On the way to the office and back to the hotel, a cab picks us up. We were with the same taxi driver for about two weeks and when we need to go somewhere during the weekend (ex. Wondela), we ask him if he could take us there (at our own expense, ofcourse). Unfortunately, he didn’t know his way around Mysore so he contacted his supervisor and arranged for someone to give us a tour (he’s so nice).
The weekend we went was the first day of the Dhasara Festival so we were expecting a lot of people in the city. It was a long drive. The cab driver (Murthy – I hope I spelled his name right) picked us up around 7:30AM and we arrived just before 12nn. On the way to Mysore, Murthy took us to a small restaurant for breakfast. We took our seats and we were handed the menu. I started checking for something I could eat when we found out that they only serve their “breakfast menu” at that hour. 😦 It was all Indian food. What’s worse is that there were no descriptions at all so we were left wondering what the heck those things were in the list. KC saw a photo of one of the food on the list that looked ok and ordered that. I got the same thing while praying that it wasn’t anything spicy. Our food arrived. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what it was called and I didn’t get to take a picture. 😦 It was like a very thin pancake (sorta like a crepe but not really) and it was served with two types of “sauce”. None of which I liked. I tried eating the thing on its own. It was ok. Edible enough for me to try eating it atleast. Needless to say I didn’t get to finish it.
For our first stop, Murthy took us to the Ranganatha Swamy Temple. On the way there, we passed some other structures including the place where Tipu Sultan was found dead. After taking a few pictures, we headed to the temple. You have to take off your footwear before entering the temple. We decided to keep our shoes on and just took pictures outside. Some of the people heading to the temple didn’t have any slippers on (less hassle, probably). I wonder how they could take the heat of the ground with their bare feet.
We then headed for Tipu’s Summer Palace. Entrance fee = Rs.100. It was really more like a vast garden. Lots of flowers and bees everywhere. The actual “palace” was made into a museum where paintings and old artifacts from Tipu’s time were displayed. They don’t allow taking photos or videos though. 😦
Then we went to St. Philomenas Church. A very beautiful cathedral that looks very medieval. Taking photos inside was not allowed which was too bad because it was also very pretty inside. At the side of the church is a catacomb. We’re not sure if it was allowed to go down but we didn’t dare to.
Murthy then took us to Mysore Zoo. It was a huge zoo. Walking around was tiring. Not to mention that it was already late and we didn’t have lunch yet. It was hard to take photos of the animals because of all the fences. I did have fun taking photos of some of the signs around the zoo warning people to stay away from the animals. There weren’t a lot of places to get food inside the zoo though and when we were already half-way to the exit, we were exhausted and hungry and cranky.
We tried looking for something to eat after getting out of the zoo. Murthy tried his hardest to find us some fastfood (McDo or KFC) but there weren’t any. He took us to a cafe instead but they didn’t have anything suitable for lunch. All I could order was brownies and strawberry iced tea (that tasted more like iced water). 😦
After the “snack”, we went to Mysore Palace. During Dhasara Festival, they turn on the lights of the palace at night that makes it look like Christmas. There were supposed to be parades with elephants too. We really wanted to see it. Unfortunately, it starts really late (around 8PM) and we were too tired and hungry to wait (not to mention the very long travel time back to Bangalore). We went inside and there were already a lot of people. We walked around a bit and took pictures outside. We were told that cameras are not allowed inside so we would have to deposit our cameras near the gates. I was hesitant at first because I got my DSLR and videocam with me. But I really wanted to see the inside of the palace so I relented. We deposited our cameras (free service) and they gave us a key. I just made sure that the key was safely tucked away.
On the way to the entrance of the palace, we noticed that footwear were scattered outside… In other words, we need to remove our shoes to enter the palace. Instead of leaving our shoes outside, we put them in our bags. Honestly, I didn’t get to appreciate it much. I mean, yes, it’s really beautiful inside. However, there were too many people pushing you around and we didn’t get a guide to explain what we were looking at. 😦 I really loved the interiors. I just wish I could’ve taken pictures (especially the throne room)… Speaking of which… there were cheaters. Some people brought their cameras inside and were able to take photos. So unfair! There were also some places that we didn’t get to explore. It was too crowded and I was getting dizzy.
Anyways, after exiting, we claimed our cameras and said goodbye to the palace. KC wanted to ride the elephants (Rs.50 for locals, Rs.100 for foreigners – yeah, go figure) but there was a long line. It would’ve been a nice experience, though.
We had a misunderstanding with Murthy and instead of heading back to Bangalore, he took us to a garden. I think it was Brindavan Gardens. BUT KC and I were too tired so we didn’t go in and asked him to just take us back to our hotel. Too bad. After another long drive, I went back to my room, took a long shower and orderd me some food. Hehe.