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Published: January 23rd 2016
Before leaving Eco Habitat we were given a tour of the farm. It was interesting to see the coffee beans. They also grow vanilla, herbs and vegetables. On the way to Mysore we stopped in the large Tibbetan refugee town to visit the golden temple. The temple has a large picture of the Dali Lama from his visit to the area last year. This is a new large built in the 1980s. Everything is new and shiny, related to, but not quite the same as the old monasteries in Nepal and Bhutan.
In Mysore we met our guide Mr Raghu. He likes a joke - crocodiles in the river! Our first visit was to palace place of the Maharajas. The family still live in part of the palace. They are wealthy, but they do not have political power and they no longer play any ceremonial role. The palace is more impressive on the inside, but photos are not allowed inside. The palace wapopulist from around 1905 to 1915. The decoration was by loartist twists. It is art deco style with iron pillars, lots of granite, stained glass windows and Minton tiles. It is like some of the art deco buildings in Glasgow, but on a bigger grander scale. There are touches which are distinctively Indian , particularly the peacocks in the decoration both in the stained glass and the tiles. Around the marriage hall which is the most spectacular room are pictures of the festival which takes place in October. The pictures show British soldiers parading around the palace, the Maharaja in his elephant howdah, and the crowds watching. The procession continues to take place today. An image of the goddess sits on the elephant howdah in place of the maharajah. From the gallery there was a view over the palace park. We could see the palace elephants in the distance and the palace cows. It was a surprise to see that the cows were died yellow. They are died with termeric for Pongal. They were a peculiar sight, spotted black and yellow.
The last visit was to the Chamudi hills area. We saw the temple at the top painted yellow because it belongs to the government from the outside. We stopped on the way down for a view over the city and to seethe huge black Nandi bull.
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