Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mysore - the British came, built palaces and left!

Although, Mysore is the city of palaces, we only visited the most famous, which was built, destroyed, rebuilt several times since its original conception in the 14th century. The current structure was erected by a Brit, Henry Irvine. The current Mysore "royal" family still live in part of the palace.
It's a truly magnificent building both inside and out - but no cameras are allowed inside. The decoration inside is stunning: ceilings, windows, walls, doors and floors all have paintings, stained glass, engravings, inlays, carvings - the works - well worth a visit.
Next, the boys got a choice: camel or elephant? They went for an elephant ride.
This was a very well trained elephant; he would curl up a rupee note in his trunk and pass it over his head to his master.
 We then drove out of town, up Chamundi Hill, from which you get a spectacular view of Mysore. Unfortunately my pics didn't do the view justice. Mysore, being a much smaller town than Bangalore and lot less cosmopolitan, meant we were more conspicuous. A group of young turks wanted their pic taken with my white, westerner Simon, until they saw the younger model. Simon was then brushed aside and Adam became the subject of multiple pictures and poses.
At the top of the hill is a beautiful Hindi temple, honoring the goddess of Chamundi, who in folklore killed the demon king of Mysore in a fierce battle. There is a fearsome idol of her wearing a necklace of skulls.
Ads turned into my Bindi boy with bindis on his face and neck and the traditional red strings round his wrist, given by this lovely rolly polly guy!
As we didn't want to be home too late, as the next day Ads was leaving for 5 days under canvas in the hills on a school leadership camp (where he still is - I am counting the nights!!!), we left the other delights of Mysore for another visit.

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