Mysore is located approximately 150 kms from Bangalore and can be covered in 2-3 hours if you travel non-stop. We decided to spend just one night in Mysore and cover as many tourist attractions as possible. Though we had been to Mysore several times, we wanted to take my daughter out and give her an insight into the history of India. This was her first trip to Mysore.
We started at 7.30 Am on Saturday morning and travelled till Birur where we stopped for breakfast at Malgudi Vattika. We ordered mini idlis, idli wada and tea for ourself and bread butter jam for my daughter. Whenever we travel with her, we always carry Bournvita in a small container as she does not have tea/coffee. We spent around an hour in Malgudi Vattika. Loved the place. Cool and calm. It was here that I took out my DSLR to click some pictures of the place and the food only to discover that the DSLR stopped working. For the rest of the trip we continued clicking pictures with our android cellphones. I am thankful to my ASUS Zenfone which was a savior and helped in capturing all the memories.
We reached Mysore at 12.00 PM and headed straight to the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens also known as Mysore zoo. We parked our car in the designated parking area opposite to the Mysore zoo by paying parking charges of Rs.30/- for 4 hours. The entry ticket to the zoo is Rs. 30/- for children and Rs.60/- for adults on weekends and Govt. holidays.
She was really excited to see the rare and majestic white peafowl. We got to see lot of birds, animals like bison, lion, tiger, Bengal white tiger, leopards, elephants, and different types of chimpanzees, bears and even zebra and giraffes. We got to see the movement of all animals. Best part was that we heard the majestic lion roar. Oh, we loved the giraffes too.
The Mysore zoo is well maintained. It took us around 3 to 4 hours to cover the entire zoo by walk. After a long drive from Bangalore to Mysore, this long walk on a hot summer afternoon was unexpected. Yet the zoo was clean, due to lots of trees it was cool, shady and well maintained. All the animals looked healthy and well fed. Drinking water (RO) was available at every 30 minutes for free. Restrooms were also present at regular intervals. There is also a hotel inside the zoo where you can find South Indian food. But most of the people including us only bought ice-creams from the Nandhini ice-cream parlour to beat the summer heat.
After a visit to the zoo, we decided to have lunch at Pai Vista – The Guffa. We loved the ambiance which was that of a cave. We ordered chicken tikka kebab, butter chicken, chicken fried rice, naan and fresh lime soda. The fresh lime soda gave us some energy after the tiring drive and long walk. Food was tasty, decently priced and met our expectations. This is a must visit place in Mysore for food and ambiance.
By the time we finished lunch it was 4.00 PM. We actually had planned to visit the Mysore palace in the evening, but we had to cancel the plan and postpone it for next day. Instead of the palace, we visited St. Philomena’s Cathedral. My daughter loved it. This was her first visit to a church. A memory which she will cherish forever. We checked into Hotel Fortune JP Palace for the night halt.
Next day early morning, we decided to visit Chamundi Hills to seek blessings of Goddess Sri. Chamundeshwari. The drive up hill was a pleasant one. But again we were not allowed to drive up till the top. We had to park mid-way and then climb up the stairs till the temple. Our hats saved us from the scorching summer heat. All along the stairs, you will find people selling tender coconut water, packed drinking water, cut fruits and even hats. It is very difficult to find a shady place. Since it was Sunday, the place was very crowded. So we took the special darshan pass and avoided the long queue. In the temple premises, there are a lot of shops from where one can buy souvenirs. Restrooms which were clean and nicely maintained.
After seeking blessings from the goddess, we decided to straightway head to royal palace of Mysore. We had to buy entrance tickets for entering the palace. My daughter really loved this place. She even related it to the kings, queens, princes and princesses from the stories that she had heard and read. Since photography is prohibited inside the palace, we could not click any pictures. After coming out of the palace we saw some elephant and camel rides. My daughter felt sad at the sad plight of these animals being used to make money. She also refused for a ride.
Soon we realized that it was lunch time. We decided to have lunch at Jalapan which is a fine-dining vegetarian restaurant. Though the ambiance was average the food was worth the price. At 3.00 PM we left from Mysore to Bangalore. We took a 1 hour break at Kamat Lokruchi and had evening snacks and tea. We bought mangoes and jackfruit on the highway too 🙂
The GPS navigation suggested us to take the NICE road to Bangalore. We did as suggested driving at 80 to 90 KMPH. We reached Bangalore safely at 8.30 PM. The trip was short and sweet. But the best part was that my daughter enjoyed the most. She carried away a lot of memories of this historic place. So if you are really short of time but want to spend quality time with family and kids, you can always plan a short and sweet trip to Mysore.
For all the folks not living in Bangalore, if you plan to visit Mysore and plan to travel via Bangalore, you can stay at Hotel King Regency located in Madiwala, Kormangala. This place is 40 kms from Kempegowda International Airport and 11 Kms from Bangalore City Junction. You can visit nearby places like Lalbagh Botanical Garden and Tipu Sultan Palace. Other places that you can visit are Brigade Road and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. You can keep a day aside to visit the Wonderla, Bangalore which is on the way to Mysore. This is a great place for people of all age groups to spend a day filled with fun and excitement!