Mysore is a significant educational hub, the foundations for which were laid by King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV during his enlightened rule. Today, the city can boast of 7 Engineering and 2 Medical Colleges. Engineering education started in Mysore with the establishment of the National Institute of Engineering in 1946, the Second Oldest engineering college in the state (After UVCE Bangalore). Medical education started in 1930 when the Mysore Medical College was transferred from Bangalore to Mysore. Mysore is also well known for its provess in Sanskrit, the mother language of many Indian languages. Some people refer to Mysore as the Sanskrit capital of India. A Sanskrit newspaper called ‘Sudharma’ is published from Mysore for a nominal price of 1 Rupee.
- Mysore University. Mysore University has the distinction of being the first university established in Karnataka, the sixth oldest in the country, and the first one in the country established outside of a British province. Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV took the lead in establishing the university. It was named Manasagangotri (literally meaning “fountainhead of the Ganges of the mind”) by the poet laureate, Kuvempu. Mysore University is the only university in the state of Karnataka to get a grade of A+ from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India.
- Central Food and Technological Research Institute.
- Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL).
- All India Institute of Speech and Hearing.
- Anima Creativity Hub (Anima Creativity Hub), V.V Mohalla, Off Kalidasa Road (Take the road opposite to Loyal World and the first left on that road), ? 8861214550, 9538855410. 10:00am – 9:30pm. Regular Courses in Sanskrit, Instrumental Music, Dance (Bollywood, Indian Traditional Dance, Hiphop, Free Style), Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama, Realistic Drawing and Sketching for 18+, Painting and Craft etc
- The Broken Buddha (Center for Zen, Tao and Yoga), No 32,MIG 2,G-4, KHB Colony, Hootagalli (Take the Hunsur main road until Hootagalli Signal Junction and take a left onto the double road.), ? 9900735002, 9538855410. 10:00am – 10:00pm. A Non Profit Organization that develops and delivers programs for individuals and the collective. They design and deliver programs, techniques and a set of powerful transformative tools that can be used to bring new meaning and joy to every aspect of our daily lives. Their programs are largely based on Zen, Tao and Yoga, though they strongly emphasize and share only on what works for an individual. In Yoga, their programs and lessons are not limited to postures (Asanas) but they mostly address the deeper aspects of human mind and body, covering the later limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. The techniques, methods, practices shared in their programs, retreats etc are strictly experiential based and they may or may not have any relevance with the scriptures of any particular religion.
Mysore is famous for silk sarees (Mysore Silk), sandalwood carvings and the many varieties of perfumed incense sticks. Mysore’s market places can be a good place to start, like Ashoka Road, Sayyaji Rao Road and for a mix of Western and Indian traditional shopping head to Devaraj Urs Road. To experience one of India’s best markets head to Devaraja Market where tourists and locals alike shop for daily fruit and vegetables as well as the rows and rows of flowers and various spices. Devaraja market is on Dhanwanthri Road. On the east row of the Devaraja Market there is an oil shop with two brothers, Azam and Adil, who always pull in tourists for a nice conversation and maybe some chai. They have some good recommendations for food and things around the city so give them a visit. Their shop has a row of the watercolor powder, about 1/3rd from the north end. Be warned however. There are quite a lot of perfume sellers that sell inferior goods, don’t be tempted by nice boxes and free gifts. As a rule, if it looks like a bargain, the perfume is poor quality. The real stuff is normally found further from the centre, but is mostly for export.
Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium, Sayaji Road – Sandal wood figurines and caskets, Agarbathis (Incense), Chenapatna Dolls and Wooden Toys, Traditional Deck of playing cards
Mysore is famous for its most famous traditional sweet, the Mysore Pak. Mysore Pak is a sweet dish generally cut into rectangular pieces and is made out of Gram Flour, Sugar (or Jaggery) and lots of Ghee (clarified butter). You can find it all over the city.
South Indian breakfast favourites like idlis, sambars, masala dosas are widely available and quite good. It is not clear if the Mysore Masala Dosaactually originated in Mysore, but you can try asking. You can find some of Karnataka’s speciality dishes like:
- Bisibele Baath – Made of rice and lentils with a lot of local spices. This is one of the most sought after dishes of Mysore. It is served hot and usually costs Rs.25.00 in an average restaurant.
- Raagi and Akki Rotis – They are similar to tortillas but made of raagi (English: coracan, finger Millet) or rice flour along with black cumin, asafoetida, fresh coriander, green chillies and finely chopped onions.
- Raagi Mudde – It is a staple food in some of Kannadiga households in the Cauvery Basin. It is made by cooking raagi flour in water and later rolling it into thick-consistency balls. Raagi Mudde is swallowed and not chewed after dipping it into ghee and sambar.
- Idli Sambar – This is a delicious combination of Idli and Sambar but the resultant thing is totally different. Since the idlis are put in a bowl with steaming sambar poured over them, the aroma and spicy effect is really marvellous. And they charge less than Rs. 20.00 for the whole thing.
- Masala Poori – This is the most favourite food item of the Mysorean people. You can see young boys selling these ‘chat’ items on the sides of the pavement with all the ingredients beautifully arranged on wicker stools. Just for 15 rupees, you get crispy poories along with some ten to twelve spices mixed in a hot ‘pani’ background. The whole thing is an experience to undergo. Some restaurants have separate ‘chat’ sections selling Pani Poori, Masala Poori, Bombay Chat and other varieties.
Jain Food :
Jain Bhojanalay – There is Jain Bhojanaylaya on Ashoka Road, behind Sangam Theartor, near to Gandhi Square, Managed by Jain Temple Trust. The facility is available for Jain people only. No food is served after Sunset.
- Mysore has 7 Cafe Coffee Days, one on Kalidasa road, one on Kanthraj Urs road, one on Devraj Urs road, one on Vasanth Mahal road(Ginger Hotel), and 3 outlets in Hootagalli Infosys Campus.
- Mysore has 1 Barista Outlet, on temple Road V.V.Mohalla.
- Pizza Outlets – Pizza Corner(Near Harding Circle), Pizza Hut(On Temple Road-V.V.Mohalla), Dominos(On Temple Road-V.V.Mohalla and Infosys Campus), U.S.Pizza(On Ramavilas Road Near Marimallapa College).
- Corner House in Vontikoppal is a nice place for ice creams.
- Tina’s Cafe at Gokulam Main road offers delicious home cooked Indian food. The decor is artistic.
- Sixth Main is a restaurant and Coffee Shop parallel to Kalidasa Road. You would always find more foreigners than localities especially on weekends. The ambiance is quite relaxing with jazz playing in the background.
- Kalidasa road in Jayalakshmipuram has fairly good restaurants like Anima Café, Madhva Bhavan, Green leaf, Tao. Everybody seems to like the shawarma at Casino park and Lemon Tree.
Mysore is part of Karnataka state where the liquor laws are one of the most liberal in the sub continent. Most international brands are readily available. The city is lined with bars and other restaurants serving liquor, there are Around 10 pubs in the city. Some of the recommended places include :
- Pelican Pub, Hunsur Road, near St.Joseph’s state school.
- Bopy’s Pub, Hunsur Road, behind Infant Jesus church.
- Lobo’s, Kuvempunagar Double Road, opposite Bake Point, Saraswathipuram.
- Opium Pub, Pai Vista, Opposite to the Suburb Bus Stand.
- Keg Pub, Just Opposite to the Suburb Bus Stand.
- Purple Haze, in Vijayanagar.
- Tunes N Tonic,Lounge Bar,Chandragupta Road.
- Embassy Restaurant & Bar.
- Jewel Rock Restaurant — Sri Harsha Road.
- Roof TOP Restaurant– Sri Harsha Road.
- Olive Garden Restaurant -Near Race Course.
- Gufha –B N Road.
- Dynasty Restaurant –Sri Harsha Road.
- Theme Bar –B N Road.
- Khedda Lounge Bar Nazarbad.
- Cocktail Circuit Lounge Bar Near Mysore University.
- Fluid pub, near hsbc bank, kalidasa road.
- Waves Lounge Bar (Waves Lounge Bar), B.N. Road, Hardinge Circle (0.5 km from bus station), ? 91 821 2522202, . One of the best lounge bar in Mysore.
- Rasooi Magic (Rasooi Magic), #16, Kalidasa Road, J.L. Puram, Mysore, ? 0821 4252228, . 11 am to 10:30 pm. A North Indian Vegetarian Restaurant – relish authentic North Indian Food, Chinese Dishes, Tandoori Delicacies, Chaats, Juice and Shakes 150.
- Elements Bistro, #18 Temple Road, Above Kafe Biryani, Next to St.Josephs School,Jayalakshmipuram, ? +91-9845558060. 11am to 11pm. Incredible Ambiance with finger licking food. Unique to Mysore.