Wednesday, July 16, 2008

And the road becomes my bride.

Ze wanderlust has had me in its grip for quite some time now. If only it had caught me a little earlier. The last few years seem like such a waste of time now. Kodai last December was my first real fun-trip in a long time, I suppose... though a trek expects a lot of effort in exchange for the fun and pleasure. Weeks later I visited Kanchi and Mahabalipuram when dad and the brother had come over, but somehow, as wonderful as both places were, their effect on me was not very profound.

It was the Mysore trip in March that really kindled that wandering spirit, that desire go see exotic places, to try and take home some of that magic. We had visited Ranganthitoo and Karanji lake for the birds, Somanathpura for the exquisite Chennakeshava temple there, and Mysore for the Jaganmohana Art Gallery and to see the palace lit up by a million lights.

Last weekend I returned to Mysore, and it seems like Mahishasura's mythic capital finds it impossible to disappoint. Our itinerary was a little different this time.

First stop, the Mysore palace, to see the interiors by day. It's been nearly 10 years, I think, since I went in last, more than long enough to get you to forget the grandeur of the place. Oh I would have given any amount of money to be allowed to photograph in there. From its multi-domed ceilings to it's exquisitely enamelled floors, columns adorned with Apsaras to peacocks in tinted glass ceilings... in every direction and round every corner there was a photograph begging to be taken. (I wonder how many strings were pulled for this to be taken.) I lost count of the number of times my hands itched for the nonexistent camera.

The next stop in our trip was Jaganmohana palace again. You don't say no when presented with a chance to see Ravi Varma originals, even if you've been there 3 months prior. (The pictures on the site don't do justice to the paintings, not by a long shot.) Or to see the Glow of Hope by Haldenkar, hung up in a room all by itself, the room lit by a single 60W bulb. The lady looks as if she's lit up only by the lamp she is holding.

After all that, we went over to Karanji lake again, armed this time with a better camera (the 12X zoom works wonders), and a lot more time to kill.

Hmm. This is beginnning to look like a travel blog. Must make amends.

Next up: A little bit of Ornithology

PS. Yes, I stole the title from a Metallica song. I am not ashamed to admit that I'm revisiting their songs after some 6 years. You heard me right. I like metal. I also like classic rock, old pop, western classical and MS Subbalakshmi, but I like metal. Time to start labelling, people.

Also see:
A Little Bit of Ornithology: Part 1
A Little Bit of Ornithology: Part 2
A Little Bit of Ornithology: Part 3
Shine on you crazy diamond.

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