Edit Blog Post
Published: January 14th 2013
13 January 2013
Our final day in Kushalnagar and it starts early in my home, with loud music, as it is Sunday, the traditional day of worship. I enjoy a traditional Kerala dish for breakfast, rice with green bean curry and then rice with banana and sugar. The bananas here are delicious. It is followed by a dosa and coconut milk chutney. Enjoying this food a lot! Jeny is at mass this morning so I don’t get a chance to say goodbye and Preeth is ill unfortunately.
We are taken to visit two of the towns 18 Buddhist temples. The Tibetans were gifted some land here after their escape in 1959 and they have a community of around 30,000, including 10,500 monks. The temples are beautiful and even though they are a tourist attraction, they are quite peaceful and me and Di spend some time sitting cross legged on the floor taking it all in. That is until we are approached again by locals who want their photos taken with us! This is becoming a regular occurrence and it is obviously because there are very few westerners in this area. It is fairly untouched by international tourists and only
attracts local tourists from Bangalore and the surrounding area. When we go shopping, we come across a lot of beggars, including women with children, sitting in the red hot mid day sun. We have been quite protected from this sight up until now as we have not visited many tourist attractions. At the second temple, which seems to be closed to the public, we are able to visit the Dalai Lamas private residence which he uses around twice a year. It is very basic and peaceful. I didn’t know much about the Dalai Lama before but am interested to learn that he is now 77 and has been the Dalai Lama since he was two years old. I am told by a wife of one of the Rotarians that they Buddhists are looking for a new Dalai Lama and they choose a youngster with exceptional talents, who can teach, be knowledgeable and lead the community. They thought they had found such a gifted child but he turned out to be unsuitable. I find this quite hard to get my head around to be honest. How could a community choose a leader at such a young age? Lunch is at a
lovely Tibetan restaurant and when I ask for the wifi code it is freetibet2013. Very interesting!
We have to say goodbye to our hosts in Kushalnagar today and move on to Mysore. We have had a nice time in Kushalnagar and all of the hosts here, as well as their families, have looked after us very well. It takes around two hours to get to Mysore, which is a tourist area with a rich history and lots of royal connections. We are staying in the Mysore Sports Club for two nights to give is all some much needed rest. Tomorrow is a national holiday here so it fits in well. I think Nicola must know that I am tired and struggling little today so she has been feeding me ‘Gems’ which are the Cadbury equivalent to Smarties over here, and they still contain all of the E numbers that were removed from our sweets at home a couple of years ago! After being met by Rotary Club members, enjoying more food and tea, we head to our rooms, and then on to watch the lights at Mysore Palace. The lights are only on at the weekend so we have
to make sure we see it today. Between 7pm and 8pm the Palace is decked out with millions of lights and thousands have turned out to watch. It is very impressive and a brass band is playing British music. I think this is just a taste of what is to come in Mysore.
Tonight, we were able to enjoy some refreshments while watching Premier League football on a big screen outside. A little taste of home but with better weather! It doesn’t take me, Emily and Nicola long to get talking to some locals who engage in a very interesting debate about our very own Royal Family. The locals are very passionate and keen to learn why we are defending our Royal Family. We explain that they are good for our economy as one of our biggest tourist attractions and that their presence in 2012 helped to unite the nation during a difficult period. They seem to have other opinions and our attempts to change the subject don’t seem to work here! What they have to say gives us some food for thought at least!
Tot: 0.876s; Tpl: 0.094s; cc: 9; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0521s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb