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Mandya

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Map of Mandya, Karnataka

Mandya

The district of Mandya, one of the 20 administrative units of the State of Karnataka, is situated roughly in the southeastern part of the State. It is flanked by the districts of Tumkur and Barigalore on the north and east, by Mysore district to the south and by the district of Hassan in the west, northwest. Like most other districts in the State, this one too derives its name from its administrative headquarters town - an important commercial centre. The name Mandya itself may have originated from the popular belief that Mandavya - a holy man, much revered lived in the area in ancient times.

Mandya's history is the history of the old Mysore State, which included the present district of Mandya and areas around the Cauvery Basin. Ruled successively by the kings of the Ganga dynasty and then the Cholas and the Hoysalas, the area was annexed by the rulers of Vijayanagara in 1346. After the cruel battle of 1565 When the Vijayanagara king was defeated by the combined power of the Sultans of the Deccan, the Vijayanagara Empire began to lose its power and extent. The Wodeyars of Mysore gradually grew in importance. Before long, they had established their own rule over a large part of South India which included all of old Mysore, parts of the present Tamil Nadu and the districts of Dakshina Kannada and Dharwar, with Srirangapatna as their capital.

The power of the Wodeyars was more or less unchallenged till 1761 when Hyder Ali, one of their generals rose to great strength and overcame them. Between then and 1799 when Hyder's son Tipu was defeated by the British, the area was under constant crossfire.

Finally on 30th June 1 799, Krishnaraja Wodeyar Ill, a descendant of the ancient royal house was placed on the throne o Mysore by the British while Srirangapatna became the property of the victorious East India Company. The dynastic rule of Wodeyars thereafter ended only with the establishment of democracy in free India. The district of Mandya itself constituted in 1939 as an administrative unit with seven taluks has remained unchanged to this day

The district covers an area of about 4850.8 square kilometers, about 1140th of the area of the whole state. The area is plain except for a few outcrops of rocks that stand out as ridges and an extension of the Biligirirangana range of mountains in the southeast. Perhaps among Mandya's greatest assets are its four rivers, the Cauvery, Hemavati, lokapavani and Shimsha that give the district both religious importance and scenic beauty.

Although none of the rivers are navigable, they form picturesque waterfalls wherever the lie of the land permits it and the small shrines on riverbanks are testimony to the deep belief in India that rivers themselves are holy.

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Mandya

(99 Kms from Bangalore, 40 Kms northeast of Mysore)

The importance of the district's headquarters town, Mandya, grew with the establishment, in January 1933, of the Mandya Sugar Factory with an authorized capital of Rs. 20 lakhs - a great amount those days. Predictably the sugar factory is now one of the biggest in India.

Mandya town also contains the stately Janardhanaswami temple whose principal deity holding the traditional Shanka and Chakra i5 flanked by Sridevi and Bhudevi on either side. The temple's gopura recently renovated adds to the aesthetics of the temple. The annual car festival is held in April-May every year.

Accommodation: Traveler’s Bungalow

Tourist Bungalow and Private Hotels

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Maddur

(21 Kms from Mandya)

Maddur, 21 Kms from Mandya claims legendary importance because it was originally known as Arjunapura after the Pandava Prince who is believed to have come here on pilgrimage. In more recent authenticated history, the town suffered heavily during Tipu's wars with the British. Maddur fort, in fact, which had been fortified by Hyder, was dismantled by Lord Cornwallis in 1791.

Among the important temples here, thankfully still existing, is the Narasirnha temple of the Hoysala period whose 7 ft high image of Ugra Narasimha made of black stone is believed to be the best of its kind in the State.

Maddur's marvelous Varadaraja temple is an early Chola or pre-Chola structure. Its 1 2 ft high Alialanatha deity is elaborately carved both in front and on the back with unusual features which has led to the Kannada saying 'Ella devara munde nodu Allalanathana hinde nodu' - 'All other idols are to be seen from the front but Allalanatha is to be seen from the back'.

Maddur, incidentally, is also famous for the Maddur Vadai - a delicious fried snack made of a variety of pulses.

Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation's Mayura Highway Restaurant offers wayside facility.

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Malavalli

(24 Kms from Mandya)

A historic town 24 Kms from Mandya which was partially destroyed by Tipu himself to prevent its being of use to the British, Malavalli is now an important centre for sericulture - a growing industry in this part of the State. Malavalli also has a flourishing leather unit.

Accommodation: P.W.D. Guest House

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Cauvery Water Falls

(20 Kms from Malavalli)

20 Kms from Malavalli and 44 Kms from Mandya at Shivasamudram the river Cauvery separates into two streams that thunder down 106.68 meter’s of rocky hillside. The Gaganachukki on the Western branch of the river and the Barachukki Falls a mile away to the east, are best viewed during the monsoon and after - from July to about mid November. The Gaganachukki Fails are also believed to be the site of suicide of

Nandiraja, a 16th century King of the area who leapt into its waters with his wife as penance for some

Ceremonial offence.

Accommodation: Karnataka Power Corporation's Circuit House

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Bhimeshwari

(Cauvery Fishing Camp)

Cauvery Fishing Camp, managed by jungle lodges and Resorts Ltd. Bangalore, is 50 Kms from Mandya The camp is situated on the banks of the river Cauvery Nature has created a natural sanctuary at Bhimeswari for the 'Mahseer, Asia's premier sporting fish, between Shivasamudram and Mekedatu, across the river Cauvery downstream. The verdant valley, with, thick forests is home for the elephant, sambar, chital, wild boar and a colorful variety of birds. The swirling waters, of the river: have crocodiles in them too.

On this beautiful stretch, of water, jungle lodges & Resorts limited have put up comfortable tents with toilet facilities. Food, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian are served in 'Gol Ghar', the open-air dining room. The fishing camp is not only a paradise for anglers but also ideal picnic spot for holidaymakers,

For Accommodation Contact

Jungle lodges & Resorts

II Floor, Shrungar Shopping Complex

Mahatma Gandhi Road

Bangalore 560 001. Phone:

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Pandavapura

(35 Kms from Mandya)

Associated with the Mahabharata, as is obvious from its name and 35 Kms from Mandya is Pandavapura. It was a military station during Hyder and Tipu's time and housed their French servicemen. It is now important for its large-scale sugar factory.

Accommodation: Private Hotels

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Kuntibetta

(2 Kms from Pandavapura)

Kuntibetta is a small hill 2 Kms from Pandavapura that derives its importance from the belief that the exiled Pandava brothers and their mother Kunthi spent some time here.

Nearest Accommodation: Pandavapura

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Melkote

(25 Kms from Pandavapura, 30 Kms from Mandya)

Melkote or 'high fort' 25 Kms from Pandavapura is an important religious centre. The 12th century

Srivaishnava saint Sri Ramanujacharya is believed to have lived here for 14 years. The Chaluvarayaswami Temple in Melukote came under the special patronage' of the Mysore Rajas and holds a valuable collection of royal jewels. The idol of Chaluvarayaswami is adored with these jewels, once a year during March-April. This occasion is called 'Vairamudi'. There is also an inscription here dated 1785, stating that Tipu Sultan gave some elephants to the temple. Built on the rocky hills of Yadugiri, the town also attracts visitors for its breathtaking scenic beauty and its bracing climate.

Accommodation: Temple Choultry (unfurnished)

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Tirumalasagara

(6 km from Melkote)

6 Kms from Melkote is located the beautiful Tirumalasagara Lake where the Hoysala king Bittideva, under the benign influence of the sage Ramanujacharya, accepted the Vaishnava faith and adopted the name Vishnuvardhana. Namki Narayana Swamy and the venugopala Temple here are two exquisite examples of Hoysala architecture. In 1749 the Adilshahis of Bijapur annexed this area and renamed the lake Moti Talab or the 'Lake of Pearls' - a testimony to its clear beauty.

Nearest Accommodation: Melkote

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Krishnarajapet

2 Kms from the steadily growing town of Krishnarajpet, is the village of Hosaholalu in which is located the 13th century temple of lakshminarayana. This Hoysala temple with its exquisite carvings rivals the better-known examples of Hoysala craftsmanship at Belur and Halebidu.

Accommodation: Traveler’s Bungalow managed by P.W.D.

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Kikkeri

The Brahmeswara temple in Kikkeri, 20 Kms from Krishnarajpet is a fine specimen of the Hoysala style of architecture. Built in 1171, during the reign of Narasimha I, this single-celled temple has an impressive stone tower. The figures carved on its pillars are of extraordinary workmanship.

Accommodation Not available

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Basaralu

(25 Kms Northeast of Mandya)

Basaralu, a small village, is famous for its 12th century Mallikarjuna temple that was established uniquely enough, by the Army Chief of the Hoysalas. The exterior of the temple is adorned with exquisite inscriptions from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagwata. The remarkable sculptures in the temple include a sixteen-armed Shiva dancing on Andhakasura's head and Ravana lifting Kailasa.

Nearest Accommodation: Mandya

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Shivapura

(23 Kms from Mandya)

Situated 3 kms from Maddur, Shivapura is a famous historic spot where between the 10th and the 12th of April 1938 thousands of freedom fighters hoisted the Indian tricolor in spite of a prohibitory order imposed by the British Government. The monument here, simple in its dignity is a fitting tribute to those valiant fighters for India's freedom.

Accommodation: P.W.D. Guest House at Maddur

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Kokkare-Bellur

(10 Kms from Maddur)

A village that has now been developed into a bird sanctuary, Kokkare-Bellur attracts cranes, pelicans and other large bird visitors from as far away as Australia, Africa and Europe. The best season to spot these migratory birds is from October to March. Accommodation: P.W.D. Guest House at Maddur

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Bluff

On the way to the waterfalls is located Bluff. Eastern Asia’s first, power generating station set up by the Dewan of Mysore in 1902 and meant to supply power to the Kolar Gold Fields nearly 200 Kms away. The area is called 'Bluff' after the 1 37.1 6 metres bluff which facilitated the laying of hydraulic pipes for feeding the turbines at the generating station. The powerhouse is located at the foot of a small hill and is reached by an exciting trolley ride.

Accommodation: KEB Circuit House

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Muttati

(35 kms from Malavalli)

35 kms from Malavalli, 6 kms from the fishing camp in Muttati is located a handsome Anjaneyaswamy temple with an interesting sthalapurana related to the Ramayana. It is believed that Sita lost her finger ring in this part of the river Cauvery and Hanuman twirled the river to find the ring. The temple attracts a great many devotees, particularly on Saturdays, a day considered special to Hanuman.

Accommodation: Forest lodge

(For reservations contact Regional Forest Officer - Maddur)

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Nagamangala

An important town, even during the days of the Hoysalas, Nagamangala 42, Kms from Mandya has always been known for its metal work and ski I led artisans. It was Thimanna, of Nagamangala, who built the fort at Srirangapatna. The Saumyakeshava Temple here, probably originally built in the 12th century, has Features that may have been added in the Vijayanagara the temple is so called because it’s principal deity Keshava, 1.83 meter high and beautifully worked, has a particularly benign aspect.

Accommodation: Inspection Bungalow managed by P.W.D

Kambadalli, a holy place for the jains, is a village m Nagamangala and gets its name from the Brahmadeva pillar that is situated here.

Made of hard, dark Grey soapstone, this octagonal 'Kamba' has a seated Brahma at its top. Nearby is a cluster of seven granite shrines, built in a uniquely Dravidian style.

16 kms from Nagamangala, Adi Chunchanagiri is a noted place of pilgrimage. The two natural cave temples here are dedicated to Siddheswara and Someshwara. The Adi Chunchanagiri Mutt is also located here. The Mutt runs a Medical College here. Nearby is the exotic Mayura Vana, which throngs with peacocks morning and evening.

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Srirangapatna

Srirangapatna, 24 Kms from Mandya has been named after the presiding deity in the Sri Ranganatha Temple here. This ancient temple, according to an inscription was built in 894 by Tirumala, a Ganga king. Once the capital of the Rajas of Mysore, Srirangapatna was also the seat of government for Hyder and Tipu till the defeat of Tipu in 1799 and the shifting of the Wodeyar capital to Mysore. The famous fort of Srirangapatna in fact was so formidable that a military visitor in 1880 pronounced it the second strongest in India. The fort protected on the north and west by the river Cauvery has within its walls, the remains of lal Mahal, Tipu's palace, the larger part of which was demolished by the British after capture of the fort in 1 799. The fort also contains seven outlets and a couple of dungeons - a characteristic feature in Tipu's military buildings.

Nearby on the north bank of the river is Tipu's Draya Dault Bagh or Garden of the Wealth of the River' in the middle of which he constructed in 1874, an elegant summer palace which soon became his favorite place of retreat. The building is an excellent specimen of Saracenic architecture, its walls embellished with paintings that were restored twice since they were first done. 3 Kms from Srirangapatna town is also located, Tipu Gumbaz, built in a village called Ganjam for his father and in which his mother and he lie buried too. The Gumbaz is rather like the

Sangama

Sangama (3 Kms from Srirangapatna)

Taj at Agra built in the same fashion, but less ornate.

2 Kms from Srirangapatna are located KSTDC's pretty Riverside Cottages overlooking the south branch of the river Cauvery. The cottages are fully furnished and extremely comfortable and the spacious restaurant offers an elegant menu. The river is calm, dotted with tiny green islands and is pristine.

Around the town of Srirangapatna and on the banks of the rivers Cauvery and the lokapavani are small bathing ghats attached to temples that attract pilgrims as well as those looking for picturesque locations.

Accommodation:

Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation's Riverside Cottages

Traveler’s Bungalow managed by P.W.D. Private Hotels

Located south of Srirangapatna, Sangama is where the two branches of river Cauvery re-unite in a small whirlpool formation, which adds to the beauty of the mingling waters.

Nearest Accommodation: Srirangapatna.

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Karighatta

(6kms from Srirangapatna)

Karighatta is a small hillock, on the banks of the river lokapavani. Sri Venkateshwara Temple atop the hill attracts a number of devotees during July and November months. About a hundred steps reach one to the top land there is a motorable road also. The place is ideal for trekking.

Nearest Accommodation: Srirangapatna

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Ranganathittu

(8 Kms from Srirangapatna)

Cauvery River is studded with small islets here. Ranganathittu is a paradise for birds coming from Siberia, Australia and North America. The best season to visit this bird sanctuary is between May and November when it would seem as if there are more birds than bird watchers. Visitors are taken around the lake, in a boat run by the Forest Department, to help one get a closer view of the birds. The birds are identified by the boatman who also gives a warning when he sights a mud island that is actually a sleeping crocodile.

Nearest: Accommodation: Srirangapatna

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Krishnarajasagar Dam

(18 Kms from Srirangapatna)

Lying across the river Cauvery and 18 Kms from Srirangapatna the K R Sagar Dam is 39.62 meters in height and 2621.28 meters long. When the reservoir is full, it stores water upto a height of 38.04 meters.

But more fascinating than the statistics of the dam itself are the gardens laid out below it. The Brindavan Gardens, the best-illuminated terraced gardens in India also abound in flora of the most exotic varieties. There are fountains here of different shapes and sizes, the most attractive being a musical dancing fountain that was installed, here recently, and is the only one of its kind in India. After sunset and as the darkness deepens, the brilliantly lit gardens could well be a mirror image of heaven.

Accommodation.

Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation's Hotel Mayura Cauvery

Traveler’s Bungalow managed by P.W.D. Private Hotels.

The people of Mandya are, warm and hospitable. Although the local language is Kannada, in most towns people can communicate in Hindi and English as well. But surely the language of welcome needs no words.

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