Living in Mysore is what’s called ‘easy living’, certainly for us tourists. This town’s main hub is build around the Ashtanga yogi’s that reside mostly in Gokulam or Lakshmipuram during season, from October till April.
Ofcourse there are beautiful palaces and temples to visit, but these touristy trips can become somewhat tiring. Especially when you’re traveling with kids, like us. Since most people stay for a longer period of time, to study Yoga or Ayurveda, it is always nice to know where you can keep your inner peace and quietness in this noisy city.
Here are our tips to keep you happy and healthy during your stay in Mysore:
There are plenty of good yoga schools in Mysore. Ofcourse the main attraction is KPJAYI, Sri K. Patthabi Jois Institute, where you can study Ashtanga Yoga at its source with grandson, Sharath Jois or daughter, Saraswathi Jois. Besides that, there are several other good schools, like Ajay Kumar’s Sthalam8 or Linga Ashtanga Yoga, with fewer students and more personal attention. It depends on what your aim is. Many yogi’s come to Mysore to get their authorization to teach Ashtanga the traditional Mysore style.
This mostly only happens after a long steady daily practice and several visits to the KPJAYI institute. Ofcourse there is also the possibility to follow a month long training to become a teacher, but that’s of course not enough to base your qualification on.
Enjoy all the organic and veg restaurants
This city, as the rest of Karnataka I guess, is a heaven for vegetarians. Vegetarianism is more standard than carnism. Some restaurants offer both Veg as Non-Veg food, of which the latter is mostly chicken.
Like many people, I was a bit afraid of the hygiens in restaurants, as I had some bad experience on a prior trip to North India. In fact, there was no need to worry. There are many good restaurants, which serve fresh and tasty food. One piece of advise, don’t eat salads, especially not in venues with few customers.
In most places one can get filtered water for free, and even in foodstalls there is Reverse Osmosis water available. Organic food is also widely available in supermarkets and a few restaurants, like Depth and Green near the Ganesha Temple in Gokulam.
Visit the 400 year old Big Banyan tree
It is situated about 25 minutes by car from Gokulam on the T Narsipura road and an amazing tree to climb in or simply take time for meditation. We took an Uber cab, and asked the driver to wait for us. When you have rented a motorbike it’s even easier.
You can find the location right here
Enroll in a Pancha Karma treatment
When you have the time, a pancha karma treatment is definitely something to consider. We were in Mysore with our two small kids, so this was no option for us. There are many good Ayurvedic clinics in Mysore where you can undergo this deep purifying and balancing therapy. Pancha karma, or ‘the five actions’, is proscribed for many difficult diseases, both physically as mentally. It can also be a rejuvenating experience that prolonges life and keeps you healthy and fit. You can take a 1 to 3 weeks program, which isn’t easy or just for fun. It can be hard, but as I’ve seen many people who have done it, it’s a big gift for your own health.
Learn how to cook Ayurvedic or Indian food
are many half or full day cooking courses where you get to learn the traditional South
Indian recipes, or in some places pure Ayurvedic food. People often mistake Ayurvedic food for Indian food, but these two are not the same. Ayurvedic food will be less spicy and will take certain bad food combinations in consideration
A good spot for Ayurvedic cooking is Turiya in Contour Road. They offer crash courses of two days or a 10 day course, in which you’ll learn all about herbs and fine cooking.
Take a walk at Kukkarahalli Lake
This is so amazing! In the middle of town a piece of nature that is pretty much left wild. You can spot snakes, birds and a lot of joggers here. People come here to do some yoga or walk. It’s your ideal getaway out of the busy city.
Enjoy an Ayurvedic oil massage
Treat yourself with at least a weekly massage, where you can try out several clinics and spas. Every place will have a slightly different approach, but all will use warm medicinal oil and end the treatment with a very relaxing steambath. You can also opt for a weight reducing massage with powder and oil or a ‘4-hands’ massage. Prices are always very reasonable varying between 10 and 30 € for 1 hour.
A fresh coconut a day…
Although these fresh coconuts are extremely tasty and nourishing after yogapractice, the best moment to enjoy them is after lunch or afternoon. Their cooling nature would cool of too much the system, so we end up with colds and coughs after some time.Nevertheless, fresh coconutwater is about the purest water one can find, since the coconut palm functions as an amazing filtering system.
It takes six months for the coconut to be ready for harvest and it is packed with minerals, like potassium, which rehydrates your body fast, and lots of vitamins to boost your immune system too. It is proven to prevent heart diseases and is all together low in calories. Indulge, I would say!
The pretty sight of waving coconut palmtrees makes you happy instantly, doesn’t it?
Chamundhi Hill at sunset
is one of the most sacred hills in India and a nice half daytrip when you go for the full trail. It’s a 20 minutes drive from Gokulam depending on where you want to be dropped off.
You can point out to the cab or rickshaw driver ‘at the steps’ of the hill, meaning you’ll go for the 1000 steps or ask to drop you off at ‘the bull’ in front of the Shiva temple. From that point on there are only 300 steps remaining to be conquered. There’s a real pilgrimage waiting for you at the top, kinda surprising after a very quiet walk along the shallow steps of Chamundhi hill.
After the first 700 steps we arrived at a first stop with some fresh juice bars and small snacks. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to finish our trail, so came back a second time at sunset. This time the rickshaw driver took us straight up and waited for us to go back down for a 15 km drive with some great views over Mysore city. You have to be lucky though, cause it can get very misty in India.
A membership in one of the few swimming pools
Our last piece of advise is to take a membership for the swimming pool of a hotel or resort, so you can simply go for a swim whenever you like. Especially with kids, this always makes the day for them. And when the kids are happy, you’re happy…right?
It is not very common to have swimming pools inside of town, so you’ll have only a few choices(this list is not limiting):
- Southern Star
- Golden Landmark (only day pass)
- Silent shores
- Black Orchid