Located in the southern part of Karnataka, Mysore is a tourist's paradise with a wide variety of attractions ranging from the Mysore Palace to the Nagarhole National Park.
Mysore gets its name from the word Mahisuru; meaning Mahisha's town. Mahisha , otherwise known as the demon Mahishasura, is supposed to have ruled this area. Mahishasura created havoc on earth and when his cruelty became intolerable, he was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari. A temple dedicated to Goddess Chamundeshwari and the statue of Mahishasura on the top of Chamundi Hill near Mysore city stands testimony to this event.
Maharaja`s Palace - Formerly the official recidence of the Maharajas of Mysore, the palace is an imposing structure located in the heart of the city. The palace has ornate domes, archways, turrets, colomnades and sculptures. The magnificent Durbar Hall is an extravaganza of stained glass ceiling, reflecting mirrors, mosaic floors and wooden doors with beautiful carvings. The palace is richly illuminated on Sunday nights.
Lalitha Mahal Palace - The beautiful palace stands to the east of the city which was named as Summer palace. It stands at the highest point commanding a magnificient panoramic view of the city. The palace currently serves as a Five Star Hotel.
Chamarajendra Art Gallery - The Jaganmohan Palace house this art gallery, which has a vast collection of paintings by renowned artists like Ravi Varma and Nicholas Roerich. Also on display here are curios in ceramics, sandalwood, ivory, ancient musical instruments and furniture. Timings: 08.00 to 12 noon 14.30 to 18 hrs
Krishnarajendra Dam-Brindavan Gardens (12 kms from Mysore) - A dam was constructed across the river Kaveri during the reign of his Highness Shri Krishnaraja Wodeyar Bahadur. A pleasant garden is raised adjacent to the dam. The garden is laid on either side of big artificial lake & named south & north gardens. Innumerable fountains and pools complement many beautiful flowerbeds and lawns. In the night the garden is transformed into a fairyland with swirling fountains dancing to the music and colorful fairy lights. It is one of the most enchanting tourist centre of the city. Illumination - Weekdays: 7 P.M to 7.55 P.M. Sunday & Holidays: 7 P.M. to 8.55 P.M.
Srirangapattana (16km) - Once famous capital of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapattana is located on an island between two branches of Kaveri River. From 1610 to 1799, it was also the capital of several Mysore kings. The fort, Darya Daula Bagh (Tipu's Summer Palace), Gumbaz (Mausoleum built by Tipu for his parents), Juma Masjid, Sri Ranganathaswamy temple built in 894 AD etc. are places worthwhile to visit.
Nagahole Wildlife Sanctuary (93km): Spread over 570 sq. km, this wild life sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Kabini River. A rewarding stopover for the wild life enthusiasts, this sanctuary has tigers, leopards, elephants and many species of monkeys and deer.
Kabani Jungle Lodge (80 kms from Mysore) - Located in the eastern fringes of Nagarhole Wildlife Sanctuary. The lush, thick forests and the Kabani river, provide a perfect habitat for many wild animals and birds.
Ranganathitu Bird Sanctuary (18km) - 4 km from Srirangapattana, this bird sanctuary is a feast for the eyes of bird watchers. Migratory birds from Siberia and even Americas are seen here. A boar ride around the many islets offers a wonderful view of herons, ibis, storks, cormorants and other water birds.
Sivaganga - Often referred, as 'Dakshina Kasi' (or Southern Varanasi) Sivaganga is a pilgrim centre of great importance. Located on top of a 4600 feet hill are the temples dedicated to Gangadhareswara and Hanna Devi. The hills silhouette looks like the Nandi Bull from the east, elephant headed Lord Ganesh from the west, a Sivalinga from the south and a cobra with spread out hood from the north.
Bandipur (80 km) - Once the game preserve of the Maharaja of Mysore, Bandipur is today a tiger reserve under the Project Tiger situated in the Nilgiris. At an altitude of 885 meters, the sanctuary harbor tiger, elephants, Indian bison, leopard, spotted deer and many other species. Animals can be viewed in close quarters from Forest Department vans and elephant back. Forest Lodges, Rest Houses and cottages are available for accommodation. The best time to visit is Sept- April.