Have a day off? Or better yet, willing to take a day off to take a trip to the glorious and regal past that is Mysore? We’re hinting at this upcoming long weekend, and those in September too. Just a quick 150 kilometre drive from town, this is an idyllic one-day away from the mayhem of Bangalore. And here’s how you can make the best of your 24 hours in Mysore.

Fuel Up On Masala Dosa

Start your day bright and early with the gastronomical dream that is the Mysore Masala Dosa. With a packed day ahead, you are going to want to give your body the fuel to keep going, and with its crispy, scrumptious goodness, this local culinary classic with a steaming hot cup of filter coffee is the perfect start to the day. Head to the legendary Original Vinayaka Mylari Hotel to experience breakfasts like the locals do.

Where: Shop No. 79, Near Police Station, Nazarbad Main Road, Doora

Price: INR 400 for two

Timings:  6.30am-12.30pm and 3pm-8.30pm. Closed on Wednesdays

Gawk At The Royal Palace

Next, burn off all that buttery goodness as you take a tour of and feast your eyes on Mysore’s most famous landmark — the breathtakingly beautiful Mysore Palace. The official residence and seat of power of the Wodeyar dynasty, the palace houses regal durbar halls with intricate décor, as you may have seen in photos from the recently concluded royal wedding! All that, plus the deep pink marble domes, elaborate carvings, and portraits dotting the walls is bound to floor the history buff in you. Since words don’t do justice to this magnificent piece of art, we’ll let the experience talk to you. Return at 6pm if you want to see the monument all lit up.

Where: Mysore Palace, Sayyaji Rao Road

Price: INR 40 for adults, INR 20 for kids {10-18 years} and INR 40 for foreign nationals

Timings: 10am-5.30pm

Find out more about it here.

Take A Walk In The Wild

How about a complete change of scene next? A short drive will take you from the majesty of the palace to one of India’s oldest and best zoos. The wide array of flora and fauna from over 40 countries and the large, well-kept enclosures have made the century-old Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens a favourite among tourists. When there, you can even adopt an animal by signing up to make annual contributions for their upkeep!

Where: Zoo Walk Path Road, Indira Nagar

Price: INR 50 for adults and INR 20 for kids

Timings: 8.30am-5.30pm {closed on Tuesday}

Find out more about it here.

Lunch At Hotel RRR

The one place that is close to celebrated when it comes to sensitive matters like meals {after Vinayaka Mylari, of course}, Hotel RRR has stayed a favourite of locals and visitors alike for decades. Always packed, this simple restaurant dishes out authentic meals to the hungry traveller. Served on a banana leaf, the biryani here is enough to make you consider yourself a glutton.

Where: Sri Harsha Road, Lasker Mohalla, Near Mahatma Gandhi Square, Mandi Mohalla

Price: INR 300 for two

Timing: Noon-4pm and 6pm-11.30pm

Hike To The Heavens

Photo Source: Philanthropist 1

Photo Source: Philanthropist 1

Obviously not literally, but when you’ve checked off the palace and zoo from your list, a trip to the hills is in order. Located 13 km east of the city, exuding a mystical aura, the Chamundi Temple sits on top of a serene hill. Admire the tall statue of Mahishasura, take a photo of the imposing Nandi bull {a monolith statue}, seek the blessings of goddess Chamundeshwari or enjoy a birds-eye view of Mysore city. Over 1,000 steps will lead you up to the peak, but that’s only for the strong willed and ever stronger limbed!

Laze At The Lakeside

Photo Source: Nagesh Kamath

Photo Source: Nagesh Kamath

Wind down after the long day of site-seeing with a relaxing evening by the Karanji Lake. Situated at the foot of the Chamundi Hills, the Karanji Lake also houses a butterfly park and the country’s largest walk-through aviary. Spend the early evening taking a boat ride across this serene lake, soaking in the best that nature has to offer.

Shop Till You Drop

An action-packed day has probably drained you out by now. But before you call it a day, muster up the energy to shop. Any trip to Mysore is incomplete without some local souvenirs. And what better way to keep the holiday going that with Mysore Pak in all its ghee and sugar-laden glory. The Mysore silk sarees are also fabulous buys for the ladies, while men can pick up crisp kurtas. Add some Mysore to your home too with intricate and unique rosewood and sandalwood handicrafts exclusive to the region.

Where: Devaraj Urs Road

Stay A Night

If you are willing to stay the night, check into the Heritage Hotel Royal Orchid Metropole. Steeped in the history of the Heritage City, this 4-star, old-world hotel was a former guesthouse of the Maharaja of Mysore. If you are on a tight budget, choose from a variety of other hotel options in the city that cater to every price range.

Where: Hotel Royal Orchid Metropole, 451/5, JLB Road, Chamarajapuram Mohalla, Lakshmipuram

Price: INR 5,000 upwards a night

Contact:  0821 5255566

Find out more about them here. Follow them on Facebook here.

For more such getaway ideas, check HolidayIQ

Feature Photo: Jim Ankan Deka

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