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[Comments] (3) Mysore: We are back from our New Year's road trip to Mysore. (Pictures here, here and here.) We had a great visit. The city is not very far away, but we live on the wrong side of Bangalore and the traffic (in the city) and the roads (everywhere) are terrible, so it's about a 4 hour trip.

We left Saturday morning, later than planned because this is India after all. Maggie threw up three times in the car on the way there. We went straight to the Mysore zoo where we saw elephants playing in the water, an otter rolling in the dirt, giraffes, dozens of crocodiles, and some tigers. I wished I'd taken more pictures of the hilarious signs. "Don't climb in the cage. The zebra will attack you [diagram of man being gored by zebra] and you will be punished [man being dragged away, bleeding, by security]."

After the zoo we drove out to Brindavan Gardens, stopping to see a waterfall on the way. It was nearly dark by the time we got to the gardens. We bought some scalped tickets, and hopped on a boat across the lake. Dalton got to drive. The gardens are at the foot of a dam, which provides power to Mysore and water supply to most of Karnataka. We watched a fountain/music/lights show. Not very impressive, but we had fun. By then it was completely dark, so we walked around and looked at the other fountains, before heading back into the city to stay with Sumana's mother, Nagalakshmi.

We had a very nice stay at Nagalakshmi's house. She had plenty of space for us, and plenty of food (though we sadly couldn't enjoy it as much as we wished). She was a very gracious and hospitable host. She also gave me a beautiful silk sari, and bought the kids some adorable Indian outfits, and gave John a comfy shawl.

On Sunday we went to Chamundi Hill. We saw some monkeys, climbed the last set of stairs up to the temple, and enjoyed the view. We did not pay to enter the temple, or wait in the line. At this point, we taught Maggie (and John) to not let anyone hand you anything. Dalton didn't learn this lesson and ended up with a temple offering when we visited the Bull Temple next. I insisted we didn't want it and put it back in the guy's basket. I'm all about supporting the local economy, but it's not my fault if he gives me 1 year old a carnation and he throws it on the ground.

After the temple, we took a rest, then went to Mysore Palace. Here's the rub: The entrance fee is Rs20 for Indian nationals, and Rs200 for Foreigners. Of course, $4 is cheaper than any museum in the US, so whatever. The palace was amazing. No photos (or shoes...) allowed inside, but I will tell you it is richly decorated, huge, and has beautiful etched glass and stained glass windows. The tour hardly covers any of it.

After the tour, we went on camel rides and another elephant ride, because we are nice parents. The elephant ride was quite a bit more than at the zoo last week, but I always say, "it cost us thousands of dollars to get here, $2 really isn't that much." John went and picked up our shoes while we waited for the rides, so you will see that everyone else is still barefoot. The camel ride was fun (and only 40 cents each), though John was worried Maggie would fall off and I was worried Dalton would fall off. The elephant ride was very wobbly and uncomfortable.

We hung out at the palace until dark to see it lit up. While waiting, we got toy autorickshaws for the kids. When I first asked how much, the seller said, Rs200. We ended up paying 80. Then, when the kids fought over it, we sent our driver back to the market with Rs40 and he got another for Rs35. The kids love their new little toys and it is quintessential India.

The lights on the Palace were pretty cool. No fireworks or anything, just lights. Dalton just about went crazy while we waited. We had more pictures taken of us on Sunday than we took of anything else. Poor Maggie has learned to say "No!"

On Monday, I went with Nagalakshmi to her tailor. The sari fabric is woven in one long yardage (meterage?), with the fabric for the blouse on the end. So the tailor cuts that off, makes a blouse out of it, and hems the end of the sari. Pretty neat! After being measured, we bought clothes for the kids. Then Sandeep (our driver) took us to the Deveraja Market. This market sells fruits, vegetables, bangles, flowers, and kumkum powder... that's about it. I went back in and bought some of the powder to use in painting with Maggie. Then we went on a pony cart ride around the Palace.

The drive back was a little better because Maggie fell asleep and didn't throw up. We're glad to be home and ready to start the new year.


© 1999-2023 Susanna Chadwick.