Mysore city and it’s Palace

We were on our way to Coorg, and had to leave our train at Mysore. From Mysore to Coorg, we hopped on a bus and started on our journey.

Mysore – What a beautiful, green and amazingly clean city. It was a  rare pleasure to find a city that has well maintained, clean and large roads where people actually do follow traffic rules.

So then, we weren’t able to spend a lot of time here while we were on our way to Coorg but decided to see a few places on our way back to Chennai.

The minute we got off that bus heading back from Coorg, we hired an auto for a few hours (since that was all the time we had ) and asked him to take us to an authentic place to eat.

Cafe Aramane

We stopped here for an extremely late lunch – the food was great and the service was fast. The cafe or the restaurant per say was not all that fancy and, the area could have been utilized much much better but the food made up for everything. They serve a different and special type of dosa and rice every day. Belly full!

Jayachamarahendra Art Gallery

This place is simply explicit. Every little artifact and painting seemed to amaze me here. The ivory artifacts, all the painting made by the famous Raja Ravi Varna,  sandalwood sculptures, war and Kingdom crafts and the list can go on. The ‘glow of hope’ painting I felt was at-par with every other painting that made history and became famous. If you love history, art and architecture, this is the perfect place to be.
No photography allowed inside – for good reasons I guess.
The only sad part was that people had scribbled on the inside walls.

Mysore Palace – also known as Amba Vilas Palace

Of all the palace’s in India, this has to be on your ‘must-see’ list. I cannot begin to describe how rich, grand and marvelous this place is. It practically oozes of heritage from every inch and corner.

Located in the heart of the city, the palace has a blend of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic style of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower that is now made public as a museum. Apart is still kept private where the current royal family still stays. To get the best view of this place, you have to visit it on a Sunday evening – when they light the whole place making it shimmer even more.

Words cannot describe how beautiful this place is – and of course – kept super clean. Again, no photography allowed inside – they are quite strict about it too.

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Saint Philomena Church

Being on of the oldest church’s, Saint Philomana church is entirely built in the Gothic style is one of the largest Cathedrals in South Asia.

With a translucent aura, the twin towers of the church stand majestically at 175 feet and the beautifully carved marble altar contains the statue of Saint Philomena, which was brought from France. You can see many stained glass images depicting biblical events like birth of Jesus Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

When we went there, a mass was just getting over and I remember my body being filled with vibrations as I walked through the rooms inside and underground.

 

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Coorg-y Summer

After a shaky train ride from Chennai to Mysore and a beautiful & scenic 3 hour bus ride from Mysore to Virajpeth – Coorg, we were finally happy to unload ourselves in a small yet fully functioning cottage stay called Yedamakky Cottages.

After settling down and putting some fuel in our stomachs, we started our way towards the 2nd largest Tibetan  settlement in India – the Golden Temple – Nyingmapa  Monastery!

Let me just say that the travel from Virajpeth to Khushalnagar ( the name of the area where the Monastery is located) was simply horrendous – we had to travel for about 48 kms in a cramped up slow- moving bus with people stinking of sweat and cheap booz, stepping and falling on each other every other minute that took 2 hours in total to reach destination.

But the minute we saw the majestic Monastery and felt the sparkling aura of the same, all the rest was forgotten. . .

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Highlights – there was no ban on photography, it started to rain midday, we were lucky to hear a prayer and feast on the best momo’s we have had in a long time.

By the time we were done, it was almost 7 and the last bus had left an hour before :/
So, we took an auto. . . The longest and darkest auto ride we have ever had. . . We went through dark and lonely jungle roads, small villages, the ghat, hair-pin bends and what not. To top it all, it was a foggy cold creepy moonless night. Right out of a haunted movie scene! Plus it started to thunder and rain . . The night will not be forgotten. . (0_0)

Day 2 – we always tend to travel on a super tight budget, but, after yesterday’s bus horror, we decided to loosen our pockets a little and hired a car that took us to a few view points.

The car ride itself was a beautiful one as it was a little cloudy, the weather was breezy and soothing and the roads were clear. Not to mention, the greenery around was fantastic.

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First stop, Raja’s Seat.
I guess we went here in the wrong season. The view was nice but I’m sure we would have enjoyed it much more had it been raining or during the winters. Views like these always remind us that we are such small creatures – don’t they?

To thrill our childish side, we took a toy train ride that didn’t even last for 3 straight minutes.

View from Raja's Seat - Coorg

View from the Raja’s Seat.

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Next, we went to Abbey falls, where again, I guess we went in the wrong season. But, since it had rained quite heavily the earlier night, we were able to enjoy the sparkling waters.

 

Driving on, we stopped at the Madekeri fort and the exhibition of stone artifacts that was next to it. Post that, we were lucky to find a handicraft exhibition on our way and took a quick sneak peek of it.

 

After a heavy traditional Coorg lunch, we got back to our cottage just before it started to rain joined by a quick passing  hailstorm. Since the cottage is located amidst forest area, we had quite a nice view surrounding us.

 

When it cleared out a bit and while we still had light for some time, we headed out for a lazy stroll on the off beaten jungle paths. To our surprise, the view was even better than what we had imagined. The birds were singing, the insects were making some crazy noises and we were ready to run the minute we thought the dark clouds would head our way.

Back to pavilion, we made ourselves comfortable with cane chairs facing the far off view, fruit wine joined by scrumptious cottage made dinner.