With only two weekends in Bangalore, I knew I wanted to see as much of the city and surrounding area as possible. Which is why, I completely filled up those two weekends, the first with two day trips and the other with a weekend in Hampi. That first Saturday I wound up sick with a sinus infection, but I rested up and was well enough to venture off on a day trip to Mysore the following morning. Fellow volunteer, Marisa, and I got picked up at our apartment early Sunday morning. Since it was only a day trip, we figured a taxi would be the easiest way to see everything we wanted to relatively quickly. About three hours from Bangalore, the drive was beautiful and we were excited to explore somewhere new.
Mysore had several places for us to see, so we hit the ground running and made our way right into town for some site-seeing and shopping, as soon as we arrived. Having the car made it easy to get around and we got to see everything we came into town for.
Before visiting Mysore, I had never heard of its famous palace, but it’s one of the most visited landmarks in the country, and immediately it was easy to understand why. Unfortunately, you cannot take photos inside, but it’s worth a visit either way. I’ve been in plenty of palaces and castles on my travels and think this one was probably the most majestic. Completed in 1912, the Mysore Maharajas lived here during their reign until 1950. The palace gets all lit up at night, which is supposed to be a must-see, but we were too exhausted to stick around until it got dark out.
Located about thirteen kilometers from the center of the city, Chamundeshwari Temple sits on top of Chamundi Hills. According to Hinduism, the goddess Chamundeshwari, killed a demon monster who was living in the hills and now she is worshipped here. It’s a great place to take in the view of the city and wander around the temple, although on the crowded Sunday we didn’t venture inside. Outside there are a few market stalls, so we looked around a bit and took in the scenery before heading back into the city.
Shopping at the Old Market
Our last stop of the day was the Old Market and getting here was a bit more of an adventure than we had hopped for. Because our driver wasn’t familiar with the area, he had no idea where he was taking us. We had a few issues finding it, but eventually we arrived in time for some shopping. The market was bustling and full of energy as we made our way from stall to stall trying to avoid too much haggling, since we just wanted to take in the scene. Eventually, we found our way to an incense and oil stall, and we stayed there for a bit making friends with the owners and making a few purchases. Than the guy at the store took us to his friend’s spice stall and we bought a few more items, including saffron, before heading back to catch our car.
It was a crazy few hours in town, but we did wind up with some funny memories and great souvenirs. Mysore probably wasn’t my favorite destination of all the places I visited in India, but it had some tough competition. Had I been able to spend more time there, maybe my thoughts would be different, but even in my short time, I felt like I saw it all. Maybe I’m missing something and will have to revisit one day, but for now, my time there was just perfect as a day trip from Bangalore.
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