One-Day Tour of Somanathapura and Srirangapatna
- Drive to Somanathapur, a small village located 35 km from Mysuru on the left bank of the Kaveri, to visit the spectacular Hoysala period temple.
- Built in 1268 by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a powerful military commander under Narasimha III, the temple stands in a walled compound that gives away little little about the visual riches inside. Upon entering, take alook at the slab inscribed in Old Kannada which reveals the history of the Hoysalas and of Somanatha’s family.
- From here, visitors can appreciate the temple’s trio of shrines, each topped with a pyramidal stone tower (such towers are missing at Belur and Halebidu).
- After admiring the astonishing array of carvings on the outer walls of the shrines, visitors should also explore the interior, with its two superlative statues of Krishna and amazing, intricately-carved ceilings.
- Drive 35 km to Srirangapatna, the island fort of Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan located in the Kaveri River.
- Begin by driving through the Bengaluru Gate into the inner fort to see Tipu’s congregational mosque, the Masjid-i Ala, and then the Ranganathaswamy Temple, from which the island derives its name.
- Continue the drive outside the fort, with a visit to Dariya Dalat Bagh, Tipu’s summer palace with its amazing murals, and the Gumbaz, where Tipu is interred alongside his parents.
- At sunset, make for the Sangam at the tip of Srirangapatna, where the two branches of the Kaveri merge.
You could then drive 15 km back to Mysuru, or 126 km via Mandya and the NH 275 to Bengaluru.