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Published: August 18th 2018
As promised our lovely tuk tuk driver from the day before picked us up from our hostel and took us to the bottom of Chamundi Hill (via a tea stop!). The guide book recommends avoiding weekends as they’re so busy - unfortunately we had decided to go on Independence Day instead. It was packed.
Walking up over 1000 steps to the top was worth the effort. There was a real mood of celebration with people coming up to us and shaking our hands and wanting selfies. The views were spectacular and we were lucky it didn’t rain on us. 2/3rds of the way up is a statue of Nandi (Shivas bull). The top was full of people and stalls. We saw Sri Chamundeswari temple from the outside but didn’t join the ques to go in. Wondering around we eventually came across a statue of Demon Mahishasura and our tuk tuk driver.
On the way back into Mysore we wanted to see the outside of Lalitha Palace. Built in 1921, fashioned on St. Paul’s cathedral, for the then viceroy of India to stay in. Now a hotel. They charge you 50 rupees to enter the grounds and 100 each to
Elizabeth’s new career...
look inside. We were told we could get the money off any food we bought in the restaurant so decided to do that. I wouldn’t bother - the outside is stunning but you can see it in the distance on the way down from Chamundi Hill. Much of it is tired and in need of repair, theres only a small area you can see inside. The restaurant has very restricted times so we weren’t able to order food. We went for a tea & a doughnut. The tea was very good. The doughnut was stale, the service poor and the table cloths dirty. We were then informed only the tea counted towards money back and we had to pay for the rubbish pastries!
We returned to the hostel to pick up Stephens bag which had ripped at some point during our travels. We took it over to a tiny shop near our beloved Muralis cafe (where we of course had lunch again!). Leaving the bag with a rather doddery old man we did wonder if he understood what we meant...
Weather better than yesterday we walked over to the railway museum only to disover it’s closed on bank
holidays! It’s a fairly long walk over there so we weren’t impressed. Fortunately it worked out well. We founds spoons to buy (we cannot eat curry with our hands!) before we came across a very friendly young man called Ali. He worked as a masseuse in a yoga centre and started to tell us about the old spice market we should see. After a masala tea he took us over to the market which was much quieter than the touristy spice bazaar. He showed us a sandlewood ’factory’ - 3 neighbouring shops. In one shop the wood is cut & carved, in one the patterns made and in the third the varnish is made & applied. We then went to see local cigarettes being made and incense sticks. It was really interesting and he just wanted good Karma in return!
Bag still not ready we headed over to the palace and got to see it being lit up for the national holiday. It was spectacular and didn’t cost a penny. Eating street food for dinner we finally picked up the repaired bag and headed back to the hostel for sleep.
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