Exploring Mysore! (Part 1)

vidalista indiaWith just 2 days to explore Mysore I knew I couldn’t waste time! Something I didn’t know was that – people don’t sleep in hostels! I sat with some people till about 1 and then just had to sleep ! I could hear people laughing and talking till about 6am. Just when I was dozing off around 4.30am some girls from NIFT came and asked me if I would do a photo shoot for them for a college project ( at 5am!?!!!) I think it’ll take me some time to get used to hostel culture!

I had a list of places I wanted to see so I started early. Alyssa and Hadrian from the hostel were also heading out at the same time, so the three of us started with the silk factory. It was stunning. Hundreds of machines made in Japan and hundreds of workers working in a noisy and hot environment making some of the most beautiful silk sarees. Each worker had their own work station and were more than happy to show us what they were doing. We saw how a single thread of silk is made to the final saree being steam ironed and packed -ready to be sold! The only flips side to this industry is the huge quantity of water that gets used! (20 litres of water per metre!!!!!!)
After we were done at the silk factory we walked down to the sandalwood factory. This factory (like the silk factory) is 100 years old! With some of the best quality sandalwood trees growing in the area -the factory is able to produce large quantities of sandalwood oil (which in its pure form is sold at exorbitant prices!!) . I love burning incense sticks and have always wondered how they are made and I finally saw it today. When the sandalwood oil is being extracted it leaves behind ash which is later used to make the incense. We walked around the factory with a guide who was extremely patient and took out more than enough time for us.
By the time up we finished it was time for Alyssa and Hadrian to catch their respective trains. I still had a few places left on my agenda for the day but I wanted to go and rest a bit at the hostel. Just as I reached I bumped into two other guys from the hostel who we’re heading out to see the Mysore palace. I decided to tag along with them instead of going alone later. We decided to eat lunch first and settled for RRR after hearing so much about it! We were served lunch on traditional banana leaves and it was pretty tasty!
The Mysore palace was spectacular !!  Marble and stone walls, doors made of pure silver, intricate art work on all the walls and ceilings , royal family portraits and of course it was surrounded by lush green gardens on all sides! Walking through the corridors can really take you back in time and wonder what it would have been like to be the maharaja and walk through the silver gates meant only for him or be one of the ladies in his harem and look at all proceedings from the balcony windows ( unfortunately that’s how it was -women had a very limited role…) every time I visit historical monuments I come out with mixed feelings and it takes me time to adjust back to reality.
After the palace we headed to the famous Devaraja market. The light drizzle didn’t bother us as we walked through the market full of fruits,vegetables,flowers, household items, spices, colours and local perfumes! It was busy,noisy and chaotic and somewhere in that we all got so engrossed in smelling the different fragrances, trying on perfumes and chatting with the shopkeepers and answering the same question every 10 seconds – which country are you from? (Really!?! I was tempted to say something absolutely random like Egypt )
So many thoughts running through my head, so many questions – I walked back to the hostel not even realising that it had started pouring!
We waited for the rain to die down and when it finally did we headed out again. We had to climb ONE THOUSAND steps up Chamundi hill to reach the Chamundeshwari temple. I was panting by the time I reached the top (mainly because our auto driver had told us we were going too late in the evening and leopards often come out in the evening – and that just made me climb up faster!!!)
There was a long line to enter but I patiently waited in line with the guys from the hostel! When we finally entered it was quite crowded and we got pushed around a lot! By the time we got out it was after 8pm. There was a strong wind blowing and there was a blanket of mist coming down – very eerie!!! We found a bus to come down and stopped for dinner on the way!
What an exhausting day but so productive! Can’t wait to explore Srirangapatna  tomorrow!!

Silk factory!

Beautiful designs on the sarees at the silk factory!
Saree being steam ironed!
Lunch at RRR
Mysore palace! My favourite place till now!
Beautiful colours at Devaraja market!
Flowers flowers and more flowers!!
Banana gully at Devaraja market!
With Alyssa and Hadrian at the sandalwood factory!
View of the city while climbing up Chamundi hill
Chamundeshwari temple!!
Exploring Devaraja market!