Jun 13, 2007

Mysore revisited

What do you do when your cousins visit Bangalore on their summer vacation? Take them to Mysore, of course! Though I had visited Mysore last October, I didn’t mind going again. We hired a Tavera and started very early, around 7.30 AM (What do you expect on a Saturday morning?). Once we hit the Mysore Road, it was a smooth, no-traffic ride. We stopped at a restaurant Indra Dhanush, around 80 kms from Bangalore for breakfast. It’s a good enough place to have a sumptuous South Indian breakfast. We then visited Ranganatha Swamy temple in Srirangapatna. It’s a beautiful, ancient temple and had lots of visitors as well. The only negative part is the parking charge of 30 rupees which I feel could be reduced.

The heritage city Mysore greeted us warmly and our first pitstop was the famous zoo. The kids had a good time, admiring the different species. It was two and half hours of excitement and fun. Our stomachs growled so much that we rushed for lunch to a restaurant Hotel Saptagiri. The food wasn’t so good. Wish I could wake up early on such outing days and pack food from home, like how my grandmothers used to do.

This time, I definitely wanted to visit the Mysore palace. Last time, I couldn’t go inside because of the huge crowd during Dussehra. The camera had to be deposited in a particular place before we step inside the palace. I was a bit apprehensive about the safety of my camera. But I had no other option. When I deposited, I was surprised to see that the people in the counter placed the cameras inside individual lockers, locked them and gave the keys to the camera owners. I was very glad to see this kind of service. The palace was amazing with lots of colourful paintings adorning the walls. A piece of information that shocked me was that the palace was constructed in the 1890s and the total cost was (Any guesses?) around 42 lakhs. For the same amount, today all I can get is a 1300 sq ft apartment in the outskirts of Bangalore. Sigh!

We decided to skip Chamundi hills and head straight to the Brindavan Gardens. A lovely breeze swept away all the tiredness and we felt refreshed, sitting under the shade of a huge tree in the sprawling gardens. Waiting for the colourful lights to be switched on, we took a stroll around. It was a lovely sight to watch the lit gardens and a glowing evening sky. We took a small boat ride to reach the other side of the gardens to watch the musical fountain show. By the time we reached the other side, there was a huge crowd waiting for the show to begin. All we had to do to get a glimpse of the dancing fountains was to climb a nearby hillock and it was worth the effort. The perfect finishing touch to this show was the way the fountains danced to the tunes of “Saare Jahaan Se Achcha”. Impeccable, I should say!

After a quick dinner in the same place where we had breakfast, we headed back home with sleepy eyes, tired faces and most importantly happy memories.

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