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Ballal Circle also known as The Ashoka Circle is one of the main traffic junctions in the Mysore city of Karnataka.It acts as the perfect midpoint for all major landmarks and tourist destinations in the city. It is located between Kuvempunagar and The Mysore Palace to give you some perspective. Mysore is the second most populous city in the state of Karnataka. It was once the seat of power of the Wadiya dynasty that ruled over the kingdom of Mysore for over 6 centuries. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and hence its nickname ‘The City of Palaces’.

Best Tourist Destinations In And Around Ballal Circle

Ballal Circle being at the epicentre of the city and one of the more popular busy junctions in Mysore, there are a lot of beautiful locations and landmarks around that will catch your eye, so here is a curated list of places in and around this circle for you to visit.

1. Mysore Palace

The Mysore Palace grounds from a gods eye view

Image Credit: Winit.deshpande for Wikimedia Commons

Mysore Palace, is a sprawling three-story, grey granite Indo-Saracenic building capped by a five-story tower that culminates in a gilded dome located near the city centre of Mysuru. The city is home to several palaces, but when people talk of Mysore Palace, they are referring to this marvel of architecture constructed within a historic fort, which is also known as the Amba Vilas. the site features lush gardens landscaped with beautiful flowers and trees along with the twelve Hindu temples dedicated to all the main Hindu gods that also make up the complex.

The site’s history is closely linked to that of the royal family of the former kingdom of Mysore, the Wadiyar dynasty. This family ruled over the surrounding areas from 1399, when they first lived in a palace at Mysore until the city became the kingdom’s capital in 1799 over 400 years later. Today it stands as an icon of the city of Mysore and attracts tourists from all over the world every year. Although the majority of the palace is under state stewardship, certain parts of it are still under the ownership of the descendants of the rulers of Mysore.

Address: Agrahara, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka 570004
Entry Fees: The entry fee is Rs.100 for adults and Rs.50 for children. Full tour packages can also be booked for a rate of 5k for a family of 4.
Timings: The palace opens to the public at 10 AM and closes at 530 PM.

Must Read: Kabini Lake View Resort

2. Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

A lion basking comfortably in the sun at the Mysore Zoo

Image Credit: Gpkp for Wikimedia Commons

The Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens popularly known as The Mysore Zoo, was established in the year 1892 and is named after its beloved founder, Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur. Initially, the zoo was started with an area of 11 acres and in 1907 an additional 6 acres was included and subsequently was expanded to 45 acres in 1952. Later, another 50 acres of Kensington Gardens was acquired and thus the total area has increased to 157 acres including 77 acres of Karanji Lake as seen today.

At present, this zoo houses more than 1450 specimens comprising of over a 150 species that are representing more than 25 countries. This zoo prides itself on its landscape features that are designed to suit the habitat of its animals and birds. Today this zoo is one of the most popular in the country attracting over 3 million visitors every year. It also runs an animal adoption programme and a free veterinary clinic that is funded by the government and other private companies. Over the years, this zoo has expanded its area of service, and as of today has a 113-acre exclusive facility for the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals.

Address: Zoo Rd, Indira Nagar, Ittige Gudu, Mysuru, Karnataka 570010
Entry Fees: The entry fee is Rs.100 for adults and Rs.50 for children.
Timings: The zoo opens to the public at 830 AM and closes at 530 PM on all days except Tuesdays.

3. Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery

The gardens and front view of the Jaganmohan palace

Image Credit: Christopher J. Fynn for Wikimedia Commons

The Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, commonly known by its former name The Jaganmohan Palace, is a royal mansion, art museum and auditorium, and formerly an alternative royal residence of the ruling maharaja of Mysore, located about 200m to the west of Mysore Palace. It began construction in 1856 and was completed in 1861 and today stands as one of the oldest modern structures in Mysore. The royal family would reside at this palace when renovations and construction works would be underway at Mysore Palace. The last time the palace was inhabited by the royal family was in 1897 when the old Mysore Palace burned down due to a fire accident during a wedding gathering, after which it took 15 years to rebuild. The palace is built in traditional Hindu style and has three storeys. Today it functions as an art gallery that curates one of the largest collections of artefacts in South India, notable among these are some paintings by Raja Ravi Varma some of which demonstrate scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In 2003, a new hall was built owing to insufficient room available to exhibit all the paintings.

Address: 8J4X+QW5, Jagan Mohan Palace Road, Subbarayanakere, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka 570004
Entry Fees: The entry fee is Rs.20 for adults and Rs.10 for children.
Timings: The art gallery opens to the public at 830 AM and closes at 5 PM on all days except Tuesdays.

Suggested Read: Things To Do In Mysore

4. Mysore Railway Museum

A vintage locomotive on display at the Mysore Railway museum.

Image Credit: KeralianEditor for Wikipedia

The Railway Museum of Mysore is an outdoor exhibit of a vintage collection of locomotives from all over the world. It was established in 1979 by Indian Railways, the second such museum after the National Railway Museum in Delhi. It features locomotives and a gallery of photographs and paintings depicting the growth of railways in India. Previously, most of the museum’s exhibits were kept at the Mysore Palace and later shifted to their present place.

One of the major attractions of the museum is the Chamundi Gallery, which has an extensive range of pictures and paintings on the railways and its growth on display. Sri Ranga Pavilion is another prominent part of this museum as it features two royal coaches on display. These grand coaches that belonged to the Maharaja of Mysore present a real picture of the luxury and grandeur with which the royals used to travel, these coaches date back to the year 1899 and are equipped with a kitchen, dining car unit and a royal toilet as well. These coaches are just one of the many rare and unique exhibits that give you an insight into the previous eras of travel and locomotion.

Address: 8J8V+G8P, KRS Rd, opp. CFTRI, Medar Block, Yadavagiri, Mysuru, Karnataka 570005
Entry Fees: The entry fee is Rs.50 for adults and Rs.20 for children.
Timings: The museum opens to the public at 10 AM and closes at 530 PM on all days except Tuesdays.

Further Read: Offbeat Places In Mysore

The Ballal circle as you can see is central to most of Mysore’s key attractions and tourist hotspots making it a very important junction for this city. So keep these timeless locations in mind when planning your trip to Mysore.

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Cover Image credit : By Jim Ankan Deka for Wikimedia Commons.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ballal Circle

Is Ballal Circle located in the centre of Mysore?

Geographically, no it isn't, but this famous junction is the epicentre of several famous tourist hotspots which might lead some to believe it is the metaphorical centre of the city.

What are the major tourist attractions around Ballal Circle?

Some notable attractions are the Mysore Palace, the Mysore Zoo, The railway museum and the Jaganmohan Art Gallery to name a few.

Why is the Ballal Circle famous?

It is famous as it is one of the busiest traffic junctions in Mysore and is close to a variety of tourist attractions.

Where is Ballal Circle located?

Ballal Circle is located at Krishnamurthy Puram, Mysuru, Karnataka 570009. This is the official address of the circle.

How far is the Ballal Circle from The Mysore Palace?

Mysore Palace sits at a distance of 8km from Ballal Circle which is a 15-minute drive and a half an hour walk from the circle.

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