The former capital of the Mysore Kingdom, which ruled over South India for more than five centuries, Mysore (officially Mysuru) is a charming little city known for its delicious food, ample yoga centers (Ashtanga yoga has its roots here), and its stunning Amba Vilas Palace, one of the most spectacular palaces in all of India.
The name Mysore comes from the word "Mahishuru," or abode of Mahisha, a demon who was defeated here after a drawn-out battle with the goddess Chamnudeshwari. While a temple to the goddess stands to this day, the big draw for most visitors is the city's huge palace complex, one of the most popular attractions in all of South India.
Mysore can easily be visited as a day trip from Bangalore, though, unsurprisingly, most organized tours focus primarily on Mysore Palace.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Don't forget comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
- Mysore is a must-visit for history buffs and lovers of art and architecture.
- If you're coming from Bangalore, take a Shatabdi Express train—it's faster than going by car or bus.
How to Get There
Mysore is easy to get to from Bangalore, with regular train services linking the two cities in two to three hours. Alternatively, the journey from Mysore to Bangalore takes around three and a half hours on National Highway 275 (or four hours from the airport), though expect to spend more than four hours in transit if you go by bus due to multiple stops. Alternatively, take a tour from Bangalore that includes round-trip transport.
When to Get There
Mysore is a year-round destination, with mild summers (by Indian standards) and warm winters. The hottest months are April and May, while the monsoon rains drench the city from June through August or September. The festival season starts in September or October with the annual Mysore Dasara festival, a celebration of the triumph of good over evil; Mysore Palace is illuminated with thousands of tiny lights throughout the duration of the festival.
Flavors of Mysore
Mysore is known across India for its food, notably Mysore pak and Mysore masala dosas. Mysore pak is a popular sweet consisting of chickpea flour, ghee (clarified butter), and sugar, often with a touch of cardamom. The Mysore masala dosa is the city’s version of a popular South Indian crepe stuffed with potatoes; in Mysore, a spicy red chutney is spread on the interior of the crepe to add some heat.