I never thought I could cover a beautiful place like Mysore in a single day. But I packed a rucksack, boarded a night-bus with a friend, and set out to prove myself wrong.
I opened my eyes in the morning to a neatly planned city with dirtless streets that cut each other at right angles. I took a deep breath as I alighted the bus – I smelled the cleanest air I had inhaled in a long, long time. We stayed at Parklane Hotel, a quaint, forest-themed hotel which was centrally located and in the vicinity of many tourist-spots. After a square meal (pun intended) of rava dosa and accompaniments, we headed to St. Philomena’s Church.
The Neo Gothic-styled St. Philomena’s Church draws its inspiration from the Kölner Dom in Germany. One has to crane one’s neck to see the the elaborate twin spires of the church. We got back into the auto-rickshaw we had hired for the day-trip as it started drizzling. Mysore receives very light showers in the month of February, and this is the best month to witness spring, summer & autumn – all in a day!
Our rickshaw driver took us to a silk weaving factory and we later walked into the adjoining saree-boutique. Mysore is famous for its silk which is light and rich at the same time. We couldn’t help but buy some fine silk sarees from the store. We next rode to Mysore Palace. The Amba Vilas (Palace of Mysore) is a picturesque royal abode that now serves as a museum. Visitors need to remove their footwear before they can walk into the palace. Photography is prohibited inside the museum-area but I let my eyes capture the skilfully preserved artefacts and paintings.
After a quick lunch, we started for Chamundi Hills. The ride up the hills affords travellers breathtaking views of the entire city. At the top of the hill, we admired the Chamundeshwari Temple. We snacked on Mysore Pak on our way to the Mysore Zoo and later had a Kannada thali for dinner at a small eatery. We walked back to our hotel to be greeted with classical Carnatic music and a live tabla performance which we enjoyed over a drink. My day in the City of Palaces was well spent. I would definitely return some other day to see the sights that still remained to be seen.