The best two months are September and October when the city is a post-monsoon spectacle of lush greenery and the 10-day festival of Dussehra takes place. This is the spectacular ‘festival of nine lights’, when many of the top musicians, dancers, and artists of Karnataka state turn up to give exhibitions and shows. It’s best to arrive on the last (10th) day of the festivities, when a victory procession of elephants, cavalry and (real) gold and silver coaches, accompanied by bands, floats and parading soldiers, celebrate Chamundi’s defeat of Mahishasura. Throughout October, the Maharajah’s Palace is illuminated nightly.
Although Mysore has a small airfield the Vayudoot service is suspended at the time of writing.
From Mysore, there are trains to Bangalore (6/7 daily, 3 1/2 hours), to Goa (one train daily, changing at Londa Junction—from here, rather than wait many hours for a rail connection, proceed to Goa by bus), and to Bombay, Delhi and Calcutta.
The new Central bus-stand in Irwin Rd (north of Hotel Ritz) offers non-stop express buses to Bangalore (every 15 minutes; 3 hours) and Interstate buses to Ooty (scenic ride; 5 1/2 hours), to Cochin (one night bus, departing 9.30 pm; no advance-booking so arrive early to grab seats) and to Coimbatore (14 hours) for Trivandrum (another 4 hours, by train). There’s a useful cloakroom at the bus-stand where you can leave your bags if you’re only visiting Mysore for the day.