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Mysore, the City of Palaces

After the hectic first week at work, include some crisis as well on Saturday, I am glad that my initial plan to have a day tour via Mysore was still able to proceed as usual. Thanks to Anil for the day tour arrangement, which we get Anantha as our full day driver to cover the itinerary in the city with a very reasonable price compare to the one offered by hotel.

Jason will be joining me for this trip as usual. He is also Inteler from Taiwan that visited Bangalore due to business needs as well. Both of us never know each other but it is obvious and rare to meet another fellow Chinese here in India office. After some chit chat it happened to be both of us also staying at same hotel, hence we start to get along during dinner as well as having some basketball with local friends which was fun. Originally, he was reluctant to have any out skirt visit, but since there is a pal now, we agree to have the visit together.

Distance from Bangalore to Mysore was just around 150 KM, but due to traffic jam and road condition, it took us around 3 hours to reach our destination.

Trying the local milk tea while having break in the middle of the journey.

Our ride of the day, Toyota Etios.

Anantha first took us to a spot, which highlighted as the death place of Tipu Sultan. Tipu Sultan was a rule of Kingdom of Mysore, and was killed when defending his capital against British on 4th of May, 1799. His death place was just 300 yards away from Srirangapatna Fort, which came to prominence during the rule of Tipu Sultan. The river Kaveri surrounds the fort in one of the sides. The fort is protected in the West and Northern directions by river Cauvery. The fort had Lal Mahal and Tipu's palace, which were demolished during the British capture of 1799. There are seven outlets and two dungeons here in the fort.

Within the fort, there was a sacred temple call the Ranganthaswamy temple dedicated to the Hindu god Ranganatha, which also a manifestation of the god of Vishnu. Both of us just have a slight walk on the street to the entrance and did not make it into the temple as the crowd is very long. Before leaving the fort, we stop by a beautiful park for some walk and photo snapping. The grass is very green and well maintained here, and a lot of local enjoying themselves very much by just walking around here.

The description of the place where Tipu Sultan's body was found.

A tomb dedicated to Tipu Sultan here, but he is not buried here anyway.

Once Tipu Sultan's palace here but it was being demolished by the British after the defeat.

Lot of horse riding opportunity everywhere in the fort.

The Ranganathaswamy temple.

Sneak peak into the entrance.

Counter to store your shoes before walk in to the temple.

Overseeing Ranganathaswamy temple from the street.

Have a walk in this garden before moving out from the fort area.

Group of kids gather up high on the tunnel.

Lovely kids saying hi and smile at us.

There's always light at the end of the tunnel.

Great outing place for family and friends.

Next we head up directly to Chamunding Hill, with the main attraction point to be Chamundeshwari Temple sits atop of the mail hill. The Temple has a quadrangular structure. A key feature is the statue of Mahishasura bearing a sword in his right hand and a cobra in the left. Within the temple's sanctum stands a sculpted depiction of Chamundeshwari. She is seated with her right heel pressed against the lowest of the seven chakras. This cross-legged yogic posture echoes the posture of Lord Shiva. Worshipers believe that this powerful yogic posture, if mastered, provides an added dimensional view of the universe.

Anantha drove us directly at Devi Kere so that we only have to short walks via stairs to reach the temple. It was so crowded and a guy name Raju approach for an offer to escort us in using special entrance for the visit inside the temple. He told us that today was a special day dedicated to Shiva's wife, Parvati hence there are lots of devotees head over to temple for the prayer.

Even with special entrance, both of us still have to stuck for quite sometimes before make it inside the temple. When you thought that it is loose in there, think again! The long queue continue inside the temple itself! There was a hallway that everyone potentially have a few seconds of time to do their prayer on the holy statue in the main temple, but unfortunately photo is not allowed in there. We being blessed with flowers and holy water following traditional Hindu ritual, it is still quite familiar for me but for Jason, it was truly one amazing experience as he never really get into this before.

As usual after the special guidance, Raju sold us some postcards which he highlighted the income will go to support poor children around the hill for their educational fees, and demanding some tips from us as well. Overall, we spend around 600 rupees here per head, but rewarded with some awesome experience, and save a lot of time seriously. Worth it after all.

Me and Jason via view point on the way to the Chamundeshwari temple.

A monkey eating a coconut.

Following the crowd toward the direction of the temple.

Sheep resting on the road side.

Exterior of Chamundeshwari temple.

Counter to store our shoes.

Lots of devotee queuing to enter the temple.

This was the queue to enter the temple, even with special entrance.

Part of the temple still under construction.

Queue continue inside the temple.

To the left was the main hallway to witness the holy statue.

Close up on the main temple.

Jason having a great experience on the local Hindu traditional prayer ritual.

This should be the main entrance, but it was closed during that time.

Sneak peak to the carving on the steel door.

Me and Jason in front of Chamundeshwari temple.

The crowd waited to enter the temple after we came out.

There are no signs that the crowd going to reduce any moment soon here.

Stop by at statue of bull Nandi, the vahana, or "vehicle" of Lord Shiva, which is 4.9m tall and 7.6m long and carved out of a single piece of black granite on the way down hill.

After the down hill Anantha bring us to visit sand and wax museum here in Mysore city, but to precise nothing much to see here. But since he very eager to bring us there, we just pay for the ticket which luckily is not expensive, and have a quick walk in those museum, less than 15 minutes per museum. If you don't have much time, you are advice to skip those in my opinion.

Next Anantha stop us on one of the tallest church in whole Asia, St. Philomena's Cathedral. The full name of the church is the Cathedral of St. Joseph and St. Philomena, hence it is also known as St. Joseph's Cathedral. It was constructed in 1936 using a Neo Gothic style and its architecture was inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. I am very impress with this architecture, for a split second it make me feel that I am in Europe country for real.

One of the cornet inside the sand museum.

Best wax portrait in the museum, Gandhi.

St. Philomena's Cathedral in Mysore.

St. Philomena's statue.

Very grand church that make you feel that you was in Europe country.

St. Joseph statue.

Some information on the church.

Rear wing of the church.

The twin spires of the Cathedral, 175 feet in height, are seen from miles around making it a distinctive city landmark.

View from far right toward the church.

Last peek on the beautiful cathedral before heading to for our lunch.

Chamundi Hill - India

May 2017

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