Saturday, May 05, 2012

2 day Summer Trip to Mysore and nearby temple towns.

Taking advantage of the Tuesday May day holiday, we made quick arrangements to get out of Bangalore for a couple of days.

Pooja had been asking for a long time to visit the Mysore Zoo and also there were these small towns that we always wanted to visit but never got accomplished and so we put in a plan to complete those this time.

We pulled in my parents and Soujanya's parents as well, so that they get some time out as well. One thing about Mysore is that, it is such an inviting place that no matter how many times you have been there already, there is always this inner desire that pulls you back to that place. Not sure if others have felt the same.

Plan was to visit the Mysore zoo and KRS on Day 1 and visit T.Narasipur, Talakaadu and Somnathpura on Day 2. As always, we reached out to Netravathi Travels and promptly was given an Toyota Innova (7+1 seating configuration).

Day 1: Sunday -29th April, 2012:
We all (Anna, Amma, FIL, MIL, Soujanya, Pooja and moi) left Bangalore by 6:15 AM the first break was at Maddur's Adigas. Many steaming Idlis, Spicy Vade Sambhar, and lip-smacking Masala Dosas onwards, we reached Mysore by 10:30 AM.

First stop was the Mysore Zoo. No matter how many times you visit the zoo, you never get bored to pay to your dear cousins. The first sight of the Giraffe's at the entrance of the zoo is such a wonderful sight. Heard that Mysore had received its first showers a couple of days back in Mysore and the cloudy outcast day it was, made the Peacocks dance with glee. Its absolute magic when you see them open their feathers and dance. They will definitely put 'Munni' and 'Anarkalis' to shame, on any given day! It was the first time that Soujanya and Pooja ever saw them dance and it was just good luck. The entire circuit took us about 4 hours before our legs tired out. We got back into our car and headed out to our hotel by 2 PM.

We had booked 'Hotel Siddartha' @ Nazarabad, a pretty decent accommodation I must say. They serve pure Vegetarian food in the restaurant and has been rated one of the better hotels to stay and dine. So quickly refreshed ourselves and then had a good lunch. We took a short nap and left Mysore for Brindavan Gardens/KRS by 5 PM.

KRS/Brindavan happened to be one of the places that Souji's parents visited long time back and wanted to revisit. The weather was pretty helpful with a bursts of wind breezing through the gardens keeping us comfortable in the humid outcast evening. The fountains still have retained the old charm and the lightings have gotten better. We were just in time for 'Light and Sound' section and walked all the way to the other end of the gardens passing through 100s of fountains well lit and brightly coloured. The usual routine of taking photos near every passing fountain was the 'in-thing' for most of the visitors (me included!). The Sunday crowd and rush was maddening, but it was fun as well. My MIL, FIL went nostalgic for quite a while at the gardens and were very impressed with this visit. So were the others. We sat down at the top of the hill for a while to watch the beautiful gardens and sink in the colors of the night. We left KRS by 8:30 and reached Mysore by 9:30 PM.

With most hotels out of stock of food by 9:30 PM on Sunday, we settled with Snacks (Masala Dosas) at Hotel Ashoka, an old hotel and finally hit the sacks by 10:30.

Day 1: Monday -30th April, 2012:
We checked out of the hotel by 9:00 AM after having a good breakfast at Siddharta and left for T.Narasipura, about 35 KMS from Mysore. The drive past the banks of river Cauvery and acres of lush green paddy fields were so relaxing and invigorating. We reached T.Narasipura's 'Gunja Narasimha Temple' by 10 and completed the darshan in half an hour. There was absolutely no crowd whatsoever ever and it was a delight to visit old and famous temples where you get a good 1 on 1 face-time with the lord. The temple is right across the River Cauvery and makes a very pleasant setting. More information on T.Narasipura here:

Just outside the temple is the regular Peepal tree almost towards the banks of the river. We rested there for a few minutes and saw some guy just getting started with his day, with a basket of mini sized ‘Sindhoora’ mangoes for selling, hung to the back of his bicycle.  And I don't have to explain what happened next, when mango loving monkeys like us, sitting under a Peepal tree, jobless in T.Narasipura on a hot day near the banks of Cauvery!. B-u-r-r-r-p!

Next stop was Talakaadu which took us another 30-40 minutes from T.Narasipur. The usual routine of getting hassled by local 'tour guides' and after managing to escape 2 or 3 of them, we got completely hijacked by this 'mini-frame, nano size' size kid who seized our water bottles and bags and started narrating stories before even starting a negotiation his contract. He was an absolute winner with a good sense of humour, witty and adorable! He took us around all the 5 temples (‘Panchalinga Darshana’) of ‘Vaidyanatheshwara’, ‘Paathaleshwara’, ‘Maraleshwara’, ‘Arkeshwara’, and the ‘Mallikarjuna’ temples in an orderly and very neat fashion. We were very impressed with his style of narration of the stories, historical significance, associations with other temples and his general understanding as a whole. Having said, it was sad to see that while we were walking with shoes on the fiery hot sand. We made sure he was paid handsomely for a job well done and repeatedly asked him to continue his education and not quit. Overall, a great guide and it definitely helped us understand the history and greatness of Talakaadu!. One can get more info here:

We had a lunch at a small ‘Udupi Brahmin's mess, just across the road, from the Vaidyanatheshwara temple. The house cum hotel has been operational since 30 odd years and happens to be the only place where you can have good Pure Veg food. No Garlic either! At Rs. 45, serving authentic South Indian lunch on a Plantain leaf, in a pure Village thatched roof home setting, what else could you wish for! Heavenly stuff.

After a wonderful lunch, we headed to Somnathpura another 35 KMS away from Talakaadu, where we saw the beautiful Somanatheshwara temple. The amazingly carved temples depicts the style and grace of the architectural masterpiece of the Hoysala dynasty to the fullest. Unfortunately, there is no worshipping in the temple here as the main 3 deities are all disfigured by barbaric Muslim invaders. The carvings on the outer perimeter of the star shaped platform has atleast a 1000 carvings of gods and goddesses on every face of the temple and every one of them has been disfigured. It’s such a horrible and depressing feeling when you see the kind of damage done to these idols. When you see such things, the hatredness against those intolerant cultures peaks up and then after a while, you come back into the real world and just get over with it. More reading on Somnathpura here:

We were done with the Somanatha temple by 4:30 PM and suddenly we found that we had enough time to visit something else along the way, before we headed back to Bangalore. Anna insisted that we could take a shot at visiting 'Melkote' even though it was a bit off the route that we had come along. But since my in-laws had not seen the temple, we decided we would cover 'Melkote' and then return to Bangalore. So we went past Bannur, Sree Rangapatna, Pandavapura and finally reached Melkote in an hour. The temple was almost getting closed and we somehow scraped inside and with absolutely no crowd, the darshan was very quick and man, the deity 'Melkote Chaluva Narayana' looks smart!. He really stands tall and handsome I must say. One of the better looking gods among the ones that I have seen till date. Apt for the name 'Chaluva Narayana'. We were out of the temple by 6 PM and the next important thing for which I was here (Puliyogare and Sakre Pongal!). Unfortunately, there was nobody selling it as Prasad inside the temple premises and the small town was almost desolate at 6 PM. We enquired around a few houses where they sell Puliyogare, but they were out of stock. Amma was able to trace the 'Subramanya mess', a small eatery which prepares the mouthwatering Puliyogare and Sakre Pongal and as our luck could have had it, they were almost sold out too except for 2 plates full. So we got those 2 places of Puliyogare packed, bought a KG of the 'Gojju' for the families. More reading on Melkote here:

We left Melkote by 6:45 and reached Bangalore by 9:30 PM. Overall, we were able to make this trip with very little planning and the best part was the company of parents and in-laws which made the trip special. The last time we made a trip together was about 4 years back when we made the trip to Udupi and the coastal section of Karnataka.

Here are some selected photos taken during the trip.

Summer Trip to Mysore Zoo, KRS and T.Narasipur

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At 5:15 PM, August 23, 2013, Blogger Unknown said...

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At 7:50 PM, January 26, 2015, Blogger Unknown said...

Wow..very nice narration, sounds like you had a lot of fun in your Mysore trip. Mysore is a rich city deplete with royalty and travellers have numerous options to choose from in terms of hotels in Mysore.


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