For me, Mysore had all the positives I look for an Indian city.
- It’s extremely walkable and the bus system is clearly marked and easy to utilize.
- It seemed fairly clean.
- There were lots of touristy things to do but the overall city didn’t feel like it was overrun with tourists.
- The food was fantastic and cheap.
Really, the only thing that we didn’t like about Mysore was that we couldn’t find any wifi. Not a big issue but surprising given the size of the city.
Brandon and I decided that we would love to come back sometime in the future and spend at least a month studying yoga here. This is the home of Ashtanga yoga and there are lots of studios you can study at.
What is there to do in Mysore?
We walked around Devaraja market a few times (didn’t buy anything) and saw all the fruit and veg sellers, bangle, flower, oil, incense, woodcut, religious memorabilia sellers, etc.
Bangle shop, Devaraja market
Flower sales, Devaraja market
Paint sales, Devaraja market
We were fortunate to be in Mysore on a Sunday evening, when the Mysore Palace is lit up with 100,000 lights and you can enter the grounds for free.
Mysore Palace at night
A gateway to the palace at night
Donald Duck trashcan, Mysore Palace
We took the bus up to Chamundi Hill. This is the spot, according to legend, where the Goddess Chamundi killed the Demon Mahishasura (below). There are a few temples on the top of the hill, as well as lots of little shops. We took the stairs down (1,000) and surprisingly, my legs felt jiggly. So glad we didn’t climb up.
We also went to the zoo. Our favorite animals were the jaguars, who were being really playful when we stopped by their cage. The tigers were beautiful, although all of them except one were kept in small cages. Two animals I hadn’t heard of but thought were really cute were the Giant Squirrel and the Mouse Deer.
A Bengal Tiger, snoozing
One of the many direct signs at the zoo
We also took a one hour tour to see how incense and oils were made. It was really a ploy to get us to buy the stuff and it sort of worked. We saw some women making incense and an older man who made beedis (cigarettes rolled with leaves). We didn’t get to see any oil production but I did cave and buy a “Black Jasmine” oil that smelled really nice. Hopefully I’ll get it home in one piece.