Today we had a great day in Mysore. If some of the photos look familiar it is because we were here with Toad Scholars. Today we did it with our driver Suresh and, although we saw the same sights, it was quite different. In the morning we drove up to the Charmundi Hill where there are several Hindu temples - the main - very tall one - is to Charmundi who I think is a reincarnation of Parvetti - Shiva's wife and the mother of Ganesha the elephant headed god. We walked up a lot of steps to get to the temple and it was an impressive sight. We did not try to go in because once agina there was a huge line-up.
Charmundi defeated the wicked demon who was terrorizing everyone. Here we are standing in front of the big statue that we think is the demon - though Suresh said he was a bodyguard.
We were lucky enough to stumble on a wedding going on in one of the structures on the hill. We watcyhed the procession of the groom and were invited to go inside and see the actual ceremony when the groom and bride individually go around the little wedding structure. Here they are. It was pretty neat to be able to be at a real Hindu wedding - particularly since we seem to be running into a lot of newly married couples both in Ooty and in Mysore. The flowers in the bride's hair are jasmine.
We headed down the hill to where there is a huge stature of the sacred bull Bindy. Today there was a lot of celebration going on with about 20 men standing on a platform above Bindy pouring bucket and fter bucket of coloured mile over the statue's head. There was a lot of music and chanting and the milk came down in cascades.
Further down the hill we stopped at a viewpoint and were approached by two boys made up to be someone evil. The posed in menacing postures and were quite entertaining.
The we went to the Mysore Palace and walked around the grounds and took the same audio tour as last time. It was great to be able t6o spend a bit longer than last time and look more carefully at this truly lavish building which was built in the early 20th century - maybe around the time that the BC legislature and the Empress were built. We want to find out if this is true since both buildings are similar - though the palace was built in Indosaracen style - designed by an English person.
Here is the interior courtyard which demonstrates the Hindo, Victorian and Islamic influences.
Here I am in one of the durbar rooms. There were thousands of people including lots of tourists - mainly from France, Germany and other parts of Europe but including Japanese and Tibetans.
In the evening (6:45) we went back to the palace to see the light-up. The traffic was really terrible but we made it just in time to see the lights go on.
We ate our dinner on the patio beside the swimming pool under the stars. Tomorrow we leave for Chennai at 6:30 in the morning - so off to bed.