Friday, April 19, 2013

Mysore, India

We took a 7 hour train from the Backwaters to Calicut. We were in the car without reserved seats where they packed in as many people as possible. The air conditioning system in the 2nd class cars are the open windows. Well it was pretty cheap at only USD 3.00 total for both of us. There are first class seats, but it was good to experience how most of the country travels. We stayed for 1 night then took a windy bus ride to Mysore that played Bollywood films at the highest volume possible. The movies were pretty entertaining to watch though with lots of dance scenes.

We were basically dropped off on the side of the road, grabbed our bags and stood for a moment trying to figure out where we needed to go. As soon as we stepped off we were hounded by one guy who wanted to take us to our hotel. He stood over our shoulder as we figured out how far away it was. Luckily, it was within walking distance, told him "No thank you" many times and proceeded on our way. It was only about a 5 to 10 minute walk.

The 3 pictures below are from our hotel. It was a pretty cool and walking distance to many places.

View from the top of our hotel.

The very impressive Mysore Maharaja Palace was the residence of the Wodeyar Maharaja. By definition, a maharaja is a ruling prince of India. The original palace was made of wood, but burned down in 1897 and was rebuilt in 1912. The 3 story building is built of stone and contains carvings, works of art from all over the world, stained glass windows, marble flooring, carved mahogany ceilings, larger than life silver doors, beautifully decorated rooms. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed inside AND no shoes were allowed.

We had to stand really far back so we could get the entire palace in the picture.

There were a couple of temples on the property as well.

This guy approached us and we thought he wanted us to take a picture of him with his phone since he was by himself. Turns out he just wanted a picture with Henry using our camera. If you look closely you can see the guy holding Henry's hand. After the picture, he said "Thank you" and was on his way. Too funny.

They were giving elephant rides near the palace.

View of the Mysore Maharaja Palace at night from the top of our hotel.

The downtown area. It sure was busy!

We wandered around the Spice Market for a little bit. There were hundreds of stalls lined up and down streets selling spices, food, jewelry, etc. The walkways were extremely narrow and crammed with tons of people. It was a bit overwhelming for me (Henry was fine), so we only stayed for a bit, however it was worth it. India is filled with colors, the buildings, the clothing, the food, the spices.

The stall above is where we bought a couple of oils and had asked the guys for suggestions of where to eat. They told us about this place, can't remember the name, it was a vegetarian restaurant. Very delicious!

Mahatma Gandhi covered in gold.

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