Around Mysore

Brindavan Gardens

Constructed beside the famous Krishnarajasagara Dam, Brindavan terrace gardens spread across 60 acres and houses fountains, parterres, topiary works and gazebos. The main attraction is the musical fountain in which the water fountain and lighting arrangements are synchronized with the background music.

Chamundeshwari Temple

The temple of Chamundeshwari goddess is on Chamundi Hills. According to Hindu mythology, goddess Chamundeshwari slayed demon Mahishasura on this hill. Other than reaching the top through road, there is (roughly 1000 steps) stone stairway from the foot of the hills. Along the way towards the top, there is a big Nandi statue.

Oriental Research Institute

Established during the Wadiyars’reign, Oriental Research Institute is known for its research and archives of old manuscripts. Being the institute to first publish Arthashastra, the institute houses rare palm-leaf manuscripts.

Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

Locally known as Mysore Zoo, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is one of the world’s oldest zoos. Spread across around 150 acres, this zoo is the house for animals from different parts of the world. Karanjilake being the adjunct part of the zoo consists of butterfly park and aviary.

Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary

Situated at the outskirts of Mysore city, the bird sanctuary comprises of few islets on the banks of River Kaveri. Close to 170 species of birds, and over 40,000 birds come to this place during the migratory seasons.

Amba Vilas Palace

Amba Vilas Palace, famously known as the Palace of Mysore, was built by Wadiyars, the rulers of Mysore state. Visitors are permitted only during daytime. On weekends and on national holidays, the palace is illuminated in the evening. Other palaces in Mysore that are worth visiting are Jaganmohan Palace(an art gallery that houses paintings of Ravivarma) and LalithaMahal (which has been converted to a heritage hotel).

Srirangapatna

Being an island-town surrounded by River Kaveri, Srirangapatna was the capital of Mysore state during the rule of Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultan. Srirangapatna is situated very close to Mysore city (20 km). Among the important places in this town, Tippu Sultan’s summer palace Daria Daulat and the main mosque are places of architectural importance. Ranganathaswamy temple along with Nimishamba temple on the banks of the river are important Hindu pilgrimage centres.

Shivanasamudra Falls

At Shivanasamudra, which is situated little more than an hour’s journey from Mysore (70km), River Kaveri plunges 100 meters down forming Shivanasamudra Falls. One of the Asia’s oldest hydro-electric power stations is situated here.

Bylakuppe and Kushalnagara

Bylakuppe and Kushalnagara are two of the important Tibetan settlements in India. Because of the presence of Tibetan population, these places have many important Tibetan architectural monuments. Among them, Namdroling Monastery is one of the largest teaching centres of Buddhist tradition in the world. Apart from these monuments, there is Dubare elephant camp on the way to Madikeri.

Bandipur and Nagarhole National Parks

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, in the Western Ghats, is constituted by several national parks among which Bandipur and Nagarhole are prominent ones. Being closely situated to Mysore (within 60-80 km), both of these wildlife parks are known for their flora and fauna. These natural parks have several guest-houses and resorts.

Coorg

Situated in the edge of Karnataka bordering the state of Kerala, Coorg district has a unique culture of its own. Because of its altitude (situated on the eastern slopes of Western Ghats), Coorg is the home for coffee plantations and many beautiful waterfalls. Talakaveri is the origin place of River Kaveri. Abbey and Iruppu falls are popular tourist places. Apart from these, there are several resorts and weekend retreats amidst the hills.