Guide to Mysore – City of Yoga & More

Mysore or Mysuru is the third largest city in the province of Karnataka. The city has a population of about 32,017,000 Mysore District, Census 2011- 2019 data and has a well-developed tourism industry.

Mysore city is situated at the bottom of Chamundi Hills about 150 km from Bangalore, where the nearest international airport is. Mysore also has an airport 12 km from the city. It is called Mandakalli Airport and connects Mysore by air with few other Indian destinations i.e. Chennai, Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore.

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The city is famous for its rich architecture, in particular palaces and beautiful gardens.

Mysore is frequently referred to as Yoga Mecca as the father of modern yoga, Krishnamacharya, taught there. The city has also been home to well-known yoga teachers such as Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, Venkatesh, V. Sheshadri and B.N.S Iyengar. Watch the trailer about Mysore Yoga Traditions to get a bit more info about Yoga in Mysore.

The most popular Yoga style taught in the city is Ashtanga Yoga and people from around the world have been visiting the city (including ‘stars’ such as Maddona and Sting) to deepen their Yoga practice or to partake in the teacher training courses (TTC’s). 

If you are visiting the home city of Ashtanga Yoga to deepen your practice or to do your TTC I’d recommend giving the below schools a try:

1. Indea Yoga & Yoga Barata

2. Inteyoga

3. Krishnamacharr Yoga Foundation

4. K.Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Shala

5. Mandira Ashtanga Yoga Shala

6. Sri Ramakrishna Ashram

7. Sthalam8

During your stay in Mysore, you should definitely try the famous Mysore Pack and Mysore Masala Dosa. You may also wish to get some famous Sandalwood Mysore Soap or oil in addition to value for money silks.

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Mysore Pack from Guru Sweets Mart at  1743, Sayyaji Rao Rd, Devaraja Mohalla, Yadavagiri, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001, India

 

The list of places which I wish I knew more about before visiting Mysore is organized as follow: 

1. Attractions

2. Places to Eat Out

3. Organic Food Shops

4. Sweets Shop

5. Shopping Malls

6. Ayurvedic Places

7. Clothes Shops

8. Sports and Yoga Related Shops

9. Silk Shops

10. Sandalwood and Souvenirs Shops

11. Jewelry, Malas and Singing Bowls Shop

12. Airtel Sim Card Store

13. Apps for ordering Rickshaws/Taxi

14. Rikshaw/ taxi Apps 

15. ATM’s in Mysore 

16. Swimming Pool

17. Dentist

 

1.Attractions

Mysore Palace (Ambavilas Palace), ideally visit the inside of the palace during the weekdays as weekends tend to be crowded. Be sure to view the lighting of the place on a Sunday evening between 7pm – 7:45pm.

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Mysore Palace around 6pm / February 2019 
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Mysore Palace about 7:10 pm / February 2019 
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Mysore Palace about 7:40 pm / February 2019 
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Inside Mysore Palace during the day time / April 2019 

Chamundi Hills  & Chamundeshwari Temple are located about 13 km east of Mysore.

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Chamundeshwari Temple / April 2019 
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Climbing the stairs up to Chamundi Hilltop is best either very early in the morning or in the evening.

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Steps to Chamundi Hill Temple / March 2019 

At these times you can enjoy a glorious sunrise or experience a breathtaking sunset.

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Sunset from Chamundi Hill View Point / April 2019 

The temple on the top of the hill is dedicated to goddess Chamundeshwari (believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva’s wife Parvati) and is one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations in Karnataka.

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Chamundeshwari Temple / April 2019

During the week when most people have work commitments, the path to the hilltop should be fairly quiet and peaceful. During the weekend, especially on Sundays, the local devotees climb up to the temple to pray and the path tends to be busy.

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Offerings to the Chamundeshwari Deity outside Chamundeshwari Temple / April 2019 

Lakes – great places to get closer to nature and escape the city’s hustle and bustle

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Kukkarahalli Lake / April 2019 
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Kukkarahalli Lake before sunset  / April 2019 

Devaraja Market. Visit the market to get a taste of normal daily life of Mysore. The market dates back to the 18th century and the current construction was created in the 1900s. The market was named after Maharaja Dooda Devaraja Wodeyar and now It is a perfect spot for taking colorful photos and buying delicious fruits, vegetables, spices, teas, malas, pretty much everything.

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Devaraja Market Banana Lane / March 2019 
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Chickens  for sale just outside Devaraja Market  / March 2019 
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Dying colors at Devaraja Market  / March 2019 
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Stand at Devaraja Market / March 2019 

2. Places to Eat Out

When it comes to eating out below are the places which are fairly close to Krishnamacharr Yoga Foundation Shala (I did my TTC over there) and The Palace.

The dining spots were recommended to me by a very sweet girl from the US called Sydney! 😀 Well, Sydney wherever you are a massive thanks for the recommendations and I hope you will see this blog post one day 😉

 

Below are the links to the restaurants. Some of the links will take you to Facebook pages as the restaurants don’t have proper websites yet (or I’m just not aware of these). 

In the Gokulam area I liked:

  • Anoki Garden  (ragi crepes and fruit salad with coconut were my favorites)
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    Entrance to Anokhi Garden / March 2019 
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    Ragi tomato & spinach crepe at Anokhi Garden / March 2019 

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    Fruit & coconut salad at Anokhi Garden / March 2019 on
  • Chakra House Cafe (good prices, delicious smoothies, and yummy ragi wraps)
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Ragi wraps at Chakra House Cafe / April 2019 
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Depth N Green / February 2019
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Buddha Bowl at Depth N Green / February 2019
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By the entrance to Santosha Cafe / March 2019 

3. Organic Food Shops / Stores

If you fancy buying organic foods, cosmetics, and yoga related bits and bobs check these places out:

  • Cocoa Vault – I bought the best ragi bread in this place, I also highly recommend trying their homemade tahini, peanut, and almond butter.
  • Green House Organic Shop at 8th cross Gokulam, 3rd Stage – shop selling organic food, cosmetics and a wide selection of Yoga and Ayurveda books
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Yoga Bars at Green House Organic Shop / March 2019 
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Spices and organic cosmetics at Green House Organic Shop / March 2019

4. Sweets Shops 

Cafe Aroma at Gangothri Layout, Mysuru, Karnataka 570009, India, which is next to Yoga Dhaama provides a decent selection of cakes and pastries.

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Selection of cakes at Cafe Aroma / February 2019 

The place which sells yummy Mysore Ghee Pack and good Jalub is Udupi Sri Krishna Khara Mixture & Sweets at Jayanagar, Kuvempu Nagara, Mysuru, Karnataka 570014, India. As you can see from the picture below the place is rather busy and you may need to queue a little bit before you source your sweet treat. 

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Outside Udupi Sri Krishna Khara Mixture & Sweets / March 2019 


5. Shopping Malls

  • Garuda Mall  – Albert Victor Road, Agrahara, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001, India
  • Big Bazar – No 446, Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai Rd, Sunnadakeri, Chamarajapuram Mohalla, Lakshmipuram, Mysuru, Karnataka 570004, India, and BM Habitat Mall 22/V, Gokulam Road, 1st Main Rd, Jayalakshmipuram, Mysuru, Karnataka 570012, India
  • Mall of Mysore
  • Loyal World
  • More Megastore

6. Ayurvedic Places

  • Ikya Ayurveda – 197-198, 1st Main Rd, Gokulam 3rd Stage, Gokulam, Mysuru, Karnataka 570002, India
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Ikya Ayurveda / March 2019 
  • Ayurvedic Pharmacy at Ashwini Ayurvedic at 285/F 6, Ramanuja Road, Ramanuja Road, Near J S S Hospital, Agrahara, Mysuru, Karnataka 570004, India
  • You get a good Ayurvedic message for 500 INR per/ hour at Suyoga Annas Cafe & Massage . This is the best value for money massage I found in Mysore
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Suyoga Business card / February 2019 
  • 10 days Panchakarma treatment for circa 3500 INR can be done at JSS Hospital

7. Quality Clothes Shopping 

I bought a few things at the local markets and it wasn’t a good move. Clothes were losing color during washing (staining everything else), and they fell apart within a few weeks of use. Stick to the above shops if you do want to buy anything.

8. Silk Shopping

9. Sandalwood and Souvenirs Shopping 

10. Quality Sportswear and Yoga Related Shops

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Entrance to Sudha’s Yoga Shoppe / February 2019 


11.  Jewellery &  Singing Bowls are best at 
Silver Nest

12. Airtel Sim Card 

This can be sorted at Airtel Store located at Mythri Arcade, Next to Sarawsathipuram theatre, Kantharaja Urs Rd, Saraswathip, Mysuru, Karnataka 570009, India.

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My Airtel Sim card / Valid from February to April 2019 
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Street outside Airtel Shop Kantharaja Urs Rd, Saraswathip, Mysuru, Karnataka 570009, India / March 2019 

The sim card is valid for a maximum of 90 days and costs about 500 INR. To get the sim you need to provide Airtel staff with your passport, visa, and photo. You also need to give them Indian tel. Number (you can use the contact of the place you are staying at the time) so the provider is able to verify your identity and activate your sim.

 

13. Riksha / Taxi Apps 

14. ATM’s in Mysore 

15. Outdoor Swimming Pool

This ok swimming pool is at Hotel Southern Star. Entry for the day costs 500 INR.

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Southern Star Hotel swimming pool / March 2019 


16. Dentist

I had an emergency during my stay in India and had to visit the dentist. I was recommended the Dental Speciality Centre at C/o Dental Speciality Centre, No.4564/A, 1st Floor, H Tension Double Road, Vijaynagar 2nd Stage, Mysore – 570017. The dental service was good. I had a filling replaced at the cost of 600 INR. If you are grinding teeth you may also want to have a teeth guard sorted when in India. From the mold taking it takes about 3-4 days for the teeth guard to be ready for collection. The cost is circa 3500 INR (about £36)

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Dental Speciality Centre Business card / March 2019 

 

Hope the above information will make your stay in Mysore more ‘zen’ and fun.

Personally, I think Mysore is a great city to visit regardless if you are a Yogi or not.

Happy & safe travels!

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