Once-mighty Mysore is a great weekend destination. The stately city of one million is just the right size; the relatively broad, relatively leafy streets don’t feel too crowded. The city is the capital of the State of Karnataka in designation only, it’s downright sleepy compared to bustling Bangalore two hours away.
The city is best known the impressive 19th-century palace that forms the heart of the city. No visit’s complete without gawking at the the grand foyer and the durbar halls. The smaller Jaganmohan Palace is a nice museum, too. The city’s little outdoor market is a fun and wildly photogenic diversion. And the city offers a great hill for climbing and a zoo for strolling.
The city boasts quite a few nice mid-range hotels. For less than $100, it’s hard to beat the Windflower Resort, tucked behind the racecourse, a 10-minute, 50-rupee autorickshaw ride from the city center. Great cabana restaurant, nice pool and peaceful ambiance.
From Hyderabad, overnight buses are the most convenient option. Expect a 12-hour journey, either on a private line or on a state-run coach. Semi-sleepers are about $20 and not uncomfortable. Full Sleepers are about $25 and a pretty darn easy way to travel.