An Indian Odyssey – Day Eight

Today we went to Mysore to see Mysore Palace. Pastor Paul, Stanley and a hired drive picked us up at the hotel after having breakfast and we left about 8am. It took us over an hour to get out of Bengaluru and onto the highway to Mysore.

After a few hours, we stopped off at a Sugar Cane farm, and the farmer allowed us to look around. Here they harvest the cane by hand and have ox-pulled carts to collect the cane from the field and deliver to the farm next to the highway. Pastor Paul and Stanley demonstrated how the to extract the juice of the cane which tasted like a sugar type syrup. After Lee and Joanne took a few bites, we got back in the car and travelled to Mysore.

A few hours later, we arrive at Mysore palace. We got past the local traders with Lee having bought five sandalwood fans for 600 rupees and receiving a scolding from Stanley saying he paid too much and should let Pastor Paul do the bartering!

When we got to the palace we have to remove our shoes which was safely placed in a number bag at the shoe counter. Once inside, Stanley managed to find a guide to talk us through the history as we toured the palace. I was surprised how much of it was build from English manufactures. The mosaic floors, the electric lights fittings, etc.

After the tour inside, Lee and Joanne went for a short camel ride. I was looking forward to an elephant ride, but they passed a law a few years ago that prevents elephant rides now.We took a final few photos of the splendour of the outside of the palace before moving on for lunch. Stanley took us to the Raddison hotel where I bought lunch for everyone (about £50 for 5 of us). Lucky it was a buffet lunch as Pastor Paul had about three platefuls of food and then tucked in to half a dozen pastries for his pud! His excuse? “We will need the energy for all the walking around the zoo! It is about 3 kilometres!”

Well refreshed we made our way to Mysore zoo and immediately Pastor Paul booked us on the safari! This is an electric buggy RIDE around the 3 kilometres in about an hour. His excuse was that we needed to move faster to get to the next attraction in time!
After the one-hour safari we headed back to the car to move on when Joanne reminded us all that she had not bought the sandalwood fans that she wanted. Paul diverted the car to the shops where he found a nice sandalwood fan for around £25. Not what she was looking for, so we all got back in the car and returned to Mysore Palace to by the fans from the original street trader that Lee had met. This time Pastor Paul negotiated 9 fans for 900 rupees!

Now we were moving out of Mysore to Brindavan Gardens where there are lovely gardens and water features which they light up at sunset. We walked to the top and had a grand view of the grounds and we met an Australian couple who were visiting.

Everywhere we went, people wanted photographs of Joanne. It seems they have never met a white woman before!As we walked back towards the car, the lights came on and it was a spectacular site.The drive back was to take over 3 hours, so we made a pit stop after an hour for some refreshments. More experiences of authentic Indian cuisine.

We finally arrived back at the hotel at 10:45pm, fourteen and a half hours after leaving.

Much seen, much experienced and bed much needed!

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