Mysore Tourist Attractions

Amba Vilasa Palace
The Amba Vilasa Palace as the Mysore Palace is known, is an excellent combination of Dravidian, Indo-Saracenic, Oriental and Roman styles of architecture. The Maharaja's Palace is a beautiful three storied stone building of fine gray granite and rich pink marble domes, overlooking this structure is a five-storied 145 foot tower whose domes are gilded in gold. One enters the Palace through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll's Pavilion; this is a pavilion of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This collection also has a wooden elephant howdah that is decorated with 84 kilograms of gold.

There are seven canons in front of the Gombe Thotti and are used to this day to mark the beginning and the end of the Dasara festivities every year. Ahead of this is the elephant gate, this gate in the main entrance to the center of the palace. The Kalyana Mantapa or marriage pavilion has a central octagonal gabled roof that is covered with stained glass. This pavilion is in the south of the building. The floor of the Kalyana Mantapa has beautiful geometrical patterns created by using shining glazed tiles imported from Britain. The Ambavilasa or Diwan-e-Khas, is the hall used by the emperor for private audience.

This room is one of the most ornate rooms in the Palace and is located on the first floor, facing east. The Diwan-e-Aam is on the same floor facing south. The Palace has a number of visually delightful rooms like the portrait gallery, the royal armory, collections of costumes and jewellery, delicately carved doors of mahogany and solid silver, graceful chandeliers, decorative stained glass ceilings, ornamental frescoes. During the Dasara the Royal throne made of 200kgs of pure gold is displayed. It is claimed that the ancestry of the throne can be traced to the Pandavas. On the walls of the Palace the Dasara processions have been painted in such a way that, no matter where and how you stand the procession seems to be heading towards you.

There are twelve temples inside the Palace complex dating from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries and have varying architectural styles. The Palace is set in a carefully laid out gardens. One can visit the Palace of all days of the week between 10am and 5.30pm. The Palace is illuminated on Sundays, national holidays and state festivals between 7.00pm and 8.00pm and during the Dasara festivities from 7pm to 9pm. You can hire a Mysore Palace Board certified guide for a nominal fee and he will take you on a guided tour of the whole Palace.

Mysore Zoo
Mysore Zoo (Chamarajendra Zoological Garden) was started in 1892 by chamaraja Wodeyar X, then the king of Mysore. Initially as a private Zoo, and was named as Khas-Bangale. It was also called as Thamash Bangle. The Zoo which has now spread over an area of 250 acres was initially ment for the exclusive visit of the royal family but public entry started as early as 1920. It is located inside the city unlike many other Zoos in India and Mysore Zoo is considered to be one of the best in the world.

The Zoo has about 1500 animals, ranging from the opossum to orangutan. This Zoo houses a wide range of animals. Mysore Zoo was the first in the country to obtain gorilla and penguin's. Many animals which are imported from countries like Africa, America, and Australian countries under conservation project due to the successful breeding of the white tiger. It is also credited with achieving considerable break-through in captive breeding of many animals. elephants also breed well in captivity in this Zoo.

The Zoo has a small museum which exhibits the stuffed animals. A small library is also located in the Zoo. Painting and essay competitions are periodically conducted by the zoo authority the children to create awareness and love in them for animals.

Brindavan Gardens
The Brindavan Gardens, then called the Krishnarajendra Terrace Garden, on the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam site, one of the most beautifully laid out terrace gardens in the world. It is world famous for its symmetric design. The creative beautification of the whole dam complex has been the achievement of Sir Mirza Ismail, the then Dewan of the princely State of Mysore. The garden is designed based on the Shalimar Gardens of Kashmir in the Mughal style. The Department of Horticulture in 1927 started the work of laying out this garden.

The garden is enriched with fountains, terraces, parterres, running and cascading water channels, water chutes, lush green lawns, flower beds, shrubs and trees. This garden is a public park and it is one of the important tourist spots of India.

The boating pond in the midst of the garden is a location where the visitors can enjoy a boat ride around the famous statue of Goddess Kaveri. It is a mesmerizing sight when the whole garden is lit up in the evenings. Today, the Brindavan Gardens is world famous for its ethereal beauty, grandeur and illumination/ musical fountain.

Jaganmohan Palace
Jaganmohan Palace MysoreThe Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore is one of the oldest buildings in Mysore. This Palace is more that 150 years old. Like the Mysore Palace this Palace too is a beautiful and ornamental Palace built by the Kings of Mysore. In the 150 years of its existence this Palace has witnessed a number of important events that have been instrumental in shaping the destiny of the modern State of Mysore today known as Karnataka. This Palace was built in 1861 and was initially an ornate wooden one and was being used by the Royal family when a fire destroyed it in 1897.

The Royal family lived in this palace till the main Mysore Palace was built. The coronation of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV was held here in 1902. The then Viceroy and Governor-General of India, Lord Curzon, attended this ceremony. At the time of the wedding of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the ornamental front portion with a hall was added to the main building and is therefore called the Wedding Pavilion. The wedding pavilion was also used as the Dubar Hall where Krishanraja Wodeyar IV held his annual birthday and the Dasara Durbars till the completion of the new Sejje or Durbar Hall in the main Palace in 1910.

The pavilion was used, as the venue for the Representative Assembly after 1923, a democratic institution consisting of the people's representative to deliberate on the affairs of the state, this representative assembly was the first of its kind in a princely state, an arrangement made by the Mysore Maharajas. Initially the convocation ceremonies of the Mysore University were held in this attractive hall. The hall was also used as an auditorium for staging plays and other cultural activities for the members of the royal family. Many important meetings and sessions were held in this hall till alternative venues came up in the city.

Krishna Raja Sagara Dam
The Krishna Raja Sagara Dam (KRS Dam) was built across river Kaveri, the life giving river for the Mysore and Mandya districts, in 1924. Apart from being the main source of water for irrigation in the most fertile Mysore and Mandya, the reservoir is the main source of drinking water for all of Mysore city and almost the whole of Bangalore city, the capital of the state of Karnataka.

The water released from this dam is further used as an important source of water in the state of Tamil Nadu, which has its own Mettur dam in the Salem district.

The dam is named for the then ruler of the Mysore Kingdom, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The Chief Engineer, Sir M. Vishveswaraya engineered the construction of the dam during the Wadeyar kings regime in 1932.

Karanji Lake
If you are an avid bird watcher, Karanji Lake Nature Park is where you should visit while you are in Mysore. Karanji Lake is considered a bird paradise that attracts many ornithologists and other nature enthusiasts. You get to meet a lot of sundry bird species like the great and little cormorants, purple and grey herons, egrets, black bises, rose-ringed parakeets, green bee-eaters, painted storks and a variety of butterflies.

Lalitha Mahal Palace
Lalitha Mahal Palace MysoreThe Lalitha Mahal Palace is situated 11kms from Mysore city on top of a small hillock. This Palace is set in the middle of sprawling terraced gardens. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV commissioned this two-storied Palace in 1921. This Palace was built to exclusively to accommodate the Viceroy of India. E.W. Fritchley from Mumbai designed the Palace in the Renaissance style and included designs concepts from the Italian palazzo and English manor. This Palace meant for special royal guests has now been converted into a heritage category five-star hotel of India Tourism Development Corporation of the Government of India. The Palace has been maintained very carefully to keeps its grandeur intact.

The central hall is decorated with life size portraits of the royalty of Mysore, lithographs portraying Tippu Sultan's battles with the British. The walls and ceilings have beautiful motifs, the wooden shutters are intricately carved, and the wall panels are beautifully decorated too. Most of the old Palace furniture is being used in the hotel to this day, like four-poster beds, carved wooden cupboards, deep velvet covered armchairs and gilt framed Belgian mirrors. The viceroy room, banquet hall, dancing floor and an Italian marble staircase have been carefully maintained. The sprawling gardens have been reduced in size, as they are difficult to maintain. The hotel has maintained the Palace well and its splendour is intact to this day.

Railway Museum
The Railway Museum of Mysore is an interesting place to know about the spectacular journey of the railways in India spanning a period of more than 150 years. The museum displays ancient steam locomotives, carriages, special purpose vehicles, wagons, telecommunication equipment and several other things related to the operation of the railways through the ages.

Railway Museum was established in the year 1979 under the supervision of Indian Railways. It is located on the Krishnaraja Sagar Road in Mysore. The Mysore Railway Museum is the second such museum in the country after the National Railway Museum in Delhi. The museum is famous for being the only place in the country that houses an outdoor exhibit of vintage locomotives.

Kukkarahalli Lake
Kukkarahalli Lake is Located in Mysore University Campus. This lake has inspired many local poets and writers. The views from the north shore is particularly attractive with the lake and its surrounding trees, the spire of the deputy commissioner's offices rising above them and the low rise of the Chamundi Hill in the background. This lake is home to more than 180 species of birds, some of them aquatic. During the migratory season the lake plays host to a variety of winged visitors, some from as far as siberia. There is a 4.5 km walkway on the periphery of the lake with shaded stone benches for visitors to sit, relax and enjoy the scenic serenity of the lake.

Regional Museum of Natural History
The Regional Museum of Natural History at Mysore, is a museum in India with exhibits on plants, animals and geology of the southern region of India.

The Regional Museum of Natural History at Mysore, was inaugurated on 20 May 1995. It was undertaken by the government of India, ministry of environment and forests. The museum is located on the banks of Karanji Lake, with the Chamundi Hills visible in the background. It is now a landmark in the city. The museum exhibits plants, animals and geology of the southern region of India. The galleries emphasize the conservation of nature and natural resources while depicting ecological interrelationship among plants and animals. Visually challenged students can feel the exhibits of animals on the premises. The museum provides an extracurricular activity for schools and promotes environmental awareness.

Folklore Museum
The University Folklore Museum at the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion, Manasagangotri is considered one of the best of its kind in Asia. It has a precious collection of artifacts, handicrafts and indigenously made art forms from different parts of the state of Karnataka. A visit to this museum is a veritable journey through a paradise of diversity.

Bylakuppe Buddhist Golden Temple
Buddhist Golden Temple situated in Bylacuppe near Mysore, beholds the soul-soothing tranquility which is something that has to be experienced to know it better. A must-visit while in the city of Mysore. The three magnificent golden statues of Lord Buddha are the special attraction with tourists.

Bylakuppe also has many buddhist universities for advanced buddhist practices. Some of them are serajey, seramey, nalanda,etc. Bylakuppe is situated on the state highway 88 and is well connected to most of the major cities in south-India. Bus facilities are available from major towns like Mysore, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Chennai, Panaji, etc.

Chamundi Hills
Chamundi Hills is the prime landmark of Mysore city, visible almost from anywhere in the city center. The hill has very close association with the founding of the city. In fact the very name of Mysore is associated with the hill.

According to mythology this was the domain of the demon called Mahishasura. The place was thus known as Mahishapura or Mahishuru , the land of Mahishasura. And that later morphed into Mysore in English and Mysooru in Kannada, the local language.

A boon made Mahishasura so powerful that no man can kill him. Unable to stand his atrocities, people prayed to the goddess to save them from Mahishasura. Goddess Shakti, the personification of cosmic energy in the feminine form, took the avatar (form) of the fierce goddess Chamundeshwari. She kills the demon and saves the people. Because of this act the goddess is called Mahishasuramardhini , the slayer of demon Mahisha.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
Just outside Srirangapatna, 4th from Srirangapatna, near Mysore, the Cauvery river meanders around a string of tiny nesting sites of waterfowls. Experiences the excitement of a boat ride that takes you within touching distance of the birds as marsh crocodiles bask in the sun. Delight watching the winged visitors making happy forays into the water. You could also you're your powers of observation by trying to spot flying branches of the tallest trees at dusk.

Best season to visit Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is Jan to Sept.

River in the forest as well as some deciduous forests, bamboo, eucalyptus, figs, jamun and Karanji. Mammals and Reptiles. The flying fox, bonnet macaque, common otter, common mongoose, palm civet are some of the mammals and reptiles like marsh crocodile are found here.

Bird life includes the little cormorant, large cormorand, darter, white ibis, spoonbill, open-billed stork, painted stork, egret, heron, river term, great stone plover, kingfisher, Indian cliff swallow, and the lesser whistling teal.

Chennakesava Temple, Somanathapura
Somanathapura is a town located 35 km from the historic Mysore city in Mysore district, Karnataka. Somanathapura is famous for the Chennakesava Temple (also called Kesava or Keshava temple) built by Soma, a Dandanayaka (commander) in 1268 CE under Hoysala Empire King Narasimha III, when the Hoysalas were the major power in South India. The Keshava temple is one of the finest and most complete examples of Hoysala architecture and is in a very well preserved condition. The temple is in the care of the Archeological Survey of India as a protected heritage site.

Melody World Wax Museum
Melody World Wax Museum is a one-of-its kind of museum showcasing a collection of over hundred life size wax statues and over three hundred instruments, all related to music. The models are shown representing various kinds of music.

Established in October 2010, the various music settings represented range from the Stone Age to modern instruments and displays Indian classical Hindustani and Carnatic, Punjabi Bhangra, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, Blues, Middle East and Chinese to name a few. Melody World Wax Museum is the third largest art museum in India and attracts people from all over the world. It is a tribute to all musical artists from all around the world. Tribal music and its instruments are also exhibited here. A life size statue of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar on the occasion of Dasara festival is a special attraction.

Situated well within the city, Melody World Wax Museum is easily reachable. Regional Museum of Natural History is at a walk able distance from the museum. Equally enjoyed by both adults and children, Melody World Wax Museum opens everyday from 9.30 am to 7.00 pm. Entry fee is INR 30 and a fee of INR 10 has to be paid for a still camera.

Saint Philomena's Church
Saint Philomena's Church that stands at 165 feet tall at the entrance of Mysore is dedicated to the Saint Philomena. The foundation to this church was laid by the Maharaja of Mysore Sri Krishnarajendra Wadeyar Bahadur IV in the year 1933.

The church's construction was completed in a time span of eight years. The church is based on the Gothic architecture, 165 feet in width and 165 feet in tall. The crosses on the twin towers are about 12 feet in height. The churches three front doors and the side doors become the entrance into the prayer hall.

The pillars are done with designs of floral patterns. The stained glass windows above the sanctum are based on the Chirst's birth, last supper, crucifixion and the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. Beneath the main altar there is an underground chapel called the catacomb and an entrance exists from the congregation room. A historical artifact and a representation of this saint in a reclining posture adorn the catacomb and stone tablets with names of the donors who helped built the church are engrossed into the walls of the catacomb.

This magnificent monument attracts many visitors through out the year.

Avadhoota Datta Peetham
Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Avadhoota Datta Peetham is a remarkable place in the quiet city of Mysore. Upon arrival you are led into a serene and pure atmosphere, pervaded with Vedic chantings, the resonance of which speaks to your heart. This atmosphere makes all the difference, your heart sinks deeper into peaceful states, you feel relaxed. Above all, a spiritual calm and, the bottom line, a peaceful mind for a few important moments enters your life. Come and join in for a guided tour through the ashram.

Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum
India's First - Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum, created with 115 truck loads of sand and with more than 150 huge Sculptures. Sand Sculpture Museum displays more than 16 themes describing the Heritage of Mysore. Situated on Chamundi hill main road Mysore where sculptures lovable by all ages, kids to old age with educative, historical, religious and Royal Heritage.

The sculpture revolve around themes including, Mysore Dasara, Islamic culture, marine life, Disney land, zodiac wheel, Goddess Chamundeshwari, eco-friendly Ganesha, Christmas tree and Santa Claus, ancient civilization and tribes of the world, and wildlife.

The museum is open on all days from 8 am to 6.30 pm, and has an entry fee of Rs 20 and Rs 40.

State Protected Monuments in Mysore
State Protected Monuments officially reported by Archeological Survey of India in Mysore, Karnataka is listed below

State Protected Monuments in Mysore
  • Varahaswamy Temple
  • Lakshmiramana Temple
  • Trinayanesware Temple
  • Prasanna Krishnaswamy Temple
  • Kodi Someshvara and Kodi Bhairaveswara Temples
  • Chamundesvari Temple and Mahabalesvara Temple
  • Colossal Bull
  • Mahalingesvara Temple
  • Ramesvara Temple
  • Varadaraja Temple
  • Lakshmikanta Temple and adjoining Temples, Mantapas and Sandle wood door of Sati Shrine
  • Somesvara Temple
  • Narayana Temple
  • Lakshmikanta Temple Mysore
  • Nagesvara Temple
  • Ramanujacharya Temple
  • Adinatha Basti
  • Arkesvaraswami Temple
  • The Temples and the Gomatesvara figure at Gomatesvara Hill
  • Keshava Temple
  • Agasthesvara Temple
  • Hanumanthesvara Temple
  • Amruthesvara Temple
  • Wellington Lodge
  • Gunjanarasimhaswamy Temple
  • Yoganarasimhaswamy Temple
  • Mulastanesvara Temple
  • Talakadu Maralu Dibbagalu
  • Chennakeshara Temple

List of Sightseeing Tourist Places Destinations & Tourist Attractions in & around Mysore City including Mysore Palace, Mysore Zoo. Things to do in Mysore in Major visiting places in Mysore are deatailed above.