With no expectation, I venture into Mysore.
The day started on a bad note, booking.com called upon our arrival to inform that the room was double booked and recommended us to try their other options. Alhamdulillah we got a kind tuk-tuk driver that helped us in calling and getting an accommodation at the same price and better location hence we forego booking.com’s options. The issue was settled within half an hour.
Travel tip : Book (pau) the tuk-tuk for the whole day to cover popular places especially since if speaks English really well and know the historical facts. This will save on time and you’ll gain additional knowledge too.
There’s a few things I noted in Mysore, the people here are extra friendly, the weather is perfect, the standard of leaving is average and halal food is easily accessible. Little left to complain, more reason to fall in love.
Located 13km from the city of Mysore on Chamundi Hills, raising high in bright yellow is the Chamundeshwari Temple or also known as Durga, the fierce form of Shakti; a tutelary deity. It is said that Hoysala rulers built the original shrine in the 12th century where else the tower was built by the Vijayanagar rulers in 17th century. Raising at 3,489 feet, one can drive, ride a public bus to Chamundi Hills or even take a flight of 1000 steps there. This beautiful decorated temple with its intricate carvings is the centre of worship to the Mysorians, fleet of buses from nearby states come to visit this stunning Chamundeshwari Temple daily shows how significant it is to them. The deity of the goddess inside is said to be made of gold of which I did not manage to pay a visit due to the overwhelming crowd.
Monks queuing.Chamundi Hills
Aside from Chamundeshwari Temple, on the way down you can see Nandi (the bull mount of Shiva) made from granite (located on the 800th step of the hill). At over 15 feet high, and 24 feet long, this statue of Nandi that carries bells around his neck was installed by a local monarch Dodda Devaraja in 1664, the same person who also built the steps. One can view Mysore panoramic view from here and it said to be one of the scenic area in and of the city. Stone carvers are seen by the street leading to the entrance selling miniature Nandi, gods and goddess at an affordable price.
Lalitha Mahal Palace
One can easily see Lalitha Mahal Palace from Chamundi Hills, built in 1921 by Maharaja of Mysore is the second largest palace in Mysore, this is also where the Maharaja receive elite guests from all over Europe. This elegant palace is base on Renaissance architectural style have been converted to an exclusive hotel in 1974.
An effort to take a close-up view.
While taking us around, we were told the history, the culture and folklore of each places by our knowledgeable tuk-tuk driver. Stopping every time hearing me shriek and ask whether I want to stop to take some pictures which normally ended with a ‘yes please, can we?’. And he’ll smile and say ‘take your time, enjoy my beautiful Mysore’.