●Honey Valley – Yavakapady Village Post; 011-91-8272-238-339; honeyvalleyindia.in; serves as staging point for other hikes; offers longest, most complicated Mount Tadiandamol ascent.
●Misty Woods – Kakkabe; 011-91-8272-238-561; coorgmisty.com; individual clay brick and wood cottage complex on functioning coffee estate.
●Palace Estate – Kakkabe; 011-91-8272-238-446; palaceestate.co.in; located just above Nalaknad Palace; handsome, wood-paneled guest house; small waterfall is 5-minute walk.
Sights & Sites
●Mount Tadiandamol – highest point in Coorg.
●Nalaknad Palace – Kakkabe; ornamentally carved Nalaknad Palace, built in 1791 by Veerarajendra, Coorg’s embattled ruler.
Bars & Nightclubs
●Lalitha Mahal Palace – Siddhartha Nagar; 011-91-821-247-0470; lalithamahalpalace.com; sweeping city views at cocktail hour are wonderful.
●Green Hotel – 2270 Vinoba Road; 011-91-821-425-5000; greenhotelindia.com; oasis in restored Chittaranjan Palace; beautiful gardens and good restaurant.
●Kabini River Lodge – on Nagerhole National Park’s edge; 011-91-80-2559-7021; junglelodges.com; waterfront meals and evening bonfires overlooking river; simple rustic rooms surround original lodge, where maharaja stayed during annual kheda (“elephant round-up”) before independence.
●Lalitha Mahal Palace – Siddhartha Nagar; 011-91-821-247-0470; lalithamahalpalace.com; voluptuous palace built in 1921 for Maharaja’s visitors; balcony has sweeping city views; restaurant should be avoided.
●Regaalis Hotel – 13-14 Vinobha Road; 011-91-821-242-6426; only modern, full service, centrally air-conditioned luxury hotel in Mysore, set in 3.5 verdant acres; lovely pool.
●Royal Orchid Metropole – 5 Jhansi Lakshmibai Road; 011-91-821-425-5566; royalorchidhotels.com; restored 1920s stucco building with 30 rooms; best is 1K square foot “Maharaja’s Suite”; delicious meals and drinks on veranda.
●Anu’s Bamboo Hut – 367, 2nd Main, 3rd Stage (Gokulam); 011-91-821-428-8120; home-cooked meals and internet access.
●Green Hotel – 2270 Vinoba Road; 011-91-821-425-5000; greenhotelindia.com.
Sights & Sites
●Amba Vilas Palace – Mysore Palace; 011-91-821-242-1051; themysorepalace.com; must arrange tickets in advance; in Mysore’s middle; “must see”; architectural style known as “Indo-Gothic,” built between 1827-1912 for 24th Maharaja.
●Chamundeswari Temple – chamundihill.com; dedicated to Chamundeswari, Mysore’s titular deity.
●Chamundi Hill – chamundihill.com; climb up stepped path to see huge, 1659 Nandi (Shiva’s bull) statue; at top.
●Devaraja Market – Sayyaji Rao Road; sells flowers, fruits, spices, and vegetables.
●Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre – Lalithadripura (Ittigegud); 011-91-821-247-7601; ayurindus.com; provides casual practice and study.
●Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery – in Ambas Vilas (Mysore) Palace complex; themysorepalace.com; displays 20th Century paintings and photographs.
●Keshava Temple Somnathpur – 90-minute drive from Mysore (southeast, past villagers raising silkworms); see densely carved, exquisite Keshava Vishnu Temple, built in 1268, by Hoysala ruler King Narashimha III’s army commander to glorify Hoysala craftsmanship; 64 cells opening on to verandah; 3 sanctums with exquisitely carved idols (Janardhana, Kesava, and Venugopala) and 16 different ceilings.
●Maharaja College Grounds – Ramavilasa Road (at Mysore University Sports Complex); mysoresports.com; cricket grounds.
●Mysore Race Club – Bangalore-Calicut Highway; mysoreraces.com; open August-October; built in 1906; pretty.
●Nagarhole National Park – Kodagu (60 mile drive from Mysore, southwest); india-wildlife.com/nagerhole-national-park.html; good stocks of elephant live in this 250 square mile reserve. Enjoy boating on Kabini River. [Note: stay at Kabini River Lodge.]
●Parthasarathy Temple (Arulmigu Sri Parthasarathyswamy Temple) – Singarachari Street (Triplicane); 011-91-44-2844-2449 or 011-91-44-2844-2462; sriparthasarathytemple.tnhrce.in; 8th Century Hindu Vaishnavite temple dedicated to god Krishna; temple is glorified in Divya Prabandha, early medieval Tamil literature canon of Alvar saints from 6th-9th Centuries CE & classified among 108 Divya Desams dedicated to Vishnu; name in Sanskrit means “charioteer of Arjuna,” referring to Krishna’s role as Arjuna’s charioteer in Mahabaratha; originally built by Pallavas in 8th Century by king Narasimhavarman I; has icons of 5 forms of Vishnu: Narasimha, Rama, Gajendra Varadaraja, Ranganatha & Krishna; among oldest structures in Chennai; shrines for VedavalliThayar, Ranganatha, Rama, Gajendra Varadaraja, Narasimha, Andal, Hanuman, Alvars, Ramanuja, Swami Manavala Mamunigal & Vedanthachariar; separate entrances for Krishna & Narasimha temples; gopuram (towers) & mandapas (pillars) are decorated with elaborate carvings.
●Shravanabelagola Jain Temple – shravanabelagola.net; 60-minute drive from Mysore (north); climb hill to see 58' statue of Gomateshvara, carved out of rock in 981, depicting Jain saint who meditated so long, forest plants twine around his legs.
●Srirangapatnam – 30-minute drive from Mysore (north); 16th Century fortress on island, where Tippu Sultan builds delightful royal pleasure resort, were meets his end while defending fort against British attack (in 1799).
●Soukya – Soukya Road; 011-91-80-2801-7000 or 866-471-0015; soukya.com; 1 of most acclaimed, holistic health centers in world; 24 rooms; all food is vegetarian and sourced from center’s organic farm; pool.