, is the official residence of the Wodeyars, the Maharajas of Mysore, the former royal family of Mysore, who ruled the princely state from 1399 to 1950. The palace was built in the Indo-Saracenic style which blends Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture.


2. Mysore Market

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North of KR Circle is the Mysore market, also known as Devaraja Market, one of India’s most atmospheric markets. Local traders sell traditional items such as flower garlands, spices and conical piles of kumkum which makes for some great photo-ops. It’s also a fantastic place to get a feel for the daily life of the Mysorean people.


3. Mysore Zoo

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Mysore Zoo, set in pretty gardens on the eastern edge of the city, is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in India. A range of primates, tigers, elephants, bears, birds and rhinos live here.


4. Chamundi Hills Mysore

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Located southeast of Mysore, the Chamundi Hills are among the eight most sacred hills of South India. Sitting at the top of Chamundi Hills is Sri Chamundeswari Temple dominated by a towering 40m-high gopuram. Halfway down the hill is the monolithic statue of Nandi, Shiva’s bull.


5. Srirangapatna

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Located 20 km from the city of Mysore, Srirangapatna is a fort town of great religious, cultural and historical importance. Occupying an easily fortified island site in the Kaveri River, Srirangapatna has played a crucial role in the region since its origins in the 10th century.


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