Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mysore Trip with Pradeepa and Family.

Achtung!: Long Post below, If you just wanted to see the photos, here it is:
Mysore Trip with Pradeepa and family.

Just the previous day, I called up Pradeepa and asked if we could do something about the 4 days of holidays that we have (Oct 9~12) and decided that we would just get out of Banglalore. So we planned not to plan anything and leave the rest of it to surprises.

Day 1: Thursday: Oct 9th
So the 'Awesome Twosome' families of Pradeep and mine inclusive of all P(t)axes (Usha, Pratyusha, Soujanya and Pooja) left Bangalore at 5 PM from our apartment. Doctor Pradeep B.S, [MD (Community Medicine), MBBS, Car driver], was in full mood as things started working right from the start of the day. Praveen (Pradeepa's elder brother) gave the PetroCard to us to fuel the car right through our travel which meant that we didnt have to worry of the paying for the fuel through our nose!.

We reached Mysore by around 8:30 PM and the Mysore greeted with the world famous "Dasara" Celebrations. Vijayadashami day, the streets were garlanded with lamps making it a sight to behold. It was majestic and the momment you entered the roads adjacent to the palace, you could see thousands of folks moving up and down in abosolute festivity.

We finally reached the place of overnight stay, Usha's Chikamma's house. After a warm reception, we met up with the folks and introduced ourselves over the dinner and that got us comfortable right from the word go. Vijay and Prasad joined us for dinner and Prasad extended us help by becoming the 'official guide' for next few days to take us around Mysore. Vijay is Usha's elder brother who is a dentist (MDS) now settled in Mysore while Prasad is Usha's maternal cousin who stays at H.D.Kote managing the farms and also into Real estate consultancy as well.

We tried in vain to hit the sack early, thanks to the tantrums of Pooja, the whole neighbourhood went sleepless till about 12:30 in the night.

Day 2: Friday: Oct 10th
We started about 9 AM in the morning with mouthwatering Masala dosas prepared at home. It was Praschi's (Prasad) birthday as well, so wished him our best wishes. We filled the petrol for our car to the brim while hailing Praveen for the next few minutes. (Long live Petro card). Our first stop was the house of Prasad's in-Laws house where we got a chance to meet his Kid and wife. We also went to a neighbours house where we saw the "thotti mane". A unique design of the house where the center roof of the house is open to the skies so that light and rain directly hit the floor inside the house, giving it a courtyard type of feel. Amazing design, mostly seen in South Indian films.

Next stop was the Kapila Reservoir. Not much of water in store as the catchment areas haven't received enough rain this time, so the crest gates were still closed. Irrespective, the Kabini Dam looked to extend towards both sides to a kilometer each from where we stood. Huge dam. Unfortunately, the security folks did not allow us the permission to walk over the Dam due to their constraints. Irrespective, it was a nice place to have seen. On our way back, we made a quick few stops on the backwaters of this dam, where we took a few snaps.

It was almost time for lunch and Prasad took us to his home in H.D.Kote where we had stumptous lunch and refreshed ourselves from the simmering and sultry heat. We met with their folks and spent a good time with them. For our way back, his folks packed lipsmakin' hot 'Chillie Bajjis'.

Next we came across the Nugu Dam. Built across the Nugu river, An unknown reservoir with is built only for irrigational purposes. The actual name was 'Brigu' (after the sage Brigu maharshi, but got lost in the accent of the localites and is better known as Nugu). The water was crystal clean and blue. Acres of paddy fields all around. On our way back, we got into one of the paddy fields nearby, just to take a few snaps. The greens were so irresistable and tempting.

We also found trees along the paddy field with tree houses. Thats because H.D.Kote is where the wild elephants live in close proximity to the human population and are frequent visitors to these fields. In order to protect the fields, security staff live on these tree houses to scare the pachyderms away. This also brought back memories of Heggada Devana Kote being the center of "Khedda" operations where wild elephants were caught and tamed.

The next stop was the backwaters of Nugu, which looked like an unending lake. Pooja played for a while on the shores and before she had her full (which never seemed to be even remotely close after 15 mins) we had to literally, 'tow' her away out of the place. About 30 mins into the drive, we were climbing the "Chikkamma Devaru" hills. After a risky steep drive, we found a small temple with very few visitors. A small temple that it is, it has a whole lot of visitors on Fridays and Tuesdays. But the temple itself is not why you need to be here. On the setting sun, about 1000 ft above the ground, this place opens up to the sky. The view was breathtaking as you could see the Kabini reservoir at the far end, the Nugu backwaters and the unending flat green paddy fields surroundings us by 360 degrees. Such an awesome place. We spent quite a while enjoying the scenes and the camera went hot clicking almost every second.

After an eventful day, we got back onto our car and the rain gods showed some mercy on us and threw some drizzle to cool the hot air for a while. Absolute Paradise!. In about an hour and half, we were back to "our" home in Mysore. Usha's Chikamma was ready with the dinner. The speciality was the fried cury of Beans, Carrots and Onions with coconut gratings ! With rice and desi ghee, it made such a good combination, I wish I could attach it along with this blog for the world to taste. Without further ado, all of us hogged as if there was no tomorrow. Thanks to the tired souls, we hit the sacks early and the next thing we know off, it was 6 AM the next day.

Day 3: Saturday: Oct 11th
After a heavy breakfast of Idlies, our team left for Gopalaswamy Himavad Parvatha. On our way, we touched Nanjangud, and Gundlupet before climbing the hills. It was a beautiful drive and when we started climing the hills, we realized how thick the jungles were. And then Pradeepa stopped the car for a momment and pointed us towards a couple of elephants enjoying their breakfast. The gentle giants stood there about half a kilometer away on a mountainous terrain. To see an elephant in it's wild is always fun. As we continued our upward climb, the air started to cool, the winds got heavy and the tree branches got covered with a thick layer of green moss, an indication that these regions are generally are always under mist. In about 15 minutes we were on the top of this hill which houses the Gopalaswamy Himavad Parvatha Temple. This temple is mostly covered under a blanket of cloud all most all the time and hence the apt name "himavad parvatha" meaning "peak coverd in mist". Gopala Swamy (Krishna) is the deity here and hence the name Gopalaswamy Himavad Parvatha. Lord Krishna is playing his flute here and for the fist time, looks good (and handsome too!) in comparison with other idols of Krishna across temples. The temple has a huge front yard open to the skies and offering a breathtaking view of the serene surroundings. The cool air and cold temperature makes you feel you are in Ooty or Kodaikanal for a while. And frankly, it was no different. Unfortunately, the temple is at it's best during the early mornings as one can see the clouds dashing the temple itself. But we were there only by noon and missed them. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed the cool environs of this place. One thing to remember is that not a whole lot of Bangalore folks know about this place (yet, I believe). So if somebody is planning to go towards Mysore, they should include this place in their wishlist. Before we knew, the camera got rolling again with whole lot of snaps from every angle. A location worth visiting.

In the next 30 minutes, we reached the foot hills and reached Gundlupet where we had our lunch and moved on over to Nanjangud for a pitstop, where I bought "Nanjangud Hallpudi !!!" (Anything bought at the source is worth it !). Its a Toothpowder prepared here by an Ayurvedic doctor and I remember using this as kids. It has that unusual tinge that tastebuds gets confused and cant deciper. I couldn't have imagined going back without buying them as novelties from this place. Just when I thought my shopping was done, Pradeepa reminded me of the "Nanjangud bananas", again famous here and it didnt take too long for us to devour half a dozen each. The ladies now demanded that they needed to do their bit of shopping and held us gunpoint to take them to the Mysore Silk Saree Showroom.

So we reached Mysore's famous Mysore Silk Weavers Corporation Wearhouse, the place where the world famous Mysore Silk sarees are made and sold. Our womenfolks who held us gunpoint, were ambushed by the price tags on each one of the sarees as the starting price for a saree was about 3.5K. A decent saree was tagged at about 6K, which by gods grace our ladies felt was a bit high priced (brand name). I wiped my cold sweat as I regained my lost smiles and drove the folks as fast as I could just incase that they dont change their mind. At the same time, we also felt sad for the ladies that we could not get them a good deal on the sarees as we had come with so much of hope and aspirations of buying them one. Well, with half a smile and half a frown, we then moved to 'Urs' road, equivalent of the M.G. Road of Bangalore, we packed a few sweets and namkeens for our hosts back at Mysore.

We reached our home, met with the folks and refreshed in about 30 minutes and were back in the car by 6:30 PM. The idea was to watch the Mysore Palace in all it's glory under the lights and visit the huge exhibition right in front of the palace. Saturday - 6:30 PM - Dasara Season - going towards the palace ? (Something told us we must be nuts ). Well that's what we realized as we caught up in a huge traffic jam leading us nowhere as the whole of Mysore and other places was exactly there. Suddenly the huge roads of Mysore chocked up and made us feel like we were in Bangalore. It took us a good 45 mins to move to a place where we could breathe. We passed the Palace main gates still under lights and before we could arrest the beauty of it, the lights went off on dot at 8 PM. Adding salt over injury, the rains started pouring cats and dogs. Man!, this is not how we thought the day would end.

Pradeepa bieing Pradeepa, asked us to get down and buy tickets to the exhibition while he would park the vehicle "Somewhere" and "find us" in the exhibition among a few million crowd! And we did that (Dont know what would have happened if we did not heed to his words at that time). Pradeepa and Usha rejoined in about 20 short minutes inside the exhibition. For once, we felt that we are proud of the mobile phone services, and that we were never apart. The famous Dasara exhibition showcased a whole lot of shops ranging from jewellery, household, carpets, kitchen utilities, garments. Not to forget the quick chats, juices and snacks followed by kids section with merry-go-rounds, columbus, boat rides, monorail and others as well. This time, the government had decked up this place more beautifully than ever with water fountains, information booths, public address systems, toilets and phone facilities as well. A good step forward. I leart from Pradeepa that they had spent crores on just the garlanded lighting of the roads and government had announced a reward for the most well lit buildings. A move to attract a whole lot of visitors paid off.
We went back home at about 12 in the night, and were received by Raja and his wife (Cousin of Usha, who lives in Banglore). After a few rounds of discussions, we were back to our rooms after bading goodbye to the wonderfull hosts.

Day 4: Sunday, Oct 12th
We got up early and so that we could spend some time with the hosts. Usha's uncle Sri.Rudraswamy is a Proffessor of Political Science, now retired and Usha's Chikamma (Smt. Nirmala) manages the house, while Cousin brother Raja is a Physiotherapist, and Raja's wife Ms. Vanamala is a Dentist. Other daughter is also a Dentist and so is their Son in Law. Over all, the whole family is into serving the people through their profession. While the time we stayed there, we never felt that we were away from our home. Such homely was the treatment and the company was so good and it felt as it we knew them from years.

Vijay and Prasad were also present in the morning before we packed our bags to bade us goodbye. By about 9 AM, we took leave of the folks after a group photograph.

The next agenda was to checkout the Masaladosa from the 'Mylari Hotel'. A family known as 'Mylari' runs this business which shot into fame because of the taste of their Masala dosas they serve. A small hotel with a seating capacity of less than 15, we found more number of people waiting outside just to get inside!. And we were among those ones. Then we got to know that the Mylari family has another outlet managed by one of their brothers and this was just diagonally opposite to the one we were standing in the queue for sometime now. We tried getting into that and luck did not favour us there either, as the crowd was still the same. If one hotel has their signboards as "Mylari hotel (original and we dont have any branches)", the diagonally opposite hotel states in bold, "Original Mylari hotel". This seems to be working on the same lines of the 'Reliance Sons' model!. While the question on which is the Original Mylari hotel needs to be answered, we thought it would be better off to move to a different hotel. And so we did, after waiting for an hour, we moved into another Masala dosa speciality hotel, the Gayathri Tiffin Room (GTR). Though it was crowded too, we managed to sneak in and have a wonderfull breakfast here. And true to the name, the Masaladosa matched up to the expecations. The day being Prathyusha's first birthday, Pradeepa ordered a whole lot of sweets and were good too. With a solid breakfast, we left Mysore at about 11 AM. The drive back home was smooth and by 2.30 PM, we were back to our home in Bangalore.

That was the end of a wonderful trip or just the begining.

In retrospect, I realize that for trips which are almost risk free should never be planned in advance. Planning kills a whole lot of surprises and converts them into expectations. On such trips, the motive becomes to meet the milestone rather than enjoying them. The only expectation from our trip was to be with people of the same mentality and take timeout from Banagalore and I think that we exceeded that in all sense. All of these would not have been possible without the cooperation of our ladies. Special thanks Pradeepa for taking control of the wheel right from the momment we started till the time we reached Bangalore.

Wish the rest of the Pancham gang was a party to this trip. Missing Ande, Shashi and Hegde.

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At 10:52 AM, April 06, 2013, Blogger Unknown said...

hi dear,
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At 3:54 PM, May 22, 2015, Blogger Unknown said...

Wow..Seems like you had a great time on your trip to Mysore trip. Numerous places to visit in Mysore makes sure the tourists the natural beauty of the city at best.

At 12:13 PM, June 06, 2018, Blogger Unknown said...

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