When I first backpacked India, I went from city to city, maybe a small town here and there, but they were all Lonely Planet approved. After living in Goa I realized how much goes missed in guide books.
Had I come to Mysore alone, I would have done all the things in Mysore one should do (Ayurveda, yoga, the palace…) then hopped on a train to Hampi or Gokarna. Because I was with goMowgli, I got to see all these random ass places around Mysore that were so freakin’ cool! All of these are day trips from Mysore, but many are great and you should consider staying overnight.
You cannot do these all in one day! If you check out the goMowgli pass plan you’ll see that I did these over the course of a week. By the end of exploring Mysore I was pretty tired, so I don’t recommend trying to cram all these places in. I’ve been to all these and most have links within for more information on each one; this is more of a guideline or summary.
8 Day Trips from Mysore
Tour the facilities, taste one of their many cheeses like organic cheddar or gouda, and have a great BBQ tandoori and bonfire. You are sure to see the cutest baby cows of your life!
With over 300 people on the wait list for milk, this place must be the best. Read more about my time at Oxygen Acres here.
Located on the Kaveri River (which runs across Karnataka and was in photos from when I was in Coorg), it’s the life of Karnataka. The place is the origin of the “Mysore Curse”. People come to take a dip or a ride in one of the circular Karnatakan boats (coracle) and take a walk along the sandy banks.
A shorter version of the story goes:
The king was going to die so he came to this place to get healthcare with the older of his wives. The younger wife back home received message that her husband was dying. Knowing the castle would be raided when she left, she took the jewels and went by horseback. She was followed by the bad guys and before she died she cursed the next Mysore king that would take over saying, “may you never have an heir”, she cursed the land to be infertile saying “may nothing grow here”, and she asked for a whirlpool for her jewels so they may never be found. Now, the land is completely sandy as far as you can walk, there is a whirlpool, and no Mysore king has ever had an heir and has always had to adopt a family member. Right now, the king is dead and there is no heir because he hadn’t adopted!
3. Bahubali at Shravanabelagola
One of the 7 Wonders of India, obviously this is something you should know about. It’s a Jain temple and is the biggest monolithic temple in all of India. Bahubali meditation standing for so long that wildlife started to grow on him. I’m told this is a true story, not a myth. Read more about Bahubali at Shravanabelagola and how to get there by clicking that link.
This small town has a few good reasons for visiting and you could spend a full day here. You can buy khadi cotton from the Melukote Khadi Shop or straight from the source at the organic Khadi Farm we visited. Take a hike to Yoga Narasimha Swamy temple- only ruins remain. Explore the town which is full of Orthodox Vishnu worshippers called Iyengars. Read more about Melukote here and khaddi cotton here.
5. Srirangapatna & Ranganthittu
Here you can learn the history of the Tipu Sultan and tour around the old dungeons. While in here you can continue further into the park to the next stop, Ranganthittu.
This is the bird and crocodile reservation! Owned by the government, I wasn’t shocked to see prices for entry at 300 rupees for foreigner and 50 for Indians. The same went for the boat ride where you have to pay the same amount again. I suppose there’s not much reason to visit here if you don’t go on the boat to see the crocodiles. Although not guaranteed, we spotted 3 big ones! One was floating like a lazy bum, another swimming in the bushes, and one massive one just laying out catching the sun.
6. BR Hills & meeting the Soliga Tribe
BR Hills is much closer than driving all the way to Kabini and although smaller has a wide array of wildlife.
I’ve written all about this place including meeting the Soliga tribals and glamping at Gorukana. Such an amazing couple days! Highly recommend this. Read on for more information about BR Hills & Gorukana, and being able to meet the local tribals.
A perfect example of Hoysala architecture, this is a heritage site. You can see that the noses have been cut off by Muslim invaders who knew that Hindus couldn’t worship a broken idol.
Beyond the temple, it’s a great village to explore. Read on to hear about the cool kids I met, the tiniest post office ever, and obviously photos of the local dogs by clicking more information on Somanathapura.
These massive waterfalls lit up a whole city in 1902 with hydro-electric power… the first in Asia! Amazing. They are huge and sight to be seen. Pack a lunch if you want or get some snacks from the vendors. Be careful a monkey doesn’t steal your fruit (or camera for that matter.) Read more about the Shivanasamudra Waterfalls here!
That’s it! The 8 day tips you can easily make from Mysore. As I said, I did all these trips through goMowgli and highly recommend them to ease the struggle of traveling rural areas by local bus.
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