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.
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:
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.
The list of places which I wish I knew more about before visiting Mysore is organized as follow:
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
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.
Climbing the stairs up to Chamundi Hilltop is best either very early in the morning or in the evening.
At these times you can enjoy a glorious sunrise or experience a breathtaking sunset.
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.
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.
Lakes – great places to get closer to nature and escape the city’s hustle and bustle
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.
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).
- Amrutha Family Restaurant
- Cafe Mandira
- Dhatou Organics & Naturals (in the same location you will find a restaurant and an organic food store)
- Hotel RRR (Spicy North Indian food)
- Hotel Sambrama
- Mahesh Prasad
- The Old House
In the Gokulam area I liked:
- Anoki Garden (ragi crepes and fruit salad with coconut were my favorites)
- Chakra House Cafe (good prices, delicious smoothies, and yummy ragi wraps)
- Santosha Cafe (you can also exchange currency here)
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
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- Government Silk Factory
- Badsha Store
- Rashinkar Silks Emporium at Devaraja Mohalla, Shivarampet, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001, India. This is also a great place to buy good quality yoga rugs for circa 450 – 500 INR.
9. Sandalwood and Souvenirs Shopping
10. Quality Sportswear and Yoga Related Shops
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.
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.
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)
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!