Street shows Guns and prayers! Hospital Florist Masjid-e-Azam State Bank of Mysore Post Office Jamia Masjid Handicraft museum St.Philomena's ChurchReturned back to the restaurant and had a North Indian Thali for lunch and rested for a while in the room and set out to catch the excitement building up for the Parade. People had occupied all possible vantage points including trees! The excitement was palpable as the leading elephant appeared all decked up followed by a few more which were then followed by floats representing different cultures. We were people watching and after awhile got back to our room and watched part of the parade ‘live’ on the television while getting ready to return to Bangalore. Was fun being there. An event to remember!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Mysore Ahoy for Dasara 2010!
Happened to be in Bengaluru just prior to the 400th anniversary of the Mysore Dasara 2010 celebrations, hence decided to drive down to Mysore which is just about 3hrs away. My in-laws in Bengaluru were instrumental in managing to book a room for us in a lodge at Mysore, a feat in itself due to acute shortage of room availability during the festivities. The drive out of Bengaluru was amazing! Bengaluru looked like a banana plantation. They have a tradition of tying banana plants on all vehicles for Dasara! Even two wheelers had two banana plants tied on either side! All along the streets there were banana plants on sale! We set out leisurely at 10.30am and since it was a short drive, decided to visit a couple of places on the way. The first stop was Nimishamba temple, just before Ranganthitu bird sanctuary. The location of this temple and its environs are beautiful. There is a river that flows by and coracles in which you can take a ride or maybe just go for a dip, apart from paying your respects to the Goddess Nimishamba. Garlands of lemon are offered for worship along with coconuts, bananas and flowers to the Goddess. Some fresh fruits and vegetables also on sale. Then as the sky darkened, we moved on to the Ranganthittu Bird Park. If you wish to take a boat ride, remember to purchase the ticket at the entrance where you purchase your entrance tickets to avoid disappointment as no tickets are sold for boating once you enter the park. It is indeed a beautiful place. We walked around for a while and hurried back to our car as the rain Gods decided to cool the ambiance with a vengeance. It was around 5pm when we reached ‘MTR Deluxe lodge’ in the heart of Mysore, just behind the State Transport Bus Terminus. The rooms were small but clean and comfortable for the price (900/- for a double room + taxes) which was supposedly hiked due to the festival. After freshening up, decided to walk towards the palace and soak in the atmosphere. The policemen managing the crowds were a polite lot and very patiently answered all our queries about the festival without once losing their cool. After walking around the palace we were hungry and visited Dasaprakash Hotel – one of the oldest in Mysore for a nice simple south Indian Thali dinner. Next morning was the day of the famous Parade wherein there would be elephants and floats going past from the Palace to ‘Banimantap Grounds’ about 5 kilometres away. We could have purchased tickets to sit on chairs outside the Palace but decided against it would tie us down to one place for the entire performance. Moreover we would have had to occupy the ringside seats a few hours earlier than the start of the Parade. We thought of catching up on some sight seeing of Mysore in the morning as the Parade was scheduled to star at 2pm. So off we went after a hearty breakfast of Aloo parathas with Pudina chutney and pickles in Purohit restaurant that was just below our lodge. Yes, no idli dosas! Not even filter kapi! Did not miss it much though as the parathas were delicious and the tea was refreshing. We had had enough of idli dosas for the past one week so this was a welcome change. see that people had already booked their positions and made themselves comfortable!