If cosmopolitan Bangalore is Karnataka’s crowded Tokyo, then Mysore is surely its Kyoto – the historic, cultural and spiritual capital.
Mysore, the ‘City of Palaces’ is the former capital of the Wodeyar dynasty which ruled Mysore from 1399 right up to its merging with Independent India in 1950. It remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India.
The Wodeyar legacy remains in the grand Indo-Sarcenic City Palace and other stately buildings that line the city streets. The City Palace is easily one of India’s most opulent buildings. With parts of it clad in 18-carat gold, and a multitude of Mughal domes and Rajasthani cupolas, it is a sight to behold, even more so on Sunday nights when illuminated with thousands of light bulbs that pick out its extravagant silhouette against the night sky.
At Chamundi Hills, India’s largest Nandi bull statue adorns the city’s most important temple. The city is famous for its beautiful silk, sandalwood and incense industries. The lively Devaraja Market is a sensory delight.
Mysore is also a great base to visit nearby Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Tipu Sultan’s famous Srirangapatnam and the temple at Somnathpur.