The historical city of Mysuru (Mysore) is famous for its magnificent buildings, palaces and gardens and is one of the modern cities in Southern India, that has managed to retain its quaint old world charm. Mysore is famous for its sandalwood and rosewood artifacts, stone sculptures, incense sticks, inlay work with ivory and its exquisite silk sarees. The city is also very well connected by a 4-lane highway from Bangalore and is one of the closest tourist destinations for travel enthusiasts residing in Bangalore.
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The city of Mysore is around 150 Kms from Bangalore and is very well connected by a 4-Lane highway. The highway used to be a state highway few years back and was a relaxing 3 hour drive to Mysore. Over the past couple of years, Bangalore and Mysore have grown significantly and now a days the highway is chock-a-blocked during peak hour traffic. Even though the highway is 4-lane, do not expect the highway to be like any other express highways. The highway passes through city after city and if you do not time your drive correctly, you might end up getting stuck in city traffic.
I have driven this stretch on multiple occasions and usually start early in the day so as to avoid the peak hour traffic. During my recent visit to Mysore, due to some last minute errands (thanks to the little one – it was her first road trip), we got delayed and managed to start our engines only by 9:00 AM. Immediately, I realized that it was going to be a long and slow drive to Mysore :). It took us a good 30 minutes to reach NICE road and we managed to hit the Mysore road by 9:45 AM.
The route from Bangalore to Mysore would take you through : Bidadi -> Ramanagara -> Channapatna -> Maddur -> Mandya -> Srirangapatna. There was heavy traffic on Mysore road and the road started to open up after we crossed Bidadi.
Over-speeding on this road would not be advisable as the highway does not have a bikers lane, thereby significantly reducing the width of highway. Most of the bikers use the left lane and if you find a slow moving vehicle on the right lane, it would be practically impossible to overtake.
We did not find too much traffic while crossing Ramanagara, but were not so lucky when crossing the other cities. We lost significant amount of time while crossing Channapatna, Maddur and Mandya. As we reached the famous Maddur crossing, we could see a huge queue of vehicles, about a kilometer from the crossing. We always found traffic at this junction irrespective of when we reached this place, but were a bit surprised to see such a huge traffic jam. Few locals did suggest us an alternate route through the city to by-pass this traffic but we decided against that as we were not sure about the route and the traffic that we would encounter.
The roads opened up a bit after we crossed this junction, and we were able to reach Mandya by around 12:00 PM. Crossing Mandya during peak hour traffic will easily take 30 minutes of your time as you would have to drive through the entire stretch of the city. The highway cuts right through the city and traffic would be moving at snails pace.
After crossing Mandya we did not encounter much traffic and were able to zip past Srirangapatna and reach the outer ring road of Mysore at around 1:00 PM.
If you are planning to cross Mysore and reach continue your journey to destinations like Coorg, Ooty, Bandipur etc. you can avoid city traffic by taking the ring road.
Tips and recommendations:
- Plan your drive: Either leave Bangalore early in the morning at around 6:00 AM so that you can avoid the city traffic on Mysore road or leave by noon so that you can drive through the cities post noon when the traffic is not heavy
- Do not over-speed: Drive within your limits as this highway is a relatively narrow 4-lane. You will also find many bikers using this highway to reach the near by cities.
- Recommended eating joints: There is a good Cafe Coffee day (on the wrong side – you will have to take a U-turn) and RightO (Around 12 Kms from Mandya towards Mysore). We usually stop at RightO which is very clean and has many options like UpSouth, Cafe Coffee Day, Subway, Polar Bear etc. There is ample parking available and the rest rooms are very clean.
- The infamous speed breakers all along this highway have been removed after this highway has been converted into a National highway. But you will zig zag through many barricades that have been positioned in place of the speed breakers (Another reason why you should not be over-speeding)
We had our reservations at the “Windflower Resort” located at the foot hills of Chamundi hills and thus avoided driving through the city by taking the ring road. It saved us considerable time and we were able to reach the resort at around 1:30 PM, just in time for lunch.
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