Enchanting Mysore beckoned us with it’s beautiful palaces, temples and gardens.
We had been talking about Mysore since some years and the children were looking forward to see their school textbooks come alive and the much talked about Mysore Zoo. We had meant to halt at Mysore for a day and then proceed to Bangalore. It was more than 15 years since my last visit to Mysore and for Hubby even more.
Mysore has changed. We could see construction going on everywhere and even the stately roads have not been spared. For Hubby who was driving, it was utter confusion as to where to turn so as to reach the hotel which we had booked online. There was instruction on the website but with the heavy traffic and impatient drivers there was no way we could find it. And it is for such tourists that the guides keep a look out for. We were relieved to find this guy on a motorbike who guided us to our hotel. We had decided on Ginger, Tata’s chain of smart hotels as they are called.
“The Ginger hotels are built around a unique concept that provides facilities to meet the key needs of today's traveller, at surprisingly affordable rates”
Yes, the hotel is good, though the rooms are small and it is located at a very convenient place too. Initially there was a confusion since out of the 2 rooms that we had booked, one was not free. It was sorted out after a while.
We did not want to lose much time in the hotel and hence we freshened up and joined the guide who was waiting for us. We took him in our car and proceeded to Brindavan gardens. It was a long drive and we reached quite late. The parking lot was a new sight for me and it was getting filled in time for the musical fountain. With disappointment I realized that the royal garden had lost some of its charm.
Many heroes and heroines have danced in this garden and every State has at least one movie showing the beautiful Brindavan garden. I did see some renovations going on since some of the paths were closed to the visitors. I hope these renovations will restore the beauty of this garden. I remembered the last time that I had been there with my parents and siblings and how we had enjoyed sitting on the turf. It is not the lack of funds since the parking lot was almost full and so was the garden. It is the same neglect that we found the next day when we visited the famous fort of Tipu Sultan. Why are our historical sites maintained in such a shoddy manner? We were told by the guide that people have encroached upon these sites and that the government is not doing much. And it was while waiting for the Musical fountain to start that we heard a commotion and saw an almost nude person making his entry. While the tourists were clamoring for seats and even sitting on the ground, this fellow was royally escorted and allowed to be seated on a chair very near the fountain. There was much snickering from the crowd. The fellow looked young and did not spot the usual long hair and beard of a religious person. Maybe he made a vow to come thus in front of an unsuspecting crowd?
We returned to the hotel and stopped by St. Philomena’s church which was not far from Ginger. We opted to try Ginger’s buffet that night and it was good.
The next day with much enthusiasm we looked forward to see the zoo and only then did our guide tell us that it was closed on Tuesdays. He took us instead to Srirangapattana. I guess we did not do our homework well and did not know that on Tuesday’s some of the sights are closed. Not seeing the zoo was too much of a disappointment for us. We did see, Ranganathaswamy temple,
Tipu’s fort and his summer palace - Daria Daulat.
Since the summer palace housed much paintings, writings and articles depicting Tipu’s life it did get the interest of all of us. We also visited Tipu’s mausoleum.
We had to curtail our trip and forgo Bangalore since FIL and MIL who chose not accompany us but stay at their elder son’s place at Calicut was getting fidgety and wanted to return to Tiruvella. Moreover our trips are always a concern for the seniors and they are happy only when we have reached home safely! Bangalore would have needed more than a day and yet again we postponed the trip even when it was only a few hours’ drive.
On our way back we stopped once more at Café Day at Gundalpet and had a bite.
I am told that in Bangalore these Café’s serve only coffee and pastries while in Gundalpet they had a choice of sandwiches, Biriyani and even Paratta and chicken chilly. They also had a good choice of ground coffee.
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