My trip to Mysore began with a train journey to which I was not looking forward. I can see some of you smiling even now as you think of how little I enjoy travel. So travel within India? – well we have all heard the stories….
So imagine my satisfaction when I sat down in a largely unpopulated carriage in a window seat in front of my two “minders”. The window had a large crack in it with lines radiating outwards, however I at least had a seat….
At just about the scheduled time of departure, we were given a little cup of tomato soup and two sticks of bread with margarine (if you were so inclined). I wasn’t, but used the bread to dip into the soup. At precisely the scheduled time, the train pulled out of the station – while I was still waiting for all the passengers to embark! More punctual than in the UK!…and as for in NZ…well where? who?
I noticed that the railway tracks are not ‘sacred ground’ as they are in NZ. They were the playground for innumerable children (and older). Also there were many places where little rubbish dumps had been created. By the time I took that in, the worst of them were past but I did snap a couple of photos.
So into the countryside. At every level crossing, there were at least 6 or 7 vehicles – cars, motorbikes, tuk-tuks – waiting when our carriage went past. This was in the middle of the country with very little around except the rice and sugarcane fields. A few little villages with people that often waved out to the train as it went by, and some impressive hills.
On arrival at Mysore, I checked in at the hotel and went to explore the precincts and in particular the Mysore Palace. The Maharajah’s Palace is a well known attraction in Mysore. I walked along the road beside it and tried to get into one of the gates, but two rather unfriendly security men turned me away. they didn’t like it when I started to take out my camera, so I waited until I was far enough away and snapped them from afar – nothing escapes technology
The Palace itself is huge – a large Palace in “Indo-Saracenic” style, it embodies Hindu, Muslin and gothic styles into one impressive building. It is surrounded by gardens (no visitors allowed to enter these) and Hindu Temples.
The most impressive time to go there however is Sunday evening when the Palace is illuminated. It is rather like the first rush of fireworks when the lights go on. There is light on the Palace anyway, but once lit up, it is like a huge Christmas Tree
Mysore itself is a ‘heritage’ city, with lots of protected buildings. I really enjoyed the sign in front of this building which talked about the Roman and Ionian columns and the Indo-Saracenic style – with all these style it makes it into sort of a “mongrel” building. Indeed one can have too much of a good thing in Indo-Saracenic…..
Walking about Mysore there were many other interesting buildings and monuments. India is a colourful and interesting place – often tiring and hot, it is full of interesting sights and places. Mysore is indeed no exception. It is indeed no Mysore Eysore!