July 8, 2014

Mysore and nearby places

Mysore is the third largest City in Karnataka. The Royal Palace of Mysore attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. To know how Kings lived in a Royal palace, visit here. Huge golden throne, Ivory and Burma Teak doors, Scotland color-glass panels, Belgium chandeliers, Ravi Varma paintings on the walls, Bronze sculptures, Silver doors, marble flooring, teak wood ceilings.... this list never ends. I would have visited the palace more than 15 times, but every time this amazes me.

There are plenty of places around Mysore. This blog will help you list all of them with photos and details. You need at least two days to visit the places inside and near Mysore. Note: This blog is updated with new photos and all nearby places on January 2019

Note: Please visit this "Weekend Breaks or Day trips from Bangalore" which covers multiple places near Mysore and these places are much closer than from Bangalore.  

Places inside Mysore

  1. Mysore Palace
  2. Chamundi Hills and Nandi Statue
  3. St.Philomena Church
  4. Mysore Zoo
  5. Wax Museum
  6. Shopping

Places Near Mysore

  1. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
  2. Balmuri falls 
  3. KRS Dam and Brindhavan Garden
  4. Nanjungad Sri Kanteshwara Swamy Temple
  5. Srirangapatna Ranganatha Temple
  6. Nimishamba Temple
  7. Karighatta Srinivasa Temple
  8. Shivanasamudram Waterfalls

Places Around Mysore

  1. Somanathapura, Thalakkadu
  2. Belur, Halebidu, Shravanabelagola and Belavadi
  3. Ooty and Redhills (Hill station)
  4. B.R.Hills and Biligiri Ranganatha Temple
  5. Kere Thonnur or Thondanur and Hosaholalu
  6. Bandipur National Park
  7. Masinagudi and Dubare National Park
  8. Devala Wild Planet Resorts
  9. Kokkare Beluru
  10. Melukote Historic Temples
  11. Adhi Chunchunagiri Temple and Nagamangala
  12. Channapatna Wooden Toys
  13. Anjaneya Temple at Ramanagara
  14. Chikmagalur Hill station
  15. Coorg and Nearby Places

Planning your visit in and around Mysore

Option 1: One Day Plan

(*) Start early morning at around 7 or 8AM and reach Srirangapatna. Visit the temple and nearby
Gumbaz where mortal remains of Hyder Ali, his wife and Tipu Sultan were confined. Reach back Mysore and have breakfast. You can also skip this and directly start with Palace. If you are coming directly from Bangalore, then visit these places and then head to Palace.

  • After breakfast, reach Mysore Palace and visit.  If you or your kids like take the horse-cart. Break for lunch. 
  • After lunch, it is very hot and you might want to relax. Head towards Ranganathittu Birds Sanctuary. Take the boat and take photos. After this, if you like visit Balmuri falls. Otherwise stay and relax at this birds sanctuary till 5PM and head towards KRS Dam.
  • You might need to walk around 1.5 to 2 KMs I guess inside the Brindavan Garden, so have enough (healthy) snacks and drinks. Once you reach the Brindavan garden see the Dam and get back to the Musical fountain area before it gets darker. You can enjoy the show and check the colorful lightings on fountains. You don't get good food here, so you may come back to Mysore (or) if you are heading to Bangalore then there are lots of places on the way.

Option 2: Two Days Plan with a stay in Mysore

We stayed in Hotel Jade Garden which was good. Refer to my Tripadvisor review here.
Day 1:
Follow the "One Day Plan" above.
Day 2:
  • Start with Mysore Zoo in morning after breakfast. Zoo opens at 8:30AM itself and if you get in. then you will be back by 12 noon. You can go for lunch at your hotel (Jade garden) or check other options.
  • Afternoon you visit St.Philomena Church and head towards Chamundi Hills. Instead of St.Philomena church you can also try Nanjangud and paddy fields on the way. But try to be back to Chamundi hills before it becomes dark (before 5PM) to see the Big Nandi statue on the hill. Get back to the hotel.
  • After lunch, you can straight head for shopping as well and then plan the Chamundi Hill before 4PM or 4:30PM evening.

1. Mysore Palace

Timings: 10AM till 5:30 PM. 
Palace Illumination with lakhs of lights on every Sunday and pubic Holidays between 7PM to 7:45PM. 
Time Needed: 1.5 hours to 2 hours. Don't be in a hurry and watch each every details inside.

Literally nothing is allowed inside. No bags, no bottles, strictly no cameras. There are lockers available in the entrance where you purchased the tickets. Always in Mysore, start with the Majestic and so beautiful Palace. My photos will be nothing when you have this official website having 360 degree, Refer 360 Degree View of Mysore Palace .

Check the PDF document in this "click the link here" which is the complete reference to the palace with all the 20+ things you need to see and their small photos as well. This is what is been repeated by the local guides as well. But prefer to chose a Guide, he will explain the history and take you through the places. Strictly they don't allow photos inside and even the mobile phone cameras also not allowed. So be careful not to take photos. Check with the guide always.

Mysore Palace
Majestic View of the Royal Mysore Palace

Bronze Domes at Mysore Palace
Look at the Bronze covered domes

Bronze Lion at Mysore Palace
Bronze Lion Sculpture

Paintings at Ceilings of Mysore Palace
Beautiful paintings on the ceilings at Darbar Hall of Mysore Palace

Chamundi Hills view from Mysore Palace
Do you see the Chamundi Hills back to the temple from Mysore Palace

Sri Shvetha Varahaswamy Temple Info Board Mysore Palace
Information Board on Sri Shveta Varahaswami Temple Mysore Palace

Sri Shvetha Varahaswamy Temple Tower Mysore Palace
Temple Tower of Sri Shveta Varahaswami Temple Mysore Palace

Bronze Domes at Mysore Palace
Another view of Bronze domes at Mysore Palace and see the temple tower as well inside the Palace

Cannon at Display Mysore Palace
Cannon at display at Mysore Palace

2. Chamundi Hill and Chamundeshwari Temple

Note: During Abhisheka timings there will be a big Queue. So plan accordingly. 
Timings may be changed on Special Days (Copied from official site)
Time Needed: 1 to 1.5 hours including driving up the hill and coming down plus temple visit

This Chamundi Hill is close to 3500 feet high. Motorable and you can go in your car to the top and there are parking facilities available in the temple complex. If you go here by evening, then watch the sunset from either on the top of the hill or from the Big Nandi statue. There seem to be steps as well which is close to 1000 and if you are energetic use this.

On the way you will see a Big Nandi statue. This statue is seen half the way to the top of the hill. This is about 16 feet in height and monolithic statue. Either from this point or from the top of the hill the sunset will be beautiful. As you reach the top of the hill, you will see a statue of demon Mahishasura. Very colorful.

Refer the below photo for the temple timings.

Nandi at Chamundi Hill
Basavanna or Nandi at Chamundi Hills

Chamundeshwari Temple Tower (renovation takes place)

Temple Timings Chamundeshwari Temple 
Silver carvings at the Temple Door Chamundeshwari Temple Mysore

Silver carvings at the Temple Door Chamundeshwari Temple Mysore

Mysore Chamundi Hill
Sunset from the Nandi statue was beautiful. 

Mysore Chamundi Hill
Since this is taken late in evening, did not come well, but just want you to know this is on the entrance to the temple. Mahishasura demon.

3. Mysore Zoo

Timings: 8:30 AM till 5:30 PM. Note: TUESDAY is a HOLIDAY. 
Time needed: Minimum of 3 hours if you really want to see the entire zoo. 

This is one of the famous zoo with different species. See my photo below which list down the animals you can see and the map of the zoo. You would have seen animals in TV, but seeing them in front of eyes is a very different experience. Particularly after seeing the Giraffes I realized how tall and powerful they are. Looks like the area of this Zoo is about 157 acres. Strictly they dont allow any plastics inside and I like that. There are shops inside and you get Ice creams, Milk peda, other cool drinks and snacks. Yes, it takes close to 3 hours to see the entire zoo. Plan half-day for this Zoo alone. Visit the official site which has tons of details.
Note: Since it will be very hot between 11:00 AM till 3:00PM, looks like the animals will be taking rest in a shade and you may not spot. Visit the official site which has this details.

Mysore Zoo
Giraffes, amazing to see them. Little one is staring at me.. !

Mysore Zoo
Lions at Mysore Zoo. Don't worry they cannot jump on you, there is a deep excavation

Mysore Zoo
Rhinocerous ...

Mysore Zoo
Zoom this map to see what animals you get to see in this Zoo !

4. Wax Museum

Indian Musical instruments display at Wax Museum at Mysore
Indian Musical instruments display at Wax Museum at Mysore

5. St Philomena's Church

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Time needed: 30 to 45 minutes

This is a Roman Catholic Church and was built 200 years back. This church has a cellar where there is a statue of St. Philomina was a holy saint during the 3rd century in Greece, in a reclining posture. A piece of her bone and clothes are also in this church.

6. Shopping in Mysore

Mysore Silk sarees, Channapatna Wooden Toys, Sandalwood/Rosewood artifacts, incense sticks, mysore paintings on a wooden board.  Cauvery Emporium is one of the famous shop to buy the above items. Visit this link in Lonely Planet which has the shop name details. Fabindia has the Indian Ethnic wear for both Men and Women.

Places Near Mysore

1. Ranganathittu Bird's Sanctuary

Timings: 8:30 AM till 6 PM
Time needed: 1 hour to 2 hours depends on your photography interests. You can also spend sometime relaxing under the shade of trees.

This is also another important place apart from palace where huge crowd is attracted to see variety of birds.

Check this latest Photo feature blog for the beautiful photos of variety of birds here. !

Pelicon Skimming at Ranganathittu Bird Santuary Mysore
Action shot of Pelicon Skimming at Ranganathittu Bird Santuary Mysore

River Tern at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Mysore
Look at the color... !!

2. Balmuri Falls

When you go from Ranganathittu towards KRS dam, this Balmuri falls is on the right hand side. Please ask for the directions from the locals as you can easily miss. The water that is released from the KRS dam comes here. There is a small stream of water diverted from the main river and many people enjoy bath. Be very careful. If I remember most of the times the water level here is only just a feet high. So one can simply lie down and let the water flow over your body. Make sure that the water is clean.

3. KRS Dam and Brindavan Garden

Timings: 10 AM till 8PM
Time needed: 1.5 to 2 hours. If you go in late evening don't forget the musical fountain.

Both are in same place. Incase if you like to stay inside the garden, there is a 5-star Hotel Royal Orchid. Musical fountain, fountain with colorful lighting are main attractions here. It is good if you see this entire garden after it gets dark. Also you can check the KRS dam and reservoir which is same place.

Brindavan Garden
View of Brindavan Garden and the KRS Dam in the backside

Brindavan Garden
This is the place where the musical fountain show happens.... huge crowd gathers here for the show
Brindavan Garden
Fountain with colorful lightings

View of the KRS Dam

4. Nanjangud Temple and Paddy fields

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Time needed: 30 to 45 minutes

Nanjangud is 23 Kms from Mysore. This is the temple of Sri Nanjundeshwara, the God who saved the earthy by drinking all the poison of his own. (Hindu mythology, read more in Wiki here). This is on the banks of the river Kabini. As you drive from Mysore to this temple, on the right hand side you will see many paddy fields. Also lakes with many varieties of birds. If you like to take photos of the birds along the paddy fields and lake, then this is another place.

Nanjundeshwara swami Temple Nanjangud Mysore
Kalasa of Temple Tower, Nanjundeshwara swami Temple Nanjangud Mysore

Nanjundeshwara swami Temple
Nanjundeshwara swami Temple Tower

Sculptures on the wall of Nanjundeshwara swami Temple 

Chariots at Nanjundeshwara swami Temple
Chariots at Nanjundeshwara swami Temple (festival was at 7th April 2017)

Beautiful Tower of Nanjangud Temple

Wov... so colorful and nice sculptures on the wall

Close look at one of the sculptures

The temple elephant helping his mahout to climb and sit on his back

5. Srirangapatna Ranganatha swamy Temple

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
Time needed: 30 to 45 minutes

This is located before Mysore on the Bangalore-Mysore highway. Very famous for the very old temple for the Lord Ranganatha. Horseback riding is available and you can engage your kids. Many shops selling Channapatna toys can be seen.

6. Nimishamba Temple

Situated on the banks of River Cauvery. Nimishamba is an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi. It is believed that the Goddess Nimishamba solves all your problems in a minute.

7. Karighatta Srinivasa Temple

There is a small hill of 2700 feet close to Nimishamba Temple where Lord Srinivasa temple is there. You can drive up the hill or use the 450+ steps to climb. The main deity is of 7 feet high. On Government holidays the temple is open full day from 10AM till 7PM. Other days this is open from 10AM to 2PM. 

Karighatta Srinivasa Temple
Karighatta Hill and the Srinivasa Temple seen from Nimishamba Temple

Karighatta Srinivasa Temple
Karighatta Srinivasa Temple

Nimishamba Temple Aerial View
View of Nimishambha Temple from Karighatta hill 
Karighatta Srinivasa Temple
Beautiful view of the Karighatta Hill and water channel

8. Shivanasamudram Waterfalls

Barachukki and Gaganachukki falls are the two falls you can see at Shivanasamudram. Both are beautiful to watch after monsoon. Visit my exclusive blog for more photos and details. 

Around Mysore (click exclusive blog links for all details and photos)

Note: Click the blog links in title to read more in detail and photos


7. Kabini - Not visited yet, but very beautiful place for wildlife photography. Accommodation is very costly

13. Adhi Chunchunagiri and Nagamangala

On Mangalore highway, you get to see an arch on right hand side and if you can go few kilometers inside there is a big temple complex and a small hill. On top there is the Lord Kala Bairaveshwara.

And from the main road where you took right to Chunchunagiri, if you take left you will reach Nagamangala. There is an ancient temple for Soumyakesava Perumal. Very beautiful and old temple.

Soumyakesava  Temple, Nagamangala
History of Soumyakesava  Temple, Nagamangala

Channapatna Toys

Channapatna Wooden Toys

Channapatna Wooden Toys

Ramanagara Sri Anjaneya Temple

Chikmagalur - Hill station

Just 179Kms from Mysore, this is another great location. Very beautiful place. See more photos and details from my blog. 

Coorg and Nearby places

Coorg is just 108 Kms from Mysore and yet another hill station which is very beautiful. You can visit the place where the River Cauvery starts.  Read my blog for more photos and details from here. 


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