Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mysore part 2- Rickshaws and Temples

We didn't just see palaces and perfumes in Mysore. Oh no! We saw temples, too!

First we drove up Chamundi Hill, which is about 12km outside of Mysore. The terrain and vegetation reminded me a bit of Ojai, so naturally I loved it.

At the top of the hill is a pretty big temple dedicated to the patron goddess of the royal family of Mysore, who is also an incarnation of Durga.  The area around the temple is crowded with worshippers, vendors, stray dogs and cows. Moula warned us that people would try to "give" us icons and flowers, and then demand money when we were on our way out, and firmly instructed us not to accept such offers. So we didn't.

After that we stopped a shrine dedicated to Nandi located further down the hill. There was a huge Nandi icon! Much bigger than I'd expected.

We stopped at a scenic overlook to view all of Mysore down below us. I don't seem to have a picture of that...either I failed to get it off the camera or we didn't take one because it was pretty smoggy. I'm not sure which!

But then the real excitement started. Moula asked Zion if he'd like to try driving the rickshaw. Why, yes! Yes he would. Moula is clearly the best ever.

Sensing the waves of envy radiating from the backseat, Moula asked Alex and Robert if they'd like to have a go.

Alex was the best driver of the three of them. Actually, Zion did just as well, but he had more help from Moula because he couldn't reach things as well, and of course had never driven a vehicle before. I think it's pretty rad that the first thing he drove was an auto rickshaw in Mysore!

The next day we went to the village of Srirangapathna to visit a 9th century temple. It had some scaffolding on it for repairs, but was really impressive nonetheless. And also really uncrowded!

The carvings around the top were amazing. And there were elephants!

The inside was pleasingly ancient feeling. Kind of dark, and solemn, and pious.

There were also some really gorgeous icons inside, and beautifully carved columns. But they were all in places where pictures aren't allowed. We did get one of this guy though, before the picture-less world began!

There were some nice laws on the side, and a pool of some sort.

And finally, here's Alex on the way out, with a bindi and a prasad ladoo.

I really loved this temple. The priests were really nice-- all of them (around the different icons) made an effort to make sure that we understood what was going on, and what we should do, and to bless us. Highly recommend a visit here!

1 comment:

Joanne Young said...

I have read both your blog posts about Mysore. I feel like I was there too! The photos are really helpful.
India is sooo different than what we are used to, in our western culture.So, your posts help me to see what an amazing culture it is!