For planing places to visit in Mysore , let’s divide this into three groups based on the distance from Mysore city. Further down you’ll see the places based on orientation from Mysore.
1. Attractions in Mysore city
2. Attractions near Mysore
3. Places around Mysore
The first group is typically a few kilometers apart (about 15-30 minutes travel between attractions). The second group of attractions are located well outside the city, but are popular day trips from Mysore (about 1 hour travel from Myosre city). The last category of attractions are at some distance ( say, about 100km or 2hours ) from Mysore which are popular attractions around Mysore.
If your Mysore tour has a day’s time or more to spare, consider other nearby attractions too. Practically there are way too many places one can visit keeping Mysore as base. It may require many day trips to cover even all those popular ones scattered around Mysore. If you are having limited time , pick a few based on your taste and time available. Various routes to explore places around Mysore is described below.
Places around Mysore city
Towards Somnathpur (east of Mysore)
Towards the eastern side is the ancient capital of Talakadu with numerous temples buried under sand dunes.
Near to Talakkadu is Somnathpur, known for the Hoysala style Keshava temple. If you start early, Sonmathpur and other attractions in the city can be covered in a day.It will be quite a whirlwind and needs your private transport. Also you you may skip Srirangapatna for Somnathpur.
Further east of Somnathpur is Shivanasamudra (Bluff) with the twin waterfalls – Gaganachukki and Barachukki ( Bharachukki). Mysore to Somnathpur distance is about 40km. Somnathpur to Talakadu is some 30km.
Bluff is another 35km northeast of Talakadu.
Somnathpur-Shivanasamudra-Talakadu make a triangular route ideal for a days trip, if one can start a bit early from Mysore and prepare for a bit hectic schedule. Both Shivanasamudra and Talakadu involves some trek. The road conditions near Somnathpur is not that great, add an extra 30min.
Also if you are traveling back to Bangalore direction, consider the NH209. You’ll save time in driving back to Mysore.
Madikeri and Coorg area (west of Mysore)
Coorg district (with Madikeri ,its district capital ) located west of Mysore is popular tourist hub by itself. Coorg region is also a day trip destination from Mysore.
Tibetan settlement Bylakuppe is one its kind of place in this part of the country, further up Nisargadhama island is a popular picnic destination.
Madikeri town, the headquarters of Coorg too has numerous attractions.
West of Madikeri , about 45km from Madikeri town is Talakaveri and Bhagamandala. Talakaveri is the fountainhead of Kaveri river in the western ghats.There are some stunning views of the rolling western ghats on the way.
On the southern fringes of Coorg district is Nagarhole, a very popular national park and Irippu falls on the fringes. So is Dubare Elephant Camp, 30km east of Madikeri town and 100km west of Mysore. All these can make a ideal theme for an excursion from Mysore.
The distance from Mysore to Madikeri is about 120 km. That means about 3-4 hours travel by road.To that extend it is a very busy trip from Mysore, if you are thinking for returning to Mysore on the same day from Madikeri.
Kukke Subramanya and Dharmastala are important pilgrimage centers near Mysore. Mysore to Kukke Subramanya is shorter by the Bisle Ghat route (about 170km). However a more drive-able route is via Madikeri (about 200km)
Towards Ooty (south of Mysore)
Another doable day trip from Mysore is a combination of Bandipur (National Park) and Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta. This is on the Mysore to Ooty route.
And further southwest , about 140km from Mysore is the Wayanad district of Kerala, nestled in the Western Ghats known for its natural beauty. See also Mysore to Wayanad for driving directions.
Kabini River and Nagarhole National Park too are located southwest of Mysore. The legendary Kabini Jungle Lodge and many resorts Orange County, Bison Resort, Serai Kabini, Warterwoods etc
Towards Belur (northwest of Mysore)
A highly popular day trip from Mysore is Belur, Halebid and if you are willing for a trek, Shravanabelagola.
While the first two are popular tourist attractions for its dexterously carved Hoysala temples, Shravanabelagola is a very important Jain pilgrimage center.
The 17 meters (55 feet) tall Gomateshwara ( or Bahubali ) statue at the hilltop is considered as one of the largest monolithic statues in the world.
Mysore to Belur is some 150km. Halebid is another 18km northeast of Belur. Shravanabelagola is around 85km north of Mysore. Head towards Hunsur from Mysore. After Bilikere turn right towards Hassan. From Hassan you can head for Belur, Halebid and Shravanabelagola.
Beyond Belur is Chikmaglur , a popular hill station with numerous coffee plantations.
Towards Srirangapatna and beyond (north of Mysore)
Another popular religious destination in this direction from Mysore is the Vaishnava site, Melkote, that’s about 50km from Mysore. On the way to Melkote some 40km north of Mysore is Tonnuru Kere, a popular spot among youngsters looking for some weekend splash.
Mandya on the way to Bangalore has many Hoysala era soapstone carved temples.