1/6/11 - Journey to Mysore

The morning was ugly.  We were woken up at 4:45 a.m. when the houseboat’s motor was turned on; at 5:30 we were deposited on land, and embarked on a 2-hour drive to the Kochi airport.  At 8:30 our plane left for Bangalore.  We arrived in Bangalore at 9:40.  After retrieving our luggage, we found our new driver and started heading toward Mysore, a couple of hours away.

It took us forever to drive through Bangalore on little city streets.  It was strange that there didn’t seem to be any freeways that avoided the city center by looping around the edge of the city.  In any case, we finally fought our way through and headed through more rural areas.  We saw interesting rock formations and fields of sugar cane, which turned out to look like beautiful tall grass fronds.

On the way, our driver stopped to show us an auction house for silk cocoons.  It was very interesting.  We also saw racks for the cocoons in the front yards of family houses further along our drive – growing the cocoons is apparently largely a cottage industry.

The next day, we discovered a cocoon in the car that had hatched two moths!  The driver and guide were impressed – they said it was a sign of good luck.  The driver carefully put the moths on a bush.

Near Mysore, we visited the Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace.  Tipu Sultan, known as the Tiger of Mysore, was one of the fiercest fighters against British colonization, keeping them at bay for many years, until finally succumbing.  The palace, built in the late 1700s, is an open-air wooden structure with elaborate murals on the walls.  Taking photos of the murals was not permitted, but I found a couple on the internet.  The grounds were full of Indian tourists, who were quite interested in us.  Several groups asked Tricia and me to be in their pictures… which seemed only fair, since Tricia took lots of pictures of them!  In fact, throughout our trip, we had this experience of being asked to be in the pictures of Indian tourists.