Once the game preserve of the Maharaja of Mysore, today it is a tiger reserve under the Project Tiger. Situated in the Nilgiris at an altitude of 885m, the National Park harbors tiger, elephants, Indian bison, leopard, spotted deer and many other species. Animals can be viewed in close quarters from Forest Department vans and elephant back. Forest Lodges, Rest Houses and cottages are available for accommodation. The best time to visit is Sept- April.
19km from Mysore, these gardens are laid out beside the Krishnarajasagar dam. This immensely popular gardens stretch out in terraces along the length of the dam. Innumerable fountains and pools complement many beautiful flowerbeds and lawns. In the night the garden is transformed into a fairyland with swirling fountains dancing to the music and colorful fairy lights.
About 120km from Mysore in the densely forested hilly area where wild animals like bison, elephant, lion, panther etc. roam freely. It has a crocodile farm, a snake farm, a pet's corner, a deer pen and a prehistoric animal park. Safari vans are available for the visitors to tour the park to view the animals at close quarters. The park is open everyday from 900hrs to 1700hrs except on Tuesdays. The town has an ancient Chamakadharmeswara temple dedicated to Damodar built by a feudal prince of the Hoysalas.
155km from Mysore, Once the capital of Hoysala Dynasty after destruction of Halebidu by Malik Kafur, this small town is situated on the banks of River Yagachi in Hassan district. Home of several beautiful Hoysala Temples and declared as a World Heritage Center, Belur is one of the major tourist destinations in Karnataka. The main attraction in Belur is the Chennakeshava temple complex which contains the Chennakesava Temple as the centre piece, surrounded by the Kappe Chennigraya temple.
The temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It was built by king Vishnuvardhana to tribute his victory over the Cholas at Talakad in 1117 AD. It is said that it took 103 years to complete the building of the temple complex. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures.
In the 12th century, Hoysala rulers established their capital by the side of Lake Dwarasamudra and named after it. It was enclosed with a wall of enormous boulders. When Malik Kafur of Delhi Sultanate ransacked the city, the capital was shifted to Belur and Dwarasamudra was referred as Halebidu meaning old capital. Hoysaleswara temple and Kedareswara temple are sculptural extravaganza and fine examples of Hoysala temple art.
There are three Jain shrines those are beautiful and popular for their marvelous sculptures.
Once the capital of Tipu Sultan and 16km from Mysore, Srirangapattana is located on an island between two branches of Kaveri River. From 1610 to 1799, it was also the capital of several Mysore kings. The fort, Darya Daula Bagh (Tipu's Summer Palace), Gumbaz (Mausoleum built by Tipu for his parents), Juma Masjid, Sri Ranganathaswamy temple built in 894 AD etc. are places worthwhile to visit.
Located 93km from Mysore, an unspoiled township between the Indragiri hills and Chandragiri hills, Sravanabelagola is a great Jain Centre. It is 160km from Bangalore. Thousands of pilgrims flock to see the gigantic statue of Jain Saint, Lord Gomteswara also known as Bahubali. The statue was anointed in 981 AD. Carved from a single block of stone, the statue stands 17m tall and is visible from 30km away. It is one of the largest monolithic statutes in the world. There are several Jain temples and monasteries on the Chandragiri Hills those are worth visiting.
Ranganathitu Bird Sanctuary
4km from Srirangapattana, this bird sanctuary is a feast for the eyes of bird watchers. Migratory birds from Siberia and even Americas are seen here. A boar ride around the many islets offers a wonderful view of herons, ibis, storks, cormorants and other water birds.
Spread over 570sq.km and 93km from Mysore,this wild life sanctuary is situated on the banks of the Kabini River. A rewarding stopover for the wild life enthusiasts, this sanctuary has tigers, leopards, elephants and many species of monkeys and deer.
Located 60km from Bangalore, a range of craggy hills, It is a popular health resort of today. It was also the place where assorted royalty retired to escape the din of battle and heat of summer. It has two thousand years old temples dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The abode of Prassanna Chennakeswara Temple, one of the three famous Hoysala temples, Somanathpur is 35km from Mysore. The temple has a star shaped grand plan with triple shrine. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple has idols of Lord Kesava (main shrine), Lord Janardhana (northern shrine) and Lord Venugopala (southern shrine).
Often popularly referred, as 'Dakshina Kasi' (Southern Varanasi) Sivaganga is a pilgrim centre of great importance. The temples dedicated to Gangadhareswara and Hanna Devi are located on top of a 4600ft hill whose silhouette looks like the Nandi Bull from the east, elephant headed Lord Ganesh from the west, a Sivalinga from the south and a cobra with spread out hood from the north.
Muthyala Maduvu (Pearl Valley)
It is a popular picnic spot with a 300 feet high waterfall. Pearl Valley is 44km from Bangalore.