Mandya is a district located in the state of Karnataka and is famous for being one of the biggest sugarcane producing regions in India. Close to 2 million people live in an area spanning 4,900 square kilometres. The district has four major rivers passing through it – the Hemavati, Kaveri, Shimsha, and Lokapavani. Mandya is also known by its nickname ‘Sakkara Nadu,’ which roughly translates to ‘The Sweet Place.’ Tourists can visit the many temples and wildlife spots in the region.
History of Mandya
According to legends, the place got its name from the sage Maandavya who is believed to have lived in the region. However, the more commonly accepted theory is that the place was called at ‘Man-ta-ya’ in ancient times, which later became Mandya. The place has seen many kingdoms rule it, right from the Ganga Dynasty, to the Cholas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara. Later, it passed on to Tipu Sultan and finally the British. It was in 1939 that the district was recognized as an administrative unit. And after the country gained independence, it officially became a district of the state of Karnataka.
Sightseeing in Mandya
When in Mandya, there are many places to visit including the below-listed ones:
Located at Nagamangala, this majestic 12th century temple was constructed by the Hoysala rulers and is a perfect example of the dynasty’s architectural style. The seven story high gopuram is adorned with beautiful decorations of Hindu gods and goddesses. It is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as a monument of national importance.
Bheemeshwari Wildlife Sanctuary
A famous wildlife sanctuary in Mandya, the place features numerous animals like elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, leopards and so on. Many varieties of fish also exist in waters, making the region an ideal spot for angling.
Barachukki and Gaganachukki Falls
Both waterfalls are a must visit when you visit the place. While the Gaganachukki falls looks brilliant after the rainy season when the River Kaveri flows with full strength, the Barachukki Falls cascades from 250 feet, resembling the famous Niagara Falls. It is recommended that you only visit them for viewing pleasure and not for swimming since trying to swim in the waters of the falls can turn out be dangerous. There is also an old watchtower near the Gaganachukki falls.
Cheluvanarayana Swamy Temple
This temple is located in Melkote and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is built on the rocky hills of Yadavagiri. Many pillars are adorned with spectacular carvings, with each side featuring a totally different carving than the other. The temple is usually open until around 5 PM.
Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) Dam
The dam has been built across the River Krishnaraja Sagar. The gravity dam was built in 1924 and offers a great view, especially when the water is released from it. It is also a good picnic spot as the region is rich in flora and fauna.
How to Reach Mandya
You can reach Mandya in the following ways:
The nearest airport is the Mysore Airport, located 38 km away. The next closest one is the Airport at Bangalore, located 92 km away
The place does have railway stations. You can easily get trains to the Mandya (MYA) station from almost all major cities in the state.
From Bangalore, it would take around 2 – 2.5 hours to reach Mandya by road. You just need to take the NH 25 road and follow it.
Mandya, with its natural beauty and temples, is indeed a place that worth your while. Get ready to explore this amazing land.