We spent a very busy 2 days in Mysore. This palace’s maharaja dynasty dates back into the 1300’s. The 46th maharaja of Mysore abdicated in 1947 when India became a democracy. Though the family is involved in current legal ownership issues in the courts, the palace is run by the govt. as leased tenants.
This palace covers 27 acres and was rebuilt after a devastating fire in 1897. The palace reopened in 1912. It was rebuilt for $4 million USD. Over 6 million people visit the palace each year, making the palace India’s second most visited tourist sight after the Taj Mahal. One might say it rivals the Palace of Versailles.
The following people are members of the Jain sect of Hinduism. They dress very brightly. The Jains are the strictest of vegans and refuse professions which might lead to the death of any animal. Farming is at the top of the list since tilling the soil will kill insects.
Later we visited a mountaintop temple after climbing 650 concrete steps barefoot to get there. Hindus are expected to make pilgrimages to about a dozen specific temples, located all over India, during their lifetime. This temple was one of them.
As is always the case, every religious sight has hundred of vendors outside. In very crowded conditions, Celeste shopped for all the women back home on her list.
Given that we booked this trip with the same domestic Indian tour company we used two years ago for our trip to Rajasthan (Rajasthan Tours Pvt. Ltd.) we have had hotel stays where we are the only Anglos. Still all 4-5 star facilities.
India is an amazing country. We have driven through some rural agricultural villages on our road trips where the people are very poor. However, They have motorcycles, satellite dishes on their houses and cell phones. Haven’t seen a dead person yet on the side of the road. India is anything but the stereotype back home. The guides have all voiced the same complaint that with multiple advanced degrees, there are no jobs. Silicon Valley wants those Indian computer degree grads.
We arrived this evening to a new town called Hassan. Touring continues tomorrow.