Monday, August 4, 2008

Wrapping up Mysore.

I've been thinking of unusual, non-linear ways of spinning a tale out of my recent travels, and though the voices in my head have thus far been unable to reach consensus on the matter, they all unanimously decided to get the Mysore trip out of the way.

We were quite lucky while at the palace, managing to catch the only patch of blue sky that July Saturday was willing to favour us with. And after Madras, midday heat at Mysore seemed rather trivial.

So here ya go. A photographic tour of the Mysore palace from the outside. Wish I could've given you a similar tour from the inside.

Mysore has two beautiful traffic circles built in an Indo-Saracenic style to commemorate the rule of two of their recent kings, (Nalvadi) Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV (1902-1940) and Jayachamaraja Wodeyar Bahadur (1940-1950). Managed to get a decent photo of one of them (JC circle) from within our vehicle.
The Mysore palace complex has several wonderfully-preserved temples from the Vijayanagar era when the Wodeyar kingdom was a vassal state of the Tuluva and Saluva emperors.

Shweta Varahaswamy temple, Mysore palace, Mysore. (Photo courtesy Arun Verghese.)

Krishna as kALinga mardhana, south gate, Mysore palace.

JC Circle and the north gate, Mysore palace.

Okay, okay. 'nuff stalling. I give you the Mysore palace, by day.

PS. This is something I noticed only now, going through all the pictures from the trip. You can see something similar ff you zoom in on the north gate image as well: Indian-ized angels! Some part cupid, some part generic angel, only male. I don't think I've seen their like elsewhere. Apsaras adorning brackets or columns in other places like Badami or Belur are very different from whatever these are.

Is this what Indian art free from cumbersome nationalist pride and (hence) overtly influenced by European ideas would look like? Slightly creepy as the man-angels may appear, I like the notion.

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