India on the Road

From Mysore to Jog Falls

19 OCTOBER 2016,
Mysore
Mysore

Route: Mysore – Shrirangapattana – Hassan – Arsikere – Bhadravati – Shimoga – Jog Falls
Distance: 351 Kms
Driving Time: 6 hours

Mysore

Mysore is the “Sandalwood City” of India. Everywhere you go in this beautiful city you will find yourself enveloped with the lingering aromas of sandalwood, jasmine, rose, musk, frangipani and a hundred others. It is one of the major centers of incense manufacture in India and scores of small, family owned agarbatti factories are scattered all over the city, their products exported all over the world. One of Mysore’s principal attractions is the magnificent palace of the Maharaja of Mysore, which is conspicuous by its Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. Overall, Mysore is a friendly easy going city with plenty of shady trees, well maintained public buildings, clean streets, a salubrious climate and yet small enough not to overwhelm the discerning visitors.

What to See

Maharaja’s Palace, Chamundi Hills, Vrindaban Gardens, Devraja Fruit & Vegetable Market, Government Sandalwood Oil Factory, Government Silk Weaving Factory, Sri Chamarajendra Art Gallery, St. Philomena’s Cathedral.

Where to Stay:

Most hotels are located in the periphery of Dhanvantari Road, Gandhi Square and K.R.Circle. Some of the popular hotels of Mysore are Hotel Mayura Ashoka (KSTDC), Yatrinivas, Guest House of the Maharaja of Mysore, Hotel Metropole, Hotel Chlukya, Gayatri Bhawan, Hotel Ritz, Hotel Mannan, Woodlands, Park Lane Hotel, Mysore Dashaprakash, Hotel Madhu Niwas, Hotel Durbar etc…

Where to Eat:

Hotel Dasaprakash, Kwality Restaurant, Bombay Juice Centre, Jyothi, Gun House Restaurant, Bamboo Groove and Shanghai Restaurant are some of Mysore’s most popular eating joints.

What to Buy:

Sandal Oil, Sandal Soap, Incense Sticks, handicrafts made from Ivory. A visit to the Cauvery Arts & Crafts Emporium located in the heart of the city can be a very rewarding experience.

Shrirangapattana

After travelling a distance of 15 Kms. on the State Highway SH17, the quaint town of Shrirangapattana welcomes you. Here you will come across the ruins of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan’s capital from which they ruled much of Southern India during the 18th century. The entire town looks like an island enclosed by the shimmering Kaveri river.

What to See:

Fort, Ranganathaswamy Temple, Paschima Vaahini, Daria Daulat Bagh, Museum, Gumbaz, Masjid – E – Ala or Jamia Masjid, Colonel Bailey’s Dungeon, Place of Martyrdom (Tipu Sultan).

Where to Stay:

Ambelee Hotel Resort (Tel: 08236-52326), Hotel Mayura River View, PWD Bungalow near Sri Ranganathaswamy temple.

Where to Eat:

Apart from scores of traditional South Indian eating joints, Ambelee Resort as well as Hotel Mayura offer a variety of cuisines in the multi cuisine restaurants.

What to Buy:

Sandalwood and Ivory articles.

Hassan

As you leave the alleyways Shrirangapattana, turn left on SH19 and travel a good 5 Kms. and then take a left turn onto SH7. Continue to drive 55 Kms. upfront via Krishnarajpet all the way to the town of Hassan. The town itself has little of interest for the visitors who treat this town as a base from which to explore Halebid and Sravanabelagola.

What to See:

The Lakshminarayana Temple built in 1113 at Doddagaddavahati. This temple has gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon like Kali, Mahalakshmi, Shiva and Bhuthnath.

Where to Eat:

Hassan offers numerous eating out options. Santhalia, Malnika, New Mongala and Varani are renowned for the culinary spreads. Abhiruchi is a name to reckon with for North Indian cuisine.

What to Buy:

Handicraft items and silk products.

Arsikere

After travelling a good 50 Kms. from Hassan, you come across the charming town of Arsikere which like Hassan is a convenient base from which to explore Belur and Halebid and the Jain centre of Sravanabelagola but, unlike Hassan, it has a Hoysala temple of its own. Unfortunately much of the temple is vandalized and many contemporary structures have been added so its no longer very representative. Arsikere is also a railway junction where one can board express trains to Bangalore and Mumbai.

Where to Stay:

P.P.Lodge (Tel: 08172-433414), Mayura Lodge (Tel: 08172-432358).

Where to Eat:

P.P. Lodge and Mayura Lodge offer decent multi cuisine dining options.

What to Buy:

Sandalwood products and traditional handicraft items.

Bhadravati

Leaving Arsikere behind, drive upfront along NH206 via Birur, you enter the small Karnataka town of Bhadravati after traversing 86 Kms. Bhadravati, by the way is the Birmingham of Karnataka. Iron and steel industry, paper and cement and other industries have come up in this industrial town on the banks of the shimmering Bhadravati river. It is located at an altitude of 1959 feet above sea level.

What to See:

Bhadra River Dam, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.

Where to Stay:

By far the best option as far as accommodation is concerned is the Pavana Lodge, located ideally at B H Road, Bhadravathi, (Tel: Phone Number: 08282 – 263590). Visitors also prefer the Traveller’s Bungalow & Guest House for which reservations have to be made in advance.

Where to Eat:

Apart from the traditional South Indian roadside eating joints that offer Dosa, Idli, Sambar and a host of other Kannada delicacies, the in-house restaurant of Pavana Lodge too can be relied upon for wholesome food.

What to Buy:

Traditional Kannada handicraft items.

Shimoga

From Bhadravati as you drive further ahead along NH206 covering a distance of 65 Kms., you will come across the charming town of Shimoga. Shimoga is located almost at the central part of Karnataka state in the Malnad region bounded by Sahyadri ghats to the east. The eastern part of Shimoga district comes under the semi-Malnad zone with plain topography and occasional chains of hills covered with semi-deciduous vegetation. Shimoga is an agriculturally self sufficient district, thus sometime called as the “rice bowl of Karnataka”. Shimoga is a true picture of nature's bounty-landscapes dotted with waterfalls, swaying palms and lush paddy fields that makes for a truly picturesque vistas.

What to See:

Waterfalls, hill stations like Agumbe, Kodachadri, Kundaddri and Honnemaradu, bird sanctuaries like Mandagadde and Guduvi.

Where to stay:

Some of the popular hotels of Shimoga are Hotel Jewel Rock (Tel: 08182-223051), Hotel Surya Comforts (Tel: 08182-2221817), Navratna Hotel (Tel: 08182-275255), Mathura Residency (Tel: 08182-260244), Sri Durga Lodge (Tel: 08182-223081).

Where to Eat:

Rice is the staple food of the locals and the traditional cuisine is very similar to the Udupi cuisine. Try out the “Thumbli”, which is a curd preparation with ingredients like turmeric, ginger, jasmine and rose sprouts. Hotel Samrat stands out for its variety of pan-Indian cuisines.

What to Buy:

Traditional fabrics and dress materials.

Jog Falls

On the last leg of your journey from Shimoga to Jog Falls, which is a mere 4 kms. you arrive at your dream destination – the captivating Jog Falls, which happens to be India’s highest waterfall, strategically located at an altitude which is all of 1500 meters on the prominent Western Ghat mountain range. The shimmering Sabarmati pours down from a height of 292 meters. Try to coincide your trip to Jog Falls during the monsoon season. However, the recent construction of a dam and reservoir have somewhat lessened the flow of the fall. At the site of the Jog Fall, you would do well to visit the Hydro Electric plant (Sharavathy Valley Project) by taking due permission from the Karnataka Power Corporation. It happens to be the largest hydro-electric plant in the whole of South East Asia. If you take the trouble of driving 13 Kms. upfront, you will come across the Lingamukhi Dam.

Where to Stay:

Jog Falls STD 08181
Hotel Durga Lodge (Tel: 226305), River Tern Lodge (Mobile: 09449599778), Vihangama Holiday Resort (Tel: 228211), Stay@Matthuga (Tel: 207581), Hotel MG Palace (Tel: 261194/196), Hotel Sundara Ashraya (Tel: 223383, 222912), Hotel Ashoka Dlx (Tel: 220285, 223787).

Where to Eat:

Roadside eating joints have mushroomed around Jog Falls and there is also the Karnataka Tourism Corporation run restaurant that offers sumptuous multi cuisine dining options.

What to Buy:

Traditional handicraft items produced by the natives.