Mysore, Aug 17: Mysore, which was in the fore front of the Karnataka Tourism Industry, has been included in a special circuit development programme.
The state government proposed to create and link four new circuits for which infrastructure would be created through public-private partnership in two places per circuit. The circuit covers Belur-Helebdi-Shravanabelagola-Madikeri-Sirangapatna and Somanthapura-Shimsha.
While Somanthapura was renowned for the 13th century Chennakeshava temple, Shimsha was renowned for waterfalls.
State Tourism Department sources told that despite their attraction and pride of place as cultural and natural wonders, they were skipped by a majority of tourists.
Somanthapura, which was hardly 40 km from Mysore, was not only badly connected, but inadequate transport facilities were causing concern to the tourists.
Only a few tourists were aware of the significance of Somanthapura. Foreign tourists marvel the architecture and the beauty of the temple merits a description in most publications, the sources said.While historians and art critics have lauded the ancient temple's beauty, the Tourism Department does not cover Somanthapura in its itinenary. The luxury train golden chariot, which is an attempt to draw niche tourists and showcase the splendours of Karnataka, gives Somanthapura the miss. Another place, a spectacular natural sight in the Mysore region that goes without much promotion, is Shimsha or Shvanasamudram. It attains its glory during the monsoon, when the crest gates from the Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir and Kabini were opened.
The sources said Shivanasamudram, however, is not easily accessible as there are no direct buses from Mysore, though it is just about 65 km from the city. Malavalli in Mandya district offers semblance of connectivity.
The place with rocky terrain and dense vegetation, the breathtaking falls comprising Gaganachukki and Bharachukki, also known as bluff, is situated nearby.
Asia's first hydel power station, commissioned in 1902 at the behest of M Visvesvaraya, Shivanasumndram or the 'seat of Shiva' is the point at which the Cauvery plungs into a deep rockey gorge from over 75 m.
But there is more to Shivanasamudram, as the island is also a pilgrim centre, known as Madhya Ranga. The Ranganatha temple, constructed in the Dravidian style, houses the idol of Lord Rangantha sleeping on Adisesha, while an intriguing piece of sculpture is that of Takshaka, the lord of serpents, whose image is found to the right in the Navaranga of the temple.
The temple is well-maintained, but its tourism potential is not fully tapped, the sources added.