Sunday, June 27, 2010


Above: entrance to a temple at Mysore Palace.

So a friend and fellow TWUer, Ankit, talked me into signing up for the Mysore trip, and boy am I glad he did.

According to Wikipedia, Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka and serves as a cultural and historical centerpiece of India. It's located about 90 miles away from Bangalore, so we hired a driver and took the Indian equivalent of a party bus to get there...

About two hours into the first leg of our trip, we stopped at "GRS Fantasy Park", a small area off the side of the main road, for breakfast under some pavillions. I wasn't feeling particularly well so I didn't eat much, but the park was really lovely and we even spotted a couple of monkeys who seemed to have honed their food-snatching skills...

(I lol'ed so hard at that sign.)

Next, we saw Tipu Sultan's Summer Palace, which is actually still in Bangalore. Tipu Sultan, aka the "Tiger of Mysore", was the de factor ruler of the Mysore Kingdom during the late 1700's. He fought against the British, erected all sorts of churches and establishments, and basically seemed like he was a BAMF.

Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take any pictures or videos inside the actual palace. Most of the walls (protected from the sunlight by these green bamboo sheets) were covered with huge, intricate murals depicting battles against the British, all with Tipu Sultan riding a giant white horse and looking like a baller among his faithful troops.

We stopped for lunch at another Royal Orchid hotel, where I had the best vanilla ice cream of my life, before hopping back into the party bus with our tour guide and driving up a mountain to get an incredible view of the city:

We also stopped and saw another Nandi sculpture...if I remember correctly, this is the second largest one in India (the one in Bangalore was fourth-largest). Instead of being "rinsed" with water, this Nandi was covered with tributary gifts in the form of honeysuckle chains, ornate beads, and silver coins.

By the time we got to the Mysore palace, I was already thoroughly exhausted. Again, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the palace, but I don't know that any would really do it justice anyway. Every inch of every panel of every wall of every enormous room was covered in gold or silver or wood of some sort, imported from all over the world and painstakingly carved, arranged, or painted in an overwhelmingly beautiful way. I found a few pictures from Google Images to give you an idea of what it was like in there...

...yeah. I started to feel like I was in a dream sequence, walking through each of these ridiculous rooms. And if that's not extravagant enough, the outside of the palace is actually covered with 100K lightbulbs that light up on special evenings. We didn't get a chance to see them being lit up, but you can imagine how glorious it must be... (or you can Google Image Mysore Palace)

We got back to the Diamond District at around 10 PM, thanks to traffic, and then a friend and I embarked on an epic journey in search of KFC. Indian food is wonderful, but it can seriously overload your tongue/taste sensors, and fried chicken was the perfect compliment to the US/Ghana game.

Today will be devoted to laundry and work, but hopefully I'll be able to squeeze in a trip out to Commercial Street to buy some scarves/gifts/leggings...


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  2. Nice post. A curious mix of tradition and modernity, Mysore is an upcoming IT and industry hub in the midst of grand architecture and its long standing cultural heritage. For tourists accommodation, check out these hotels in Mysore.