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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are the popular tourist attractions in and around Mysore?

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The city will surprise with the plethora of experiences for anyone who visits this place. The city is almost synonymous with the majestic and artistically beautiful palaces, but that’s not all. The place has a lot more to offer - from the historical monuments to grand palaces, from ruins to beautiful gardens, from lakes to zoos, Mysore has it all. Just read on to know more about the popular attractions of the city.


  • Brindavan Garden and Krishnarajasagar Dam

    Located about 19 kilometres from the heart of Mysore ,it is one of the most visited places in Mysore by locals and by tourists. The garden has a botanical park, with  boat rides, as well as fountains. Famous for the illuminated dancing fountains (a harmonic blend of water, colours and music) that come to life after sunset, these beautiful gardens are laid out below the Krishnaraja Sagar dam built across the river Cauvery. The Dam (known as Kannambadi to the locals) is a superb example of excellent engineering and itself is a tourist attraction in Mysore, built by Sir M. Vishweshwariah in 1924. The gardens were designed by Sir Mirza Ismail and the best time to visit the gardens is after sunset when all the fountains come to life and dance with joy to the accompanying music. You can easily reach here through the regularly playing KSRTC buses between the city and major tourist attractions.  

    Timings: 6 am to 8 pm from Monday to Friday and from 6 am to 9 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Entry: INR 15 for adults and 5 for children. Still cameras INR 50, video cam INR 100. The musical fountain show takes place in the evening between 06.30 pm - 07.30 pm on weekdays and between 06.30 pm - 08.30 pm on weekends.

  • Karanji Lake

    This man-made lake is at the foot of Chamundi hills, at a distance of just 3 kilometres from the city centre. Regarded as one of the biggest lakes in Karnataka, this lake is spread over an area of 90 acres and houses more than 90 species of resident and migratory birds, several species of butterflies and small mammals, thus providing an excellent example of wetland ecosystem. The lake is the site for the first ever and the largest walkthrough aviary for chirping birds, generating cheerfulness among visitors and is constructed on the banks of the lake. Other attractions of the lake include a butterfly park (housing a large variety of plant species to attract butterflies), children corner and boating facilities.

    Timings: Open from 08.30 am to 05.30 pm on all days except Tuesday. Entry fee is INR 10 for adults and INR 5 for children and senior citizens. Still camera charge is INR 10 while the charge for video camera is INR 25. For boating, the charges are INR 25 for adults and INR 15 for children.

  • Kukkarahalli Lake

    Located in Mysore University Campus, this lake has been an inspiration for many local poets and writers given its picturesque beauty set against the backdrop of the Chamundi Hill. The placid lake is the home of a variety of migratory birds during winters, some from as far as Siberia and 180 species indigenous of birds, some of them aquatic. Attracting a number of bird watchers, this lake is a favourite among the sports lovers given the number of water sports being organized in the region, while the less adventurous can opt for boating in the lake.  Located very near to the railway station and the bus stop, this lake is just 3 kilometres from the city centre and makes for a popular destination for both morning and evening walkers.

    Timings: Open from 6 am to 6 pm on all days with no entry fee.

  • Mysore Palace

    Also known as ‘Amba Vilas Palace’, it is located in the heart of the city and is the official residence of the Wodeyars (erstwhile royal family of Mysore). This remarkable palace is one of the most famous tourist attractions in India, second only the enchanting Taj Mahal (Agra).

    The architecture of the palace is an amalgamation of Muslim, Rajput, Hindu and Gothic styles of architecture. This three-storied stone structure is surrounded by vast expanse well-manicured and lush gardens. The beautiful building of the palace was designed by Henry Irwin, using fine gray granite and deep pink marble (for domes). The Mysore Palace houses many exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world, and thus, has been converted into a museum for public viewing.

    This majestic palace is illuminated on
    Sunday nights and holidays with thousands bulbs which shimmer against the inky black night, presenting one of the most enduring images of the city. Even though you cannot enter the Palace but you can go in the gardens and enjoy this beautiful show. The illuminated Palace is a truly magnificent sight, and worth planning your trip around. To enjoy the beautiful view do remember to arrive a little early to settle at a vantage position. The best part about it is that the palace is lit in one stroke, rather than in parts. So, arrive before the palace is about to be illuminated to feel the real charm.

    Timings: 10 am to 7 pm. Entry fee is INR 25.


  • St. Philomena's Church

    This church is one of the largest churches in India and also one of the most majestic churches in the country. Built in 1956, its architecture is inspired from the Germany's Cologne Cathedral. Designed by Daly, a Frenchman, floor plan has been built in a form of a cross. Everyday, the mass is performed in Kannada, Tamil and English. This ancient and majestic church in now not only a big pilgrimage but also a major tourist attraction. At a distance of 2 kilometres from the Mysore Palace and 3 kilometres from the main bus stand, it is located in the heart of the city. Every year on August 11th, an annual feast is held here.

    Timings: 8 am to 6 pm


  • Chamundeshwari Temple

    Situated on the Chamundi Hills, this very famous temple is around 10 kilometres from the city. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, this temple was built in 12th century. It is a major tourist site and is a shining example of Dravidian architecture. The temple is a seven storied tall building associated with the legend of Goddess Durga executing Demon Mahishasur and it is said that the statue is made of pure gold. On your way up to the temple there is an enormous statue of Nandi Bull which appears to be made out of black granite. Navratri and Durga Puja are the main festivals celebrated in this temple which are a major tourist attraction.


  • Mysore Zoo

    The Mysore zoo is located at a distance of about 3 kilometres from the City Bus Stand and 2 km from the
    Mysore Palace. Also known as Chamarajendra Zoological Garden, this zoo was established out of a portion of the king’s (Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar) Summer Palace and is located in the eastern part of the city. This Palace Zoo was inaugurated in 1892, when a handful of zoos existed in the country, and thus, this was considered one of the best in India. Set amidst the backdrop of Chamundi hills with varied flora and fauna make this zoo a true paradise. After independence, the zoo was gifted to the Department of Parks and Gardens of the Mysore State Government  by the then Maharaja of Mysore.

    Timings: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm on all days except Tuesday. Entry is INR 5 only.

  • Regional Museum of Natural History

    One of the most important museums of the city, it is situated on the banks of Karanji Lake with the solemn Chamundi Hills in the background. The museum has been established with the objective to provide general information on the latest development about the geological wealth, flora and fauna of the state and for this reason the ecological balance of flora and fauna, nature and natural resources are displayed in a systematic manner. Many awareness programs on environmental issues are also organised by the museum along with extensive use of several audio-visual equipment.

    There is no entry fee to visit this museum.


So, what are you waiting for? Come and enjoy this city as it has something for everyone.

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