Mysore is known as the City of Palaces for its grand palatial buildings, but magnificent architecture is just one part of this ancient city’s charms. There are museums, expansive gardens, mythology and history.
Embark on a tour of Mysore's seven palaces. Start with Mysore Palace, one of the most visited tourist attractions in India. The former home of the Royal Family of Mysore is a vast, multi-domed edifice in the center of the city. There is a sound and light show here on most evenings. On Sunday nights and during festive occasions, the royal structure is illuminated by thousands of light bulbs.
Visit Jaganmohan Palace for its large collection of paintings, including examples of the Mysore genre that depict scenes from Hindu mythology. Admire the architecture of the white-painted Lalithal Mahal Palace that was inspired in part by St. Paul's Cathedral in London. For more impressive structures, see Chamundeshwari Temple and Lakshmiramana Swamy Temple. Some of the city’s temples are within the grounds of Mysore Palace.
If you want to visit a museum, Mysore has several good ones. Learn about the flora, fauna and geology of India at the National Museum of Natural History. View vintage locomotives at the Rail Museum and examine hundreds of paintings, sculptures and archaeological artifacts at the Folk Art Museum.
Enjoy some of Mysore's outdoor attractions. At Brindavan Gardens, stroll through terraces that are filled with flowers, trees and water features. Don’t miss the musical fountain’s night-time light and music show.
Spend a few hours at Karanji Kere Lake and in the park that surrounds the large body of water. Rent a peddle boat, go to the butterfly park and photograph peacocks and other birds inside the walk-through aviary. For more wildlife, head to Mysore Zoo.
Mysore is approximately 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of Bangalore, where there is an international airport. The two cities are connected by a rail network and four-lane highway.