Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mysore, a different look at India

Today we travelled roughly 90 miles southwest of Bangalore to the city of Mysore. On the way, we enjoyed a respite from the heat in our air conditioned bus and got our first look at a less urban India through our bus windows.
Today we travelled roughly 90 miles southwest of Bangalore to the city of Mysore. On the way, we enjoyed a respite from the heat in our air conditioned bus and got our first look at a less urban India through our bus windows.

115_1076.JPG

Seeing the open space outside of the cramped city was a welcomed treat. I was struck by the lushness of the fields and unfamiliarity of the planted crops. Instead of neat orderly rows of corn and large farm machinery, the plots were small and crowded.

115_1086.JPG

115_1099.JPG

Once in Mysore, we got to experience a different facet of India, one more palatable to tourists. We stayed in the Hotel Sandesh the Prince, a large hotel with architecture and accomodations to rival any expensive Western hotel.

After dropping our stuff off, we toured the Mysore Palace with a very knowledgeable tour guide.

115_1114.JPG

While the outside of the palace is stunning, it pales in comparison to the detail and beauty of the palace interior. Unfortunately, cameras were strictly prohibited inside the building.

The palace itself was a striking blend of cultures. While the ornamentation was largely Hindu inspired, the domed roofs gave credit to Islamic traditions and Christianity-inspired winged angels could be spotted in ceiling frescos.

Our tour guide pointed out imported features of the palace such as giant cast iron columns from England, Greek sculptures, and Scottish chandeliers.

The palace was a great example of the diversity and cultural richness of India. After spending the week in hectic traffic, garbage dumps, and slums, the trip to Mysore was a reminder of India's both modern and historic beauty, as well as the country's ever increasing economic potential.

No comments:

Post a Comment