Saturday, April 26, 2014

Travel - Bangalore, Mysore and Srirangapatnam

It's been a while since I drove long. So I was wary, I wonder why. Early start on the 15th and we, Shobhs and Anjali and I, speeded off to Bangalore and reached same by 3 in the afternoon. It was the day of Visu and we were treated to sadyam, a fine meal, by Nisha and friends. Some relaxation later, we went and got some DVDs and watched the atrocious Hasee to Phasee. Next morning got me moving about a bit more but I noticed that Rajesh's book shelf was loaded so I decided to help myself - Habit, Eat the Frog, Kiss the Frog, Dhirubhaiism, Art of Cricket etc were all read up one after another interspersed by a couple more movies.
Cubbon Park
On the 18th I went and saw the Yanni concert. On the 19th morning we took off to Mysore and reached the place by 12. Had a bit of a lunch at Aruna's Dad's place and headed off to the Mysore palace. I saw this when I was a kid and now I got the full impact. Marvellous structure. We hired a guide for 350 bucks and he took us through all sorts of shortcuts and got us out. It was a long weekend and there was a huge crowd.
Maharaja Palace, Mysore
We also dropped in at the cute little Railway museum and checked out the Maharani's saloon etc. Also a ride on a toy train.
Maharani saloon and the Maharani
At night we checked out the palace again - this time fully lit up. There was a sound and light show in Kannada which I could not fully get. But when the lights came on, it was well worth the wait.
Palace at night
Next morning we headed up the Chamundi hills, saw the wonderful Nandi and then went to the much recommended Mysore zoo.
Nandi at Chamundi Hills
This is a small zoo but well kept and well designed. Of course it does make you feel rather sad to see the animals all alone in their enclosures and Anjali wondered how they must be feeling away from families. Tragic stuff. To ease our consciences we bought some expensive stuffed toys and returned.
Chamundi temple
On the way back I stopped at Srirangapatnam and we saw the tomb of Tipu Sultan, next to the tomb of Hyder Ali (his father) and his mother. I was not too keen on the other sights in  Srirangapatnam and we headed out, picked some vadas in Maddur and zoomed back to Bengaluru.
Tipu Sultan's tomb at Srirangapatnam
Travelling on the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway, you shell out over 600 bucks for toll which is about a buck a km which is fine. All the culverts are at some angle to the road and I wonder why. Also stick to the centre of the road because I noticed a couple of bikes and people stepping out from behind the bushes on the median quite casually. One bike almost did us in. Suicidal chaps. Watch out for the culverts - bad design. I suspect that the bus accident which claimed many lives was due to one of these shaky designs.

Bangalore- Mysore has no toll but the road is full of traffic and speedbreakers. You'll never be able to hit the gas on that road. Felt sad I could not go to Coorg, but next time.

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