Pandavapura, the town of the Pandavas
Pandavapura, the town of the Pandavas, is a bustling town located close to Mysuru. This place, as the legend has it, was a favourite haunt of Kunti, during the Pandavas’ exile. A hillock near the town is recognized as Kunti Betta, the hillock of Kunti, even today. Pandavapura is also called the French Rocks, a name that dates back to the days of Tipu Sultan. To defend himself against the attack of the British, Tipu enlisted the support of the French, who were still at war with the British to establish political hegemony over India. The French army that came to assist Tipu camped at Pandavapura, at the foot of the Kunti Betta. Pandavapura, thus, acquired the name the French Rocks.
The Lokapavani, a tributary of the Cauvery, and the Visvesvaraya Canal, the main aqua-duct from the K R S Dam, flow right through Pandavapura. Thonnur Kere, one of the largest fresh water lakes of Karnataka, is also situated here. This lake, into which the excess waters of the Hemavathi river flow, is now being developed on the lines of the world renowned Brindavan Gardens (which, too, is, incidentally, not far from here.) Besides these, Pandavapura also boasts of many other lakes and canals. All these streams and water bodies have made Pandavapura both incredibly picturesque and immensely fertile. The lush-green paddy and sugar cane fields along the roads of Pandavapura speak of the prosperity of this region.
Pandavapura is believed to be the original place of the Venkateswara idol now consecrated at the famous Vontikoppal temple of Mysuru. It is also believed that Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba will take his next birth as Prema Sai Baba, at Pandavapura.
Pandavapura is also close to Melkote, the famous Vaishnavite shrine visited and blessed by the great philosopher-saint Ramanujacharya. Beautifully-sculpted temple of Sri Ugra Narasimha, built atop a hill at Melkote, is one of the principal attractions of Karnataka. Melkote is also a place of classical learning. The Institute of Sanskrit Research situated here has in its custody some of the rare ancient Sanskrit scripts. Incidentally, this town is also renowned the world- over for the delicious Puliyogere whose secret recipe is known only to the local Iyengar community.
Pandavapura Railway Station is also one of the major railway stations in the Bengalore-Mysuru sector and the closest railway station to the historical island of Srirangapatna. It is also likely to be one of the important interchanges along the Bengaluru-Mysuru Infrastructure Corridor.