Mysore is a cheerful and bustling ancient city, just three hours south of Bangalore. It is home to one of India’s most impressive and flamboyant palaces as well as some of India’s most vivacious and colourful markets specialising in sandalwood, incense and silk; products Mysore has become known for across the world. The city is bathed in history, and its illustrious 600 years of heritage is showcased throughout, from its glittering palace to the magnificent Nandi Bull that sits atop Chamundi Hill. Mysore also provides a fantastic base for visiting nearby Srirangapatnam, once the de facto capital of Mysore under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is also in easy reach of the city, where a dense population of painted storks, spoon bills, white ibises, egrets, herons and partridges can be found in a tiny 40 acre protected area. Mysore is one of southern India’s finest cities and combines brilliantly with Coorg, Sultans Battery as well as Nagarhole National Park. It’s highly recommended that you visit on a Sunday, or a public holiday, when Mysore Palace is illuminated by more than 96,000 lights.