Updated: Jan 19, 2020
As a child, I imagined living in a palace with my king after winning his heart over and happily getting married after. My imagination of a palace stemmed from my all-time favorite shows like Cinderella, Rapunzel, etc. Most of the women out there reading this would know what I mean. ;)
Imagine that wow factor when I first laid my eyes on Mysore Palace. It felt like reliving that childhood fantasy all over again but, of course, without dreaming myself as Cinderella.
As per the Indian mythology, there was a king called Mahishasura (Mahisha = Buffalo, Asura = demon). This so-called buffalo-headed demon was ruling the land which was named after him called "Mahishashuru". The name was abbreviated in the period of time and changed to "Mahisuru" and finally "Mysuru" in Kannada and "Mysore" as a puerile pronunciation by the poor Englishmen.
The evil king was so powerful that even the gods couldn't defeat him. He had a boon that he can only be killed by a 'woman' mightier than him considering there can never be a woman with such a power.
Later all the Gods realized that the demon needs to be killed somehow. Hence, a goddess was incarnated 'Durga' ( Chamundeswari in some places) by the synergy of all Gods and ultimately the demon died at her hand. The Chamundi Temple has been since then built to commemorate the significance of good defeats evil.
The city of palaces - Mysuru aka Mysore is loved by people all over the country and foreigners alike. Just 150 km from Bangalore, easily reachable via trains, buses, or cabs, this historical city is a must-visit for everyone. A weekend trip to this place is sufficient enough to discover the city thoroughly.
Which attractions to visit?
Do I need to even mention Mysore Palace? The one thing which every tourist wants to lay their eyes upon first. It is majestic. It is gorgeous. It is Magnifique. Period.
Entrance tickets for day visits are 70 ₹ per head. For light & sound shows after 7 PM, the cost is around 90 ₹. Please try your best NOT to miss it.
Brindavan Gardens is primarily a terrace garden and was built by the Diwan of Mysore state in 1932. It is just opposite to the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam. Half of the garden is maintained well, is beautiful and lush but the other half is somewhere between construction & maintenance. It is located approximately 12 km from the city center. There are regular buses available from the main bus stand. The entry fee is 15 ₹ per adult and the gardens remain open till 9 PM.
Remember Grandma's story mentioned earlier? Elevated at a height of ~3500 feet, Chamundi Temple poses as a poignant proof of good conquering evil. It is a beautiful piece of architecture and even if you are an atheist, just go for admiring the beauty and fog in the early morning hours. It is approximately 12 km from the city center and there are buses available directly from the city bus stand. No entry fee to access the temple.
Officially known as Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore Zoo is one of the oldest & well-preserved zoos in entire India. It provides shelter to more than 160 species of wildlife. Due to some incidents occurring between 2015-2017, many animals suffered death and some were transported to different zoos as a result of that. As of 2019, the exact number of species present is unknown however the natural habitat & the maintenance has been upped for the safety and long-life of animals since then. The entry fee is 60 ₹ per person and opens every day.
Karanji Lake is just beside Mysore Zoo and is a great place to wind down your day. You can take a walk or simply go for boating and relax. There is also a small aviary near the end of the park where ducks, peacocks, etc. can be found. Local folks come down here for picnics in the afternoon or to just lie down in the grass and stare at the sky. The entry fee for the lake is 10 ₹ per person.