Incredible India 11 – Mysore – Day 2

Atop the Chamundi Hills of Mysore is the Chamundeshwari temple.  Chamundi is the fierce form of the god Shakti.  She is the slayer of demons. 

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This is a statue of Mahishasura.  The legend is that the goddess Chamundi killed Mahishasura, a king of Mysore.

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Though a temple has been here for ages, this tall tower was built in 1827.

We passed lots of flower stalls on the walk up to the temple.  Worshippers buy flowers and coconuts for offerings.

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The temple inside is small and the spaces are disjointed.  It’s clearly not meant to be like the open space in a church or mosque.  You snake along with the crowd, leave your gift, peek at the god and move on.

It is like a street fair outside. 

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Nearby is Nandi (the bull mount of Shiva).  This statue is actually white granite but has been blackened over the years by people rubbing it with oil.  It is over 15 feet tall and 24 feet long. 

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The Mysore Palace was originally built in the 14th century.  It has been rebuilt many times, the latest was after a fire in 1897.  Completed in 1912 and expanded in 1940, the architecture is Indo-Saracenic, a blending of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic styles. 

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Mysore Palace gate C

This is looking back at the main gate.

No photos are allowed inside but I found these online.  Thank you IndiaOuting.com.

golden-throne  The throne room.

mysore-palace-interior  beautiful-dome

 

DSC09914 C        We travel to Kerala next!

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Incredible India 10 – Mysore – Day 1

Our tour headed south.  We flew from Jaipur to Bangalore and then took a long bus ride to the city of Mysore.  The roads seemed in better repair here and we thought there was less trash than in the northern cities.  More cows though!

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This was the view from our room.  The mesh screen is there to keep birds off of the window ledge.  Lots of green here.  It was much hotter and more humid too.  Our hotel was great, which was a blessing as Will suffered a sick day from food poisoning.  Not sure what he ate but it laid him low and he missed the tour to Somnathpur.

The village of Somnathpur is home to Keshava, an elaborate and intricately sculptured Hindu temple built in 1268. 

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This porch is the gate into the walled enclosure.  It was smaller than I expected.  There were no big crowds so it had a more intimate feeling.  The temple is built on a star shaped platform and is completely covered in carvings.

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Inside, the temple is close, dark and could be claustrophobic.

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DSC09948 C  I love all the elephants!

 

The countryside surrounding Mysore……..

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We stopped to see sugar being produced.  The cane is cooked down and the slurry is spread out to dry on cut logs.  Not sure what the next step is….

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A little cat lives here so I took that as a good sign. (We saw very few cats in India.)

Next we went to the summer palace of the Mysorean ruler, Tipu Sultan. 

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Unfortunately the outside of the palace was under repair and no photos are allowed inside.  Daria Daulat Bagh (Garden of the Wealth), built in 1784, is a 2-story building constructed mostly of teak wood.  It’s rich and dark and the walls and ceilings are painted with murals.  Many of the rooms open up to the outdoors.  Here’s a picture of the inside from Wikipedia .

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The grounds are lovely…..  Lots of school groups on field trips!

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Tipu’s tomb, Gumbaz, was initially built by Tipu for his father.   

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DSC00030 C  Park-like grounds draw families.

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And all sorts of odds and ends are for sale just outside the gate.

 

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In the late afternoon we walked a few blocks from our hotel to a city market.

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A product from home!

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And a couple little cats peeking out from a rice stall.

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