“ An eventful drive from Bangalore will bring you to the peaceful and surprising Mysore, in the foothill of the Chamundi Hills. Eventful drive because there is a lot to explore on the way: between the wonderful Grover vineyards (driver service unavoidable), the silk factories, the traditional wooden toy city of Channapatna and the many family restaurants serving wonderful South Indian snacks, you may consider it a journey in itself.
Once reaching Mysore, you are drawn to the green and well planned aspect of the capital city of the Kingdom of Mysore which ruled for over 6 centuries, if we dont count a few periods in the 18th century when Tipu Sultan used to overtake power. The home of the Wadiyar dynasty, patrons of arts and culture, has been described as the cultural capital of Karnataka. It is host for many beautiful heritage structures and palaces. Its also well famous for its Dasara festival, where the royal elephants parade in their magnificent apparels, or for the beautiful flower shows organised.
It is a fantastic destination for a family as you will get an overall experience in this city where people protect fiercely their quality of life, love for wildlife and healthy leaving. First enjoy a half day at the wonderful zoo: the diversity of the wildlife is huge and they seem to be pretty well cared for. From Hyenas, to Lion, to anacondas, to giraffes…the whole family would enjoy this visit. Plastic is forbidden inside as well as food that could be used to feed animals, and guards are carefully monitoring the crowd. And yes, it can be crowdy there at times, but the place is so vast that you will soon be able to reclaim some space.
It is then time to have a nice and lazy lunch. Plenty of options are possible, but we advise to either try out some traditional south India meals and why not in a place where care was taken to revive the ancient grains and traditional vegetables. A haven of yoga practitioners from around the world and great place to restock on organic and rare flours, Dhatu Organics and Naturals, will offer a humble but absolutely delicious and gut friendly lunch. You could also opt for a food tour eventually.
It will probably be quite late by then, you could opt for a visit of the famous and fascinating Mysore palace. A special warning for agoraphobic: you will be crumped in the crowd there. It s not going to be a quiet, at your rhythm kind of visit, but we assure you, it s still worth it. First when parking, you will be struck by the magnificence of this extraordinary palace. Each room has new surprises such as detailed wood carved doors and fine paintings. There is a breath-taking hall in the middle of the visit as well as impressive views from the terrace.
Look closely and you see that outside the palace is decorated with light bulbs. In fact, there are more than 96,000 of them. Every evening at 7pm, a light and sound show (in Kannada only though) is organised and you have a chance to witness this beautiful sighting. We believe that you will be probably only wishing for the quiet of your hotel by the end of the day. And there are many options in Mysore from the quirky to the classical, the heritage to the modern and many nice dinner options.
The day after, we recommend a palace and temple day. Most of the other options would be much less crowdy than the Maharajah one. They do showcase various piece of arts from different periods and regions, or collectibles from royal family. You may start by the Jagan Mohan Palace, the oldest one in the city. The audio guide is very precious. A 3 storey building built in the traditional Hindu architectural style, it will strike you by the creativity of its carvings. It became one the most renown art gallery in South India with 2000 paintings and impressive artefacts, musical instruments…
You may opt to have lunch in the next palace: The Lalith Mahal Palace. Then head to Chamundi Hills for a colourful temple visit with an amazing view on the region. Depending on your interest, you may visit the Osho Ashram, an interesting Christian ashram or the Ayurveda center of IVAC…
If you have more time, your next day could be for shopping, enjoying a quiet afternoon in a nice garden café, enjoying a cycle tour, going for a safari in Bandipur nearby, or visiting the Folk museum and a few more interesting places. On your way back to Bangalore airport, we recommend a stop at Somnathpur temple built by a Hoysala king in 1268! The incredibly detailed carvings have thousands of stories to tell.
Well I believe you understand you need the tailor made help of a travel expert to ensure you are not missing a piece. Contact Le Magnifique Travel for more information.” - Mrs. Maud Le Bars