Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Now this junket happened months ago, but it never occured to write about it. Too many things were happening - Leaving Dr. JD's hospital (I hate goodbyes), worryin about the future (again) - but months later when aspersions have melted away and there is scope for rumination & clear thoughts, I thought I would write, nay, atleast put up pictures of the trip
The trip was impromptu decided. One of my colleagues, Dahlia, is from Jordan - she had to leave earlier than most, back to her mitti. And she really wanted to see something in India (she had come exclusiely for work purpose & now time was runnin out to have had any fun). Need I say, I didnt need an excuse & took off to Mysore. Whenever I hear about Mysore, I remember an anecdote. My pal's girl went to Mysore & he was oh-so-lonely without her. So on her return, he conjured a wittingly original card with those crazy but unforgettable words on it - My heart is sore because you went to Mysore!!!!!"
The journey to Mysore was longer than I expected. I had thought it to be quite close to Bangalore but it took us a few hours more. Our very first stop was Sangam, Srirangapatnam. I dont knowthe exact history of it, but what I do know is that the Umbrella boat ride we took was real exciting ( I dont know what the boat is called traditionally either, but this is the name I give to it). The next few stops were Tipu Sultan's mausoleum, Gumbaz and Tipu's summer palace. Each of these places had exquisite glimpses of Persian & Mughal architectural genius ! Mysore is probably much hotter than a century ago, so the summer palace didnt really provide much respite from the heat. But the sheer beauty & intricate details of the fading paintings & the crumbling facades was fascinating. At the summer palace, the tickets for foreigners was 100 bucks, and 5bucks for Indian citizens. Now I am an Indian citizen, but the problem was to convince the ticketwallah to believe that both of us were Indians. Piece of cake, considering I can manage decent Kannada (regional language). I told she was my fiancee (!!!) & they let us go on 5 buck tickets :) Of course, at the security check we had some problems again, but nothing a bit of sweet talk wouldnt solve :)
Next on to Mysore palace. A mammoth structure, of which even a lengthy description would be an injustice to its beauty & charm. When it was built by the then Maharajah of Mysore, he didnt want it to have Mughal touches alone. So the palace is a mix of Victorian , Persian & Mughal architecture. A grand procession in the Golden chariot takes place during Dasara every year even till today, headed by the Maharajah of Mysore (maharajah on paper). 6 yrs in Karnataka and I still havent attended that !Photography is prohibited inside the palace, so I cannot put up the most beautiful part of the palace here. There is a lot of walking to be done here, barefoot!!!! By the end of it, you would feel completely drained out, but mentally refreshed. Definitely worth a visit!
Our next stop was the Mysore zoo, desperately awaited for by Dahlia. She really wanted to see elephants (there are no elephants in Jordan) - the zoo is huge & comparatively well maintained than most zoos in the country. We covered most of the zoo, seeing a variety of birds, apes, tigers, giraffes, gorilla et al. Unfortunately for Dahlia, the elephants were located in the fag end of the zoo, & by the time we got close, we were dead on our feet & it was time for zoo closure as well. I felt bad for Dahlia as she left India without seeing an actual, healthy, and as she put it, cute elephant (we shall discount the fact that she did see a malnourished, dirty elephant at the palace, with which she was very, very disappointed).
Since we were running behind schedule, we missed out Chamundeshwari devi temple (a temple on top of the hill). Our last stop was to be KRS dam, and Brindavan gardens. The dam looked demure in the fading light of the day, and after sundown, the lighting of the place was something worth coming for. I guess the pictures here would speak for themselves.
We left for Blore quite late, getting back only by 11 pm. We were beat, we were exhausted, but it was a fun trip