Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Karnataka Calling-2: September 2015

Well, I would like to apologize for delaying to post the second part but finally here it goes :)

Moving from IISC to Mysore
After the conference, I had 2 more days at Karnataka and I was headstrong to visit Mysore aka Mysuru, the land of Mahisasura. It is about 140 kms away from Bangalore. I was already swayed by the legacy of Wadiyar dynasty and the flamboyant Mysore palace beforehand. Therefore, I sought some information with local volunteers, friends and concluded to go Mysore in a train. Early morning we rushed to SBC, Bangalore City Station in Majestic Street, this was my first journey via train and all I remembered was DDLJ and Chennai Express's train scenes when SRK gives hand to Kajol and Deepika respectively when they were late to get in the train.

 I silently smiled and wished for the similar scene to occur with me but a loud noise of the starting train shattered my dream and we jumped into a compartment. We sat wherever the seats were vacant and laughed at each other with a relief that finally we made it. There were very pretty women by our side and suddenly a very handsome lad came near our seat and we helped him to accommodate.

As I have mentioned earlier, I am a huge fanatics of south Indian movies, mainly Telugu movies and my favorite actor is Ram charan and the guy who was staying besides me was very similar to him. I was thanking God for at least sending someone like Ram charan if not Shah rukh ;) We all had a smooth journey in the train; shared our famous wai wai noodles and in return tasted a crunchy maddur wada (kind of pakoda), talked about cultures in both countries, they also enquired about the earthquake and our family which was very sweet of them. The ultimate spice of the trip was a gay dressed in saree as we see in lots of bollywood movies entered the train and asked for donation with all the men. Balkumar, my friend was quite scared and I felt like laughing at his cherubic face. For the first time ever, I felt happy to be a woman and seeing how males were being ragged publicly ;). We were so much enjoying the conversation and observing the people that it seemed the 3.30hr journey passed in a blink of an eye. Btw, Ramcharan like looking guy's name is Harsha and we have become good buddies already. Thanks to the Zuckerburg's creation!
Harsha,Balkumar n me ;)

As soon as we reached Mysore station, we were surrounded by some taxi drivers. After some minutes of discussion and bargaining, we hired one of them, his name was Ravi Chandra. I realized that he would be really happy when I called him Ravi Anna. So, he was our guide for a day and was responsible to help us in exploring Mysore. Our 3 main wish lists included:
                      1) Mysore Palace
                      2) Mysore Zoo and shopping if possible
                      3) Brindavan Garden with Musical fountains

Mysore is also regarded as City of Palaces and cultural epicenter of Karnataka. Mysore palace was the place I was craving to visit and as per my expectations, its charm never fails to enchant. Often termed as Pink palace was designed by English Architect, Henry Irwin was built in between 1897-1912. The three storied structure in the Indo-Saracenic style gleam with its beauty. A brief tour inside the palace took me to those times with its ornate domed ceiling, hanging paintings, glazing floors, jewel encrusted throne. It was completely enthralling experience. Likewise, Shwetha Varahswamy temple has further flourished its magnificence.
Mysore palace
After assuaging our eyes with the captivating palace, we rushed towards zoo. The city's proximity to famous wildlife sanctuaries and its own zoo make it a very popular attraction for the wildlife enthusiasts. I am usually against the zoo because I prefer seeing animals in the wild and free. I utterly disliked the way animals were kept in relatively narrower and smaller cages than they need. Many were abused and also indicating some abnormal behaviors. However, Mysore zoo has been famous for its well maintained and animal friendly compartments. We strolled around the zoo to encounter animals we had never seen before like giraffes, zebras, wolves and lions. The zoo was soo huge that I was completely exhausted. We had to rush out as our Ravi anna as he had apportioned 2 hours for zoo tour and then explore more of Mysore. All of sudden, I caught an eye of a hawker who was selling Gajra (Jasmine weaved hair accessory) which is quite famous in India and has important cultural value as well. I was looking for it and while waiting for rest of our friends I could buy it and pose with the flowers.
Mysore zoo
After that, we were taken to a government certified shop. The shop was famous of Mysore silk sarees and other traditional wears. Though they were expensive, I was lured to get some Saree and Kurta for my parents. I felt very accomplished with the gifts to my parents and then we headed towards Brindavan Garden. I did not know about the place but it was known for the colorful and dancing artificial water fountains besides Kaveri river. It was already dusky when we reached and it was so much crowdie.
 Nonetheless, we three crazy people made the hell of out it. It was already dark but we decided to go on a boat ride amid the beautiful colorful water fountains all over. It was such a mesmerizing experience. Then, as soon as we got off, we rushed to observe the main attraction i.e. dancing colorful water fountain. To my surprise, there was like thousands of people yelling out loud with their glow sticks which reminded me of having thousands of fireflies all over. The demonstration would be occurring every 10 minutes so we were waiting for the next one to come. Suddenly, there was this yodeling of Bollywood music and I was literally startled to see the water fountains dancing in the beats. Getting up higher and lower, red, green, pink and what not, it was a very entertaining showcase. The way they had used the water to be the source of attraction was quite impressive. It was getting late so ran like some crazy bunch of thugs. It was indeed a very serene feeling to be free like a bird.  It was a very short and sweet trip to Mysore which still leaves me in awe.
Mysore station
Next day, we rushed back to Bangalore and all we gotta do was shopping.Well, I would say it was a very intense day for me in terms of getting back, searching for place to stay and then get back to shopping. I am a very bad person to shop with but I had to.  We strolled around Gandhi nagar and later to majestic streets. It was a very busy day for the locals as well. The whole streets were full of hawkers and people, everyone was shopping, it somewhat resembled like a fair to me. You could get anything, anywhere J It was crazy as you even wouldn't have space to walk properly.  I was buying whole lots of things; dresses, cutlery, and much more. Bal Kumar was already getting pissed off as I was taking lots of time and buying lots of things. We had to get back to our Hotel but we were not sure about the exact location. As soon as we thought of getting back, there started a heavy downpour. After a lot of trying, we could get an auto. The problem was we didn't know the exact location. However, I did remember some of the landmarks nearby which helped us to locate our hotel Lavanya at the end. We were relieved that almost everything is sorted but then we were dog tired and starving. We even didn’t have time to stop and eat so we again went out nearby to get final south Indian dinner. 
Upma wid coconut sauce :) 
No matter how desperate we were to get back home, however there certainly was a strange feeling of sadness to leave this amazing place which embraced us soo dearly and bestowed  us with all the love and sweet memories to take along us back home. I am so much grateful to all the people I met, places I visited and myself ;) coz it all worked out soo well. I got back to all alone but this time I was more confident and happy :) Yay, Birdie gets back to her nest.


"It's good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." Ernest 

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