I was finally travelling. Keeping my projects and presentations aside, I was on a trip to Mysore. Can it be any better? Coincidentally, I got free from my office work exactly at the beginning of Navaratri. Mysore is well known for its Dussehra celebrations. So, it was the perfect timing.
We reached Mysore via a KSRTC bus from Bangalore. The bus journey was quite a pain in the ass. As soon as I set my foot on Mysore Bus Stand, the first thing I noticed was the organisation of the buses in the bus stand. All the buses were aligned according to the place and time at every corner of the bus stand. There were many restaurants nearby, we had coffee in one of them and proceeded to check-in to the Presidency Hotel, which was nearby. We unpacked our bags and I realised I had almost five days to find bliss in this city after which, I will hit back to my Ecotel project with an air of freshness.
The next day, we started exploring the city. We hired a cab for an entire day and the first place we visited was the Ambavilas Palace. Commonly known as Mysore palace, it has been the royal seat of Mysore for almost 250 years. The palace with its blend of Indo- Saracen architecture and temples is a perfect example of how rich the Indian architecture was in olden days. It houses many temples inside its gates. We hired a tour guide to explain the history of the palace and the temples. We came to know that there are many private rooms in the palace like the Ambavilasa (private hall) and the golden throne. The palace with its arches, durbar halls and pillars all covered with paintings, like a perfect icing on the cake, grabbed everyone’s attention. We also came to know that, the old palace was set ablaze in 1896(Dasara festivities) and the Ambavilas Palace was constructed. Till then the royal family stayed in the Jaganmohan Palace.
Our next destination was Jaganmohan Palace, which was quite a peaceful and calmer place than the main palace, it was soothing after the heavy crowd at the main palace. We had lunch at Mylari Masala Dosa which is very famous for the Butter Masala Dosa and its authentic green chutney.
For the evening, we had a perfect plan to explore the Mysore Exhibition. This fair , only functional and open to the crowd during Dussehra season was a perfect escape to find peace with some mild amount of fun. It had games, giant wheel, street food and an ideal ambience of the festival.
In the following days, we explored a lot of other places like the Mrugalaya Zoo which had a variety of species of animals. Then the place that grabbed my eyes was Lalitha Mahal. With its milky white colour and amazing Renaissance architecture, it looked enormous. It is said to be the second largest palace in Mysore and it got converted to a heritage hotel since 1974. This structure, made of marble and stone masonry, is a five-star hotel hosting dignitaries and VIPs presently.
The last three days were spent around the city to witness the Dussehra celebrations. This age-old tradition of Dusshera celebrations has a rich history of more than 400 years. The celebrations include a royal durbar in which the royal sword is placed on the throne. Then on the ninth day, this sword is worshipped and taken on a procession on elephants.
On the tenth day, many people come and witness the spectacular procession of Dusshera in Mysore. The idol of goddess Durga, locally known as Chamundeshwari is taken on a procession in a golden Mantapa on the top of a decorated elephant. Words fall short for me to describe my feelings when I witnessed the procession. Thousands of people come all over from India to watch the Dusshera.
People of Mysore eagerly wait for this festive season to celebrate triumph over defeat, love over hatred and honesty over dishonesty.