Mysore

A charming city at the foot of Chamundi Hills in the southern state of Karnataka is Mysore. It wears the crown of Cultural Capital of Karnataka, its cultural ambience and achievements having been honed by the erstwhile rulers Wodeyars. This rich cultural heritage is on display at the Mysore Palace, Jagmohan Palace and Art Gallery, Lalit Mahal Palace and Jayalakshmivilas mansion.
This city has also been blessed by nature with the beautiful Chamundi hills known for their wildlife and numerous lakes. For nature lovers, trekking to the top of the hills is a good option. The temple of the presiding deity of the city, Chamundeshwari stands atop the Hill. The many lakes and gardens adjoining them like Kukarahalli kere, Lingabuddhi kere and Happy Man Park are wonderful places to relax or have fun. The beautiful St. Philomenas Church combines religion and heritage and Datta Peetham ashram is a confluence of serenity and spirituality.
Mysore also has its share of interesting museums like National Museum of Natural History, Folk Art Museum, Rail Museum, Oriental Research Institute, Melody World wax museum. Popular attractions in Mysore also include the Mysore zoo, boating in Karanji kere and Musical fountains and Brindavan Gardens at Krishna Raja Sagar Dam. The city has is well connected by rail and road and the nearest airport is in Bengaluru.
Best time to visit: September to March
Languages spoken: Kannada
Climate: Hot summers, good monsoon and pleasant winters
Heritage sites: Mysore Palace, Jagmohan Palace and Art Gallery, Lalit Mahal Palace, Jayalakshmivilas mansion
Holy places: Chamundeshwari Temple, Bull Statue, St. Philomenas Church, Datta Peetham
Natural wonders: Chamundi Hills
Picnic spots and Parks: Brindavan Gardens, Musical Fountain at the Krishna Raja Sagar Dam, Kukarahalli Kere, Andolan Circle Park, Lingabudhi Kere, Mysore Zoo, Karanji Kere, Happy Man Park
Knowledge Centres: National Museum of Natural History, Folk Art Museum, Rail Museum, Oriental Research Institute, Melody World wax museum

Talkād – A City under the Sifting Sand

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By the banks of Cauvery was the ancient town of Talkād a bustling pilgrim city now lay buried under the sheets of shifting sand. What transpire me to visit Talkād are not the exquisite carvings and murals or the archaeological excavations but a curse – The Curse of Malangi, the ancient name of the neighbourhood.

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Skydiving Experience

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I opted for tandem jump. On the assigned day, I reached Mysore airport. Staff from Kakini enterprises, organizers of the skydiving arrived later. There were about a dozen participants that day and my turn was at the end. That day’s group had few air force personnel and some adventure seekers like me. Those performing static dive had to undergo training previous afternoon and clear a test that morning, before instructor felt confident that they’re good to go. (Static dive is done without instructor, hence students should be familiar with emergency operations). A small Cessna would take participants up, one at a time. Watched others dive and eagerly waited for my turn. After each dive the parachute is repacked and readied for next jump.

By Mid day my turn came, all decked up in a red suite we boarded the cessna. My instructor, Rajan, demonstrated how to step out of the plane when in mid air. Another instructor got on board to record the precious life moments of my dive. Fitted with a goPro and a video camera on his helmet, he would jump with us to capture the memorable moments of free fall!

Cessna is like a TVS XL50- takes its own sweet time to climb up. Fighter jets take 30 seconds to reach 10000 ft, while Cessna 172 took full 30 mins. As the pilot took permission from ATC and became airborne, I enjoyed viewing Mysore airport and nearby places from high above.

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Very Well Unplanned – A trip to Ooty

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During our sound sleep around 4am in between our journey to Pune we heard a loud bang and suddenly got out of our sleeps. We realised that our bus met with an accident with another bus and the other bus went into divider and got the front damaged causing human casualties. Sight of an old lady lying on road with blood dripping on the road from her head and many other injured people at 4am in the morning was a horrifying and depressing sight. The driver had few arguments with the people outside and took us to the bus stand where we realised that we have reached Nasik. The driver decided to end the journey there only due to damaged windshield of the bus and refunded us our remaining amount. Then we took another Maharashtra roadways bus to Pune and reached Pune after a long , tiring , scary and adventurous  journey of  almost forty hours.

We decided to get freshen up at a friend’s flat in Pune and got the tickets booked for the volvo in evening to Bangalore from where we will have to take another bus to Ooty. After taking rest in Pune we boarded the volvo to Bangalore in the evening.

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COORG DELIGHTS-DUBARE, MADIKERI AND MYSORE

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We reached Dubare Forest Camp at 4.30 PM. All our tiredness from the ride vanished at the sight of the serenely flowing Cauvery and the joyous screams of the people frolicking in it. Even before our car halted at the parking area, my first impulse was to rush out and throw myself into the river. But my wife calmed me down and reminded that we had a lot of time in our hands. As soon as we got out of our car, we were swarmed by the locals advertising their boating and rafting rides.

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COORGI DELIGHTS-SRIRANGAPATNA

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Pet puja done, we moved on past Channapatna(famous for its toys), Mandya and at 10.30 AM reached SriRangapatna, a place of great religious, cultural and historical importance. Located 20 kms from Mysore City, the entire town is an Island enclosed by the River Cauvery. The town gets its name from the famous Sri Ranganathasamy Temple. The temple, one of the important Vaishnavite pilgrimage centres was built in the 9th Century and is a mix of Hoysala and Vijayanagar styles of Architecture(Thanks:Wikipedia).

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Srirangapatna – Mysore Trip Part 2

Srirangapatna – Mysore Trip Part 2

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Mysore is the Karnataka’s second biggest city. It was the erstwhile capital of the Wodeyar dynasty and is considered the cultural capital of the state. It is also known as the City of Palaces. From what we saw, Mysore appeared to be a clean and well planned city with a heritage feel and quaint charm to it. Here are the places we visited

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The Keshava Temple @ Somnathpur

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Somnathpur is smack in the middle of rural Karnataka. There are a handful of buildings and the only attraction is the temple. It’s all fields and orchards around Somnathpur. It’s a great place to get away for a day and easily accessible from Bangalore by car.

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