Mysore, the former capital of the Wadiyar Rajas, is far and away Karnataka’s most popular visitor destination. Unlike Bengaluru, the city seems to have been largely bypassed by the dotcom revolution and retains plenty of traditional charm, particularly in its markets, which serve as important centres for the trade in sandalwood, incense and hand-woven silk. The stand-out sight here, though, is the Maharaja’s Palace – a lavish, fairytale confection in the quintessentially Raj-era Indo-Saracenic style. Clad in 18-carat gold, hundreds of Mughal-style domes and Rajasthani cupolas crown the complex, which is illuminated every Sunday with 100,000 electric bulbs. It was built in 1912 on the site of an old wooden palace and boasts sumptuous interiors, including the famous ‘Thousand Pillar Hall’.

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