Part - 6 Ooty & Mysore
After having a very relaxed time both in Kovalam & Alleppey we decided to explore some more places before we hit our final destination Bangalore.
Ooty – it was decided unanimously amongst the three of us. So once decided we gathered ourselves and our bags and got moving to the local bus terminus. The journey I knew would not be smooth and it reminded me of the Pondi to Kanyakumari expedition!
It took us quite a long time to reach Ooty. We found ourselves again in the state of Tamil Nadu. But this time it wasn’t the sun or the heat. Ooty was chilly & pleasant. For the first time in this entire journey I wore my pullovers again – it was in the corner of my bag. I wore it till New Jalpaiguri only!
But someone I didn’t find Ooty interesting. Or more so as because I belong to a place of hills… of tea leaves and so much of natural surroundings.
We stayed in Ooty for less than twenty four hours. The hotel we took up was disgustingly dirty… could not sleep on the bed too… I still get the pukish feeling!
The very next day we boarded the bus to Mysore. How could be believe there was some more adventure in store for us? As we were on the suburbs, there was a long traffic jam and it was getting dusk. On enquiring the driver found out that there was a road blockade as attempts were being made by the police departments of both the states of Karnataka & Tamil Nadu to nab Veerappan! So we were to take a short cut! The short cut was so topsy turvey and the driver drove the bus so fast that weh ad to clutch on to our seats so that we won’t fall off!
On the way we crossed the Bandipur National Park. Bandipur is about 80 kms south of Mysore on the Mysore-Ooty Road. The reserve is a playground for wildlife, with elephants taking the lead role. You might see a tiger prowling amidst the mix of deciduous, evergreen forest and scrubland vegetation. Set against the picturesque backdrop of the enchanting Niligiri Mountains with its mist-covered peaks, Bandipur was once the Mysore Maharaja’s private hunting ground. It was brought under Project Tiger in 1973. This is one of the best game sanctuaries in India to observe and photograph wildlife in close proximity.
We reached Mysore early in the morning. Mysore was a pleasant experience for us. Mysore is one of the major cities of Karnataka. Today, Mysore is a vibrant city teeming with tourists and visitors. It is known the world over for its exotic sandalwood and rich silks.
We visited the The Maharaja's Palace which is one of the important sights in Mysore. Built in Indo-Saracenic style with domes, turrets, arches and colonnades, the Palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world. Intricately carved doors open on to luxuriously furnished rooms. The majestic Durbar Hall has an ornate ceiling and many sculpted pillars. The magnificent jewel studded golden throne of the Wodeyars is displayed here during the Dasera festival. Illuminated on Sundays and public holidays, the palace presents a spectacle of breathtaking beauty.
Another amazing monument was the St. Philomena's Church. A beautiful Cathedral, reminiscent of medieval architectural style,is one of the largest churches in the country. Built in the gothic style,the Church is an imposing structure with stained glass windows and lofty towers.
We could not stay in Mysore for too long. Not even a single more minute. For, the date was 31st of December and we knew where the party would be. It was around four a clock in the afternoon that we packed our bags once more and headed to our final destination – Bangalore!