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Took an early morning bus to Mysore yesterday, which ended up being a long daytrip to Srirangapatnam (if you’re a history buff, you’d recognize it) and Brindavan Gardens (if you’re a Bollywood fan, you’d recognize it) as well. Got back at midnight and I’m pretty beat.

Here’s what I saw from a hectic journey, including some from Bangalore the day before:

 

MG Road; the center of Bangalore’s upper crust

Hijuras are known as the 3rd sex in India; i.e. quasi-equivalent of our version of transvestites

Hijras out on the town

7am: Breakfast on the way to Mysore

First stop on my way from Bangalore to Mysore was the Daria Daulat Bagh: Tipu Sultan’s summer palace.

A couple; as some buddies of mine in Goa would put it: "she’s got a figure…he doesn’t."

Afterwards we stopped by the town Srirangapatna, which takes its name from the Ranganathaswamy temple and thus making it one of the most important Vaishnavite centers of pilgrimage in south India. And in history, this was the place where the final battle between Tipu Sultan and the British took place; it would be the last engagement of the 4th Anglo-Mysore War.

Tipu Sultan was killed after he was betrayed by one of his own confidants. This would be the last time in history that Seringapatam played a role in the transformation of the Mysore Sultanate. His body is marked by a monument that we found on our way leaving Srirangapatna.

 

Where the body of Tipu Sultan was found after being defeated by the British

Found a place behind the Sri Raganathaswamy Temple where some nomads caged little children for food. I rescued this one.

After about 3 weeks in India, I admit I felt a bit confused seeing A Christian Church. They still made me take off my shoes prior to entering, which confused me even more.

One of the main attractions when you get to Mysore: The Mysore Palace.

The Maharaja’s Palace in Mysore just got served

We then began a climb up Chamundi Hill to get a view of the city.

Chamundi Hill

Those definitely aren’t birds or monkeys at the top!

A closer look at fearlessness

Workers at the bottom

Indian heroes are so…moustached

Mysore from Chamundi Hill

We then took a side trip to Brindavan Gardens, a kind of “Disney World” neverland where many old-school Bollywood films have been filmed.

Bollywood just got served

Brindavan Gardens just got served…Punjabi style

I was able to make a couple of new friends while on the bus to Mysore: ¡Anna y Inés de España! Seeing that we were the only non Indians on the bus, it was natural for us to start talking despite the language barrier. But thanks to my middle school Spanish, and their pretty capable grasp of English, it wasn’t too hard to get along.

The most difficult part was switching from Hindi to Spanish: I kept saying “¡tí, tí!” instead of “¡sí, sí!” because of Hindi’s “yes, yes” is “tí-kay, tí-kay!” which I have used a lot. Whatever. These are first world problems.

We decided to follow a crowd across a bridge to the northern Brindavan Gardens. I guess we were going to see a Bollywood-inspired-dancing-water-fountain show.

annnnd the show begins

As cheesy as this show was, water rare looks this pretty


Brindavan Gardens at night

After the Gardens it was a sad goodbye to my new friends from Spain as we parted ways. I promised I would see them in Barcelona (EDIT: mission accomplished about 16 months later!) before I headed back to Bangalore.

– At time of posting in Bangalore, India, it was 77 °F
Humidity: 64% | Wind Speed: 9km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly cloudy