Quick LinksDescriptionGeneral InformationAccommodationMapRestaurants, Grocery Stores, and MarketsTransportationShops, Stores, VendorsDirectory
The intentions of this guide are for new incoming yoga students or individuals intending to stay for longer periods of time in Mysore, specifically in Gokulam. To help people find accommodation, places to eat, transportation, shops, and general information about Mysore. This is NOT a review of yoga TTCs.
NOTE: This is not a complete guide. Mysore is huge. As in 920,000 people huge thus I know I am missing quality restaurants, accommodations, attractions, etc. However, this is intended for the new student who is new to Mysore to give a glimpse.
Included with this guide is a directory and .kml file for GPS file.
General InformationIf you’re planning on attending a yoga TTC in Mysore, chances are your school will be located in Gokulam. There are schools outside of Gokulam, however high probability you will be visiting Gokulam as well as downtown. Gokulam is more upscale than downtown and the neighborhood is cleaner. Homes/apartments tend to have cleaning services attached to them and there are restaurants catered to the yoga enthusiast. You will also find less vendors and rikshaw drivers trying to hassle you to their shop or service. If you end up staying outside of Gokulam but your school is located in Gokulam (or vice versa), no worries because it is inexpensive to rent a scooter (see ‘Transportation’).
If you are worried about money, there are several ATMs around Gokulam. There are several local restaurants and vegetable/fruit stands along the main road that are very reasonably priced. We found it cheaper to eat at one of the local restaurants than stocking up on groceries from Loyal World (grocery store off of Temple Rd.). The shops and restaurants tailored to yoga students tend to be more expensive but offer more diverse selection of food. For sending money overseas, it is common to use Western Union or PayPal.
Majority of people we met speak English. If you’re worried about not knowing a word of Kannada, don’t worry, you’ll get around just fine. Google Translate also offers Kannada, if you are so inclined. Also, if you haven’t downloaded WhatsApp yet, time to join the rest of the world as majority of people communicate through WhatsApp.
A note on safety, overall we found Mysore to be safe. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your guard up. Be smart and be safe. We found Gokulam to be safer than downtown. As I write this, I understand my position as a male thus I cannot speak for the better half of humans. A friend and fellow female student had an uncomfortable situation at Chakra House Restaurant alone where she thought she was getting an Ayurvedic massage but became inappropriate touching more than just a massage.
It is highly recommended you join the ASHTANGA COMMUNITY IN MYSORE group on Facebook. Here you will find private apartment/homestay rentals, people selling yoga items, transportation services, people to be careful around, etc. For example, I posted a notice of my arrival and departure dates and quickly got several offers for places to stay.
AccommodationThere are several options for types of accommodation in Mysore. If your TTC does not offer accommodation (or you don’t like what they offer), post an ad on the ASHTANGA COMMUNITY IN MYSORE group page and see the offers come rolling in. If you are traveling with other students or family, a wide variety of apartment sizes are available. My partner and I stayed in a beautiful homestay that seemed to be intended incoming yoga students. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of space our homestay offered. For a list of contacts, see the directory at the end of the guide.
Apartment/homestays usually include utilities and wifi. Depending on what time of the year you are going, you may want to ask if AC is available however we did not find AC outside of hotel rooms and upscale restaurants. If you are there during the monsoon season, power may go in and out. Our homestay also included house cleaning for a nominal fee. We believed our homestay came with a washer machine however we had to learn how to use a washing stone as there was no machine available. Always ask what is included in your apartment or homestay. Also, Western style mattresses are less common. A few stiff mornings, however, and we got used to the firm Indian mattresses.
If you’re feeling adventurous or worried about transferring money overseas, book a hotel first and shop around. We had a fellow student find an amazing apartment within a block radius of our TTC that cheaper than our homestay.
Restaurants, Grocery Stores, and Markets
- Gokul Chats: I’m listing Gokul Chats first not because it’s the best restaurant in Mysore (although some may argue with me) but it is a great example of a local restaurant. Dossa, idly, rice dishes, chai, you’ll always find locals at these locations. Once you’ve been to one, they are easy to notice.
- Santosha Café: This place is pretty well hidden. A small faded sign out front indicates it’s a restaurant/café. Food/drinks tend to be more catered towards yoga students. Good coffee and Wifi are also available.
- Anima Madhva Bhavan: Traditional South Indian sattvic food served on banana leaves. A must try at least once. The food is delicious!
- Cocoa Vault: For the chocolate lovers. This little natural food mart offers a variety of natural goods from food to soaps. Best of all, locally handmade dark chocolates. There are also several little natural food stores around Gokulam. Expect to pay higher prices.
- Depth-N-Green: This place is two locations within the same block. Definitely catered to the yoga students and is a bit pricey. Great coffee and great natural healthy food.
- Suyoga Anna Café and Massage: Cute café on the second floor. Run by a couple who are the cooks and the masseuses. It’s reasonably priced, free wifi, and the couple are wonderful people. Also, they offer 1hr massages for 500 rupees.
- KRS Road fruit/vegetable stands: cheapest place to get your produce, other than bartering at Devaraja Market. Easy to stock up on your fruits and veggies as well as eggs and milk bags.
- Nalpak Restaurant (not listed): Seems to always be full. Next door to a small grocery store. They also offer delivery.
- Udupikar’s Veg Resaurant: A little further away from the main road but closer to some of the homestays. Great food and good chai. If they are closed, check Highway 18 down the street.
- Loyal World: Grocery store and department store. Offer majority of food, produce, and misc. household goods to fill an apartment. Tends to be pricier than the market.
- Lokapavani Upahar: 3 story restaurant serving primarily south Indian food. Tends to be more locals than yoga students. Around the corner from the Loyal World grocery store.
TransportationIf you’re flying in, you’ll be landing in Bangalore. We stayed 2 nights in Bangalore and took a train down to Mysore. Looking back, we wish we directly went to Mysore when we arrived however the 2 nights in Bangalore helped with jetlag. Just a heads up, the prepaid taxis from the airport to your hotel in Bangalore late at night can be expensive.
For booking a train, we used 12go.asia. We were not too familiar with the train system thus using this third-party website made it simple and easy but charged a service fee. You can simply arrive at the train station and join the locals in line to get a train ticket. For which type of ticket to buy, this is a helpful website that explains the train ticket system. Seat 61 Guide to India Railway.
There are buses that leave directly from the airport. They are fairly easy to book, so I am told. FlyBus offers daily buses to Mysore multiple times a day. Check this website for more details.
Check with some of the people listed in the directory below. Some of them arrange direct pick up to and from the airport directly to your apartment/homestay for a reasonable price. For example, we split a taxi through Pradeep (listed above) for around $35 from our homestay in Mysore directly to the airport in Bangalore.
When in Mysore, if you are not within a short walking distance to your school, I would recommend renting a scooter. You will have early mornings and it will be tough to wave down a rickshaw that early in the morning. Also, consider having to haggle rickshaw prices every time you need a ride, sounds exhausting to me. There is, however, an app for rickshaw and taxi services similar to Uber and Lyft called Ola Cabs. The prices are fixed through the app but you still pay in cash. Final note on rickshaw drivers, you may be approached to check out their special incense and essential oil shop, or the infamous ‘Yoga Museum’. The incense and essential oil shops are 3-4xs the price of what you will find at Devaraja Market and, as far as I’m concerned, there is no true ‘Yoga Museum’.
Shops, Stores, and Vendors
Note on scams: As stated above, there are people and rickshaw drivers who offer free tours to incense and essential oil shops. These shops are overpriced and cheap. If you want cheap oils and incense, go to Devaraja Market and approach the vendor who doesn’t approach you. A good rule of thumb, go to the place’s locals go.
- Devaraja Market: Stunning market with fruit/veggie vendors, souvenirs, oils and handmade incense, flowers, and other random items.
- Rashinkar Silk and Emporium: Handmade yoga carpets, quality fabric and tailor, scarves and silks. The yoga carpets are of high quality and shipped throughout the world. Pay an extra 100 rupees and get it embroidered. We also got tailored clothing for around 400 rupees a shirt. Show him a picture of what you want tailored and high probability he can make it.
- Karnataka Silk Emporium: Local spot to find sarees and silks.
- Mannars Silks and Textiles: another local spot to find sarees and silks. Close to Rashinkar.
- Sumangali Silks: yet another local spot to find sarees and silks.
- Mysore Music House: Gokulam based music shop selling traditional Indian instruments as well as guitars, keyboards, and ukuleles. The owner is also the owner of Anima Madhva Bhavan located next door.
- Sayoga: Part café, part yoga shop. Sells quality yoga mats and carpets at a higher price. Also an assortment of yoga clothing, oils, jewelry, and misc yoga items.
- Maya Yoga Shop: located near the main shalas. Mainly yoga clothing and textiles but offers a few yoga mats as well.
- SilverNest: quality jewelry in Gokulam.
- Sri Sharada Grand Musical Works: traditional Indian musical instrument shops. Claims their Shruti boxes are made across the street and bansuri flutes are made in Mysore.
- Mall in Gokulam: only reason I am listing this is they have a Cinema (DRC Cinema) and a place to get general clothing.
Directory-all contacts can be found on Facebook-not all accommodations are in Gokulam
- Pradeep Moksha
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