Friday, October 5, 2018

Places in and around Mysore

Mysore dasara is round the corner, so I thought it would be a perfect time to blog about Namma Mysuru. In this post I will go over the itineraries that you could follow based on the various trips that I took in the past few years. I will start with the most recent trip of mine and think backwards to fill in the details. Writing this post is going to be one nostalgic ride for me :)



In Feb of 2015, my colleague from Canada was visiting our Bangalore office and we planned a one day trip to Mysore from namma Bengaluru. Basically he asked us what is good in Bangalore to do over the weekend and we told him to visit Mysore :D

We took the Mysore road to first reach Chamundi Hills via the diversion before the city. Chamundi hills is serene and the temple will give you a sense of peace (Though it will be crowded, but you know what I mean). There is VIP darshan if you find the place very crowded.



On the way back you will see the giant Nandi which is one of the photo taking stops

We then head to Mysore palace which was a bit crowded since it was a weekend. The interiors are amazing and you get to see the various attires, artilleries and artifacts from the kingdom of Mysore. We were not allowed to take pictures inside. However during my Dasara visit of 2018, they did allow cameras inside :)


 My colleague seemed to be impressed with the vastness of the palace. We did spot elephants here too :)


We had lunch at the nearby mall and head to the Mysore Zoo. Canada is a fairly cold country and my colleague was seeing most of the animals live for the first time. He stood watching the majestic Bengal Tiger for around 15 mins. We overshot our planned time. The zoo is vast and will take at least 2-5 hrs on how slow or fast you walk. And trust me when I say, there is a lot of walk! A lot! For the elderly, you have an electric vehicle that takes you around the zoo.


It was already late when we exited the zoo and had the final place for the day which was the Botanical Gardens and the KRS Dam. Sadly I do not have any good pics of KRS to share. The musical fountain concluded the day for us :) The garden opens up at 6am and closes at 8pm on weekdays and 9pm on weekends. The musical fountain show starts at 6:30pm and ends 30 mins before the closing time. This place is going to be crowded in the evening, so if the weather is good then chuck the musical fountain and head over during day time :) #JustSaying


In 2014, during the Coorg trip with family we visited the Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangapatna which is near Mysore. While you are there you can also see Tipu Sultan's summer palace. From here if you go towards KRS then you can also visit Balmuri falls. It is less of a falls and more of water overflowing from a small check dam. This place will have a lot of topless men (:P) so if you are with family then you might as well skip this.


Back in 2013 we did a bike trip to Coorg via Mysore. During this trip we visited Ranganathittu Bird sanctuary. The lake is really awesome and you can take the boat ride to spot various birds and also a couple of crocodiles.



Going a bit back, I visited Mysore in 2012 with my family. This time the unique place I visited was the Karanji lake which has boating and a mini bird sanctuary. You can walk amongst peacocks and other birds here. During this trip I think we also visited the wax museum that was recently opened up in Mysore.


Going further back to my engineering days, I got a chance to visit Mysore Dasara when Mysore is over crowded. The Dasara visit was back during 2008 when I had a 2MP camera. So if you see bad quality pics then I say that's the best I could get :) So the main attraction is the Dasara Procession on the final day. You can find a place to sit along the procession route and enjoy the show. The procession ends at Bannimantapa where there will be the torch parade and fireworks. The procession is similar to the republic day parade with various tableau, people marching to tunes of folk music, people dressing up and dancing along the route etc. The procession is also famously known as Jumboo savari where you get to see the elephant carry the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari in a golden mantap!

 
 

Also you cannot miss the fully lit Mysore Palace. The pics below are from Dasara of 2018 :)



There is also food festival, youth festival and flower show during Dasara which you could visit.In the food festival do not forget to taste Mysore Masalae Dose and Mallige Idli :)




The other place which I loved in Mysore was the Infosys campus. If you have someone working there then you get to visit the campus on weekend. You could say that buildings in this campus comes in all shapes and sizes :P

In the outskirts of Mysore are Somnathapura, Melukote and Nanjangoodu which are famous of temples. A little ahead of Mysore you can visit Bandipur and Nagarhole national park. Then you have Coorg, Ooty and Waynad. I hope to write separate posts for each of them sometime soon but you are free to look up these places to plan a trip.

So as far as Itineraries are considered, you can do the following:
To start with you can leave Bangalore early in the morning and stop for breakfast in one of the thatte idli places in Bidadi. The fluffy idli and benne dosa at these places will keep you full until late afternoon. All hotels here are crowded so stop by any of the places, they all mostly taste the same! Further ahead in Maddur, you get to taste the famous Maddur Vade. If you cannot stop by at any hotels in Maddur then buy a couple at the signal. Though not that good, it will be better than the ones that you get in some hotels in Bangalore!



Day 1 (Start from Bangalore): Shivanasamudra - Sangama - Somnathapura - Ranganathaswamy Temple Srirangapatna - Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary - Balmuri - KRS Dam

Day 2 (Mysore sightseeing): Wax museum, Chamundi Hills, Mysore Palace, Mysore Zoo, Karanji Lake. I think there is also a famous Church but I am yet to visit it! You could move KRS to this day too since most sightseeing tours end at KRS

Day 3 (Mysore outskirts): Bandipur Safari (You can book safari online from - https://bandipurtigerreserve.in/), Himmada Gopalswamy betta, Nanjangudu temple, Venugopal temple. Please note that own vehicles are not allowed at Gopalswamy betta now. So if you are not religious you can as well skip it.

Day 4 (Return to Bangalore): Melukote, Shravanabelagola and back to Bangalore via Mangalore-Bangalore highway

If you are there for Dasara then the lights on palace turn on every evening between 7 to 9pm for the 10 days. The procession on final day starts at around noon so plan your trip accordingly.

Public Transport on Bangalore-Mysore route - There are Volvos every 30mins and ordinary buses every 10-15mins. There are around 15 trains traveling between Bangalore and Mysore every day.

Stay in Mysore - I stayed at Hotel Roopa (Day2-3 of Dasara 2018) which is 5mins walk from the Palace. I got a good deal of Rs 850 per night for non-AC rooms.

Mysore Dasara 2018 is from October 10th to October 19th!
Check out https://www.mysoredasara.gov.in/home/ for more information :)

Well that concludes my post of Mysore :)

You might also be interested to read: Talacauvery Bike trip to Coorg, Shravanabelegola and Belur, Hampi
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