February 1, 2016 by
Since I am in Chennai from July 2014, it’s been a pending dream of mine to go and visit Mysore and finally this New Year eve I was shaping my dream a reality. It was all of a sudden plan, just booked a Volvo and then while we were in the bus at CMBT we booked the only hotel that was available that time. We were not even sure about how many days we will be at Mysore, so we just booked for a single day and when we reach Mysore we were sure that we made a mistake and finally we managed the same hotel with double money to extent our stay over there.
It was 30th Dec night we left Chennai and the very next morning we reached Bangalore. It was around 5:30 in the clock and we were literally frozen. And for the first time we realize that we are not prepared and same time it was a feel of excitation that we are no more at the hot zone of Chennai. Anyway we had to travel more 150 km in order to reach our destinations. As we had no arrangements, we decided to make it through railway so booked unreserved ticket, and literally we run to catch the train. It was Tuticorin-Mysore express and we got some Croatian co-travelers, though their English was broken but it was never difficult to express our views, they even offered their snacks with us. A lot we said that they didn’t understand and even we didn’t understand not a bit of their Croatian but we all shared the same excitement and enthusiasm.
After landing to Mysore the first thing we experience is a grand welcome by the people of Mysore. The roads traffic free, we were the only pedestrians as I observe, maybe it was a bit early or the section of the city we were walking is less travelled. During our walk through the roads of the city, we came across Govt. buildings, banks, old souvenir shops, alongside churches and finally we reached our hotel. We never planned about it but accidentally our room was very near to the mighty Mysore Palace.
We traveled a lot from the last night so was both tired and hungry and when we asked people for food and especially non-vegetarian foods, all came with the same answer. It was Hotel RRR and the food was really awesome. The foreigners, the local, the tourist all prefer the destination and the reason fits obvious when we tasted the food.
Next we go for Srirangapatna which is around 20km from Mysore and it is the place from where Hailer Ali and his son Tipu Sultan roared against the British. The small town of Srirangapatna still holds its pride. We visited “Dariya Daulat Bagh” the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, a perfect paradigm of Indo-Islamic Architecture. The palace may not be as big as the others found in different corners of the nation, but a visit to this palace takes you to the edges of past, from where you will never want to return.
Coming back to Mysore, it was 31st Night, the entire city was dressed like bride, each and every Church were full of flowers and peoples, peoples to pray for a happy and prosperous year ahead. With them, with the people of Mysore and the travelers like us, we stepped into another year of hope and dream.
The very next day we went for Kodagu or Coorg as it’s famously known for, the coffee capital of India but I will talk about it some other time, some other time in some other blog. On the way returning from Coorg we finally came to heart of the city, the main attraction above everything, the mighty Mysore Palace. And I consider myself lucky enough that I was at the right place at the right time, and it was one of my memories that I will long cherish that I had my camera with me and I clicked some really nice photos that evenings. But we were late enough to enter inside the Palace, so we just see and enjoy the beauty of the palace in thousands lights “under the azure sky, so beautiful you want to die”.
Next and the last of our stay we had early breakfast in one another restaurant “Purohit Restaurant” and I will strongly recommend it to everyone who is planning to go for Mysore. The restaurant is specializing in Rajasthani and Gujrati Dishes, and the sweets one can’t just explain in words, you have to taste it firsthand. After food we went for the palace once again and this time to see it deeply from inside out. “Cameras are not allowed inside” she told me twice, and then the women at the counter started scolding me, only then I realize that really I can’t take my camera with me. After different course of arguments and negotiation they allow me to carry it but not to use it.
After I place my very first foot inside the palace, it started relieving all my pains of the fact that I can’t take any pics of it and a same time as a photographer I was regretting their policy, but security comes first and I have to obey that. The more we walk along the corridors, the rooms, and the darbar halls they affection and love for the palace grows exponentially. The every paintings that epict the saga of Wodeyar dynasty, the doors that are so amazed that you just watch and watch, the celings, the coloumns amazed us. The palace from outside looks more relevant to Islamic Architecture, but when we walk along every inside rooms one after another the perfect blend of Indo-Islamic architecture unbound itself before us. Even its Westen influence is very strong.
After finishing our limited time which we dedicated to the mighty palace we went for our next and final destination of our tour, the St. Philomena Church. The Church is the oldest in the city back to mid 19th Century. The church again reconstructed during the early 20th century. The gothic architecture and its quaint charm will touch you. We stayed for sometime inside the church, the ambience is so silent that you always want to comeback for the sake of peace.
After we came out of the church the only destination was the same railway station from where 2days before we entered this beautiful royal land, we stayed, we enjoyed, we were mesmerized and now it’s the time we should leave, but who can stop us from coming back again to this quaint land, from returning to the place of dreams of co-existence, Mysore I will be back soon.
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