We had to book a hotel, and at last zeroed in on Hotel Roopa. We were able to book online. Later we found out that http://www.travelguru.com/ offered about 10% discount, so if any one gonna book hotels, may be TravelGuru is a wise choice.
We decided to cover Srirangapatna first and then to Mysore. So, our route map looked like this -
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We started from Bangalore around 6:30 AM on Saturday. Took the route to City Market and via the flyover connected to Mysore Road. Raja Rajeshwari Nagar has developed beyond recognition, with Gopalan Mall at the entrance, beside the arch. The road from Bangalore University is pretty decent toll-free road, with 4 lane. We stopped at Hotel Airavatha, (just after RV College of Engineering) for breakfast. Started from there around 8:00 AM.
On the way, we saw the Kengeri Satelite city, Eagleton Golf resorts, NICE Road intersection, Wonderla entrance and Innovative Film City entrance. Then came Bidadi, yes we stopped to take this snap :-)
On the way you pass through Ramanagaram, Channapatna, Maddur and then Mandya. Reached Srirangapatna around 10:00 AM. (110 kms in about 2 hours)
YOu need to take a right after crossing the cauvery bridge, and pass through Tipu's Fort (narrow passway, but cars can pass through). Some of the places, we saw here are:
Tipu's Death Place
Near to Srirangapatna Temple, you can find many shops selling wooden paintings. I got Ganesha and Radhakrishna paintings for about Rs. 500, needless to say you need to bargain.
Then came Tipu Sultan's palace, all in ruins -
We could have gone on to the other side to see Daria Daulat Mahal, the other Palace and Sangam (there are many sangams, but this is not the one near Mekadatu). We decided to skip that and proceeded to Mysore, with maps on, on our mobile. Reached Mysore around 12:00 PM.
All roads in Mysore lead to Mysore Palace, you can never miss the palace. But, you could miss the car-parking area :-) The parking area though is quite spacious and you can comfortably park your car for a fee of Rs. 20.
The palace from outside offered this spectacular view -
There is a small entrance fee of Rs. 20 for Indian Nationals and Rs. 200 for Foreigners. The palace interiors are marvellous (if not breath-taking), and is quite well maintained by the Palace Board. You will find a Cauvery Emporium shop within the palace, but all items are quite costly. There are many shops adjoining the car-parking area, where you can get good bargain !!!
We came out of the palace, pretty tired (though it was not so hot), and then proceeded to check-in to our hotel.
We checked in at around 1:30 PM, and had lunch at the restaurant in the basement. Food was not worthy mentioning about. The hotel offers a good sight-seeing package covering these places. We decided not to use that, as I wanted to drive and explore. We took some rest and decided to proceed to KRS by around 3:00 PM.
With google maps around, you never miss a spot. We had spotted the Mysore Clock tower, and I didn't miss it !
We went via Hunsur Road, BEML and then via KRS Town reached the spectacular dam. The parking area can accomodate about 1000 cars, and is very well maintained.
There is a boating facility just beside the dam, and you get to see the dam from pretty close spot.
One thing you will rue, is that no body is allowed to get on top of the dam, which I am sure would have offered a spectacular sight.
Then the walk down Brindavan Gardens was pretty relaxing with the saaral and the cool breeze.
We decided not to wait till the lighting, as we wanted to get a glimpse of the palace at Night. Reached hotel around 6:00 PM.
Palace@Night & Horse ride
Around 7:00 PM we had a casual walk from our hotel to the palace. Full lighting was not on, but even that was spectacular.
We took a horse ride to go around the palace, and it was very entertaining. The small took us explained the various places around and the history that he knows. His name was Sachin and we wished him all the best. Then we went around the KR Circle, KSIC shop and some other shops. Had dinner at "Forgot TBD", and had a nice rest at night.
Next morning around 8:00 AM, we started to Chamundi Hills.
The road was very good, and you will love to drive in this mini ghat section.
YOu will be greeted by the statue of Mahishasura at the entrance to the temple -
Carparking was bit of a problem, but we managed a space for our i10. The temple is very neatly maintained. There are free entrance, Rs. 20 and Rs. 1oo tickets. On Sunday, there was heavy rush, so we took the Rs. 100 ticket.
On the return, we saw some nice views of Mysore city, and took the route to see the Nandi Temple (at the base of the hill).
You can also find a cave temple of Lord Shiva at the Nandi Temple.
Then we got some silk mark shirts for me at KSIC. Then checked out of the hotel at aournd 2:00, and started on our way back. We also saw the Philomena's church on our way back -
We saw a number of restaurants on the highway, when going to Mysore so thought that we could have lunch at Adigas (just after Maddur). I must say, that the facilies (car parking, seating) and food was just excellent.
We also saw the famous Kengal Anjaneyaswamy temple, and took a glimpse from outside -
Just near Kengeri, we observed one Golden Panchamugha Vinayar temple, and the idol, just caught my eye -
After wading through heavy traffic before City Market Flyover, reached home at 6:00 PM.
Reflecting on the memories of Mysore, it was a calm city, with a lot of circles (rountanas) all over. The people of Mysore are very friendly, be the waiters at the restaurants, the shopkeepers or even the traffic police for that matter. I loved the indications everywhere, you would never get lost even if you try hard to. As I had said earlier, all roads led me to the Mysore Palace (at the heart of the city). Indeed visiting Mysore would be a refreshing choice for a weekend out of Bangalore.