Finally the exams got over! This is a semi-concluding part of the recent Bangalore-Mysore Visit and also a suggested itinerary for someone who wants to cover most of the Mysore and return to Bangalore the same day.
There are many ways tourists can reach Mysore from Bangalore. The two most popular ones are either taking a Tourist Bus Package from KSTDC that will cost you under 1000 bucks.This option is suggested if you are either travelling alone or in groups of 2-3 . Another possible way is to hire a car.That might cost you more but its a lot more flexible as you can wander freely without the fear of being left out. So, We hired a car from a local car hire group.
It is also suggested to leave as early in the morning as possible to avoid the office goers rush in the city. The taxi driver [Srinivas] came to our hostel at about 5am in his silver Indica and we were ready to go.I as usual occupied the front seat with the driver with the list of places we would love to visit and the others [Jassi], [Shank] and [RKS] occupied the back seats.
What a nice weather it was that day in the morning, Cool Breeze was blowing through the half opened window of our car running at 90kmph on the state highway[deafening]..I also enabled Google Maps on the cell phone ,to make sure we never missed any Interest point.
On the way we passed through several small cities which were named( or mentioned) in a pretty odd fashion . They were namily, City Of Silk, City Of Toys and City of Sugar. A quick google search on the way, helped me understand why!
Soon, we reached our first stop, Srirangapatna, about 20-25 km before Mysore.
From the outside as we entered the gate of the town, It seemed like pretty cultural town, with some what old homes and dhabas/restaurants on the side of the village that faced the Highway. Soon, As i was looking around from the window, we were parked in the parking of one of the most majestic temples i had ever seen. It seemed pretty old and probably being repaired.It was the Ranganatha temple .
We were out of the car and approached the temple, removed our shoes, washed our feet in the little cement trough with flowing water and entered inside the temple. Wow! What a beauty it was, It was not allowed to click pictures inside the temple premises. As we entered the temple , we saw an idol of Lord Vishnu( Actually Lord Ranganatha who is a manifestation of Lord Vishnu) in the quite different pose. Inside of the temple was all made of stone, with Fans installed by the Trust. As we waited in the line, we wondered how old could it be.. Soon, our turn came and we seeked Lord`s blessings and went on to explore other parts of the temple. There were other idols of Hindu Gods as well, but i guess we reached a bit late and the doors to their garbagriha`s were closed.
As we came to the end, we bought some ‘prasada’ Ladoos and left the premises. As, we were tying our shoe laces, we saw an information plate besides the temple, which read that the temple was built in 849AD thats about 1164 years old. Nobody won the bet! 😀
Bitten by the fury of the sun god, on what seemed to be nice cool weather, it was smoking hot, now in the noon. We rushed to the tender coconut stall and quenched our thirst, we were later joined by [RKS] who bought some silvery bangles for god knows whom, when we asked “why, this kolaveri di?”. He said he wished to support the local community.
After having the coconut, we moved on to our car and anticipated our next stop, which turned out to be the tomb of Tipu Sultan. It was about 2-3km from the Temple. The temple is on the Right side of the highway while going from Blore to Mysore, while Tipu Sultan`s Tomb is on the left side.
As we reached the tomb entry, we parked our car in the designated parking slot and went inside the beautiful tomb where the ‘Tiger Of Mysore’ Tipu Sultan was buried. Architecturally,It was somewhat similar to many other Islamic tombs. But what was different was along with Tipu Sultan most of his kin was buried near the same tomb hall. His ministers and his military commanders were also buried nearby. Inside the main tomb, Tipu Sultan was buried with his mother and father. We removed our shoes, paid the ‘shoe rediscovery insurance money’ and entered the tomb.
The gumbaz was painted in yellow color and the place was pretty well maintained. We paid our homage to Tipu Sultan and his parents and left the tomb. The tomb from the inside was all made of wood with a square shaped ‘offset’ for people to walk. As we made an exit, we could see the graves of Tipu`s relatives. Then, we marched towards the parking back, so that we could go to our next stop, Sangham, which is an amalgamation of three holy rivers of Southern India, Kaveri, Hemavati and Kabini.
One can reach the place by travelling further into place on the state highway. We were stopped at a place near the sangham, with what seemed to be a locally made stop. The driver asked us to pay the ‘toll’. I said what ‘toll’? He said the local people maintain this road and hence, they collect a toll from every car that passes. So, we gave the toll and entered the parking. The place was beautiful. One can easily see the three rivers merging. People were taking ceremonial baths near the ghats and some were organising pujas at the temple. We also saw some circular boats which were available for a ride and the best part was that the owner of the boat did have the life jackets although the water was not very deep.
The boat ride was 120 bucks for 4. The boats are required as some people need to do pooja at the exact amalgamation point, which is a few meters from the main ghat. We boarded the boat ( that rhymes 😉) . It was quite a dumb and cheaply built boat as what separated us and the water was just a few bars of bamboo and some plastic sheets. The boat ride seemed a pretty adventurous one as the boat was fairly unstable but a bit of adjustment of people around the circumference, and we were ready to go!
The ‘boat-man’ was a pretty nice person who could feebly understand Hindi. He was probably judging our ride based on our facial expressions. He took us to the sangam point and told us what rivers came from where. We could understand only the nouns and that pretty much served the purpose. Then something interesting happened.
The ‘boat-man’ turned lunatic and started rotating the boat near the sangam much like the merry go round. Seeing our smiling faces, he started to rotate even more. We had to ask him stop! Stop!
He then escorted us to the ghat and we paid him the money and he asked us to pay him more for the “lunatic-merry-go round”. Ah! We paid him 10 buck and fled the scene. The natural beauty of the scene can be felt the pics below. It was pretty cool place but due to the practice of dumping things near the ghats which happens predominantly at all such sites has destroyed places like these.
By the time we finished exploring the place , mini Godzilla`s had already started to crave for food in our stomach but any good place to eat was still a distant dream.
We left Sriragapatna for Mysore after visiting the sangam.
In the next part of this stretched travelogue series, i will be covering Mysore! Please give your comments on the same in comments box below!! Stay Tuned!