When all your family members are ostentatiously occupied and it's practically been an eternity since the four of you sat down and had a conversation that did not end up in an argument, traveling seems like the perfect solution. So on the 29th of December, 2014, my family and I boarded a 3-hour flight from Delhi to Bangalore, and on reaching there, the first thing I did(except for bingeing on caffeine, of course) was compare one metropolitan to the other. Apart from the fact that Kannada is widely spoken in this city and that the residents are a bit on the pedantic side when it comes to traffic rules(that's apparent, isn't it?), there really isn't much difference.
Be it culture, religion, polity, nature strolls, food, royalty, or serenity, Bangalore and Mysore ace it all. These cities offer a haven to the wander-lusty vagabonds as well as the fast-paced workaholics and welcome neophiliacs like myself with open arms. The language may act as a barrier, but English is also widely spoken. The tiny eateries of South Indian food in every nook and corner are quite a delight.
- Cubbon Park, Bangalore
The first place we visited was Cubbon Park, which acted as quite a trailer for the serenity and verdency the city withheld despite the fervor that captivated numerous MNCs. A stroll in the lush greenery will sure calm your nerves.
- Bangalore Palace
The Bangalore Palace, the architecture of which is said to be similar to the Tudor style architecture of Windsor Palace, England was built by the first principal of the Central High School, Rev. Garett in 1826. According to the legends, some of the palace jewels were stolen by the royal consort of the then Viceroy of Vijayanagar, Alamelamma. When she was asked to return the jewels, she refused to part with them and rather, cursed the King to remain childless and the land of Talakad, barren. And well, that curse kinda worked for the lady. None of the kings have progeny and Talakad is still barren.
- Lal Bagh
One of the prettiest places of Bangalore, and my personal favorite, is Lal Bagh. In the 18th century, the foundation of these botanical gardens was laid by Hyder Ali. These tranquility emanating gardens encircle one of the towers erected by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore.
- Vidhan Soudha
Vidhan Suodha is the abode to the state legislature of Karnataka. This humongous building depicts Dravidian architecture and spans up to 60 acres. Every Sunday evening, this building is lit up in the most magnificent way, and attracts hordes of tourists.
- Bannerghatta National Park
This place is a bit of a long drive from MG Road, where we stayed, but every bit worth the wait. It houses a great number of species of both flora and fauna. What you can definitely not forget to take here is your camera because this place can offer you breathtaking shots. Lions, bears, elephants, deer and tigers can be seen loitering around the roads during the safari with immense poise. The Butterfly Park is a feast to the eyes.
- Mysore Palace
The name of the city Mysore is said to have been derived from the name of the demon, Mahishasur. This royal citadel is probably the third or fourth generation of the original 14th century structure made of wood built by the Wodeyar dynasty. The palace houses artifacts such as weaponry, souvenirs, jewelry, paintings, etc. of the Wodeyars. The palace is quite a sight to behold if you visit it during Dussehra with its lavish Ratna Simhasana constructed with intricate gold plates, in view. The palace is lit magnificently during this time.
- Ranganathswamy Temple, Srirangapatnam
One of the places of peak importance in the history of Mysore is Srirangapatna in the Mandya district of Karnataka. It was the summer capital of Tipu Sultan and is also the death place of the ruler. Very close to the remains of this capital is the Ranganathswamy Temple which attracts a plethora of tourists. This temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. An inscription at the temple reveals it was first consecrated in 984 A.D. by a local chief called Tirumalaiah. This captivating structure is popular for its exclusive mantapa, or columned hall. In the sanctum or garbhgraha, Lord Vishnu rests on the coils of the snake, Adisesha under a canopy of its seven hoods.
- Chamundeshwari Temple
This temple is perched atop the Chamundi Hills at a height of 1,000 ft. on the eastern edge of Mysore. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga by the Wodeyar family. This 11th century wonder houses a towering statue of the demon, Mahishasur. A monolith of Nandi is also present in the premises.
- St. Philomena's Church
This cathedral was built in the honour of St. Philomena in 1936. Its architectural style is said to be inspired by the Cologne Cathedral, Germany and was designed by a Frenchman named Daly. An inscription which was there at the time of laying the foundation of the present church in 1933 states: "In the name of that only God - the universal Lord who creates, protects, and reigns over the universe of Light, the mundane world and the assemblage of all created lives - this church is built 1843 years after the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the Enlightenment of the World, as man". The floor plan of the basilica resembles a cross. The stained glass windows depict the birth of Christ, the Last supper and the Crucifixion. It is considered to be Asia's second largest church.
- Sand Sculpture Museum
Do not conjecture when I say this place can blow your mind away! This museum comprises of 150 sand sculptures by Ms. M.N. Gowri on 16 themes in a 13,500 sq ft area. Each art has been created with such care, such finesse. It took the artist 4 months to complete all the sculptures and insecticides are regularly sprayed to maintain this wonderful work of art.
- Brindavan Gardens
My trip ended with a visit to the serene Brindavan Gardens of Mysore. This place is popular for its symmetrical design and beautifully laid out terrace gardens. The musical fountain is the main attraction of this place. The lights and the water perform a stunning entwine to the music. The boat ride contributes all the more to the magnetism of this place.