Srirangapatna Is small town 15 km northeast of Mysore. The
island fortress of the legendary Tiger of Mysore -
Tipu Sultan, takes you through the pages of history.
Every stone, every Temple, every Palace and every
Mosque in here has a story to tell.
Srirangapatna, renowned for its seemingly
impregnable fort, associated with the great ruler
Tipu Sultan, is situated at the western end of an
oval shaped island formed by the two branches of the
Cauvery. It is the island fortress of Tipu Sultan,
the legendary Tiger of Mysore who put up a valiant
fight against British domination. The high
stonewalls and moats enclose palaces, with its
beautiful frescoes, Wellesley Bridge and the
celebrated Sri Ranganatha Temple are other monuments
from its chequered past.
An imposing structure where the mortal remains of
Hyder Ali, his wife and Tipu Sultan were confined.
Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace
The summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, built fully by
wood is today a museum devoted to Tipu Sultan.
Sri Ranganatha Temple
Temple of Lord Vishnu in the sleeping posture on the
Great Snake Anantha, is one of the Largest temples
in the State. It is a beautiful example for both
Vijayanagara and Hoysala Styles of Architecture.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
5 kms from Srirangapatna, lush green islands on the
river Cauvery, are home for an astonishing variety
of migratory birds from as far away as Siberia -
Spoon bills, Open Bill Stork, White Ibis, Little
Egret, Darter, Pond Heron, Cattle Egret, Cormorant,
Wild Duck, Peafowl. A little boat takes you close to
the islands where the trees are covered with birds
of different species. The only sounds are the cries
of birds, swoosh of wings and the ripple of water.
Ideal for picnicking and bird watching. The best
time to visit is between June to October.
The Sanctuary here is a paradise for wildlife
enthusiasts. Ranganathittu is loaded with surprises
all around. Crocodiles basking under the sun, otters
running free, flocks of birds gathered on tiny
islands. Ranganathittu is indeed a visual delight.
Birds coming from Siberia, Australia and even North
America can be spotted here.
While taking a ride on the cane boats just be ready
for a fluttering surprise. It may be the Open-Bill
Stork, The White Ibis, Egret, Heron, Partridge or
even the Cormorant trying to say hello.
Location : Near Mysore, Karnataka
Area : 67 sq kms
Wildlife : Bird life includes the little cormorant,
large cormorant, shag, darter, white ibis,
spoonbill, open-billed stork, painted stork, egret,
heron, river tern, great stone plover, kingfisher,
Indian cliff swallow and the lesser whistling teal.
The flying fox, bonnet macaque, common otter, common
mongoose, palm civet and the marsh crocodile are
some of the mammals and reptiles which are found
Best Season : June - November
Boats are available at the Sanctuary to take
tourists for a ride along the river and the islets,
where they can witness trees full of beautiful birds
of myriad varieties. Most of the oarsmen are also
excellent guides and can provide tourists the exact
location as to where the birds may be spotted. The
Cauvery riverbank also offers excellent spots for
Bandipur National Park
Bandipur, 80 Kms from Mysore
Far from the din of the city, lies a calm, peaceful
land all by itself. Nesting some very rare animals
and birds.The Bandipur National Park is one of the
most fascinating wild-life centers. Established in
1931 by the Mysore Maharajas, this park is nested in
the foothills of the Nilgiris.As you penetrate deep
into the forests through the well laid-out roads,
you can almost hear the mute conversations between
the animals and the trees. They say that the flora
and fauna here exist in perfect harmony. and it is
because of this that the spot here was chosen as a
centre for the din of the city, lies a calm,
peaceful land all by itself. Nesting some very rare
animals and birds.
Bandipur is about 220 km from Bangalore and only 80
km from Mysore. Gundelpet is the closest town.
There are three cottage resorts at the boundary of
the park. One is inside the park and is run by the
Forest Department, another is a Karnataka Tourism
Department hotel at the boundary of the park, and
the third is privately managed. It is advisable to
make weekend reservations beforehand. Gundelpet is
about 20 km from the park and has more hotels and
Bandipur forest office runs forest safaris of 45
minutes duration in well guarded buses. Deer,
antelope, elephants and peacocks can be easily seen.
Tigers and elephants may be occasionally sighted.
Nagarahole (Rajiv Gandhi National Park)
Nagarhole, 80 Kms from Mysore
Located in the Kodagu and Mysore districts is a
fresh, green world rich in forests, little streams,
undulating valleys and facintanig waterfalls.The
Nagahole National Park. A perfect get-away for
nature-lovers. Deriving its name from Kannada,’Naga’
meaning snake and ‘hole’ Referring to streams,
Nagarahole is truly a delightful spot, bubbling with
the activity of some of the most magnificent animals
and trees. Rosewood, teak, Sandal, silver oak the
deep, fresh aroma of these trees mingling with the
sounds of the wildlife –ah! A perfect holiday treat.
No wonder this was also an exclusive hunting
preserve of the erstwhile rulers of Mysore.
Renamed as the "Rajiv Gandhi National Park",
Nagarhole National Park, 643.30 sq. km, is part of
the 5500 sq km Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. It is
located in the districts of Kodagu & Mysore. This is
easily the best habitat for the Asian Elephant.
Tigers & leopards roam in this forest. Over 250
species of birds have been identified in this park
which lies at the foothills of the towering Western
Ghats Mountain Range.
Department vehicles are available for wildlife
viewing. The park generally has a moderate climate
with three seasons : Summer Monsoon and Winter.
However, monsoons are often severe and the ideal
time to visit the park between September and May.
The village of Belur, is located on the banks of the
river Yagachi. Once the capital of the Hoysala
empire, it still draws hordes of visitors, who
cannot get enough of its fascinating temples. The
construction of the Somanathapura (Chennakeshava)
Temple was started by Somanatha, a high officer
under Hoysala King Narasimha III (1254-1291 AD.). It
is a splendid example of Hoysala style of
architecture. It stands on a raised platform in the
center of a spacious enclosure having sixty four
(64) cells (or chambers). The central temple is
actually a three celled (tricutachala) structure
consisting of three Garbha Grihas, three Antaralas,
and a Navarang (prayer hall). It has a Mahadwara
(main entrance) standing on the eastern side. The
images of the divinities Venugopala, Kevasa, and
Janardhana are installed in the cells which are
surmounted by elegantly carved Sikharas (towers).
Outside, on the vimana (outer sanctum wall), the
Hoysala sculptors have surpassed themselves -
unending rows of nearly 650 elephants, horses,
lions, birds and warriors. The larger panels of the
wall, sport scenes depicting the great epics -
Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The base of the outer foundation is highly
ornamented with carvings of elephants (strength).
Scrolls, epic and puranic scenes, small images with
intervening turrets and columns with figures in
between, a number of gods and goddesses and their
attendants adorn the walls. The lathe turned
pilliars and delicately carved ceilings (sixteen
different types) are the characteristic feature of
the Hoysala art. The names of a number of sculptors,
i.e. Mallithamna, Masanathamna, Chemeya, Bhameya,
etc. are carved on the pedestals of the images. It
is observed that Mallithamna has not only carved the
maximum number of images but also carved the
northern Sikhara, that of the Janardhana cell.
The main entrance to the shrine is guarded by twin
statues of a youth slaying a tiger. What is
remarkable about this shrine is its compact
structure, and perfect proportions. The wealth of
sculptured images is simply unbelievable, since from
the base to the projected eaves, every inch of
available wall surface is covered with the most
exquisitely sculptured images. But the Hoysala
sculpture reaches its apogee in sculptures of
celestial maidens, carved with a marvellous
plasticity of modelling, and imbued with the most
accomplished grace and elegance.
Inscriptions engraved on a huge slab standing in the
Mahadwara and on the beams of the Navaranga ranging
in date from 1269-1550 AD. give the details of the
construction of the temple and several grants for
the upkeep of the temple. Pillars in the Navranga
Hall are lathe-turned, ingeniously carved and
remarkably smooth. No two pillars look alike. The
hall is diamond-shaped. The ceiling has concentric
rings, ornamented with figures. At the center of the
hall, is a polished stone platform, on which the
queen is believed to have danced, in praise of Lord
90 Kms from Mysore & 230 Kms from Bangalore, the
Biligirirangana range of hills are picturesquely
situated between the Cauvery & Kapila rivers. At a
height of 5,091 feet above sea level, this hill
stretches from north to south for about 16 Kms. All
round are deciduous trees. And roaming amidst the
long grass and tall trees are animals. Plenty of
them! So if you're looking for a cool time with a
little bit of wild excitement thrown in, welcome to
B.R.Hills. Wake up to the chirping of birds &
humming of bees. Breathe in fresh, clean air. Take a
stroll through the sylvan surroundings. And let the
cool breeze blow your cares away.
Did you know that, wild elephants in a certain place
get so annoyed with white milestones that they
literally deracinate them and fling them around like
a Frisbee? Well if you didn't know this, let me tell
that this happens in B.R. Hills. It is for this
reason that here the milestones are painted in
yellow and green. Camp under a canopy of stars that
shine brighter here. This is one place where you can
shrug off your worries, fill your lungs with pure
fresh mountain air and rejuvenate your soul. You are
irresistibly drawn to the enchanting forest. This is
home to many species of wild animals like Gaurs,
Chitals, Sambhars, Bears, Elephants, Panthers and
Tigers. Marvel at the splendour of nature. Get
richer with the little nuggets that naturalists are
always passing on. Climb over 150 steps or drive
amidst spectacular settings to get to the Biligiri
Situated at a height of 2,882 feet above sea level,
Kunti Betta is historically associated with the rule
of 18th Century warrior king Tipu Sultan. The French
troops had camped in the region during Tipu's reign
for strategic reasons. From the summit of Kunti
Betta, the visitors have a panoramic view of the
backwaters of Tonnur Kere.
Tonnur Kere: Popularly known as "Moti Talab''
or the Lake of Pearls, Tonnur Kere is formed by an
embankment carried across a gap between two rocky
hills, which stem the water of the Yadavanadi and
other mountain torrents.
The tank is not only used for cultivation of
surrounding land, but is also a fisherman's
favourite haunt for the variety of fishes. Over the
last few years, several picnickers have been
frequenting the lake for the experience of boating
in country-made boats (Theppas) as well. The locals
from nearby villagers are more than willing to take
the visitors around the lake in their country-made
Theppas for a price.
Gosai Ghat: Gosai Ghat, on the banks of the
Cauvery, in Srirangapatna is located upstream of
Sangama in Srirangapatna, where the two tributaries
of the Cauvery meet. Gosai Ghat is not only a
preferred locale for shooting song and dance
sequences of regional films, but is also a favourite
picnic spot for urban dwellers. Gosai Ghat can be
approached from a deviation to the right taken along
the route to the tomb of Tipu Sultan in Gumbaz from
Sagarkatte: Another place of lesser-known
tourist importance is Sagarkatte, situated on the
backwaters of the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir. The
approach to Sagarkatte is through a road, which
weaves through an undulating and fertile terrain,
affording scenic glimpses of the breath-taking
Nestled amidst the Karapur Forest lies a pristine
piece of land that abounds with nature. Beckoning
you to explore it for a wild and exciting holiday.
Kabini, a scenic delight was once the hunting lodge
of the erstwhile Mysore Maharajahs. The steep
valleys with rich forests, spectacular pools and
rapids provide an ideal opportunity to revive your
A view from the Kabini River Lodge proves to be
absolutely breathtaking. Patches of bright blue
pools hidden between the trees, the sun peeping
through the thick forest and animals roaming free.
Breathe in the refreshing air, whistle with the wind
and carry home timeless memories. Elephants playing
catch, Leopards on the prowl, Antelopes jumping
across the bushes, Or maybe even a tigress with her
cubs. These are indeed pictures that you'll treasure
for a lifetime. And no one can offer it better than
Talakad is a town known for its sand dunes, located
near Mysore in Karnataka. A historic site, Talakad
once had over 30 temples. It stands at a sharp bend
of the Kaveri river eastwards from a southerly
course. Sand dunes are formed here persistently,
extending over a mile, burying a large number of
monuments. Talakad houses the imposing temple to
Vaidyeshwara - Shiva.
Talakad was patronized by the Western Gangas in the
first millennium CE, and then by the Tamil Cholas
from the 11th through the 12th centuries. Talakad
came under the Hoysala in the 12th century. It was
then patronized by the Vijayanagar rulers and the
Maharajas of Mysore.
Around 60 kilometers north -east of Mysore city in
the state of Karnataka is to be found on a hilly
tract comprising some of the oldest rock formations
on the earth's crust. Nestling in the heart of these
hills lies the temple town of Melkote. The origins
of the towns are lost in antiquity, but it rose to
cultural and religious importance in the 12th
century AD when the great South Indian philosopher
and teacher, Sri Ramanuja lived in the town for
Today life in Melkote revolves around the
Cheluvanarayanaswamy temple within the township and
the Yoganarasimhaswamy temple on the hill
overlooking Melkote. These temples are repositories
of Melkote's living tradition as well as storehouses
of academic knowledge of our culture. Thus, as part
of the temple precincts is the oldest sanskrit
Pathasala in India, dating back to 1853, imparting
regular instruction in Sanskrit and Indian
One of the best - preserved towns, Melkote is unique
in that it has retained its traditional character
over the centuries. Historical studies have shown
relatively little change in the plan of the town,
the type and character of the dwellings and its
cultural practice. In this sense, a visit to Melkote
or Tirunarayanapuram (as it is also called ) is a
unique experience of our own cultural heritage in
its living form.
The essence of Indian philosophical as well as
religious thought comes alive in the temples of
Melkote where the temple rituals and festivals
involve many , if not most of the towns population.
Some of the more important annual festivals such as
the vairamudi Utsava, Teppotsava and the birthday or
Tirunakshatram celebrations of important saints are
occasions which bring all the people of the town
together. Indeed, Melkote is unique in that certain
folk festivals such as the Angamani festival have
been integrated into the temple rituals, thus making
them meaningful to the common man.
Walking up to the Bharachukki waterfall takes your
breath away. In this case, it is not only the
splendour of the scene but also the stench around
the place that does the "trick". Mounds of garbage
surround Bharachukki and its equally impressive
twin, Gaganachukki. Bharachukki, in fact, is
dirtier. It is considered holy by some and a
community has even settled in the area adjacent to
the waterfall. So, apart from discarded plastic
wrappers and soft drink bottles, there are also
piles of household rubbish. To make matters worse,
the smell of cow dung mingles with the stink from
the nearby toilets. Most visitors use the open
ground rather than brave the toilets.
The waterfalls themselves are pristine because
visitors find the approach to them too steep and
rocky. But hardy Kannada and Tamil film crews
clamber up the jagged rocks to use the falls as a
backdrop for romantic songs.
Nanjangud 25Km from Mysore, a holy place, described
as Garalapuri, is famous because of the huge
Nanjundeswara or Srikanteswara temple. It is
believed that sage Gauthama stayed here for some
time and installed a Linga, the idol form of Shiva.
Nanjangud is also known as 'Dakshina Kashi' or
Varanasi of the South.
Nanjangud is situated on the right bank of the river
Kapila or Kabini, one of the tributaries of the
Cauvery River. Nearby the town is the Sangam, where
the Kapila and the Gundlu rivers join. The spot is
called "Parashurama Kshetra". It is here that
Parashurama said to have had himself expiated for
the sin of beheading his mother. A stream called
Churnavati, over-flowing from the tank, joins the
Gundlu or Kaundinya River here. There is a
Parashurama temple of the Mysore style, now
renovated fully and in the sanctum Lord Parashurama
is worshipped. This quiet place has shrines of
Maruthi and a newly built Basaveshvara temple.
Halebid / Shravanabelagola
Belur is 149 Kms from Mysore, 222 Kms from Bangalore
and 34 Kms from Hassan. This place is famous for its
exquisite temples. Belur is known as Dakshina
Varanasi or South Banaras for its temples. The
serenity of Belur is attributed to the celebrated
temple of Channakeshava, built by the Hoysala King
Vishnuvardhana in 117 A. D. to commemorate his
conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism.
The great city flourished as a Capital of the
Hoysala Empire during the 12th & 13th centuries.
During the reign of Veeraballala II, the grandson of
Vishnuvardhana, it reached the greatness of its
zenith. Veeraballala II extended his empire from sea
to sea between the Cauvery & Krishna rivers.
Wedged between two star rocky hills is this
legendary pilgrim center and shrine of the Jains.
The monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara, a Jain
saint and an object of worship for centuries,
standing atop one of the hills (Indragiri) is 18
meters high and is said to be the tallest monolithic
statue in the world.
The symmetry in stone was created around 983 AD by
Chavundaraya, a general and minister of the Ganga
King Rachamatta. The Mahamastakabhisheka festival,
an elaborate ritual, held here once every 12 years,
attracts devotees from all over the World.