Mysore, India
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Mysore Hotels

Combining architectural grandeur and flamboyance with calm, practised spiritualism, Mysore is one of India’s most enigmatic cities – and also one of the most appealing. Renowned for its sparkling cleanliness, well-planned streets and an almost unmatched richness of culture, it’s certainly worth making the journey south to Mysore from India’s better-known hubs. You can admire the palatial magnificence of the city before centring your spirit in the birthplace of Ashtanga yoga, or enjoy the outdoors with lakeside strolls and hilltop hikes.

Things to see

In this ‘City of Palaces’, you are rather spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful buildings. The most magnificent, however, is the Maharajah’s Palace. Impressive enough from afar, with its cupola-topped towers and graceful, arched windows, it will wow you even more up close, with every inch of rosewood door, marble staircase and teak panelling intricately decorated. This palace, however, saves its most show-stopping turn for weekend nights, when the whole thing is illuminated with thousands of bulbs, turning it into a painting of light against the night sky. For a spiritual start to the day, climb Chaimundi Hill, either up the many steps, if you’re feeling fit, or on the bus. At the summit, you’ll find the soaring Chaimundi Temple, a multi-tiered vision in lemon yellow. Mysore Zoo, meanwhile, is one of India’s best, where you can encounter rare white rhinoceroses, as well as native tigers and elephants.

Hotels in Mysore

Mysore has a good selection of hotels, from luxury resorts to budget hotels and wellness retreats. Most of the mid-range hotels in Mysore feature spacious, modern rooms, equipped with little luxuries such as complimentary newspapers, toiletries and tea and coffee makers, alongside flat-screen TVs and WiFi access. Many of these hotels also have swimming pools and health clubs. For a wellness break, choose one of the spa hotels, where services encompass massage treatments, yoga classes and saunas.

Where to stay

Mysore city centre has a plethora of hotels, ranging from luxury to budget. There’s a good choice of small guesthouses as well as larger resorts, some with family suites. Staying in the centre provides easy access to the city’s major attractions, and you will be surrounded by restaurants, shops and nightlife spots. North of the centre, around Hebbal, there are numerous luxury resort hotels, ideal for pampering, relaxation and romantic breaks. To the south, at the foot of Chaimundi Hill, there are a couple of wellness resorts, perfect for those not averse to early-morning yoga classes and super healthy breakfasts.

How to get to Mysore

The nearest international airport to Mysore is Bangalore Airport, located about 100 miles north of Mysore. Taxis, auto-rickshaws and buses will transfer you to either the bus or train station in Bangalore, from where there are near-constant services to Mysore. By train, the journey takes just under 3 hours. By bus, it’s about 4 hours. Alternatively, you can arrange a transfer in advance from the airport or hire a car. Once in Mysore, there is a bus service covering all the main attractions, including a bus to the top of Chaimundi Hill. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are also in plentiful supply.

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