Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mysooru ( Mysore ) Majaa Maadu

Location- Gokulam Residential Area, Mysore, Karnataka, India
Subject- Fourth Semester B.Tech student
Combat Update- Close Range Encounter Accomplished
Head Count- 4
Inflictions- 2
E.R.S(expected result for the semester)- 2 Backlogs
POW s- In accordance with the declared war on the evil forces, the extermination team CS/GEC0610 reported at the combat zone at 0930hours. The battle for final stronghold continued for 180 minutes, at the end of which the team yielded to unconditional surrender. Expected POW count stand at 30 with more left stranded and on AWOL.

As was planned, seven of us started out on a tour of Mysore on 9th April.

Our last exam screwed up totally though it couldn't achieve any merit in demoralizing our spirits. We started from Thrissur that evening itself, reaching Mysore in the early hours. The gang included Ashith, Arun, Raman, Rogen, Rohit, Sailesh and myself. Three days we had in our hands and to make the most out of it. And thus started our Mysore Tour.

Day 1:

After accomplishing a primary objective of our existence, sleeping, we got ready for the first day in Mysore. Our first destination was, S.G.S Ashram, a less known tourist spot, more of a spiritual center, about 6kms from the town.

Sree Ganapati Sachidananda Ashram, Ooty Road, Mysore
The Vishwam museum here, was swarming with rare collectors item from across the globe, which included various ivory carvings, exquisite and intricate works on precious gems and stones.

Our senses reached saturation in no time, unable to comprehend the volume of knowledge the place emanated. The Nada Mantapam, which could accommodate over 4000 people was a wonder in itself. read the Flex below to know more.

The next stop was the Jayachamarajendra Zoological Garden, simply called the ZOO. As seen in every museum across the country, there were animals, and there were BIRDS, and there were more animals and more birds. We finished with the zoo pretty soon, being tired of the 4 km long walk.

The final destination for the day was Karanji lake, a wonderful place to be at, with your loved one, as we could observe. Karanji lake and the park adjoining it is home to migratory birds from as far as Siberia. The aviary had the uniqueness that you could actually touch the birds on exhibition which included white peacocks, swans, strokes, and pelicans.

We stayed there until the park closed, around 6pm. The day ended with a Tonga ride from there to town, a first time experience for many of us.

Day 2:

The temple of Chamundeshwari atop the Chamundi hills(1150m), about 15 km from the city was our first destination on day 2. We had decided On utilizing local transportation for the whole tour. The trip to Chamundi hills was, therefore made in a VOLVO B7R.
Volvo B7R, Centralised A.C, equipped with Mobile Charging points and Rear-view T.V
Yes, the authorities of the district were generous enough to provide Volvo luxury buses that ply from town to Chamundi hills every half hour. We were the only passengers during the onward journey and while returning as well.
Mahishasura statue at the entrance to Chamundi Temple
The temple Gopuram is seven stories high.

A mortar statue of demon king Mahishasura welcomes visitors. After a quick darshan of the royal deity we started climbing down the 300 steps which lead directly to the rock cut Nandi, the holy bull.
Nandi, Chamundi Hills
There are about 1000 stone-cut steps leading from the temple to the foot of the hills, and we contained the temptation to walk all the way down for safety reasons( :), ya, I was lazy and others had to follow!!).

Next stop- Jaganmohan Palace and Art Gallery. The visit, as none of us were of the category "Art-enthusiasts", was primarily to see the 14 or so Raja Ravi Verma paintings exhibited here. This palace was built for the wedding of Krishnaraja Wodeyar in a short period of 70 days. The structural magnificence of the palace is beyond comparison.

That done, next in the day's menu was lunch at Hotel RRR. One of the busiest hotels in Mysore, RRR provides excellent Andra-style Biriyani and other delicacies.

Tummy full and ready to continue, our destination was the mighty Mysore Palace itself. The majestic structure in the heart of the city, was completed in 1912 to replace the one that was partially burnt in 1897. The palace wears mind blowing festive look during the Dasara celebrations, when it is brightly illuminated and processions take place.

Mysore Palace as Seen from the direction Facing Chamundi Hills

The palace bears exhibits from the golden times of Maharajah's rule, the remnants of a vibrant past. The interior consists of vast pillared corridors and stately halls, elaborately carved ceilings, with antique mosaic floors. Lush garden around the palace is well maintained and is occupied in the evenings by people waiting for a glimpse of the palace illumination.

Palace Gardens

At about 3 P.M, we reached the fourth spot- St. Philomena's Church(St. Joseph's Cathedral). A Gothic structure with two spires, standing about 180 feet high, the cathedral is said to be modeled on the cathedral at Cologne. The church was built by Maharajah Krishnaraja Wodeyar in 1933.

The windows of the church are made of stained glass from France.The aura here was quite soothing and pleasant inviting to spend more time in the altar, to pray near the feet of the crucifix.

The final stop was at the Railway Museum, only one of its kind in South India. The engines and wagons kept for display here were used well before our country's independence and thus hold great emotional value.

Interesting to note here was the Maharani's Saloon- 2 coaches that contained all the luxury for the queen of state on her rail trips. Read below for more detailed description:

A drop at Pizza hut summed up the second day's journey through the heart and essence of Mysore.

Day 3:

The long walks had started taking toll on our legs and body by now. Since we had covered five places the previous day, day three was entirely for the ultimate Vrindavan Gardens in Krishna Raja Sagar Dam. A quick trip to Mysore AIR Station, the very first Akashavani in India with its parliament like structure and palatial interior, adored equably with machines from earlier periods of communication such as valve tube and crystal oscillators to the advanced F.M transmitters was, frank to admit, a new experience.

Under the F.M Antenna tower

We boarded the afternoon Volvo to Vrindavan gardens, passing through lush greenery and then the industrial suburbs which included the training facility of Infosys, largest of its kind in Asia, and other major MNCs and were among the first batch of tourists to reach the garden.

An evening in Vrindavan

The beauty of sunset over the seemingly endless horizon across river Kaveri is definitely a heavenly pleasure.

The illuminations and fountains started at 6 P.M. The mist that rose as water fell on marble tiles created a foggy shade around.

Musical fountains where water sprays seemed to dance to popular tones of bygone era was definitely worth the applause it received. The gigantic variety of shrubs and plants cleansed the air and elated us to newer levels of spirituality never reckoned before.
( Got ya!! nothing of that sort, it was all together quite cool and pleasant thats all!!)

And that was it, three exhilarating days spent in the lap of culture, the birth place of Carnatic music and the abode of love. Three days that passed in a blink of eyes, three days, that will stay in our memories for a long time, among the first thoughts while contemplating the good times we shared...

This article is, as I intended it to be, a mini-tour of Mysore, the Pensioner's paradise. A visual and verbal journey through the royal city discovering roots from a rich past. Do comment on my success or lapses...

The greetings bell at Pizza Hut