Edit Blog Post
Published: July 11th 2010
Before leaving Bangalore, we stopped at Shiva's temple. It was about 7:30am and we seemed to be the first ones to arrive. We didn't know exactly how to behave - except for knowing we should leave our shoes at entrance. Then we did as we were told. We went up some stairs to see Ganesha's statue and along the way there were strings hung up on the rails as reminders of the so many prayers brought here. Ganesha, as son of Shiva, is known as the remover of all obstacles. Devotees would always turn to Ganesha whenever engaging in new endeavours.
Along the path which is designed for visitors, we "boarded" on this journey through the Hymalayas. After bridges were crossed and stairs were climbed, we made it to the Hymalayas stepping on ice stairs towards Shiva. Shiva is surrounded by a pond where wishes are made by the tossing of coins.
This is the largest Shiva's statue in the country, 65foot high. This temple has been built by Melwanies who run a lot of charity institutions in Bangalore. I was prompted for some donation which is used to provide the needy with education, health assistance etc. I pulled
up Rs.50, and the man said "Hey, it's for a good cause... gimme some more". I was startled by his reaction and the words which came out of my mouth were "donation is donation, right?" He nodded and walked away.
Shoes back on, we were off to Mysore. It was a pleasant road trip, but what really made special was seeing lotus flowers for the first time. I love flowers, but Lotuses have always been among my favorite ones and the only ones I had never seen live! Well, not until then...
Flowers themselves always look delicate and so do lotuses. Yet it's petals and stalk are so strong! The plant's stalk is easy to bend in two, but is very hard to break because of its many strong sinuous fibres. Poets use this to represent a close unbreakable relationship between two lovers or the members within a family, showing that no matter how far away they might live nothing can really separate them in heart.
These lotus flowers go all the way across the ocean for you: mom, sis and Saul!!! I love you!
Again, going back to our road trip, we made it to
Srirangapatna. A small city was protected by its walls
(which we can only see fragments of). We saw the mosque Tipu Sultan had ordered to be built as well as the place were his both was found after battle. Then once the cremation ritual was done, his remains were taken to his Mausoleum to rest next to his parents's tomb.
During our visit, we met Pooja, who asked where I was from and invited me over her home. I told her I couldn't promise I'd make it but she gave me her address anyway. Unfortunately we didn't make it, but I'm still trying to find a way to send her the picture we took together by mail. 😊
Moving on to Mysore, it revealed to be a very charming city and a touristic place for both Indians and foreigners. We headed to the top of Chamundi Hills which is considered to be one of the 8 most sacred places in India. There we visited Chamundeshwari Temple - Goddess Chamundi or Chamundeshwari is the presiding deity of Mysore.
The original shrine is thought to have been built in the 12th century by Hoysala rulers while its tower was
probably built by the Vijayanagar rulers of the 17th century. In 1659, a flight of one thousand steps was built leading up to the 3000 foot summit of the hill. There is a huge granite Nandi on the 800th step on the hill in front of a small Shiva temple a short distance away. This Nandi is over 15 feet high, and 24 feet long and around its neck are exquisite bells.
There was this little boy painted in blue trying to get us to take pictures of him - only to later be charged for some photo fee he wouldn't have spoken about. As we were leaving, little Shiva stalks us all the way back to the car and all we could do was wave him goodbye.
Alex and I arrived to Mysore palace. I was blown away! The architectural style of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic, and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden.
The three storied stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble
domes was designed by Henry Irwin. The facade has seven expansive arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which is supported by tall pillars. Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck, and abundance with her elephants.
Ambavilasa or Diwan e Khas (My personal favorite!!)
This was used by the king for private audience and is one of the most spectacular rooms. Entry to this opulent hall is through an elegantly carved rosewood doorway inlaid with ivory that opens into a shrine to Ganesha. The central nave of the hall has ornately gilded columns, stained glass ceilings, decorative steel grills, and chandeliers with fine floral motifs, mirrored in the pietra dura mosaic floor embellished with semi-precious stones.
Gombe Thotti (Doll’s Pavilion)
Entry to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll’s Pavilion, a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The pavilion also houses a fine collection of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects like a wooden elephant howdah (frame to carry passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold.
The Kalyana Mantapa or marriage hall is a
grand octagonal-shaped pavilion with a multi-hued stained glass ceiling with peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns. The entire structure was wrought in Glasgow, Scotland. The floor of the Mantapa continues the peacock theme with a peacock mosaic, designed with tiles from England. Oil paintings, illustrating the royal procession and Dasara celebrations of bygone years, make the walls more splendid.
We were really frustrated for not being allowed to take photos inside the palace, but we made sure to bring some postcards and a DVD home. 😊
Once we started back to Bangalore, I felt really worn out and only then realised I was sun burned! Me and my pink face made it back to the hotel around 8pm!!
Tot: 1.255s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 11; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0283s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb