Mysore is the cultural hub of Bangalore’s cosmopolitan modernity and these two cities in many ways encapsulate the state of Karnataka. A weekend trip from Bangalore to Mysore is always one to look forward to. The 150 km route is dotted with numerous attractions. Bollywood buffs would recognize the rocky landscape of Ramanagara from the movie Sholay, while a detour showcases the Kanva reservoir, where some peaceful moments can be enjoyed in a serene location.
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an immersive weekend gateways trip in Mysore. Buses stick to a rigid routine and regular taxis will cost a bomb when it comes to a flexible trip, which makes self-drive car rentals the best way for travel. More informed customers find more value in a rented car, which also acts as a mode of transport in the city of Mysore, and not just for the journey from Bangalore. Mysore also has many places to visit on the outskirts and beyond, so convenient mobility will ensure a very well-rounded trip.
Mysore – Sightseeing
The city of Mysore is laden with attractions of many kinds. One needs to visit the centerpiece of the city, the Mysore Palace. It shows the pinnacle of the Wodeyar dynasty’s reign and is an architectural marvel that is visited by millions every year. Some of the structural highlights of this palace are the grand main approach, an arched gateway with towers. The architecture includes elements of Mughal, Gothic, and Rajput designs.
The main attractions inside the palace include the Ambivilasa, a hall where the king of Mysore entertained private audiences. The stained glass ceilings and chandeliers of this room will conjure images of opulent royal celebrations. The marriage hall of the palace, the Kalyana Mantapa is known for the peacock motifs and mosaic that set the theme of the room. There are also many temples in the complex. Some of the main ones are the Lakshmiramana Temple and the Sri Bhuvaneshwari Temple.
When driving around Mysore’s central streets, one is likely to come across the Dufferin Clocktower, another landmark of the city. The clock tower, originally installed in the late 19th century, has had more aesthetic additions in recent times, including lamps and fountains. The Railway Museum of Mysore is a niche landmark of Mysore. Visitors can enjoy walking around the outdoor area and seeing the different types of locomotives on display. Even the ticket counter is carved from a coach, keeping with the theme. Children who come here can enjoy a ride on the mini-train. One of the quirky exhibits one will find here is a 1925 Austin car that was modified to run on rail tracks. A 1900 Wagnall steam engine is another popular attraction for railway connoisseurs.
The Mysore Zoo houses species from all over the world. It is one of the few zoos in the country which has a unique ‘adoption’ scheme for animal enthusiasts. The Bengal tigers are the main attraction here but this sprawling area also provides home to some very exotic animals. One can find giraffes and African lions at the Mysore Zoo. Zebras, white rhinos, and baboons are some of the other African imports. Green anacondas, a native species of South America, can also be found here. The Zoo also includes Karanji Lake, a serene spot with the Chamundi Hills in the background. The lake is home to a few bird species.
Curving roads flanked by forests on either side are the highlights of a trip to the Chamundi hills, along with the hill-top temple that shares a symbiotic relationship with the city below. The Chamundeshwari Temple is an important center of pilgrimage. One of the popular landmarks near the temple is a 15-feet high statue of the Nandi bull.
Srirangapatna is a short drive away from the city of Mysore and is the last bastion of Tipu Sultan who fell in battle in this town, a moment in history that is now marked by a monument. Other attractions here include the mausoleum of the king and the temples in the fort.
Mysore has a very rich food culture, and apart from contemporary delicacies, its many eateries provide a treasure trove of local dishes. Like in most places in Southern India, idlis and vadas are regular breakfast food, but Mysore has its own twists when it comes to ingredients and flavor. Bonda is another popular delicacy, this spicy, deep-fried item is often dipped in hot sambar and makes for a quick lunch.
One of the richest foods one can have in Mysore is Kesari bath, a semolina preparation with saffron, sugar, and dry fruits like cashew nuts. Made of fermented dough, the uttapams of Mysore are another favorite of foodies. The dosa in Mysore is quite distinctive. The MylariDosa is a famous restaurant that serves only this iconic dish, made in the quintessential regional style.
Cruise Through the Streets of Mysore
There are some very good markets in Mysore where one can pick up a wide variety of products. The Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium is a place stocked with beautiful pieces of traditional art and handicrafts, which cater to all budgets. Devaraja is the place to go if one yearns for the hustle and bustle of a traditional Indian market. A vibrant and colorful place, the Devaraja Market is a place where shoppers can pick up anything from fruits to sandalwood curios.
There are many advantages of renting a self-drive car. This mode of transport offers complete privacy and freedom, making it the top choice in many countries across the world. Modern car rentals in India such as Zoomcar are offering customers affordable rental plans and a wide range of vehicles to choose from. Assurances like 24/7 on-road support add a layer of security to the rental deal.
A self-drive Bangalore to Mysore taxi is a pleasant and comfortable way to cruise around this dynamic region of Karnataka. Travelling on one’s own terms is always recommended, as it is the key ingredient for a memorable experience.