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Mysore Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Mysore vacation


yiwen
Mysore Silk 4 stars
In my opinion, everyone who goes to Mysore should be ready to part with some hard-earned money for the locally-woven silk. The journey to Mysore (usually by bus) is made over rocky, uneven roads, and takes about 5 hours from Bangalore, the nearest big city. Along the way, there is nothing much to see except forests, but if you're lucky you might see people bathing naked in the stream, which is what happened to us. Tip: if you wave at them, they wave back.

However, once you reach Mysore and see the many pieces of colorful, soft silk on sale, the long bumpy ride is suddenly worth it. The silk is perfect for saris and punjabi suits (traditional Indian and Punjab dress), but really, it would look good in any cut. I had two silk dresses made and am still wearing them 4 years on.


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pennyglass
Chamundi Hill 3 stars
Nested at the top of the Chamundi mountain range that encloses the city of Mysore in its sprawling valley lays the beautifully constructed Hindu site, the Chamundeswari Temple. Executed in the traditional style of South Indian temple architecture, the temple is composed of layer upon layer of intricately depicted gods in a series of panels stacking heavenwards. The top of this white structure is crowned with golden wings and a string of divine effigies, not the least of which is the goddess Chamundeswari herself, who may be reminiscent of the earlier Hindu goddess Durga as both are known for slaughter, sacrifice, and donning a string of skulls about the neck.
Besides the astounding structure itself, however, is its location—which, frankly, seems to be the site’s really attractive feature. One hundred years ago, and with a fair degree of frequency today even, pilgrims would make the 1,000 step ascent to the temple mound to perform puja for its patron goddess; these days, however, the interested seeker may hire an autorickshaw to make the climb along a surprisingly well maintained road to the top for a mere 100 rupees. From there, one can easily circumambulate the hill-top and bask in the sprawling, panoramic views of the city below. Moreover, a small village itself rests just adjacent to the temple proper and provides the area with a truly “local” ambience: coupling intense spirituality with squawking geese and dirty laundry out to dry.
Only in India.


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pennyglass
Chamundi Hill 4 stars
Nested at the top of the Chamundi mountain range that encloses the city of Mysore in its sprawling valley lays the beautifully constructed Hindu site, the Chamundeswari Temple. Executed in the traditional style of South Indian temple architecture, the temple is composed of layer upon layer of intricately depicted gods in a series of panels stacking heavenwards. The top of this white structure is crowned with golden wings and a string of divine effigies, not the least of which is the goddess Chamundeswari herself, who may be reminiscent of the earlier Hindu goddess Durga as both are known for slaughter, sacrifice, and donning a string of skulls about the neck.
Besides the astounding structure itself, however, is its location—which, frankly, seems to be the site’s really attractive feature. One hundred years ago, and with a fair degree of frequency today even, pilgrims would make the 1,000 step ascent to the temple mound to perform puja for its patron goddess; these days, however, the interested seeker may hire an autorickshaw to make the climb along a surprisingly well maintained road to the top for a mere 100 rupees. From there, one can easily circumambulate the hill-top and bask in the sprawling, panoramic views of the city below. Moreover, a small village itself rests just adjacent to the temple proper and provides the area with a truly “local” ambience: coupling intense spirituality with squawking geese and dirty laundry out to dry.
Only in India.


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pennyglass
Devanagari Market 4 stars
Unless you were born on a banana farm, you never could have fathomed how many of these luscious yellow fruits could be found—branches, leaves, and all—in one place. And that is just the eye-popping preface to what is certainly one of India’s most vibrant produce markets, centrally located in the southerly state of Karnataka’s second largest city: Mysore.
Indeed, Devanagari’s network of labyrinthine cobble-stoned alleys, lanes, and byways is coated with all manner of mother earth’s good yield, and in droves: from apples, to sapotes, to fresh ginger nicely grouped in small bunches and placed adjacent to green hot chili peppers and red onions, to sweet smelling essential oils and ground pepper that may just make you sneeze in the street! Take a turn and you may find yourself smack-dab up against a cage of chickens waiting to be butchered, or a line of fish to which the deed has already been done. Another corner and gloriously glistening bangles may tantalize your shopper’s sensibility as you either give into, or evade, a shopkeeper’s call to let him demonstrate the impressively fluorescent paints that line his store front.
Whichever direction your feet take you through this fabulously rich place, its sure to be a fun assault on all your senses.


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