Mysore is one of the most popular cities of Karnataka not only because of its beauty but because this radiant city has abundance of heritage and history. The heartbeat of Mysore is stuck in the most breath-taking palaces in the country, The Mysore Palace. Home of the royal family of Wadiyars and also known as Amba Vilas Palace, your trip is incomplete without visiting this palace.
Located at the bottom of the Chamundi Hills and about 150 kms from Bangalore, Mysore has about 2.5 million visitors every year and is one of the most visited cities in India.
Apart from the majestic Mysore Palace, the city has other attractions with a history tag. These include St. Philomena's Church, Chamundi Hill, Mysore Zoo, Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, Rail Museum, Somnathpur known for the Hoysala era temple, the Brindavan Gardens at KRS, the ancient Jain center of Shravanabelagola, Bandipur National Park, the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, the Tibetan center of Bylakuppe, the Coorg district etc.
But if you thought that's all Mysore has to offer, hold on! For its a shopper's paradise! Yes, that's right! The city has shopping option in galore but is famous for Mysore silk sarees, Khadi cotton and Sandalwood. Mysore is also known as the Sandalwood city. The city sells the most authentic sandalwood products such as sandalwood oil, billet (raw piece), idols and figurines of animals etc. Sandalwood is very precious and hence, even if a tree grows in someone's personal land, it's owned and regulated by the government.
Other popular things that you can buy are Mysore betel leaves, coffee powder, incense sticks, rosewood inlay artefacts, Mysore paintings and stone scultpures to name a few. Overall it is a shopper's delight city, so go on and splurge.
Did you know apart from all this, Mysore also is a yogis paradise with some of the best yoga asharams in the city. To name a few, AyurYoga Eco Ashram, Kerala, which is set on 18 acres of organic farm land between Mysore and Kerala, thrives on the traditional teachings of Hatha yoga, Pranayama, meditation, philosophy and Ayurveda. It also offers a four week yoga teacher's training course and a two week immersion retreat for beginners. Next in the list is Mysore Krishnamachar Yoga Shala where one can get training in all areas of yoga that include asana, mudra, chanting, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, and Ayurveda.
Apart from this, in the vicinity of Mysore there are ashrams like Kaivalyam retreat in Munnar where one can have a hands on experience at the farm along with daily yoga practice; spice plantation walks, bird watching and campfire.