Can you hear the hooves of horses and sense an air of royalty? Well, that's Mysore for us! The land with rich historical legacy and beautiful landscapes is a pride of Karnataka. You can explore the nature's hidden beauty in its untouched form, trace the history of Wodeyars and witness the magnificient art and architecture of the spectacular palaces and forts; all in the same city, under the same sky.
Getting There: Mysore being the cultural capital of Karnataka and an eminent industrial hub is well connected by airways, railways and roadways. Located at a distance of 170 kms from Mysore, Bangalore International Airport is the nearest airport to the city. From here, you can take a train, taxi or a KSRTC bus to Mysore. You can also consider travelling by train, since it is the most convenient option. Mysore Railway Station is just about 2 kms from the city centre, so no hassle. Tippu Express, Chamundi Express, Kaveri Express and Mysore Express are some of the trains plying between Bangalore and Mysore.
Where To Stay: Offering a unique insight into the lifestyle and culture of the city, there are multitude of homestays in Mysore that are different from the distant and westernised concept of hotels. They cater to the needs of the guests, right from offering them authentic delicacies to guiding them to the hidden highlights and unsual attractions. If you want to stay within the confines of the city, there's Davey's Townhouse, Coconut View, Mysore Homes and Varsha Enclave White House which are warm and hospitable retreats for families, couples and a bunch of friends. The well-equipped rooms, kitchen and bathroom are available for your comfort. If you are a lover of wilderness and want to see the nature in its true and rawest form, Carisbrook Cottage is an ideal place to stay. This Mysore homestay is surrounded by beautiful landscape and serene greenery, and you can hear the sound of cascading waterfall surrounding this holiday home. You can also indulge in plenitude of recreational activities like camping, trekking, to name a few. To satiate your hunger, you are served tantalizing food with the touch of local flavours and spices. Another retreat that welcomes visitors from different corners of the globe throughout the year is Bharathee Homes – a beautiful homestay in Mysore having well-manicured garden and luxurious rooms. Free Wi-Fi, car parking space, garden and kitchen within the premises are few of the amenities offered at the homestay. In an enchanting region full of palaces lies some more enchanting places to stay. These are budget homestays which offer the comfort of a home, luxury of a hotel and convenience of a resort. RT Service Apartment, Rooftop Retreat, Lawnsway and Guest Inn are cosy homestays where you can stay with your friends and family. Book homestays in Mysore and get under the skin of the city and experience the magic of the bygone era.
What To See: Famed for its glittering royal heritage and intriguing tourist attractions, this cultural capital of Karnataka attracts avid travellers from across the globe. Some of the sites of interest in the historical settlement of Mysuru include Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, Mysore Zoo, Karanji Lake, St Philomena’s Church, Brindavan Gardens, Lalitha Mahal, KRS Dam, Somnathpura, Srirangapatna, Shivanasamudra Falls, Rangantittu Bird Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Jaganmohan Palace, Melody World Wax Museum and Railway Museum. Apart from these prehistoric sites and majestic palaces, Mysore also holds a rich tradition within its roots which can be best experienced by interacting with the locals. In order to truly understand the traditions, arts, crafts, cuisine and lifestyle of all these cultures, connect with the like-minded people in Mysore.
What To Eat: Mysore's cuisine is largely influenced from Udupi cuisine with rice as its staple and generous portions of spices, grains, beans, vegetables and fruits to accompany the meal. Other than this, Idli, Dosa, Pongal, Bisi Bele Bath (a spicy preparation of rice), Shavige Bath (upma), Vangi Bath (rice with Brinjal curry), Chutney and Pickle are some of the authentic Mysore dishes. Some of the popular sweets served here are Jalebi, Rave Unde, Payasam and Ladoo. Not to mention, Filter Coffee and Adike (Areca nut) with Betel Leaf are must-haves here.
Where To Shop: Set on a Mysore shopping spree to get your hands on the best silk sarees, wooden handicrafts and sweets. You cannot leave the city without buying some Mysore Pak for your friends and family back home. Guru Sweet Mart on Sayajji Rao Road and Mahalakshmi Sweets on Devaraj URS Road are the best places to buy Mysore Pak. If you are a saree lover, you will get the finest silk sarees in the city at the Government Silk Factory and KR Circle. Sandalwood and Rosewood art pieces at the Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium on Sayyaji Rao Road are also some of the items to be picked while in Mysore. Another major shopping destination in the city is Devaraja Market from where you can buy flower garlands, spices and conical piles of kumkum.
Insider's Tip: If you want to take the road less travelled; than instead of climbing the 1000 stairs up to the Chamundi Hill, climb the secret set of stairs at the back that will take you through the forest and let you explore the rustic side of the hills.