Chamundi Hills (1 3 km): Height: 3,489 feet. Famous for the Mahishasura statue and Chamundeswari Temple. Situated at the foot of the hills is Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel now maintained by ITDC. Planet X, situated at the foot of Chamundi Hills, is a new place opened for bowling, go-karting, mini golf, etc.
Srirangapatna (16 km): Srirangapatna, the abode of Sri Ranganatha (Vishnu), flourished as a small town during the time of Hoysala ruler Udayaditya, brother of Vishnuvardhana. A fort was built here in 1454 by the local Nagamangala chief Timmana Dandanayaka, during the Vijayanagara rule and it was directly ruled by Vijayanagara viceroys. Mysore Wodeyars took possession of this place during the reign of Raja Wodeyar, which ultimately became the capital of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan till it was captured by the British in 1799. Built in 1784, Dariya Daulat Bagh, the summer palace of Tipu Sultan is in the Indo-Islamic style, constructed mostly of teak wood. It is situated outside the fort on the bank of river Kaveri. It is rectangular in plan and stands on a raised platform. Tel: 0821 08236-252023. Timing: 9 am-5 pm. Entry fee to Dariya Daulat: Indians Rs. 5, Foreigners USD 2 or Rs. 100 per person, children up to 15 years free). Accommodation: Hotel Mayura River View (KSTDC), Tel: 0821 08236-217455/4
Ranganathittoo Bird Sanctuary (19 km): Just outside Srirangapatna, the Kaveri river meanders around a string of tiny islets, which together form a splendid nesting site for waterfowl. Best season: June to November. Timing: 8 am to 5.30 pm, Entrance: Rs. 25 (Indians), Rs. 75 (Foreigners). Boating: Rs. 20 (Indians), Rs. 100 (Foreigners).
Brindavan Gardens & Krishnarajasagar Dam (19 km): A beautifully terraced garden, laid out on the side of the dam. The illuminated gardens and musical fountains are special features. The garden is open from 8 am to 7 pm. Musical fountain and illumination timings: Weekdays: 0630 to 1930 hrs; Sun & Sat: 1830 to 2030 hrs. Entrance Fee: Rs. 15 (Adult); Rs. 5 (child below 8 years), Camera: Rs. 50. Accommodation: Hotel Mayura Cauvery, Tel: 0821 08236-215876
Cauvery Fishing Camp (82 km)
Nanjangud (23 kms): An important pilgrim centre on the banks of the Kapila river, famous for the massive Nanjundeshwara temple. Built in the Dravidian style, it is one of the biggest of its kind in Karnataka. The massive temple has an imposing rajagopuram sculpted with mythological scenes. Regular buses ply from Mysore to Nanjangud.
Somnathpur (35 km): Timings: 0930-1730hrs. Entrance: Rs.10 Indians; Rs.100 or USD 2 for foreigners. Famous for the Chennakeshava Temple, a perfect example of medieval Hoysala architecture.
Kokkrebellur Pelicanry (44 km): A delightful place for birdwatchers, season December to April. Accommodation: Hotel Haripriya, Mysore-Bangalore Highway, Mandya, Tel: 0821 0823-2226112/117
Talakad (45 kms): Situated on the banks of the river Kaveri, the Kirti Narayana Temple, also known as the Vaideshwara Temple, is completely buried beneath sand dunes. The temple comes to life when it is excavated once every 12 years during the Panchalinga Darshan.
Shivasamudram Falls (65 km): Forested hills and lush green valleys cradle a small hamlet and two fine temples together they provide a startlingly calm setting for the Kaveri river as its plummets from a height of 75 m into a deep, rocky gorge with a deafening roar from two picturesque falls, Barachukki and Gaganachukki. Downstream from the falls is Asia’s first hydroelectric project, established at the behest of Sir M. Visveswaraya in 1902.
Bluff (76 km): This hydro-electric station is named after Sir K. Seshadri Iyer and is a beautiful picnic spot, 5 km from Malavalli on the Malavalli Kollegal road. One of the oldest power generating stations in India, Bluff is so called because of the 450 feet high “bluff” which has facilitated the laying of the generating station. Visitors can see the power generation process going down on a trolley.
Kabini River Lodge (80 km), Karapur, Nissana Bethur PO, HD Kote Taluk, Tel: 0821 08228-264401/2, Fax: 264405, www.junglelodges.com (Rs. 3000-5000)
Bandipur National Park (80 km): Set against the picturesque backdrop of the enchanting Nilgiris mountains with its mist-covered peaks, Bandipur was once the Mysore Maharaja’s private hunting ground. It was brought under Project Tiger in 1973. This is one of the best game sanctuaries in India to observe and photograph wildlife in close proximity. A temple perched atop Himavad Gopalaswamy Hill, the highest peak in the Bandipur range, is worth a visit. Best season: June to October.
Bylakuppe (83 km): A small village on the Mysore-Madikere road, Bylakuppe became famous as a rehabilitation centre for thousands of Tibetan refugees. The refugees were first permitted to settle here in 1960 and since then have been involved in growing maize, carpet weaving, poultry and dairy farming and in making handicrafts.
Sravanabelagola (93 km):The statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali at Sravana Belgola is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Jainism, one that reached a peak in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of Western Ganga Dynasty of Talakad.
Nagarhole National Park (96 km): The park has rich forest cover, small streams, valleys, and waterfalls. The park has a healthy tiger-predator ratio, and tiger, Indian bison, and elephant are much more populous here than in Bandipur.
Biligiriranga Hills (120 kms): Also called Swetadri or White hills, they stand 5091 feet above the sea level. Thick forests of teak, sandalwood, hone matti trees and grass growing to a height of 10-22 feet makes it an ideal abode for a variety of wildlife. On top of the hill is the Ranganatha Temple built in the Dravidian style.
Mahadeswara Hills (144 km): There is a Shiva temple on top of the hill making this place a popular pilgrim centre. Thousands of people flock here during Shivaratri festival (February-March).