Mysore, also known as Mysuru, was once the capital of the illustrious Kingdom of Mysore. Today, despite being the third largest city in Karnataka, it stands in pleasant contrast to the urban jungle of Bangalore. Its splendid heritage steeped in royalty means there’s loads to see. Its renowned Mysore Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Exploring Mysore by bike is the best way to get around, as the bikes give you a freedom and maneuverability that no other vehicle can. Read up all about exploring Mysore by bike and gear up for an unforgettable city and its charms.
Best Time to Visit Mysore
Summers, from April to June, get very hot and dry. The arid heat can make getting around Mysore very uncomfortable. However, compared to some other cities in India, this could still be relatively bearable for some. July to September is the monsoon season. While it is much better weather than the summer, recall that Mysore has a lot of rain. High to very high precipitation can disrupt plans.
October to February is the best time to visit Mysore. This is the winter season, with ideal temperatures and lovely weather. Early mornings and nights can get cold, with temperatures reaching 15°C. It remains pleasant during the day, but afternoon temperatures can still reach upto 27°C. While this is still very bearable on the heat spectrum, it is far from cold.
See also: Bangalore to Mysore Bike Trip
Places To Visit In Mysore
A remnant of the royal legacy of Mysore, the Mysore Palace is a must-see. The Wadiyars, once rulers of the kingdom and residents of the Palace, were patrons of art. This is evident in the intricacies of the Palace, as they employed the most skilled craftsmen of the region to work for them. This gorgeous three-storied structure sits in the midst of a vast estate, filled with gardens. The Palace offers free bicycles for visitors to cycle around admiring the Palace and its gardens. What could get better?
You can gain entrance to the Palace from three gates: the Varaha and Amba Vilas gates from the south, and the Jayarama Balarama gate from the north. However, since you’ll have bikes, we recommend the south gates. Pay and Park facilities are available at both the Varaha and the Amba Vilas Gate. Consider buying a ticket online if you’re going on a weekend, as the lines are long and cumbersome.
A mere 2 kms away from the royals at the Mysore Palace, are royals of another kind. Home to 168 species of birds and animals, the Mysore Zoo is one of the oldest, and richest zoos in India. To add to that, they are just as rich in biodiversity and in history! The zoo, formally the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, was established in 1892, by Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur. He consulted Mr. G.H. Krumbiegel, a German Landscaper and a horticulturist, who helped design the landscape of the zoo. The zoo recreates the natural habitats of the animals, featuring moated enclosure instead of barred and fenced ones.
Visitors are advised to visit the zoo before 11.00 a.m. or after 3.00 p.m. to see as many animals and birds as possible. Avoid the afternoon hours if you can, as that is when the animals retreat to the shade to avoid the heat. The zoo is easy to locate, 2 kms from the Mysore Palace and 3 kms from the Bus stand. You may be tempted to leave your bikes at the Palace parking facility to head to the zoo. However, the zoo has a parking facility right across so you needn’t worry.
Mysore Railway Museum
Historical and wildlife lovers each have their spots in Mysore. Locomotive lovers, here’s one for you! The Mysore Rail Museum is the second museum of its kind in India, after the National Railway Museum in Delhi. It was established in 1979 by the Indian railways, and boasts a rich collection of locomotive exhibitions and a colorful picture gallery. A lot of the exhibits you’ll see were initially at the Mysore Palace, later shifted to their place at the Museum. After a recent renovation, it now has fun areas for children, and a ‘Rail Coach Cafe’: a railway coach repurposed as a cafeteria.
The Mysore Rail Museum is easily accessible, with the Mysore railway station being the nearest landmark. It is around 3 kms away from the city centre. The Rail Museum also has a parking facility, so you can put to rest your parking worries.
Karanji Lake Park
Not a historical site, or a locomotive collection; this one’s for those days when all you want is a good bike ride and a pleasant way to spend the day. The Karanji Lake Park is near the Mysore Zoo, and at its centre is the wonderful Karanji Lake. While there, you can visit the Aviary, the Butterfly park and the Regional Museum of Natural History. Or simply lay back and soak in the serenity of untouched nature with some friends for company.
Karanji Lake lies at a distance of 2 kms from the Mysore Palace. It is also quite close to the city centre. However, the Park doesn’t have parking facilities. Nonetheless, you can ride around taking your chance for a safe parking spot. Or simply leave your bikes at the Zoo parking and take a tuk-tuk to the Park. It is at a 3 minute distance from the zoo, 25 minutes if you decide to walk.
Things To Keep In Mind When Exploring Mysore By Bike
Despite being Karnataka’s second most populous city, Mysore is a fairly small state. This makes it very easy to be navigated by bike. The streets are not congested, and aren’t half as bad as the traffic-filled Bangalore roads. Everything is within close proximity, which means exploring the city is not difficult but fun. Mysore is also famous for its silk sarees and its fantastic dosas. And the fact that the city is so easily explored means you have all the power to ride around at your own pace, discovering all the magic it has to offer.
Riding through Mysore in the winter time however, is a bit of a different scenario. You will see significantly more crowds at this time as it is the peak tourist season. If you wish to escape the crowd, explore Mysore on a bike at the end of September.
See also: 7 Best One Day Bike Trips From Mysore
Living out a slice of Mysore has never been easier. With your motorbikes in tow, you can discover every nook and cranny of this adorable city. Well connected and not congested, Mysore is the ideal bike destination. Hit us up for some bike rental assistance, and plan your Mysore Adventure right away.