Solo trip to Monumental Mysore

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Monumental Mysore

Photo of Solo trip to Monumental Mysore by Vijayaram

'When am I going on a solo trip!? ', was the question that was in my mind when I just kept postponing my plan to visit Mysore.

This happened in September 2018.. I have already visited Mysore and I wanted to be there again. I felt so attached with this place just because of the impression that my first trip gave me. The extravagant celebration of Dussehra was a month away and I believed this would be the perfect time to visit.

The weekend was nearing and I booked my tickets to travel by Shatabdi express to Mysore.

Day 1: Visit to Mysore Palace

Yes, the day was born and I boarded the train at KSR Bengaluru railway station. I had been allotted a window seat and to my surprise the middle and aisle seats were empty ,which made me think, 'how did the railways know that I am on a solo trip !?'.

Just joking, there was not much rush and many seats were empty. Slowly, the train chugged it's way to Mysore. All along the way, the clouds and the sun were playing hide and seek with me.

In about an hour from the start, food was served. Biryani, curd, tomato sauce and a pickle packet( That is still lying around in my bag :p).

Photo of Solo trip to Monumental Mysore 1/1 by Vijayaram
The Beginning
Day 1

Reached Mysuru Junction by 1.00 pm. Booked an Ola Auto and reached the place of stay, which I had booked.

The building was an old bungalow converted into a hotel. It was a neat and simple place for solo and group travellers to stay. I had booked a dormitory and I was allotted the upper berth on check-in. The hotel walls had many notices sticked on, which had useful information for travellers like nearby restaurants, hand drawn route map to Mysore palace and the bus stand behind it, yoga class timings and many more. To bring back the old feel of the building, antique furniture was arranged in the lobby area. Old and royal mirrors on the walls, Diwan furniture on the floor with matching pillows, mini chandelier decked with yellow bulbs.. imagine the feel. The cost of a single berth in the dormitory was RS.500, which I purchased at an offer price from booking.com.

Settled down nicely and then started to visit Chamundi hills at around 2 pm. The nearest bus stop ( Hardinge Circle ) was at a walkable distance from the hotel and there were plenty of buses to Chamundi hills. The same type of Volvo buses found in Bangalore were plying in the hills. Roads to the hills were so empty and I reached the top of the hills within 25 mins. The view of the winding roads whilst listening to beautiful Kannada melody songs was so good.

At around 2.50 pm, I was at the statue of demon Mahishasura before moving on to the Chamundeshwari temple. The temple was closed and it opens at 3.30 pm for the evening darshan. Just had to wait for half an hour. Once the gates were open, had a nice darshan of the goddess Chamundeshwari and walked over to the tender coconut shed for re-energizing before getting back to the bus stop to get down the hills.

Around 4.45 pm I was back at the foothills, exactly at the entrance of the Mysuru zoological park. Hunger was at its peak , so thought of finding a good restaurant nearby, it was none other than Vinayaka Mylari.

I noticed the name of this restaurant which was written on the notice board of the Mansion and went on for it which was very nearby. It is a very small sized old restaurant, specialist in butter dosa. Just butter dosa and a cup of coffee was so filling. Just take a look at the Google reviews for this restaurant.

Then it was time to visit the magnificent Mysore palace. It is about a kilometers walk from the hotel and the restaurant equally. With the sunrays on my face, I started walking towards the palace. The road junctions ( crossroads) were so big with a statue of a king in the middle. They were fully decorated and ready for the Dussehra celebrations.

Walking on, I could see huge old trees around the palace campus. There are 4 entrances to the Palace but entry to public is allowed only via the Varaha gate . The ticket counter was just outside the entrance of the gate and the entry tickets are priced at Rs 50 per adult.

The time was around 7 pm when I entered the majestic palace campus. The entire place was dark as the sound and light show had started already. It is a storytelling session, with beams of light being focused on the palace building, light beams dancing to the rhythmic way of storytelling.

Seats were arranged for the public to watch the light show and I selected a seat clearly opposite to the palace building. To my luck, crowd was so less than I imagined, being a Saturday.

Towards the end of the storytelling session, the entire palace lights are switched on and it glitters like gold !. That moment !!! What I wanted to see !!

That Moment ! (Between 7.40 to 7.45 pm)

Photo of Sri Shveta Varahaswami Temple, Agrahara, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka, India by Vijayaram

With these beautiful vibes, I started walking back from the Palace back to the hotel. Just the huge trees and the question that how these trees were being maintained all these years made me go awestruck. Back to Vinayaka Mylari for dinner and then rest.

Day 2: Visit to Brindavan gardens

Last night's sleep was a little restless as it was a new place and also of the feeling of being alone. Now I felt that a solo trip may not be exciting all the times. But the morning was so good. Waking up fresh in a new place was so energizing.

At about 7 am in the morning, vacated the hotel and started to visit two more iconic places, The Brindavan garden and KRS dam.

Yes I can read your mind !, Who will visit Brindavan gardens in the morning!?. But that was how I planned it. While checking in Google maps, the travel time by bus was shown as 2 hours and it was about 22 kilometres away from the city bus stand.

Started to walk towards the city bus stand which is just behind the palace campus. On the way, spotted a group of people feeding a flight of pigeons which was a pleasure to watch. There were so many of them.

Boarded the bus and reached Brindavan gardens campus by 8.15 am. The entrance of the garden was about a kilometer away from the main road. I had to walk all the way to the entrance and there were just 10 people waiting for the gates to open. There were numerous petty shops, none open! Thankfully I had a water bottle with me.

Pigeons

Photo of Solo trip to Monumental Mysore by Vijayaram
Day 2

I couldn't believe my eyes!! There wasn't any crowd. Let me correct it, there were nobody literally!

Paid Rs 20 and entered the garden. What a huge garden, as far as your eyes can see!!! The popular location where many film shootings had happened for ages! Birds chirping, trees dancing to the breeze, water rolling down the fountain stairs... just the best time spent in natural surroundings.

Listen to Water !

Photo of Brindavan Gardens, Mandya, Karnataka, India by Vijayaram

My legs started paining after continuous walking from one end to other end of the lengthy garden. The sluice gates of the dam were far away, so could only watch it from a distance.

It was around 9.30 am when I came out of the garden and one petty shop was open, could quench my thirst.

Walking back to the main road, had to wait for the bus, to my surprise the same bus in which I reached the garden in the morning was coming back and I boarded it. I was just wondering if the bus conductor would remember me but he didn't.(That's just too much. :p)

Beautiful and Massive - Brindavan Gardens

Photo of Solo trip to Monumental Mysore by Vijayaram

Back to the city bus stand, I wished to visit the palace one more time and to my surprise, the entry to the palace via Jaya Vijaya gate was open to public and it was so easy to enter. Standing near the pillars of the structure , I could see the renovation works going on in full swing for Dussehra celebrations . Some more time watching the masterpiece with some selfies were so good.

Had lunch at the popular restaurant , Hotel Siddhartha and then headed back to Mysuru Jn railway station to catch the Shatabdi express back to Bangalore, thus completing a rush free trip.

Some travel tips:

The hotel (The Mansion 1907) had ample space to park two wheelers and limited space for cars. Bicycles were also available for rent.

Yes there are numerous places to visit in Mysore like parks and Museums, but I just wanted to visit these selected places and so planned according to that.

Entry to Palace campus for the public is only allowed via Varaha gate and ticket per head is Rs 50.

Bus route number to reach Chamundi hills is 201/201v.

Bus route number to reach KRS dam/Brindavan gardens is 303

Just make an approximate note of the routes from Google maps so that you don't have to struggle if there are problems with network connectivity at the last mile.

If you are a history lover, then Mysore is waiting to meet you !

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