We left Bangalore at around 6am by car. Mysore was about 3 hours away.
On the way we stopped at Adiga’s for breakfast. Shivalli and Maddur Tiffany’s are also commendable and hygenic options. The prices at the Adigas on the highway are literally twice, compared to what we find in the city. We paid ₹33 for a coffee that costs ₹15, you get the point.
We reached Mysore at around 10am, and headed straight to the Shrikanteshwar Temple on the banks of the river Kabini at Nanjangud. The temple is open from around 5:30am to 1pm, and reopens again at 4pm.
Said to have been built by the Cholas, the temple is an ode to mythical story where Shiva drinks the poison while churning for Amruta.
We’ve been coming here every year for the last 25years, and surely, a lot has changed. The area near the idols which were once open, have now been barred. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see devotees doing the ‘Tula Bhaara’. This is a ritual where a person sits on one side of the weighing scale, and the other side is filled up with grains or jaggery, till both sides are balanced. This is one ritual that never ceases to amaze me.
The entrance to the temple is free. But the queue for this is quite long. So there’s always the special enterance option, which costs a few more bucks.
In the recent years, the place has become more populated, so more restaurants have cropped up. There is ample parking space all around the temple. There is also a bath complex close by.
Once Nanjangud was done, we headed up to Chamundi Betta. The place was crowded, with hardly any space to even breathe. As with Nanjangud, Chamundi Temple had a general enterance which was free, and a special enterance that Costs ₹25, and a VIP enterance that costs ₹100. The enterances that you pay for helps you cut the queue.
Built in the 12th Century, the temple marks the victory of Durga (Chamundeshwari) over the demon, Mahishasura (who’s statue you’ll see at the entrance of the hill).
The temple was crowded. Even with the queues, you can see people pushing and falling over each other. You’re hardly allowed to get a ‘darshan’. As you’d be blocking the others.
There are a lot of shops around the temple, where you can buy trinkets and religious offerings. There are parking spaces around the temple as well. There are also tiny bakeries some hotels, coconut water stalls, and sugar cane juice stalls near the temple.
The temple is open from 7:30am to 2pm; 3:30 am to 6pm, and again from 7pm to 9pm.
Post Chamundi, we headed down to another lesser known temple. This temple is that of Chamundi’s sister, Sri Jwalamukhi Tripura Sundari Temple. Legends have it that if you visit one sister, and not the other, she’ll be furious and misfortune awaits.
Since the temple is lesser know, it’s much quieter, the crowd is sparse.
After a stopover for lunch in one of Mysuru’s vegetarian hotels. Mysuru Mylari and Om Shanti are two of my favorites, do let me know if you have other recommendations. We picked Om Shanti today. And we waited a good 40 minutes before we could get a table.
Bidding adieu to Mysore, we headed back to Bangalore. On the way back, we visited the Nimishamba Temple in Srirangapatana.
A little temple on the bank of the river Cauvery is about 2 kilometres away from the Sangam. We sat by the banks of the river for a bit, enjoying the cold breeze. But this was cut short by people dumping garbage all around us.
Heading back, we stopped over at Kamat Lokaruchi for dinner. This is my absolute favourite. It has the best ambience. It gives out immense village vibes; the little bags of onions used as decor, the cow shed, the dimly lit sitting space, they’re something the city could never offer. You can order from a range of South Indian cusines, I always pick the jollad rotti (with extra butter, ofcourse) and palya.
We reached Bangalore back by around 8pm (Thanks to Bangalore traffic for always making sure that we reach late).
-You can reach Mysore by flight or by buses from Bangalore. Once in Mysore, you can hire cabs that will take you to these places.
-The total cost of the trip for four of us, would be approximately ₹4000.
-The charges include food and fuel for five people