Culture, Heritage and History- The Kingdom of Mysuru

What comes to your mind when someone says Mysore? Dusshera? The Masala Dosa? The Palace? Maybe you think about all of it. It is like a package isn’t it? Mysore is one of South India’s most captivating cities and is famed for its glittering heritage and rich culture. Anyone who has been to Mysore during Dusshera will definitely agree. I myself have been to Mysore more than about 7 times! Anymore and I might as well be a tour guide in the city! 😛 Obsessive much? It’s just that I happen to go to Mysore whenever I step into Karnataka 😛

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The famous Mysore Masala Dosa in a roadside eatery in the city

Lets take a short trip backwards shall we? Mysore is the third largest city in Karnataka after Bangalore and Hubli and was part of the famous Vijayanagara empire where many famous  Kings like Tipu Sultan and Krishnadevaraya once ruled. During the British rule in India, Mysore initially lost its status as the royal capital although it regained it later on as The Princely State of Mysore later on. It is also one of the most populated cities in Karnataka after Bangalore. Also, for those of you who didn’t know, Mysore is named a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Tourism in Mysore has increased to a great extent through the years and it is not just tourists from across India but also from across the world who travel a long way to see the city in all its royal glory. As if to justify its name as the princely city, Mysore has an abundance of Forts and Palaces of which the famous Mysore Palace is the most visited  with about 6 million visitors annually and with good reason.  The Mysore Palace was built by Maharaja Rajarishi Krishnarajendra Wadiyar IV.  Even though I’ve visited Mysore many times, the city and the Palace never fail to impress and leave me awestruck! 🙂 Those who are keen on visiting the city, I would recommend visiting the palace in the evening when you can see the beauty of it as the entire palace is lit up with beautiful golden lights.

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Mysore Palace lit up in the  evening

Another thing that interested me about Mysore is the Krishna Raja Sagar dam which holds hundreds of gallons of water and is an amazing man made marvel as well. The dam was built across the Cauvery river in 1924 and was historically rather dry due to droughts but gradually filled up. Near the dam is the stunningly beautiful Brindavan Gardens which is also a must visit and offers a lot of entertainment like a brilliantly colourful light show at about 7pm.

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Krishna Raja Sagar Dam

Next up, Chamundi hills is a serene place to spend some time in. The place has a brilliantly constructed Chamundeeshwaari temple which sits atop the hill. According to legend the asura Mahishasura was killed by the godess Chamundeeshwari after a fierce battle through which the place gained its name.

Below are the must visit places and things to do in Mysore:

Mysore Palace

Krishna Raja Sagar Dam 

Brindavan Gardens  (Try to watch the light show it’s beautiful) 

Eat an authentic Mysore Masala Dosa 

If you love sarees buy yourself a silk saree it will be worth it 🙂  

Chamundi Hills

Mysore Zoo

Rail Museum 

Overall, Mysore is the absolutely perfect blend of Heritage, architecture, culture, history and royalty. For those who love culture and history, the city is a must visit. The best time to visit Mysore would be during Dusshera when you can catch a glimpse of the city in all its magnificent glory. So, the next time you are planning a vacation or simply need to escape the hectic metropolitan city life, Mysore should definitely be on your list as the stay and other expenses are pocket friendly, and it will most certainly be an amazing experience! 🙂