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Until 1972, the whole of Karnataka was known as Mysore, after the enigmatic capital of the Wodeyar maharajas, which sprawls around the base of Chamundi Hill. Even today, the city is dominated by the towering domes and turrets of the Mysore Palace, where the maharajas held court. With its gentle ambiance and balmy climate, Mysore is one of the more manageable South Indian cities, and growing numbers of travelers are coming here to study yoga and ayurveda (Indian herbal medicine). Aside from the palace and the temples and monumental statues dotted around Chamundi Hill, Mysore earns points for its fiery South Indian cuisine, its bustling market ...

Until 1972, the whole of Karnataka was known as Mysore, after the enigmatic capital of the Wodeyar maharajas, which sprawls around the base of Chamundi Hill. Even today, the city is dominated by the towering domes and turrets of the Mysore Palace, where the maharajas held court. With its gentle ambiance and balmy climate, Mysore is one of the more manageable South Indian cities, and growing numbers of travelers are coming here to study yoga and ayurveda (Indian herbal medicine). Aside from the palace and the temples and monumental statues dotted around Chamundi Hill, Mysore earns points for its fiery South Indian cuisine, its bustling market and the fine incense and sandalwood carvings produced by local workshops. Perhaps the most exciting time to visit is during the festival of Dussehra, when the palace is illuminated by a staggering ninety-six thousand light bulbs - after a Greenpeace campaign, the palace agreed to switch to environmentally-friendly bulbs in 2007!

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to March, or from August for the Mysore racing season