Writer R.K Narayan's lovely hometown Mysore was once the capital of the Wodeyar kingdom and is still one of the finest cities of Southern India. Small easygoing, sandalwood country a crafts crazy city, friendly people going about their business in a city of gardens, tree lined boulevards, art galleries and a palace. 140 kms from Bangalore it is well connected with trains though KTDC's buses are the most popular mode of transport.
Mysore also lends its name to the Mysore mallige, Mysore style of painting, the sweet dish Mysore Pak, Mysore Peta (traditional silk turban) and the garment called the Mysore silk saree.
How to reach
By Air - The nearest airport is at Bangalore around 140 kms away
By Rail - The railway station is 2 kms from downtown
By Road - One hour drive from Bangalore. Auto rikshawas and taxis are available at the railway station. At the south eastern extremity of Karnataka, Mysore is linked by a good network of roads to Bangalore and other major centres in the region. Road distances to some of the important places in the area are - Bangalore 140 kms, Madikeri 136 kms, Hassan 130 kms, Bandipur National park 90 kms, Udhagamandalam (Ooty) 150 kms.
Bus services are the mainstay of the communications network of Mysore. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation connects the city with all important centres in South India and the state.
13 kms off Mysore city are the Chamundi hills. Halfway up the Nandi bull, a 4.8 metre monolith. Right on top is the 2000 year old Chamundeshwari temple dedicated to the patron goddess of the royal family.
Krishna Raja Sagar Dam
19 kms north west is the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam and the Brindavan gardens. The ornamental terraced gardens, the swirling fountains, the colourful fairy lights, Brindavan gardens attracts thousands of visitors especially to its dancing musical fountains.
14 kms north east of Mysore on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway is Srirangapatnam the island fortress that was once the capital of the warrior kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, the tiger of Mysore. Tipu's summer palace, Daria Daulat built in 1784, was his favourite retreat. Now a museum it tells eloquently of his valour and his losing battle against the British. It has ornate frescoes. Tipu's fort at Srirangapatnam holds within it a mosque and the Ranganathaswamy temple. Outside the fort is the Gumbaz the Tiger's tomb, with doors of ebony inlaid with ivory.
3 kms south of Srirangapatnam is the Sangam where the two branches of river Cauvery re-unite.
4 kms from Srirangapatanam and 18 kms from from Mysore is Ranganathittu a bird sanctuary that allows a close view of exotic familiar birds such as white ibis, open billed stork and cormorants and of crocodiles that lay cosing in the mud banks. Birds from as far as Siberia make their way here between June and October.
48 kms north is Melkote a pilgrim center known for its Vairamudi festival in March - April. Melkote is also known for its handlooms.
35 kms east is Somnathpur with its star shaped 13th century Hoysala temple in excellent condition. The exterior walls of the temple are frescoed with episodes from the epics. Worth visiting!
85 kms southeast is Shivasundaram where the river Cavery cascades down in two picturesque waterfalls, alongside Asia's first hydro electric power station.
82 kms away is the Cauvery Fishing Camp at Bhimeshwari, a paradise for anglers where mahaseer is found in abundance. The fish has to be returned to the river by the angler. This camp is accessible from Bangalore (100 kms)
96 kms north is the Nagarhole National Park with Kabini River Lodge to the south east. The jungle inhabitants are worth a watch.
Kabini River Lodge is 80 kms from Mysore where you can take a coracle (leaf boat) ride in the river, birdwatch in the Korapur forest and stay in the hunting lodge where kings and viceroys once stayed.
Biligiriranga Betta is 114 kms south east of Mysore. A plesant hill station there are also a wildlife camp here run by the Forest Department. Right on top of the hill stands the Biligirangaswamy temple. from which the hill takes its name. A ratha festival is held every January and April.
Bandipur National Park spread over 875 sq. kms is 80 kms out of Mysore on the way to Ooty and a Project Tiger Reserve. The sanctaury has among others tigers, barking deer, tuskers and bison. A treat from September to to April. Closed on Mondays.
Mysore is famous for its sandalwood products and oil and also fine silk fabrics. The main shopping area is on the Sayaji Rao Road in the downtown area.
Planning a visit to J&K read through travelogues to plan your trip
June to October is a season of incessant rains. Bengaluru is plesant throughout the year, most cultural events and shows take place in winter season. In September you can watch the Kali Podu in Coorg. Summer lasts from April to June, Monsoon from June to September and Winter from December to January.
The end of monsoons is the best time to view waterfalls in Karnataka. Beaches lie Malpe, Karwar, Marwanthe can be best enjoyed from August to March.