Mysore

Mysore

Bangalore โ€“ Mysore โ€“ 1 day trip (17th Dec 2011)

Now its time to update all my older travels. So after a bit of a time delay, here goes:

This was another day-long trip that we made, this time with my parents.

We set off from home by taxi at around 7am. The fact that we travelled by car, rather than tour bus afforded us the luxury of stopping when we wanted… not to mention the benefit of leaving from home n reaching the highway directly, without an extended tour around the city! ๐Ÿ™‚

Our first stop on the way was the Kamat LokaRuchi restaurant for breakfast at around 9am. Since we were on our way to visit the temple of Goddess Chamundeshwari, Hubby and I were fasting as is our usual habit when visiting temples. However, my parents would not be able to stay without any sustenance for almost half the day. Hence, the stop for breakfast.

fresh hot jalebis..

mini-dosa, fresh and hot!

Breakfast Menu

While there are 2 more Kamat restaurants on the Mysore highway, and many more small restaurants and fast-food chains along the way, this particular Kamat hotel is better known for theย  quality of food served here. To our delight, they had introduced a buffet breakfast, costing a mere Rs. 80, unlimited food. The food was very tempting, and only our resolve to fast kept us away. My parents rave about the amazing breakfast even today, and it turned out to be the most memorable part of the trip, for them that is!!!

Next stop was the temple of Lord Ranganatha Swami at Srirangapatanam at 11am. The darshan of the Lord was quick, as there wasn’t too much of a crowd inside the temple. so, even after taking our time posing for photos along the way, we managed to get out of Srirangapatanam within 45 mins. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lord Ranganatha Swamy Temple entrance

We finally reached the temple of Goddess Chamundeshwari at around 12pm. The weather was pleasant, sunny but not hot. So it was a pleasant short walk from the taxi drop-off till the temple.

Idol of Mahishasura at the entrance

A brief history of the temple

view of the race-course from Chamundi Hills

We took the Rs 20 tickets, and had a comfortable entry into the temple. We were able to take our time within the temple and gaze on the Goddess in peace. We finally stepped out at 12.45pm, and made our way to the temple of Lord Mahabaleshwar (Shiva). After a brief visit, we made our way back to the car.

On the way down from the temple, we passed by a statue of a giant Nandi. The last trip we’d made by tour bus had just given us a glimpse of the statue. This time we decided to stop here.

The giant Nandi is a wonder to look upon. Behind it is a cave of Lord Shiva. The cave is really low. One has to ben over in half to get inside, and even more by the time you actually reach the Linga.

Giant Nandi

Shiva temple

We left soon after, and headed for lunch. The suggestion for a nice hotel was made by the driver. I don’t really remember which hotel it was, but the food was really good, and service fast. We headed out shortly and made for Cauvery, to do some shopping. Actually i hadn’t planned to shop, but bought a couple of saris anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

The final stop in Mysore was the Mysore Palace. We spent most of the time outside taking photos. The inside of the palace was a mad rush, as some schools were taking their students on a tour. So the narrow confines of the palace stairways were quite uncomfortable.

The Mysore Palace

At around 5pm, we finally turned our vehicle back to Bangalore.

One the way back we stopped at Channapatanam, famous for its toys. My parents bought some souvenirs to take back home. We were undecided on what to buy, and skipped shopping instead.

Myriad colors inside the toy shop at Channapatanam

toys inside the shop

Dinner stop was Kamat LokaRuchi. We enjoyed a few light snacks, and then finally headed home.

Since it was a Saturday, the shortest route back home through the city would also be the most time-consuming. So we took a roundabout route through ORR, and finally got home at 11pm.

The memories we made during the day kept us smiling till the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

Categories: Karnataka, Mysore | 2 Comments

Mysore

Bangalore – Mysore – 1 day trip (24th April 2011)

The trip to Chamundeshwari Temple is one that we had been trying to make, with not much success. Finally, it came about a few weeks back.

We went through a travel agent, with one of their daily trip packages from Bangalore to Mysore. The best obviously would be the Incredible India tour (govt sponsered). But since ours was a last-minute trip, we got in a local tour.

The starting point for all the tour buses to Mysore start at Marathahalli at around 6-6.30am. At the junction you would normally see about 5-6 buses lined up on the roadside. These buses have various pick-up points through the city. So by the time one actually leaves the city its almost 9am.

The first stop is for breakfast at a small restaurant called Woodland Avenue on the highway at around 10am. All buses stop at the same points for food. So its definately a battle for time and space at these places. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first tourist stop was Channapatna. Most wood carved toys in india come from here. They are typically brightly coloured, and come in a multitude of toys, deco pieces, and handicrafts.ย  We picked up some bright;y coloured show peices and keychains. The prices is reasonable, and definately less than what we have to pay if buying in Bangalore.

The next stop was Srirangapatnam. This was the summer capital of Tipu Sultan. It is also home to the famous Ranganadha Swamy temple. The whole place lies within a fortress. Most of the walls have fallen down, but you can still see the major doorways and battlements.

The tour guide points out the various entrances and exits from the fortress. And also interesting views, but doesnt necessarily stop at any of them. So you have to have your camera ready if u want pictures!

First view is of the Jumma Masjid, and imposing white structure. 2nd view is of the ruined palace of Tipu Sultan. Apprently, once Tipu Sultan was killed, the British soldies ransacked and burnt down this palace. You can now see only the bare ruins of the place.At neither of these places, the tourist bus stops.

Finally we reach the Ranganadha Swamy temple. Here we were given about 20 mins to have darshan and come back. While normally this is more than sufficient time, we went on a holiday. Which basically translates to huge, unruly crowds. The tour guide warned us that if the queue is too long, pplease take darshan from outside and come back. We, of course joined the said crowds for the darshan. By God’s Grace, we were able to get proper darshan and come back to the bus within the stipulated time.

From here, wee cross over the River Cauvery, on towards Mysore.

In Mysore, the tour bus first stops for lunch. This is at a restuarant named Leela Residency. Both North-Indian and South-Indian thalis are served here. The best part is that the food is piping hot. The worst is that all the buses reach at approx same time, leaving you waiting to get a table.

A few furlongs ahead is the St. Philomena’s Church. This is a major tourist and religious point. The church itself is built in the Neo-Gothic style, and is impressive to look at.ย 

The next stop is the Cauvery Emporiom for sliks and handicraft shopping.

(i just realised: At every major point the sequence seems to be the same – food, shopping, finally sight-seeing!!!)

Next we reached the famous Mysore Palace, also known as Amba Vilas. Note: if you want to go through both the old and new palaces, better to go by yourself, rather than tour bus. The tour guide discourages you from going to the old palace saying there is nothing much to see. The new palace has 4 major sights to see: The stained glass ceiling, the central courtyard, the palace of dolls, and the main Sabha of the Wodeyar.ย  However, if you look carefully, you will notice the ivory inlaid doors, and glass work in the panels and floors. Again, time is short, so one has to rush through the whole experience.

The second-last stop on the trip is the Chamundeshwari Temple, situated on the Chamundi Hills. The parking lot is about 1/2 km from the actual temple. The entrance has a statue ofย  Mahishasura. At the temple proper, there are 2 ticets available: Rs. 20/- and Rs. 100/-. One can also avail of the free darshan. You can also give an offering of coconuts and flowers that can be bought outside the temple. We took the Rs. 20/- darshan, and were able to have a good darshan, and rather fast too.

Behind the temple, not know to too many people, is the temple of Sri Mahabaleshwara, a temple of Shiva and Consort of Chamundeshari Devi. A simple stone temple, its definately worth a visit.

The final stop for the day is the Brindavan Gardens and the Krishnarajasagar Dam. It is a 20 min stop and the biggest disappointment of this trip. The short time-span gives you just enough time to walk all the way to the musical fountain, watch it for 10 mins, and walk back to the bus. The musical fountain is beautiful, but after the first 2 sound-tracks, it becomes repetitive.

You cannot see the dam, except a glmpse from the road, nor the rest of the famous gardens.

Also beware of pickpockets. As you would reach the gardens only after dark, it is a haven for pickpockets. 2-3 people unobtrusively surround you, seemingly talking on the phone or some such thing, preventing you from moving for a couple of minutes, enough time for the pickpocket to slice through your bag with a blade. Thats exactly what happened with us. Thankfully, the handbag in question was a sturdy model with various layers and pockets, preventing the thief for actually stealing anything. Only after reaching the bus did we notice the deep cuts in the bag.

On the way back, the bus stops finally for dinner on the highway for about 30 mins. After that its a straight trip back to Bangalore, reaching the final point of Marathahalli at about 11pm.

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