Mandya is situated about 100 km form Bengalooru, Mandya is the headquarters of the ‘mandya district’ which spans over 4961 sq km and has according to 2001 census a population of 16,44,374. There is a large sugar factory here.
This district also has a number of ancient monuments in the form of temples and palaces. While the Hoysala and Chola style of temple architecture can be found all over Karnataka along with that of other dynasties, this district is no exception. Adichunchangiri hosts the temple of ‘Lord Bhairava’. The wonderful sanctuary ad hoc to peacocks, the beautiful birds, is also found here. Besari is where the temple of Mallikarjuna is situated. The grand Hoysala architecture adorns the temple structure. ‘Arjunapuri Agrahara’ as it was referred to in the days of yore as suggested by the records, Muddur has puranic references attributed to the epic hero Arjuna. The Narasimhaswamy Temple and Varadarajaswamy Temple, with exquisite sculptures and intricate carvings have larger than life size figures of the deities. ‘Melukote’ a famous pilgrim centre, with the temple dedicated to Lord Cheluvanarayana is where a Sanskrik Academy has been founded recently.
Srirangapatnam, a sacred island formed by the elegant division of the beautiful Cauvery river is noted for a number of aspects. The place owes its name to ‘Lord Sri Ranganatha’ who is the presiding deity of the ancient architectural temple here. This place holds historic monuments of Tipu which reminisce the valour and commitment of ‘The Tiger of Mysooru’.
Spreading over 1600 acres on the captivating island in the middle of the river Cauvery is the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. Hence there are fascinating places of ancient, historic and biological importance.
This holy place is a placid island formed by the division of the beautiful river Cauvery which surrounds the place. This is a popular pilgrim spot. With the ancient temple dedicated to Lord Sri Ranganatha, a variation of Lord Vishnu. It is belied to have been built in 894 AD by Thirumalaiah. It can be seen that the entire island is known by the name of the presiding deity of this temple whose ‘Gopuram’ or portal tower bears the Vijayanagara architecture. This tower has 5 storeys. Here the Lord can be seen in the reclining posture. The chariot in front of the temple was gifted by Hyder Ali, was himself an ardent devotee of Lord Sri Ranganatha. The entire area around this temple is replete with temples. This temple was renovated by Hoysala and Vijayanagara Kings. A beautiful church can be seen here.
In the past, the rulers of Mysooru had Srirangapatna as their capital. It was here, Tipu “The Tiger of Mysooru” fought his last battle against the British in 1799. The ruins of an ancient fort can be seen here. It was built by Hebbar Timmana in 1510. This fort had been protecting the city for a long time until the British defeated Tipu and destroyed the fort in the process. Now, the tamshackle remains of the fort are vociferous of the valour and patriotism of Tipu who fought the British with girth. Srirangapatnam is situated 15km east of Mysooruy.
Dariya Dault Baghicha
This is a picturesque garden of the Persian style laid in 1784 surrounded by the river Cauvery and one of the summer resorts of Tipu. There is a palace with beautiful carvings of the Indo-Saracenic style on teak wood. This historical structure was used by Hyder Ali and later by the British colonel Arthur Wellesley for short stays.
The spot where the ‘Tiger of Mysooru’ Tipu was laid to rest where an obelisk capped by a Cream dome stands now. The walls schematize events of war. These painting were made by the East India Company. It was in this same yard Tipu’s parent and ancestors were buried too. The museum in the first floor displays a number of Tipu’s belongings. A Jamma Masjid built in the same yer with inscriptions from the sacred quran gracing the walls of its vestibule can also be seen. The tall minaret of this Mosque provides a good view of the ramshackle fort and the entire Srirangapatnam.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
About 3 km from Srirangapatnam, this beautiful sanctuary is at an altitude of 750m above sea level. Since it is an island in the middle of river Cauvery, boat rides are possible around the sanctuary. A number of migratory and inhabitant birds can be seen perching here. The ideal season to witness a throng of birds is from June to September.
About 66km from Mandya Town this sacred place has a shrine dedicated to ‘Lord Bhairava’, the Lord created by Lord Shiva, on a scenic hill. It is also the seat of the ‘Swamiji’ of the vokkaliga community. About 21 km from Nagamangala there is a beautiful sanctuary earmarked for the fascinating birds ‘Peacock’. The Mutt here offers accommodation.
About 25km from Mandya, here at Basarai stands the famous temple dedicated to ‘Lord Mallikarjuna’. This temple is replete with the intricate carvings and stupendous sculptures of the rich Hoysala style of architecture. It was built by Harihara Dhandanayaka in 1234.
The records reveal that the name of Maddur which is now the ‘Taluk Headquarters’ was ‘Arjunapuri Agraha’. This name takes us back to the Puranic days. ‘Arjuna’ is the legendary archer in the great epic ‘The Mahabharatha’. And ‘Arjunapuri Agraha’ means the ‘Agraha’ or institution dedicated to Arjuna, the epic hero. The presiding deity of the entire village is ‘Goddess Maduramma’ and hence the name Maddur has been given to the village.
This temple dedicated to ‘Lord Narasimha’ the Lord with a Lion’s head and a human body, one of the ‘Avthars’ or ‘incarnations’ of Lord Vishnu who assumed this strange, holy and fierce form to kill the demon Hiranya and save his pious son ‘Prahlada’, is yet another masterpiece of the Hoysala rulers. The image of the deity, a huge monolith, is 7 ft tall.
‘Lord Varadaraja’ the presiding deity of the temple is one of the forms of Lord Vishnu, the protector of the universe. The temple structure reflects the grand Chola style of architecture. The intricate carvings, splendid sculpture, the ornamental workmanship on the walls and pillars are typical of the ancient Chola grandeur. The image of the deity here. ‘Lord Varadaraja’ is a huge 12 feet tall one.
The ancient temple here dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of ‘Lord Cheluvanarayana’ makes the place of famous pilgrim centre. There is also a ‘Sanskrit Academy’ here, which is relatively a new establishment with modern amenities and a good collection of palm leaf manuscripts. It is believed that the rulers of Mysooru have gifted many costly jewels to the temple and also the ‘Vairamudi’ or the diamond studded crown to the Lord.
This beautiful hilly isle formed by the wonderful branches of the magnificent river Cauvery, known as Gangachukki and Barachukki is situated about 37km from Samnathpur and 77km from Mysooru. There are two ancient temples one dedicated to Lord Shiva and the other to Lord Ranganatha, a variation of Lord Vishnu. Amidst the forested hills there are two gurgiling waterfalls created by the vivacious waters of Gangachukki and Barachukki which are formed by the division of the river Cauvery. The region is also inhabited by wild animals.
The Shimsa Hydel Project commissioned here at Shimsapur in the year 1902, the first of its kind in India can be visited on the permission of the Executive Engineer, Electrical Division, shimsapur.