Mysore during Dasara – Day 2

Day 2 dawned bright and sunny only I did not witness it ‘cos I woke up at 10:00 am!!! I really wanted to get back to sleep but the Arien was as usual fully charged and ready to begin Day 2. Waanhh 😦 We planned to visit Chamundi Hills. Last nite, during the palace visit I had seen a “Welcome” sign which seemed to be hanging in mid-air. The wise arien informed me that the lights were actually placed on the way to Chamundi Hills and that we would be seeing it the next day. So we were off after a hot cuppa chai and a cud-have-been-better breakfast 🙂

We started Day2 with a visit to the St. Philomena’s Church which was a gigantic gothic structure that is entirely made of stone. It was an imposing structure and we looked like ants when we posed with the Church in the background. I gave up trying to get the entire structure in a single snap. We spent some time inside the church and walked along a corridor that had all the patron’s names etched on it. It was a hot sunny day and after admiring the structure once more, we decided to move on. I have heard that it was the Wodeyars who were involved in the construction of this new church i.e they were the sponsors not the masons 🙂 It is considered a secular monument. Hmmmm….

I wanted to visit the Silk Factory and the Sandalwood factory that I believed was located at Mysore. I found, to my chagrin, that the sandalwood factory was actually at Bangalore. Of course, the Arien disagreed. It was a sunday and I was sure it would not be open and so I cancelled that plan.

On the way, we saw the railway museum. It was tooo cute. It looked like a photo op and we surprisingly, took a keen interest in not only photographing all the engines, but also pretending to drive them. The dustbin was also shaped like an engine and so we took quite a few pics. They even had a modified Austin, which was to run on the railway track. Naturally, we were not allowed to sit inside or drive it but it was fun anyways. Inside, we also had a look at the Maharani’s saloon carriage, which was one of the exhibits. An old old man started describing what we could clearly see and so we decided it was time to kiskofy 😀

Oh! Before I forget they had on exhibit, one of those black telephones, which we had during the early eighties, where one had to dial and not press keys – remember?? It made me nostalgic… I remembered how I would come home from school and talk to my friends, separated for barely 10 minutes, for hours and get royally shouted at by mom. She could not understand what I had to say that couldn’t either be said tomorrow or could have been discussed 10 mts ago 🙂 My classic excuse was homework which did the trick most times.

Back to here and now. We had lunch at DasaPrakash. It was nice, simple, and reasonable. It took us quite a while to find it though. It almost looked as if it was Mysore’s best-kept secret 🙂 Anyways, did you know that Mysore is actually a short form of Mahishasuranaooru?? Mysore was actually home to the daemon, Mahishasuran, who was killed by the goddess Chamundeshwari. Atop the Chamundi hills is the temple of the goddess and a scary statue of the daemon as well. It is a lovely ride up the hill and the place was surprisingly crowded. We got off the car and saw the huge statue of the daemon and realized that it was not too huge 🙂 Ok… I am exaggerating… its just that after seeing the Cathedral, I was kinda expecting a really huge statue. The statue was broad, defintely taller that an average male and so I guess it was huge.

We also went to the temple inside. It reminded me a lot of the visit to Tirupati. We were pushed and pulled in all directions as we moved closer to the diety and then we were allowed a brief 2 seconds to figure out what the goddess looked like before we were pushed out of the way by some self-appointed queue mover. I was totally cheesed off. On our return, we walked via a chuntu market where they sold so many things that I was almost dizzy. I got myself a lovely Ramar Pattabhishekam picture, a chamundeshwari statue, and a Ganesha statue for my home. Was unable to get a picture of Aanchaneyer but was otherwise thrilled as we walked back to our car. I was getting cranky and tired and so wise arien decided to break for coconut water, and cucumber slices. I forbade myself from worrying ’bout health aspects and hogged on the cucumber slices. 🙂

On our return from the hill, we came across the beautiful black Nandi, which was really huge and magnificent to look at. Arien opted for sugarcane juice while I went up to admire the Nandi from close quarters. As I walked down, Arien was busy purchasing cucumber slices yet again. A foreigner was attempting to purchase some pineapple slices. I felt it was extremely adventurous of her. Then came the best part of the incident, the fruit seller tried to sell his pineapple slices at a higher price to the foreigner but the foreigner had picked up some of the local language, Kannada, and told him that she will not pay him Rs. 5 more than the others. As we left, we could hear the fruit seller muttering that it would never do, if these ppl learn our language 🙂

We returned to Bangalore around 9 pm, dead tired, bone weary, and xtremely sleepy. We had stopped at Kamat’s for dinner and so we had no complaints. Tomorrow is a working day…. Groan….. I want my weekend back 😦

Mysore during Dasara

Day1:
It was yet another unplanned trip to Mysore. Rather, it was a trip that had been planned for the next weekend but enthued Arien decided that he was too bored to stay at home this weekend and so we were going to Mysore tomorrow. I was totally tempted to say NO. If you are wondering why?? Well.. that is because I am a lazy piscean who prefers to relax (code-word for laze) at home after a tough week of writing highly technical stuff which no one reads and he is an Arien who lowes to travel, work hard, keep busy, etc etc etc. So did we go? Of course, we did. Lazy piscean had promised that she would try to be enthusiastic about sudden trips and so she could not really say No, could she?? Grrr… As usual, Arien decides the time when we would leave for Mysore which is between 4 am and 5 am. Egzactly!!! Well.. we finally leave at 6 am 🙂 No trip to Mysore is complete without a stopover at Kamat and we did that.

We decided to visit Krishnaraja Sagar Dam. They have a cute little aquarium inside, where the star attraction was a fish that cost forty thousand rupees.
Hordes of locals and the two of us spent
more than an hour gaping at all the fishes and the celebrity fish in particular. I have never spent so much time in an Aquarium before and I was informed by the wise Arien that the Bangalore one was a lot better. The celebrity fish looked like a villain in a hindi movie. It had an eye that looked akin to a glass eye and stared you down.
There were lotsa other fishes too. We, now have appr. zillion snaps of fishes, most of whom I
cannot recognize or name 😦
Anyways, we started walking towards Brindavan Gardens. It was a looong walk… and it was noon and surprisingly the weather was humid. I felt like I was in Chennai and that surprised me quite a bit. I had not been to the gardens in a really looong time. The garden was renowned for being the location where most film songs, romantic scenes were picturised not so long ago. It looked lovely from outside but on closer inspection we found that it was xtremely dirty 😦
The flowers were in full bloom and looked very pretty and the waterfalls looked nice too. I recalled that they had the musical fountain at 7 pm. We were roaming around the place at 1 pm and soon it just got too hot and I got too cranky. Also, around the same time, we figured out that all hotels at Mysore and Srirangapatna were fully booked and that we may not have a place to stay the night. Yuppp… However, that did not deter us from taking quite a few snaps of the place that was. We also realized that everybody comes to enjoy the water fountain later in the evening and you cannot see the dirt at that time 🙂 Well… not sure if that was nice to know or not… hehehehehe 🙂

It must cost a lot to maintain the Brindavan Gardens the way it is – I mean the flowers looked so lovely and colourful… I am just wondering about the number of people who have to work to make the Brindavan Garden look good… and while there is always scope for improvement… it is a great effort in itself. Anyways, I soon lost interest in the Gardens and wanted to know where we were going to stay, if we planned to stay on. A sudden cancellation by some person was a lucky break for us. We decided to check-in, have lunch and then plan our next outing. After a not-so-bad lunch, we were tempted to take a nap but did not do so. Instead we decided to check out the amusement park, GRS. There was some half-day offer kinda thing and so we decided that it may be worth the look. I was totally tired and did not want to go on the thrilling water rides and opted for the slow water rides. Managed to get completely drenched in the wave pool. As if that was not enuf, it suddenly started raining and did not abate for almost half an hour 😦 If it weren’t for the fact that I was totally drenched, I would have found it funny 😛 Anyways, we decided enough was enough and headed back to the hotel. A quick shower and a hot cuppa chai later, we were ready to check out the Mysore palace. The time was almost 8:15 pm and the whole place was lit up and it looked so lovely. All roads that lead to the palace were lit up and so we followed them to see the palace. There was a Carnatic concert going on at the same time which is that small corner which is lit up slightly differently. I have heard that for the entire navarathri, various artists would come and perform for each day. I was pretty impressed though I was unable to recognise the singer. The crowd was not unruly and we were able to move around without worrying if we would lose each other. We were late and we did not have too much time as they planned to close the place to visitors in less than 30 mts and so we walked around as if we were going to miss the bus – we did not have time to gape, stare in awe, or comment on the beauty as we were worried…. However, we did the entire round and left before they started closing the place for visitors. It took a while to sink in. We stared in awe as we moved out. Security was at an all-time high and for the first time I worried about bombs. I mean bombs are usually placed at places where there are huge crowds… Time to stop worrying ’bout stuff like that and concentrate on something else… Dinner?? Yeah!!
We decided to have dinner at a popular place, Parkland Hotel. It was the worst experience ever. We waited till we almost dropped off and when the dishes finally reached our table, it was stone cold. I am not exaggerating. We managed to gulp down the food as we were not really sure how long he would take to bring it back and we were totally sleepy. I was trying very hard to keep my eyes open. The theme at Parkland was good and drinks were being served at an amazingly fast pace and since we had not ordered any drinks.. I guess they forgot about us. Well, never mind.. we were ready to go back. We quickly paid and left for the hotel. When we reached the hotel, we realized it was almost 11 pm. That was end of Day1. Zzzzzzz… Arien starts snoring … Hehehehe 😀