Mysore, a city nestled in the heart of Karnataka, India, is known for its rich cultural heritage, magnificent palaces, and vibrant festivals. While Mysore itself is a captivating destination, the surrounding areas offer a plethora of attractions that should not be missed. In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of the 25 most enchanting places to visit near Mysore. From ancient temples and historic forts to breathtaking waterfalls and wildlife sanctuaries, these destinations promise an unforgettable experience for every traveler.
25 Places to Visit Near Mysore
1. Chamundi Hills: A Spiritual Retreat
Just a short distance from Mysore, Chamundi Hills is a revered destination for both devotees and nature enthusiasts. Perched at an altitude of 3,489 feet, this majestic hill offers a panoramic view of the city and houses the Chamundeshwari Temple, dedicated to the goddess Chamundeshwari. The temple’s intricate architecture and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit place near Mysore.
2. Brindavan Gardens: A Symphony of Colors
Nestled alongside the Krishnarajasagara Dam, the Brindavan Gardens is a visual extravaganza that enthralls visitors with its lush greenery and vibrant flowerbeds. The highlight of this meticulously manicured garden is the musical fountain, which comes alive after sunset, captivating spectators with its synchronized water dance and enchanting melodies.
3. Srirangapatna: Stepping into History
Srirangapatna, a historic town situated on an island formed by the Cauvery River, is a treasure trove of ancient monuments and architectural wonders. The town’s most iconic attraction is the Srirangapatna Fort, which served as the capital of the legendary warrior king, Tipu Sultan. Exploring the fort’s ramparts, dungeons, and the majestic Gumbaz is like taking a journey back in time.
4. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: A Haven for Avian Enthusiasts
For bird lovers, a visit to Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is an absolute delight. Spread across six islets on the banks of the Cauvery River, this sanctuary is home to a diverse range of migratory birds, including painted storks, herons, and spoonbills. Embark on a boat ride and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings while witnessing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
5. Talakadu: The Mystical Land of Sand Dunes
Talakadu, an ancient town steeped in mythology, is famous for its mystical sand dunes and the Vaidyeshwara Temple. Legend has it that a curse turned the prosperous city into a barren wasteland covered in sand. The enigmatic charm of Talakadu attracts history buffs and spiritual seekers alike, who come to witness the unearthly beauty and seek blessings at the temple.
6. Bandipur National Park: A Wildlife Safari Adventure
Nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers must include Bandipur National Park in their itinerary. Located at the foothills of the Western Ghats, this national park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including tigers, elephants, gaurs, and numerous bird species. Embark on an exhilarating safari and get a chance to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
7. Nanjangud: Seeking Blessings at the Ancient Temple
Nestled on the banks of the Kapila River, Nanjangud is a quaint town known for its ancient Shri Nanjundeshwara Temple. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple attracts a large number of devotees who seek blessings and spiritual solace. The vibrant festivals celebrated here, such as the famous Nanjangud Srikanteshwara Car Festival, add to the town’s cultural allure.
8. Somnathpur: A Masterpiece of Hoysala Architecture
Somnathpur, a small village near Mysore, is renowned for the exquisite Chennakesava Temple. Built in the 13th century by the Hoysala dynasty, this architectural marvel is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures that depict mythological tales and scenes from everyday life. The temple’s intricate craftsmanship and historical significance make it a must-visit destination for history and art lovers.
9. Melukote: A Blend of Spirituality and Serenity
Perched atop the Yadavagiri Hills, Melukote is a sacred town dotted with ancient temples and picturesque landscapes. The Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, is the centerpiece of this spiritual haven. Surrounded by serene hills and lush greenery, Melukote offers a tranquil retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
10. Somanathapura: Admiring the Keshava Temple
Somanathapura is home to yet another architectural gem, the Keshava Temple. Built in the 13th century, this temple showcases the intricate craftsmanship of the Hoysala dynasty. The walls of the temple are adorned with detailed carvings depicting gods, goddesses, and celestial beings. A visit to this temple is like stepping into a world of artistic brilliance.
11. Shivanasamudra Falls: The Roaring Cascade
Shivanasamudra Falls, situated on the banks of the Kaveri River, is a magnificent waterfall that offers a breathtaking spectacle of nature’s grandeur. The falls are divided into two segments – Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. The sheer volume of water cascading down the rocky cliffs creates a mesmerizing sight and provides an excellent opportunity for photography enthusiasts.
12. Shravanabelagola: The Sacred Jain Pilgrimage
Shravanabelagola, a sacred town for Jains, is famous for the colossal statue of Lord Gomateshwara, also known as Bahubali. This monolithic statue, standing at a towering height of 57 feet, is considered one of the largest free-standing statues in the world. The town’s serene ambiance and spiritual significance make it an ideal destination for those seeking peace and introspection.
13. Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta: A Hilltop Retreat
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, nestled amidst the picturesque Western Ghats, offers a tranquil escape into nature’s embrace. The hilltop is home to the Gopalaswamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna. The lush green surroundings, cool climate, and panoramic views from the hill make it a favorite spot for nature lovers and trekkers.
14. Muthyala Maduvu: The Pearl Valley
Muthyala Maduvu, also known as Pearl Valley, is a hidden gem nestled in the lap of nature. Located on the outskirts of Bangalore, this enchanting waterfall is surrounded by dense forests and offers a serene atmosphere for relaxation and rejuvenation. The cascading water, resembling strings of pearls, is a sight to behold and a perfect backdrop for a picnic with loved ones.
15. Biligiriranga Hills: Where Wildlife Meets Spirituality
The Biligiriranga Hills, also known as BR Hills, is a unique destination that combines wildlife conservation with religious significance. The Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple, nestled amidst the dense forests, attracts devotees and nature enthusiasts alike. The hills are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and various bird species, making it an ideal destination for wildlife safaris and birdwatching.
16. Nagarhole National Park: A Wildlife Extravaganza
Nagarhole National Park, part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. The park’s dense forests, meandering rivers, and sprawling grasslands are home to a wide variety of animal species, including tigers, elephants, gaurs, and numerous bird species. Embark on a thrilling safari and get a chance to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
17. Hogenakkal Falls: The Niagara of India
Hogenakkal Falls, often referred to as the Niagara of India, is a breathtaking waterfall situated on the Kaveri River in Tamil Nadu. The cascading water, surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush greenery, creates a mesmerizing sight. Take a boat ride along the river and feel the mist from the falls as you immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder.
18. Kokkare Bellur: A Birdwatcher’s Paradise
Kokkare Bellur, a small village near Mysore, is a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts. The village is known for its large population of painted storks and spot-billed pelicans, which nest in the trees lining the village roads. Witnessing these magnificent birds in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience and a delight for photography enthusiasts.
19. Talakad Panchalinga Darshana: A Pilgrim’s Journey
Talakad Panchalinga Darshana is a unique pilgrimage that takes place once every twelve years. Devotees flock to Talakadu to witness the rare sight of five ancient temples that emerge from the sand for a brief period. The Panchalinga temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva, hold immense religious significance and attract devotees from far and wide.
20. Kabini Dam: A Tranquil Reservoir
Kabini Dam, situated on the Kabini River, is a picturesque reservoir that offers a serene and tranquil atmosphere. Surrounded by dense forests and verdant landscapes, the dam is a popular spot for boating and angling. The scenic beauty and tranquility of the place make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking solace amidst nature.
21. Chunchanakatte Falls: A Mesmerizing Delight
Chunchanakatte Falls, located near Krishna Raja Sagara Dam, is a hidden gem that enchants visitors with its natural beauty. The cascading water, surrounded by lush greenery, creates a picturesque setting. Legend has it that Lord Rama, during his exile, visited this place and blessed it, adding a touch of mythology to the enchanting falls.
22. B R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary: Where Wilderness Thrives
The B R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, nestled in the Western Ghats, is a biodiverse haven for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. The sanctuary is home to a wide range of animal species, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and various bird species. Embark on a thrilling safari or indulge in birdwatching to witness the captivating beauty of this pristine wilderness.
23. Male Mahadeshwara Hills: A Spiritual Retreat
The Male Mahadeshwara Hills, situated in the Eastern Ghats, is a revered pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva. The ancient temple atop the hills attracts devotees who seek blessings and spiritual solace. The lush green surroundings and serene ambiance of the hills offer a peaceful retreat for those seeking a break from the chaos of city life.
24. Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta: A Trekker’s Paradise
Bilikal Rangaswamy Betta, a hill located near Kanakapura, offers an exciting trekking experience for adventure enthusiasts. The trek to the hilltop is a moderately challenging one, rewarding trekkers with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. The serene atmosphere and panoramic vistas make it a popular spot for nature lovers and trekkers alike.
25. Balmuri and Edmuri Waterfalls: Nature’s Symphony
Balmuri and Edmuri Waterfalls, situated on the outskirts of Mysore, are twin waterfalls that offer a delightful escape into nature’s embrace. The cascading water, surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush greenery, creates a serene and picturesque setting. Spend a day picnicking by the falls or take a refreshing dip in the cool waters to unwind and rejuvenate.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How far is Mysore from these 25 places to visit near Mysore?
- The distance from Mysore to these places varies. Some destinations like Chamundi Hills and Brindavan Gardens are within a short distance from Mysore, while others like Nagarhole National Park and Bandipur National Park require a few hours of travel.
2. Are these places suitable for a family outing?
- Yes, these places are suitable for a family outing. There are attractions and activities suitable for people of all age groups, making it a memorable experience for the whole family.
3. Is it necessary to hire a guide to explore these places?
- While hiring a guide is not mandatory, it can enhance your experience, especially if you are interested in learning about the history, culture, and significance of these places. A guide can provide valuable insights and make your visit more informative and engaging.
4. Are there any accommodations available near these places?
- Yes, most of these places have accommodations available nearby, ranging from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts. It is advisable to make prior reservations, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure a comfortable stay.
5. Can these places be covered in a day trip from Mysore?
- While some places can be covered in a day trip, others may require more time to explore fully. It is recommended to plan your itinerary accordingly and allocate sufficient time for each destination to make the most of your visit.
6. Are there any entry fees or permits required to visit these places?
- Some places may have entry fees, especially if they are managed by government authorities or private organizations. National parks and wildlife sanctuaries may also require permits for safaris and wildlife sightings. It is advisable to check the official websites or contact the respective authorities for updated information on entry fees and permits.
Mysore and its surrounding areas are a treasure trove of cultural heritage, natural beauty, and wildlife sanctuaries. Exploring these 25 places near Mysore offers a rich and diverse experience that caters to the interests of every traveler. From seeking blessings at ancient temples and immersing oneself in the tranquility of waterfalls to embarking on thrilling wildlife safaris, each destination has something unique to offer. So, pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and create unforgettable memories as you explore the enchanting places near Mysore.