There is always a good reason behind some things which we hate doing. So was the feeling while getting up at five thirty on a Saturday morning without advancing the irritating alarm clock for the third time. What better way than to start the weekend with an early morning ride on the NICE road? I and Mohan took hardly about twenty five minutes to get to the Mysore road, touching 121 on the speedometer to beat our earlier best of 115. We had to ride all the way till Srirangapatna to catch Manju and Praveen who had earlier promised to wait in RASTA near Ramnagar on Mysore Road. Thanks to the flat tyre which did not allow them to move beyond a nearby puncture shop there.
We are almost there! Yes, the heritage city Mysore of Dussara fame is just about 20Kms away now. So many thoughts in the mind about which all places I have missed during my college here six years back. Because, the so called ‘already visited’ places are also due for a re-visit to bring back the memories of the good old days.
We started off with a brief visit to the Rangantittu bird sanctuary which was disappointing with not many great birds around. We moved on to the Balmuri falls which was so refreshing with 'just fine' water level allowing us for boating. We enjoyed different dishes of fresh river fishes cooked in the nearby restaurant as well.
Next, we are on the way to the KRS backwaters. The giant Krishnaraja Sagara dam built by one of the greatest engineers of India (unarguably the best in the context), Sir M. Vishweshwaraiah must still be inspiring many lives. The backwaters surround the Venugopalaswamy temple so well that, in no way this great man's work goes unnoticed.
Finally we are heading to Mysore for the main purpose of my visit - one of my good friend's wedding reception. This area is close to my college and it is the place where I spent 90% of my time then. On the way I knocked the door of the house where I stayed during my college. I was very excited when the owner's grandson recognized me and shouted "mama has come". I could hear the elders coming out whispering "which mama?" They were so happy when their granddaughter helped them identify me by shouting "Vicky mamaa". After talking about how life has been these years, I had to move on though they insisted me to stay back.
I am sure we were the top customer to the Mylari Tiffin Center eating all the varieties they prepared that day and the supplier could only smile when I asked if there was anything else they had prepared. Karanji Lake is not very far from here and we had a very good time with our second boating of the trip, this time the pedal one. So many beautiful birds around make this place very colorful and we did not have much difficulty in capturing them in very close shots.
One can’t imagine a Mysore trip without visiting the royal Mysore Palace and the steep Chamundi Hills. But we are running the risk of being an exception to that, mainly because of time constraints. We quickly opted to go on to the hills. We witnessed a hearty welcome at the Chamundi temple with the fireworks, which were actually intended for the recent Bellary by-election results. The view point on the hills is very well utilized by the guy with a telescope who allows tourists to see through it for a bare minimum charge of just 10 Rupees each. The Palace, Lalit Mahal, Race Course were all so clear through the telescope which the guy claims to have bought for a whopping 3.5 lakhs!!!
I was wondering about the new palace similar to the Lalit Mahal both in structure as well as color, only to hear that it is a newly coming up shopping mall! The best part according to me is that, nothing much has changed about Mysore over the years and it still continues with the rich cultural values. The intent to carry the old tradition forward is very clear in the minds of the authority here unlike other cities.
On the way back, the nice little wish to check which movie is running in the Laxmi theatre, where the famous 'Aptamitra' with dolbey effect of 'ra raa…!!!' used to run to packed houses over an year near our college that time; was also fulfilled.
The only thought which provoked me to write this and title it so was the fact that - it took just a little travel to unwind so much of sweet memories which is worth doing at any time. But so many times in our life we unnecessarily constrain ourselves with many useless things in the city where we work; and often neglect the fact that the best places where we actually belong to, are actually not very far from us!!!