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Mysore

Travel Guide Asia India Karnataka Mysore

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Introduction

Mysore Palace, Karnataka

Mysore Palace, Karnataka

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Situated in the southern part of the state Karnataka, Mysore is the second largest city in Karnataka. With a population of around 800,000 people, Mysore has a great mixture of heritage and modern life. Once the headquarters for the Wodeyar Maharajas, the city is now known throughout India for its thriving production of silk, sandalwood and incense, and it is also becoming known as a centre for yoga and Ayurvedic, a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent. Founded in 1399, the city's name comes from the mythical Mahisuru, a place where the demon known as Mahisasura was defeated by the goddess Chamundi. It has grown from a small market town to a large a city with 800,000 people now inhabiting Mysore. Mysore is just four hours south-west of Bangalore (a relatively short distance by Indian travel standards).

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Sights and Activities

  • Mysore Palace - The former seat of the Wodeyar Maharajas. Unfortunately it is not the original palace - that was ruined by a fire in 1897, with the one now in its place completed in 1912. Decorated internally with mosaic floors, grand wooden-carved doors and painting depicting life in Mysore as well as stained glass windows and many mirrors. It's spectacular at night as it is illuminated with over 10,0000 bulbs.
  • Devaraja Market - As with every Indian city, the bazaar is definitely worth a visit. Stalls selling everything from flower garlands, more spices than you thought existed, and piles of kumkum (which is the coloured powder used for bindi dots).
  • Jayachamarajendra - This art gallery houses a collection of kitsch objects and regal memorabilia. It was originally built as a royal auditorium in 1861. Also displayed are rare musical instruments, Japanese art and painting by the noted Indian artist.
  • Rail Museum - Trains are an iconic form of transport in India. Everyone who visits India wants to ride a train at some stage. This museum celebrates the stylish way Royals rode the tracks. Currently exhibiting several steam engines and the Mysore maharani saloon, plus other memorabilia.
Bright Colours

Bright Colours

© All Rights Reserved Clarabell

  • Sri Chamundeswari Temple - Situated on top of Chamundi Hill, a climb of 1,062 metres is the Temple which stands at 40 metres high. On a clear day (most days) there are superb views across the city. There are trails to the top, but if you do not have the energy then there are buses as well.
  • Mysore Zoo - Located on the edge of the city is the zoo which dates back to 1892. Housed here are monkeys, birds, bears, elephants, tigers and rhinos.

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Events and Festivals

  • [u]Mysore Dussehra Jamboree[/b] - Usually held in the month of September or October, it is celebrated in grand style in Mysore. The city adorns a festive look and the period is marked by numerous colourful processions, cultural and musical events. The grand Mysore palace is illuminated with thousands of bulbs during this period and is the centre of attraction. This festival lasts for 10 days and it celebrates the victory of truth over evil. Lasting 10 days, there is a total carnival atmosphere for this period. The palace is lit up with more than 96,000 bulbs each evening. On the final day elephants are decorated, garland idols and brass bands parade along the streets. the closing ceremony is marked with a huge fireworks display.

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Weather

Mysore has hot summers (March-June) and mild winters (November-March). The best time to visit Mysore is during the winter season (Nov-Feb) when the temperature is moderate and there is not much rain.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max28.6 °C31.2 °C33.6 °C34.3 °C32.9 °C29.2 °C27.7 °C28 °C28.9 °C28.8 °C27.9 °C27.5 °C
Avg Min16.3 °C17.9 °C19.9 °C21.2 °C21 °C20.1 °C19.6 °C19.5 °C19.4 °C19.5 °C18.3 °C16.5 °C
Rainfall4.6 mm5.3 mm12 mm64.3 mm144 mm67 mm73.6 mm78.2 mm114.3 mm159 mm63.3 mm13.8 mm
Rain Days0.60.614.89.410.6141411.31052.1

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Getting There

By Plane

Mysore Mandakalli airport is going through a process of being upgraded. The new airport was slated to be opened on May 15 [1], but the airport doesn't seem to be handling any flights yet. [2]

Bengaluru International Airport (BLR) is a large international airport and is about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the city of Bangalore and 170 kilometres from Mysore and the nearest main airport. This new airport was opened in May of 2008 and has good connections. Currently the only way to get to the airport on public transport is on Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) which runs twelve bus routes from as many locations in the city to connect to the new airport although the city metro and a high-speed rail are planned to be built and in operation in 2011. This large airport has direct service to almost every airport in India, most major cities around Asia and a few European cities. Lufthansa flies to Frankfurt, British Airways to London, Air France to Paris and other international connections go to Kuala Lumpur, Sharjah, Bangkok, Dubai, Hong Kong, Dubai, Mauritius, Bahrain, Malé, Muscat, Singapore, Jeddah, Riyadh and Colombo.

By Train

Mysore has a railway station and is well connected to the major towns of Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi. There are numerous train services between Bangalore and Mysore but the fastest and most efficient of them all is the ‘Shatabdi Express’. This train is fully air conditioned and covers the distance in around 2 hours and costs around 300 Indian Rupees. Indian Railways operates the rail network in India, so for more destinations and details have a look at their website.

By Car

Mysore is connected to Bangalore by a 4-lane highway, which makes the 140-kilometre journey quite comfortable.

By Bus

Plenty of buses are available on the Bangalore-Mysore route. There is a choice of AC and non-AC vehicles. Mysore has two bus stands, all inter city buses use the Central bus stand while the intra city buses use the City bus stand. The Government run KSRTC has an extensive network of buses operating throughout the state of Karnataka and tickets can also be booked online on some of the important routes.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

City buses can be used for traveling around the city. Plenty of taxis are also available on hire but the cheapest way to explore the city is on an Auto rickshaw. The Auto Rickshaw driver doubles as a guide but one should be careful to bargain and fix the fare before boarding the Auto.

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Eat

Like the majority of Indian food, rice is a staple part of the diet. A traditional Mysore breakfast is simple, wholesome and delicious. Most of them are rice based and are normally served with chutney.

Lunch usually consists of a spread that includes a number of dishes. These include a salad items such as kosambri, palyas (vegetable salads made of parboiled vegetables chopped finely and tossed with grated fresh coconut, green chillies, curry leaves and mustard seasoning), gojju (a vegetable cooked in tamarind juice with chilli powder), tovve (cooked dal without much seasoning), huli or saaru (a thick broth of lentils and vegetables cooked together with ground coconut, spices, tamarind and chilli powder) and pappad.

Dessert in Mysore is the best meal though. Indulge in some of the unique sweets like chiroti (a light flaky pastry made of flour, sprinkled with powdered sugar and soaked in almond milk), Mysore Pak (gram flour fudge), obbattu (a flat, wafer-thin chappati filled with a mixture of dried coconut and fried gently on a skillet) and finally shavige payasa (made of milk, vermicelli, sugar, dried fruits and cardamom pods).

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Hotel SiddhartaGuest House Road NazarbadHotel75
Aishwarya Residency2932/A, Off Bangalore-Nilgiri Road Lashkar MohallaHOTEL81
Mango Hotels, Mysore - Jayalakshmipuram116,117,118, 6th Main, 3rd Cross, JayalakshmipuramHOTEL-
Akasa MysoreCA No. 4, Lalithadripura Road KC LayoutHOTEL-

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Keep Connected

Internet

There's good coverage over most of India for Internet cafes. However, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and some other cities, all internet cafes have been instructed by the authorities to maintain a register and note down the identification details of all persons using internet. Sify iWay is a reliable and cheap cafe with over 1,600 cafes over India. iWay also allows you to open a pre-paid account that you can use all over India. Whenever you have Internet access probably the best and cheapest way to call family and friends at home is software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet such as Skype.

Wifi hotspots in India are, for most part, limited. The major airports and stations do offer paid wifi at around RS.60-100 an hour. Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai are the only cities with decent wifi coverage. At Mumbai airport, you get to use WiFi internet free, for an hour or so.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for India is 91. To dial outside the country from India, prefix the country code with 00.

The general emergency number is 100 (emergency response police & fire), while for ambulance you should dial 102 or 112, though some regions have 108 for this emergency. 108 is used in in the Indian states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha,Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 108 can be called for medical, crime, fire, or any other emergency from any phone.

Local phone numbers can be anywhere from 5-8 digits long. But when the area code is included, all landline phone numbers in India are 10 digits long. Cellphone numbers usually start with '9', '8', or '7'. Toll-free numbers start with 1-800.

If staying longterm it is probably wise to think about investing in a mobile phone. You'll possibly need to provide a photocopy of your passport and itinerary, so come prepared. Make sure you arrange it upon arrival in a big city, as it can sometimes be difficult to organise with language barriers and such in more regional areas. You can buy a cheap nokia for about RS.1,200 with a pre-paid plan. Airtel is a good carrier to think about as they have great coverage, and constant offers for cheaper calling. To recharge, most shop vendors with phone carrier signs can do it via their own phone. You give them your mobile number, they put it in their phone and you'll both get messages as to whether or not the recharge has been successful. Also, if possible, buy the phone in the state where you do the most travelling as the charges are higher in the states where you did not originally buy the phone.

Over the entire country there are plenty of public phones, even in the middle of the countryside. Although most of the time these phones are not very well maintained and have horrible connections. Therefore remember when using one of these public phones one must be extremely patient.
For international calls from payphones, you'll have to visit a reputable internet cafe with a phone-booth. Mobile phones are usually a better and cheaper option.

Post

India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost RS.50 to 200. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.

If you want to send bigger packages/parcels, it might be better, faster and sometimes even cheaper, to contact a private company like DHL, TNT or UPS.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 12.3033
  • Longitude: 76.645866

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This is version 26. Last edited at 18:42 on May 28, 14 by shamalc. 5 articles link to this page.

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