COORGI DELIGHTS-SRIRANGAPATNA

November 12, 2012-Day One

Thanks for all your appreciative comments for Part One of this series. We left Bangalore City around 7 am and as I was introducing myself with the driver, I came to know that he was of the opinion that this was a 2 day trip. I clarified to him that we had booked the car for a 3 day trip. Thankfully, TaxiforSure.com sorted out the misunderstanding by arranging a different vehicle and driver within 20 minutes. Impressive customer service. Our new driver was a young man in his early twenties. Despite being a resident of Bangalore  for some years, he was fluent only in his mother tongue, Kannada (Most Bangaloreans speak fluent Tamil, so this was a real surprise). Thankfully he was able to understand(?)whatever Tamil and English I spoke and we managed it adequately over the next three days.

Since we had woken up early, our tummies were aching for the much needed dose of Karnataka’s famous tiffon delicacies. The car change had eaten up around 30 minutes and we now were caught up in the morning rush hour. We could witness scores of sedans and SUVs heading out of city for the weekend. To be on the safer side, I called up my Hotel in Madikeri and re-confirmed my booking. My eyes were searching for a decent B’fast option and 50 kms from Bangalore we found the much acclaimed Kamat Lokaruchi at Ramanagara town(Restaruant signage is prominent on the right side of the road when travelling towards Mysore)

Kamat Lokaruchi Entrance

Kamat Lokaruchi Entrance


By the number of cars at the restaurant that early in the morning, we could easily guess how popular a hangout it was on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway. I realised many people had made the trip from Bangalore and its outskirts just for their Breakfast. Perhaps 50 kms in this day and age isn’t too much trouble to satisfy your taste buds ! At this restaurant, there is a Buffet spread which includes all the morning’s dishes @ around Rs.120 per head, but being first-timers we opted to taste the specialities of the restaurant. My wife picked her favourite Onion Uthappam and loved it. I selected the Steamed Idli(cylindrical shaped Idli wrapped in banana leaf-pic below) served with delicious Chutney and Sambhar. We followed it, if I remember correctly, with Akki Dosa(A sort of beefed up version of the ubiquitous Neer Dosa). Both the items tasted divine. A not-to-miss restaurant.

The Steamed Idli Wrapped in Banana Leaf

The Steamed Idli Wrapped in Banana Leaf

The relaxing dining area of the restaurant

The relaxing dining area of the restaurant

All the waiters come with the topi here !

All the waiters come with the topi here !

Pet puja done, we moved on past Channapatna(famous for its toys), Mandya  and at 10.30 AM reached SriRangapatna, a place of great religious, cultural and historical importance. Located 20 kms from Mysore City, the entire town is an Island enclosed by the River Cauvery. The town gets its name from the famous Sri Ranganathasamy Temple. The temple, one of the important Vaishnavite pilgrimage centres was built in the 9th Century and is a mix of Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles of Architecture(Thanks:Wikipedia).

The river Cauvery forms three sacred islands in its path from Karnataka towards Tamilnadu. The Ranganathaswamy Temple at Srirangapatna is situated in the first of those islands and so is called as Adi Ranga. The temple formed in the island at Shivanasamudram Falls is Madhya Ranga and the famous SriRangam(Trichy)temple in Tamilnadu is Antya Ranga. Having visited SriRangam, I was happy that I was completing the second leg of this trio of famous temples. Alas, my joy was short-lived. Will come to that later.

Coming back to our trip, having reached Srirangapatna, I headed straight to the Cauvery river, to have a much needed bath to escape the scorching heat. Though the water flow was minimal, it was more than enough to bring out the child in me. As my better half watched wistfully, I enjoyed to my heart’s content. Also, had the good fortune to see a train crossing the island and wifey had the presence of mind to gem m St the image stored in our Canon. The sharing of the Cauvery waters, a river which is part and parcel of Tamilnadu’s culture, history and folklore has now sadly become a bitter source of dispute between the two states for well over three decades. Hope someday better sense will prevail among the politicians and Cauvery will return from her Maika!

First glimpse of the Cauvery River bathing area at Srirangapatna

First glimpse of the Cauvery River bathing area at Srirangapatna

Serenely flows the Cauvery

Serenely flows the Cauvery

There goes the train over the bridge...

There goes the train over the bridge…

Yours truly making merry(centre of pic)

Yours truly making merry(centre of pic)

Wifey chose to carry the bags

Wifey chose to carry the bags

Refreshed after the bath, we proceeded for darshan at the temple before it closes for its afternoon break. But disappointment awaited us because the Sanctum Sanctorum of the main deity, Sri Ranganathaswamy, was closed on the day at as early as 11 AM for some puja preparations and was to be re-opened only at 12 Noon. Already a decent crowd was waiting for the re-opening. We were in a dilemma whether to wait another hour amidst the increasing crowd or skip the darshan. We reluctantly took the latter option since we had to visit the Golden Temple at Bylakuppe(which would require atleast two full hours), spend the evening at Harangi Reservoir and reach Madikeri before nightfall.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Close up of the front gopuram

Close up of the front gopuram

Souvenir shops Aplenty !

Souvenir shops Aplenty !

For the religiously minded!

For the religiously minded!

Inside the temple compound

Inside the temple compound

Pic 15

As I have earlier mentioned, apart from the temple there are many historical attractions worth visiting in Srirangapatna. Among them is Dariya Daulat Bagh- the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, Gumbaz-the burial place of Tipu Sultan, his father Hyder Ali and mother Fatima Begum & Captain Bailey’s Dungeon where Tipu’s war prisoners were imprisoned and Jamma Masjid. But we saved them for another trip and headed towards Bylakuppe Golden Temple, details of which will be in the next part.

8 Comments

  • Enjoyed reading it although I visit Srirangapatnam each year (almost). Dividing the Cauvary water is a sad state of affair and same situation is in almost all states where nobody wants to share anything and politicians maintain their stature by dividing people.

  • Good one ….

    looking forward for your next post.

  • Good account of your journey… I have been to this Kamat hotel you have shared pictures. I need to visit Srirangapatna next time I visit the area.

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Venkat,

    After getting used to filthy and foamy Yamuna, I cant believe a river could be blue and you could actually bathe in it!

    Bangalore – Mysore circuit seems to be an interesting mix. Hope to do it soon!

    Nice post..keep it coming.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Same feelings as Nirdesh, after reading your log and looking at pictures. We ought to do a better job in preserving our pristine rivers.

    I visit Blr , at least once every year (if not two) but somehow Blr-Mysore never happens. This time for sure. :-). Thanks Venkat.

  • Gita AM says:

    Nice post Venkatt and some beautiful pics there. The last one is quite unusual, I missed seeing that and perhaps may go back to that temple just to find it!

    The ancient lands of the Cauvery are indeed fascinating, both in Karnataka and in Tamil Nadu.

    I have seen the Kamats Hotel often but never eaten there. Will try that the next time. We have been so satisfied with Shivalli’s that we never thought to try any other place.

  • padakim says:

    Venkat – You have really described the destination very well and also all sightseeing places are covered in depth. You are a true traveler. I have been to Srirangapatna many a times but never had the time write such blogs. There is also an interesting site http://karnatakatravelguide.in which offers a day package to srirangapatna and mysore. Those who are interested in a tour package can take a look at it.

  • Abheeruchi says:

    Hi,

    All memories got refreshed.We went to Mysore in year 2010 , had breakfast at the same hotel, had same idly (It has some specific name …I am forgetting) , checked Srirangapatnam and then proceeded to Mysore…

    Thanks for sharing.

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