A heritage trail in Mysuru is synonymous with grandeur, opulence and royalty. It has a lot to offer in terms of iconic architectural marvels as well as gorgeous silk saris and exquisite paintings. About 150km from Bengaluru, it’s truly a city of palaces, one that is best explored on a cycle or on foot.

Mysuru was ruled by the Wadiyar Dynasty from 1399 to 1947, with a slight gap in between. Since it was an erstwhile royal capital for the longest time, the numerous heritage buildings built by the Maharajas have a larger-than-life quality to them. These buildings sure lend a unique character to the city and must be explored at any cost.

The soul of the city is the resplendent Mysore Palace; situated right at the centre of the town. It is one of the most popular monuments of our country; ranking only second to the Mahal and clocking more than 6 million visitors each year.

An outstanding example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, it is a magnificent 19th-century three-storey stone structure, with major influences of Hindu, Muslim and Gothic styles of architecture. The palace has three entrances, and every inch of its interior is the epitome of splendour. You will find it illuminated on Sundays and on special festive occasions such as Dasara, when it is truly a sight to behold.

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Another spectacular area to cover on the heritage trail is the Devaraja Market. Over a century old, it is at the centre of all the commercial bustling activity. Scores of stalls here sell fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers among a host of other things. The entrance to the market is the highlight; designed like a typical city square, it is another notable heritage structure.

Then the Crawford Hall, an administrative wing of Mysore University is again a beautiful structure with sprawling manicured lawns and pillared entrance. The university’s motto, Na Hi Gyanena Sadrusham (Nothing compares with knowledge) and the emblem inscribed on the pillar just add to the overall beauty.

Yet another vintage structure built in the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture is the Mysore City Corporation. Even the government offices such as the Public Office are worth exploring on the trail.