I am stealing this slogan from the Thais. They use it to attract tourists to their 'Amazing Thailand' with a lot of success! I am not trying to teach our 'experts' how to go about attracting tourists into Karnataka. I am sure they have their own strategies. In fact, they seem to have made a start, they charge more for the foreign tourists, except that foriegn tourists are not seen barring a few stragglers here and there! Almost nothing when compared to Bangkok! Being an incurable optimist I hope the tourists will come pouring in. But at times as I scan the newspapers, I am almost cured of my optimism! Anyway enough of my rambles.
We returned from the zoo to our wonderful hosts' lovely home. Madhu's (Sethu) parents live in Mysore and were just 15 minutes away from the centre of the city. Had a delicious lunch. Thinking that Leela and Rhea were tired and would sleep, Rohini planned a trip to the palace. (Link to my earlier blog.) We were wrong as they were both awake and active. Leela said she would go with Rohini to see the palace. Rhea, of course, also wanted to go! I had planned to take a break, but tagged along just in case Rhea fell asleep in the car. We made a quick tour of the Palace and they did very well.
Finally at the end of the day, it was the grandfather who was under weather and by evening was a victim of stomach flu and had to forgo one more delicious iengar dinner with lots of regret.
Actually it was our second day in Mysore . We saw the Brindavan Gardens the evening before. The kids enjoyed watching the musical fountain, but we did not stay too long as we had planned a long outing for the next day.
On the third day, we left early as our host Parthasarathy suggested we should go and see Ranganathittu on the way back. We are thankful to our host to have practically insisted that we go. Luckily for me, the starvation in the night and a couple horrible sessions in the toilet throwing up had cleared my stomach and I felt fine. We left early in the morning after breakfast. A pity I had to miss it, Godha, our host, had made pongal. I averted my eyes as I walked past the dining table. Tough!
Ranganathittu was a delight and our first encounter with a crocodile at such close quarters. Most pictures are by Rohini and a few by Leela at Brindavan. For some inexplicable reason I forgot to take video clips of the crocodile as it drifted within a lashing distance of our boat. May be that was the reason!
A few more thoughts as we left for Bangalore. There is so much to see and do around Mysore. A veritable gold mine for the tourism department. The places we saw and loved were dreamed by and implemented by great men, Sir M Visvesvaraya, Sir Mirza Ismail and Mr. Salim Ali before our Independance.
It was great to see Ranganathittu and while nothing to fault it, let us hope there are more dreamers who make it better and better.
I have very vivid memories of Brindavan from my younger days. We used to approach the dam from the higher level and would see the garden from the top. Later to see the garden light up as it became dark was magical. It is a pity, that the dam is sealed off for security reasons. I hope some one locates a spot near the dam, which is secure and at the same time we can approach the garden from a higher level. This will give a panoramic view of the whole area. Imagine the gasp as people see the dam, the lake, the venugopalswamy temple which is being rebuilt by the Khodays and the beautiful garden as it lights up and the downstream green lands. May be a space needle or a raised platform? I wish there is someone among our netas, who has the interest to do it .
|Our very gracious and hospitable hosts. They said come again.|
|As we enter!|
|View of the downstream|
|Just before lights!|
|Our first view of Rangana Thittu.|
|Did you spot the crocodile?|
|This croc made us nervous. The boatman said 'They are also afraid of us. Not to worry'. I think they just let us be!|