From Hampi, I took the “Hampi Express” night train to Mysuru (formerly Mysore). Arriving at Mysuru in the morning, I continued the journey by hiring a driver to get me the remaining about 90km or 2 hours to Nagarhole National Park, where I stayed in a lodge at the former Maharaja hunting ground, now called “Kabini River Lodge”. Included with the stay was a one-day safari package with one afternoon and one early morning ride by jeep inside the National Park. Unfortunately, most of the animals were hiding and the sightings were not so spectacular – the National Park is famous for the large tiger population. So besides the monkeys and deers that are all over the place, I only saw a few gaurs, eagles, wild pigs, and elephants. Several times we came really close to spotting a tiger, however in the end all I saw of tigers were a few fresh footprints and an interesting documentary screened in the evening at the lodge.
After the morning safari session I got back to Mysuru and started a half-day sightseeing tour of the city, most of it by auto rickshaw. First stop was of course the famous Mysore Palace, which also belonged to the former Maharaja. From there I went to St Philomena’s Cathedral, apparently one of the largest Christian churches in South India. Chamundi Hill about 12km out of town provides nice views of the city and surroundings, and hosts a couple of temples with Sri Chamundeswari Temple being the most famous. Last two stops were the Rail Museum with a few impressive old locomotives and waggons, and the Devajara market, a huge, lively and narrow bazaar in the center. After having local specialties for dinner, I took the train to Bangalore in the evening to be ready for my next sightseeing spot the next morning.