Location: Chamarajanagara is located on the southernmost tip of the state of Karnataka. It borders Tamil Nadu and Kerela on south, Mysore district of Karnataka to the west and north, Mandya and Bengalooru districts to the north-east.
District Headquarter: Chamarajanagara
Distance: Chamarajanagar town is around 185 km from Bangalore, 65 km from Mysore
Journey time: Around 5 hrs
How to reach there: By bus, train or private vehicle.
1. Bangalore – Mysore – Nanjangud – Chamrajanagar
2. Bangalore – Kanakapura – Kollegal – Chamarajanagar road
Where to stay:
1. M C Resort, Near Bandipur National Park, Bangalore Ooty Road,Hangala Post,Gundalpet Taluk, Chamrajnagar – 571126
Note: Check for lodges and hotels in the city.
Where to eat: Local hotels or roadside dabha.
Language spoken: Mainly Kannada, Hindi and understands English to an extent.
Chamarajanagara earlier was part of the Mysore district, but it was carved as a separate district in 1998. Chamarajanagar got its name from the Mysore king Chamaraja Wodeyar who born there. Earlier it was known by the name Arikottara.
What to see:
* Chamarajeshwara Temple : The biggest temple in Chamarajanagara, which was built during end of 19th Century. Temple resembles Nanjanagudu Srikanteswara temple and has a very big gopura.
* MM Hills : Malai Mahadeshwara Hills ( MM Hills), is an important Shaiva pilgrimage centre in the Kollegala Taluk. The yearly chariot festival (locally called ‘jatre’) at the MM Hills brings many devotees. The temple is situated within the MM Hills Reserve Forest, not very far from where the river Kaveri flows into Tamil Nadu.
Malai Mahadeswara temple on top of MM hills
* BR Hills : Biligiri Rangana Betta (short form: BR Hills), refers to a cliff in the BR Hills range which is a North-South range in the Yelandur Taluk. It is famous for the Ranganathaswamy temple.
* Kanakagiri : Kanakagiri in Chamarajanagara Taluk is a famous Jain pilgrim centre. It is described as Hemanga Desha in ancient works and is said that Bhagwan Sri Mahavira visited this place during his visit to South India.
* GS Betta : Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta ( GS Betta) is a hill near the Bandipura Wildlife Sanctuary in the Gundlupete Taluk. It is famous for the Gopalaswamy temple which is atop the hill. Gopalaswamy is an incarnation of the Hindu God Krishna.
* Dodda Sampige Mara: Located 4 km from BR Hills, Dodda Sampige Mara is the location where a large Champaka tree, 34 mts in height and 20 mts of girth is present. Near its trunk, there are many Shiva Lingas (around 100) which are worshipped by the pilgrims who come here. Near the tree flows the stream Bhargavi which is a tributary of Kaveri. This stream is supposed to be an incarnation of Renuka, the wife of the revered Hindu sage, Jamadagni.
* Bandipura : Bandipura is a well known National Park in the Gundlupete Taluk straddling the state’s border with Tamil Nadu. It is also a tiger reserve and part of the Project Tiger initiative. Apart from tiger, the other animals found here include gaur, elephant, leopard and wild dogs. It is contiguous with the Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary which is across the state border in Tamil Nadu.
Stay: Jungle Lodge’s Bandipur Safari Lodge
Jungle Lodge wilderness camp at K.Gudi
* BR Hills : Apart from being a religious centre, BR Hills is also the location of the BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. It is spread over an area of 539.52 sq. km. Some of the important animals found here are tigers, sloth bears, elephants and gaurs.
On the way to BR Hills
Nanjundeshwara temple: Nanjangud is located at a distance of 23 km from Mysore at the banks of river Kapila (popularly know as Kabini). 163 km from Bangalore. It is also called Dakshina Kashi (Kashi of south). Nanjangud is famous for the Nanjundeshwara temple which is dedicated to lord Shiva. Nanjanagud literally means “the place where Nanjundeshwara resides.” The original Nanjundeshwara temple is said to be of Ganga period (325 – 1000 CE). This temple has then been renovated by the Hoysala kings. Both Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan had close associations with this temple. Wodeyar kings have provided various grants to renovate the temple.
Weekdays: 6.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m & 4.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.
Sunday: 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
Every year Chariot Festival locally known as the Dodda Jathre and the Chikka Jathre takes place with much fanfare. Idols of Lord Srikanteshwara, Goddess Parvathi, Lord Ganapathi, Lord Subramanya and Lord Chandikeshwara are kept in five separate chariots are taken out in procession.
How to reach there: One can reach there by bus or train from Mysore.
Website on Nanjangud: http://nanjangud.info/
Sri Raghavendra swamy Mutt: Sri Raghavendra Swamy Mutt also known as Preteeka Sanidhi. It contains an idol of Sri Raghavendra Swamy rather than the usual samadhi. The swamiji of Mantralaya mutt will be usually from Nanjangud
Parashurama Kshetra: Little further from Nanjangud 3 rivers meet namely – Kapila, Kaundinya and a rivulet called Suvarnavathy typically known in India as sangam. It is said that Parashurama cleansed himself of his sins here. He did a penance here where Nanjundeshwara temple is presenty located.
You can also check a few less ventured places as follows:
1. Suvarnavathi Reservoir: Suvarnavathi Reservoir is 16 km from Chamarajanagar.
2. Sargur: Pronounced Sargura in kannada is located around 10 km from Chamarajanagar and 50 km from Mysore. Here you may see the oldest rock formation around about 3300 to 3000 million years old. It extends from Sargur in H.D Kote taluk to Mysore for about 40 km. Also, the town as many old Hindu and Jain shrines.