Mysore is a historical city in the South Indian state Karnataka. This city is 140kms away from Bangalore - one of the IT Hubs of India and the capital of the state..  Mysore's legacy is linked to its rulers and is well known for its palaces and pageantry. The Royalty in Mysore was exceptional as they were pioneers introducing electricity, the railways, a modern education system, and fostering traditional crafts,culture and cuisine. Well known for its silks, sandalwood, coffee, fragrances, incense,  temple sculpture, Mysore was also home to the Van Ingen brothers, among the best known taxidermists in the world. Its association with Ashtanga Yoga is also due to royal patronage and it is now one of the best places for learning Yoga. There are concerts through out the year and many of these are free. The practise of Yoga has supported organic farmers, house wives offering home cooked food, teachers of music,meditation and chanting. A mild climate, broad avenues, grand public buildings with generous set backs, public parks and lakes creates a slow pace where you can enjoy walking and cycling, a rare treat in India. There are many places within easy reach of Mysore and therefore making Mysore your hub for exploring the region is a convenient way of admiring the architectural marvels, wildlife and most importantly living traditions of India.It is a place you would want to linger for longer.

Undoubtably the main  built attraction of Mysore is the Amba Vilas Palace where the ticket price includes an audio guide for foreigners. The palace interiors would take 2 hours at the very least and it is best to go early. The Palace is illuminated in the eveings for about half an hour on weekends and public holidays. There is a Sound and Light show in the winter months on weekdays which culminates with the palace being illuminated for a few minutes, currently in Kannada, with an English version planned. There are opportunities to cycle in the palace grounds,take an elephant or camel ride, and visit some of the many temples within the palace ground. An ancient Ice room, abaondoned laundry, a workshop in disuse with a mechanical platform ( that was used to raise perfroming musicians) are mute testimony to the grandeur. There are concerts on the palace grounds and it becomes the centre of attention during the annual Dasara celebrations. 

The Chamundi Hills visible from most parts of Mysore attract pilgrims to its temple patronized by the Mysore royalty. The monolithic Nandi bull, the statue of Mahisasura and the panoramic views of Mysore including the Race Course and Lalitha Mahal Palace make the gentle trek up the forested hills worthwhile. On full moon nights there are free concerts at the Suttur Mutt at the foothills.

Mysore has a Horse Racing Club a Sports Club and  a Golf Club as well as  a Police Riding Academy at the foothills of Chamundi. There are over 200 horses at the academy and the morning exercises at their grounds are a treat to watch. Nearby is the Karanji Lake with plenty of birdlife. The Mysore Zoo adjacent is probably one of India's best managed zoos and they have a range of illustrated talks and seminars too. Opposite the zoo is Ramsons ,an amazing store housing all the tradional crafts and textiles. You will not  miss the signage for a newly opened Wax Museum in the vicinity.On the Ooty Road the  Satchinanda Ganapathi Ashram is home to a wonderful Bonsai Garden as well as a herb and medicinal plants nursery. Here therapy is provided through music and so many of the best concerts are held here.

While there are many concerts venues, the Jaganmohan Palace and Kala Mandir are best known. The Kala Mandir is located near the Kukrahalli Lake and the sprawling Mysore University with the grand Crawford Hall, the bell towered DC's office, The Oriental Research Institute and the other stately buildings allowing for a pleasant drive or walk. The Indian Heritage Cities Network is headquartered in one of the old cottages for professors. They plan to introduce heritage walks aroungd the university. 

In the proximity of Jaganmohan Palace, there is a buidling originally created to populaize Yoga. It still has a temple which offers a peaceful sanctuary for a brief respite with nearly no people. A place lost in time. By contrast the Lansdowne Buildings and the Devraj Market are bustling with activity and taking a walk with Royal Mysore Walks would give you an insight into the Mysore Maillge flower, the varities of bananas including the Rasballe, The Mysore Pak and other trivia. The Town Hall, The Mysore Corporation Building, The Clock Tower, The Freemasons Hall too have interesting stories. CAVA , the academy of Visual Arts often have interesting exhibitions and the Cauvery Emporium a nice place to browse around.

The Yoga hubs popular with foreigners have developed around Gokulam thanks to the legacy of Pattabhi Jois now being carried forward by his grandson Sarath. Thanks to Yoga students, a new lease of life has been provided to those who teach dance,music,chanting,sculpting and painting.

The Mysore Silk Factory recently celebrated its centenary and may well be worth a visit.

 Most visitors to Mysore visit the Brindavan Gardens overlooking the KRS Dam for the evening display of musical fountains. Interesting detours include the Balmuri Falls, The temple restored by The Oriya Association of Mysore and the 60 acre island ashram.

Srirangapatnam just 14 km from Mysore has the splendid Dariya Daulat Bagh, the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, probably one of the best preserved royal houses in India with intricate woodwork, painted roofs and walls. Set on the banks of the river Kaveri in gardens with ancient trees, a haven from the noisy highway closeby. The Gumbaz and the Sangam along the same quiet country lane too are places worth a visit as also the Srirangapatnam Fort area, the Ranganatha Temple across the highway. Lesser known is the recently restored Cemetry off the road to the  Mayura River View Hotel.The Ranganathitoo Bird Sanctuary offers a great way to spend the late afternoon.

Within close proximity of Mysore you have Somnathpur,Talacad,Nanjangud, Suttur,Sivasamundram and Melkote offering a diversity of religeous and spiritual experiences. Kabini,Nagerhole,Bandipur are wild reserves and part of Project Tiger. However  if spotting the elusive tiger is secondary, Dubare Elephant Reserve in Coorg and the Bhimeshwari Fishing Camp as well as opportunties to do river rafting should satisfy the nature enthusiast.

The Tibetan community were given refuge in Karnataka and their Monastry complex off Bylakuppe on the Mysore Coorg road gives a glimpse of their traditions. Coorg's coffee plantations now offer home stays and this is a great way to explore the region.

Shravanbelagola, Belur and Halebid  can also be easily accessed from Mysore. Traveling  onward to Kerala, Tamil Nadu is also easy from Mysore with convenient trains and an extensive bus network.