Mysore is the cultural capital of Karnataka and as such Dasara celebration in Mysore knows no bounds. With colourful exhibitions and exaggerated processions, Dasara is celebrated with lots of pomp and splendour. Excursions in and around Mysore will familiarise one further with the crafts, cuisine, arts and tradition of the place. Also known as "Sandalwood City", "Ivory City" or "City of Palaces", Mysore and its surrounding places have lots more to be explored.
Enjoy this Dasara and submerge yourself into the joy and glorious festivity. What else can you do when you are in Mysore this festival season? In this Navratri period be more adventurous and travel freak rather than just limiting yourself to the Dasara celebrations. A day excursion to various places around Mysore will spice up your travel to Mysore and make it more interesting while you are there this Dasara.
Here are some exclusive places around Mysore which you can venture out this Dasara. Ranging from few minutes to few kilometres, Mysore will undoubtedly be one of the best places you ever travelled for Dasara.
Bandipur for Wildlife
One of the best destination for adventure lovers, Bandipur National Park is at a distance of 77 km from Mysore. It takes around one and half hour to reach this abode of wildlife. This dense forest is a favourite spot for photographers and wildlife lovers. Different species of birds and animals will amaze the tourists. And, those interested can also plan a halt at Bandipur Safari Lodge and other resorts who arrange a night safari to unleash the mysterious darkness.
BR Hills for Nature
Biligiri Rangana Hills, popularly known as BR Hills lies at the confluence of the Eastern and Western Ghats. It is situated at a distance of 94 km from Mysore and takes around 2 hours to reach. The spot is well-known for its wildlife. Apart from housing BRT Wildlife Sanctuary, it also borders Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary situated in Tamil Nadu. Trekking and rafting in Kaveri and Kapila rivers are some of the activities awaiting the adventurous folk.
Melukote for Handloom
Situated at a distance of 53 km, Melukote takes around one and half hours from Mysore. Located on rocky and hilly terrain, Melukote nestles a temple which is considered highly sacred in Karnataka. Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple dedicated to Lord Rama is the most important temple here. Melukote is also known for artistic handlooms. Bookworms can pay a visit to an old library which houses innumerable books and manuscripts in Sanskrit, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.
Nanjangud for Bridge
The temple town Nanjangud is situated by River Kapila and is 23 km from the heart of Mysore city. Srikanteshwara Temple, Nanjundeshwara Temple, Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt are some of the must visit temples in Nanjangud which will add to your holy trip to the Dasara trip in Mysore. Nanjangud also known as Dakshina Kashi has the oldest bridge which is both through road and railways. It runs across River Kabini and is now declared as a Heritage Monument.
Shravanbelgola for Pilgrimage
Though situated at a distance of 83 km which might take around two hours from Mysore, Shravanbelgola can be easily ventured out as a day excursion while your trip to the 'Sandalwood City' during Dasara. Apart from the statue of Gommateshvara which has made the place renowned for Jainism, 800 different kinds of inscriptions is also found here. They date back to 600-1830.
Shivanasamudra for the Cascade
Shivanasamudra is not only famous for the gushing waterfalls. It is also one of the first hydro electric power stations of Asia. Mysore is 77 km which might take around one and half hours to reach this pituresque place. Situated on the Kaveri river, Shaivanasamudra comprises of Gaganachukki and Bharachukki falls which looks spellbinding from the base of the waterfalls. It has also been defamed for various fatal accidents for which one needs to be cautious.
Talakadu for Temples
Renowned for housing 30 temples at one stage of history, Talakadu is now one of the scenic and beautiful places of Karnataka. It is located at a distance of 49 km from Mysore which might take around one hour to reach this place. Pathaleshwara, Maruleshwara, Arkeshwara, Vaidyanatheshwara and Mallikarjuna temples are some of the holy places of Talakadu. Various myths and legends surround this place which is presently one of the renowned places for horticulture and wine making.
Somnathpura for Architecture
Within an hour's journey from Mysore, you can plan for Somnathpura which is 35 km from the "City of Palaces". Chennakesava Temple which is very artistically built is the major attraction of Somnathpura. While you come to Mysore for Dasara, do not miss out to make this historical trip as a short tour to Somnathpura will give you an idea about the Hoysala Empire and the various kings who were once the major rulers of South India.
Srirangapatna for History
Srirangapatna lying on Bangalore-Mysore Highway is probably the nearest place one can travel to, from Mysore. It is surrounded by River Kaveri and thus forms a river island. Ranganathaswamy Temple is the most renowned temple of Srirangapatna which is a blend of Hoysala and Vijaynagara style of architecture. Many other temples, Jumma Masjid, Victoria and Albert Museum comprises of the variegated attractions of Srirangapatna.
Ranganathittu for Lively Species
Also known as Paksi Kashi of Karnataka Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is the biggest bird Sanctuary of this state. It is 18 km from Mysore and takes around half an hour to reach there. Sprawling over 40 acres, it comprises of six islets which are often frequented by floods during the rainy seasons. Apart from variety of flora, the sanctuary is home to 170 species of birds. Mugger crocodile is one of the inhabitants among the mammals.