a blog about food, feelings, humor, books, music, travel, and anything else that seems to be on my mind.
and apparently hair...
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Well, I have had my fair bit of South India, huh?
Mmmm...Yummy fresh young coconut. I love how they cut part of the shell to use as a spoon. So resourceful.
So much has happened these last few days that I can hardly contain it to one blog. Let's see...where should I start? The government and its laissez-faire-attitude-on-crack? The roads and their ability to make body parts bounce as if detached from whole? The famous Maddur Vadas? I salivate at the thought.
Let's actually start with Mysore silk. Ooooh silk...saris...shopping. You see-this small town that used to be its own state prior to Independence is famous for many reasons. First and foremost for me is their silk. Okay and the royalty. Back when India was ruled by rajas (kings), Mysore was home to the royal family in the Mysore Palace.
Moving on...Let's discuss how we finally got to Mysore. Being a fluid plan, it took days to decide among the choices: Kerala was almost a surefire (that was my first choice) until we thought about Chennai, Pondicherry, and of course our eventual choice, Mysore. After numerous dicussion and a walk in Lalbahg, Mysore was chosen (Srin's maternal uncle lives there so that was a plus). The decisions don't end of course! Then there was Bandipur, Mercara, and Kabini parks. Ask one person and get one recommendation. Ask another and get another recommendation (and a stark reason why the previous recommendation was totally the wrong one). Eventually, we landed on Bandipur National Park. Next decision was what time to get there. Go early to get your safari tickets and then hang out-Sounds like great advice right? We check the web and sure enough-there is a safari at 5:00 at 100 Rs/person for the bus and a personal jeep for 1750 Rs. Great-Jeep it is and we will get there around noon, get our tickets, and eat/walk.
This is where the government discussion begins. Ticket counter is closed from 9AM-4PM (prime hours huh?). Nowhere is the information made available except in front of the counter. There is no jeep safari either. Oh and no elephant rides any more (like their website says). Oh and if you do want a jeep, they will "find one" for a mere 5000 Rs. Oh and the entrance rate tripled two days prior-of course the website is out of date. Not that I mind paying-I mean I am all about stimulating the economy as I did in Vietnam and Cambodia. It's just so INDIA!
Nevertheless, we waited our 5 hours and got tickets and went forest-bound in hopes of seeing India's wildlife. We saw one wild elephant, sambars, deer, peacocks, and monkeys.
The day before brought us to KRS, where the city puts on a light show and a dancing fountain. It was very pretty and well kept. Of course, apparently it is not as good as it was in 1986, when there were more lights, etc.
Combined with shopping for a gift of a sari from my in-laws and a visit to Srin's uncle's place, that was our trip to Mysore.
We like to describe our entire trip as a temple tour since we saw so many. This was our last one at dusk.