The Mysore Trip

It was a long weekend - on account of Ugadi.   The summer in Bangalore was at its peak.

"Why don't we do something?" 

"Why not a Mysore trip?  We haven't been there..."

"Forever" (an exaggeration, but not too far off the mark)

My brother-in-law and his family were game too.  

Ok, so the first order of business was to find a place to stay in Mysore.  Saturday morning found us checking the 'Net and calling various places - hotels and home-stays.  Tripadvisor helped and we were lucky to get a call from Hotel M B International, who gave us quite a decent deal for their A/c accommodation.  That was around 1 PM.

The next decision to take was, whose car. After weighing pros and cons, my Indica won.

We started around 3.30 PM and after braving the Bangalore traffic, hit the Nice Road.  The Rs.90/- toll was worth the money (read diesel saved) and time.  But the pleasure was short-lived as we hit Mysore Road.  There was a road hump every 2 kilometer (if not less).   This meant, by the time, you accelerated to 5th gear, it was time to go back to 2nd (or even 1st, depending on the height of the hump).   Add the frequent uphill/downhill terrain and lack of pick-up running A/c in low-gear, and you got a not-so-great drive!

Anyway, we stopped in Kamat just before Maddur for a bite and a break.  That was around 6 PM.  The staff from the MB Hotel kept calling us, probably to ensure that we were indeed going to stay there.  We turned on Google map once we were about 5 km from Mysore.  Google map is simply awesome - it gave perfect directions.  The hotel guy had sent someone to Philomena Church, a few metres from the hotel.  But it was really not required.  

The rooms were clean, the A/c and TV worked, the staff were polite, the lift worked as well.  The hotel is close to Mysore Palace and Zoo. Unfortunately, there is no attached restaurant.   They have limited parking as well (2 to be precise, but by putting one car behind another, 4 vehicles can park).  We walked across to a nearby vegetarian hotel (Vishnu Bhavan) for dinner.

The next morning, we had breakfast in Hotel Siddharta (a popular hotel in Mysore with a good vegetarian restaurant).  Thereafter, we went to Mysore Zoo.  We were early enough not to have to stand in the queue for tickets.  There is ample vehicle parking opposite (Rs.30/- for 4 hours).

The zoo walkway is about 3 km. It is a good idea to know it in advance to pace yourself suitably or resort to Battery Operated vehicle.  The latter is a good option, if you want to time-box the trip.  There are plenty of animals of all varieties and it is totally worth the trip.  It is quite hot (despite a lot of trees and greenery) and the ice-cream shop inside makes roaring business.

We went in around 10 AM and we were out by 1.30 PM or so.  We decided to eat in a restaurant adjoining the parking lot (New Shravana Bhavan - sic), that had so many specialities listed that it was unclear what they were good for.  As it turned out, the food was good and the service was great.  

We came back to the Hotel to take a brief rest, but as it turned out, it resulted in us being a little late reaching Mysore Palace.  The Palace closes for visitors at 5.30 PM.  But since it was weekend, there was illumination at 7 PM. One can go around the Palace compound and sit in the grass awaiting the illumination.  It is an amazing experience to see the various palace lights slow start glowing. At 7 PM, the full set of lights get turned on.

We monopolized Hotel Siddharta for dinner as well as breakfast the next day.  We vacated our rooms and then left to Chamundi Hills, about 15km from Mysore.  It is a winding uphill drive on well-tarred road and we reached the destination in half an hour.   The temple was crowded, it being Ugadi, but like most temples, it is a capitalist one.  What that means is, if you are prepared to pay, you need to wait less.  Rs.100/- per head meant, we could go right in with no queue and see the Goddess Chamundeshwari - all in less than 5 minutes.  There is a free entry as well as a Rs.30/- entry, but hey, time is money!

On the way back from Mysore, we made a stopover at Saibaba ashram in Srirangapatnam.  It is a very peaceful place on the banks of River Cauvery.

We stopped for a late lunch at RightO, a food court. It was way too crowded for our comfort (smelt and felt similar to the Food Courts in Bangalore Malls) - a pretty unpleasant experience.  Then it was a non-stop drive till we hit the Nice Road.  We got a flat tyre.  That took a few minutes to replace and we were back on track.  We reached Sukh Sagar in Koramangala around 6 PM, and after a bite, were back home.

The important lessons when you have small children are the following:

a) don't expect them to share your enthusiasm to see places  (thus we skipped Brindavan Gardens)
b) the smaller the child, the shorter the attention span.  30 minutes is a long time in the zoo!
c) children get tired quickly and turn cranky - animals can only engage them so much
d) children love parks and open air more than seeing antique museum items
e) 1 + 1 > 2 - when two children are together, the combined challenges are higher than individual ones


  1. Very true on the lessons learnt !!! :-)

  2. Hey Raghu.. your experience was quite good i guess.. to be honest i liked your suggestions about children's on traveling... and one more thing i read where you mentioned about finding hotel in mysore where even tripadvsior helped you guys to find it decent accommodation...i suggest you to check out more and more for better deals on hotels thus could find with the best and lesser tariff with more comfort-abilities..
    check out i check both when i plan for a trip and try to make most out of it...

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