Mysore has been one of those places which I dreamt of visiting after hearing a lot about its weather and culture.
I had to force myself to go alone for this trip since most of my close circle had already visited Mysore. One fine day, I just sat with my laptop and started to list the places that I can look around. TripAdvisor was a great help indeed. So my itinerary included the following places:
- Railway Museum
- Ambavilas Palace
- Wax Museum
- Sand Museum
- Chamundi Hills
- Bonsai gardens at Avadhoota Datta Peetham
I wanted this to be a slightly different experience. I chose to go by train and use a printed map instead of Google.
August 20th Morning 6 AM I started my expedition. To my disappointment, the metro service was not available until 8:30 AM on Sunday and I had to opt for an auto-rickshaw to reach the railway station. My other time-plan was intact and I boarded the 7 AM local to Mysore as expected. The journey is about 3hours and the ticket fare is dirt-cheap.
I was welcomed by the hot and Fragrant Madur Vade on my way and I didn’t leave any chance to take a bite while sipping a hot cup of coffee.
As per the plan, I visited the Railway Museum and saw some amazing collection of rail engines and relevant artifacts. Referring to the printed map was a bit tedious initially, but the little Gulliver me was more confident to conquer this huge city of Mysore.
After enjoying a delicious breakfast, I decided to take a walk to Ambavilas Palace. The journey was quite long, but the experience was pleasant since there were hardly any vehicles on the way. I was mesmerized when I had the first look at the gigantic Ambavilas Palace. The first part was the house where the royal family once stayed. The huge collection of paintings had a life-like finish which was catching everyone’s attention. The palace is an architectural beauty by itself. Huge halls, detailed paintings, wooden artifacts, tall pillars were giving it the royal look it deserved.
Without waiting further, I took an auto-rickshaw to Wax-museum. To my disappointment, the place was more of an exhibition of musical instruments instead of the detailed wax statues. However one of the staff mentioned that all the wax statues are made by a single person and he is more passionate towards collecting the musical instruments.
The sand museum is just a 10 minutes walk from the wax museum. Though not made of sand completely, the sculptures here had an innovative theme. The models there varied from religion to Disney creatures.
Since my plan was in such a way that the places were connected, I just had to come out of the Sand Museum and catch a bus to Chamundi Temple since I was already in the foothill. The ticket cost is nominal and the Volvo service by RTC makes the journey smooth. I was right on time for the pooja at the Chamundi Temple followed by a sumptuous meal. One can get a spectacular view of the city from the hilltop and the weather was just right after a small drizzle.
I decided to get down the hill by footsteps where I can visit the famous Nandi statue and reach to the other side of the city where my last destination was located.
The Avadhoota Datta Peetham is about a Kilometer from the foothills of Chamundi where the steps begin. The Bonsai garden here was to be open at 3:30 PM. The collection of trees there were just amazing and one of the watchmen over there was kind enough to take me around.
They suggested me to have a look at Shuka Vana a parrot Sanctuary which was the right opposite. Though this was not in my initial plan, I didn’t regret the visit to a home of Parrots and Macaw. Both the Bonsai garden and Shuka Vana have a nominal entry fee and worth a visit when in Mysore. They even have a museum called Vishwam which has a huge collection of interesting artifacts.
Mysore was a memorable experience indeed!
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