Mysore was formerly named Mahishuru, after the demon King Mahishasura. But the English renamed it to a more convenient name, Mysore. It is the second-largest city in Karnataka. The city comes alive during the annual Dussehra festival when the famous Mysore Palace hosts the proceedings. The Mysore Railway station connects the city to other cities in the state as well as from other states. Trains to Mysore are available from Bangalore, Mumbai, Kerala, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bhubaneswar, etc. You can book train ticket online to Mysore with redRail by redBus. The city is spread across an area of 129 sq km and has plenty of interesting places. Here are the 10 best places to visit in Mysore.
Mysore Palace and Zoo
The first place you must visit is the renowned Mysore Palace. The grandeur of the palace, the interiors, and the various artefacts inside it is all worth the effort. It will take 1-2 hours to complete the tour. Do remember that cameras and footwear are not allowed inside. The Mysore Zoo is right next to the palace. The zoo has a fair number of animals including the Hanuman Langur, Lion Tailed Macaque, Gorilla, etc. This will be an enjoyable place to visit for families.
Lalitha Mahal Palace is the second-largest palace in Mysore. Mysore Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV built this palace for his guests. Even though it is now a luxury hotel maintained by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation, paid visitation is allowed from 10 am to 6 pm, every day. The palace is almost 8 km from the railway station, overlooking the Chamundi Hills.
The Chamundi Hills has a temple dedicated to Goddess Chamundeswari, who killed the demon king Mahishasura. The temple has other deities as well. The Maharaja added a spectacular Gopuram to the temple, as it is the chief deity of the Royal Family. Another highlight here is the humongous statue of Nandi, the Ox, the largest in India. Chamundi Hills is 13 km from the Railway Station.
The Krishna Raja Sagar dam is built as a reservoir for drinking water to Mysore and other neighbouring districts. Built across River Kaveri, the dam is named after Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV and is 13 km away from Mysore, in the Mandya district. The dam offers some wonderful views and is also known for the beautiful Brindavan Gardens below.
Brindavan Gardens is the iconic garden with a musical fountain and colourful light show every evening. Located at the foot of the KRS Dam, this is one of the most popular places in Mysore. The Diwan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail was the brain behind this garden and was inspired by the Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir. The main gate of the gardens resembles the India Gate. You can take a cab, auto, or bus to reach here.
St. Philomena’s Cathedral
This is the second-tallest church in India. The majestic church is made in honour of St. Philomena, a Latin Catholic. The architecture of the church is inspired by the German Cologne Cathedral. The church is within the city, close to the Mysore palace, Zoo, Jaganmohan Palace etc.
GRS Fantasy Park
GRS Fantasy Park is a Water park just off the city. It is an ideal option for families, especially those with kids to enjoy a day. It is located 8 km from the city centre and just 5 km from the railway station.
Located behind the Mysore Railway Station and opposite the CFTRI, the railway Museum is the second of its kind in India. This outdoor museum displays the Royal train carriage used by the Royal Family, an old pillar from the previous Srirangapatna Railway Station, a steam engine, etc. The museum even has a toy train to fascinate young children.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
About 18 km from Mysore, Ranganathittu is the largest bird sanctuary in the Southern part of India. A paradise for bird and nature photographers, this offers a peaceful destination to relax and unwind. During winter, this place will be flocked by migratory birds, which will be a vision to behold.
Srirangapatna is famous for the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, an ancient Vishnu temple. You can also visit the Tipu Sultan Fort- the residence of Tipu Sultan, The Gumbaz mausoleum that has the graves of Tipu Sultan and his parents, Dariya Daulat Bagh- the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, etc around the place.
Mysore has several historical and ancient monuments in and around it that are also called the Cultural Capital of Karnataka. You can enjoy the authentic Mysore Pak and other delicacies here and shop for Mysore Silk, the Mysore Sandal soap etc. You will need 2-3 days to cover all the famous places. When you book your train tickets, do ensure that you have enough time to see as many of these as possible.
With the advancement of technology, it is no longer necessary to stand in long lines at the railway station to purchase train tickets. Many web portals and apps that specialise in ticket bookings make it easy to book railway tickets online. IRCTC train tickets booking can also be done through the IRCTC’s official website. You can instantly book tickets and remain up to date on its location.