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Friday, 01 January 2016

Mysore, India - Page 2

Written by Richard Taylor
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After the palace I wandered about the attendant circles and squares, stopping by a juice stand, where I chatted with a German girl, in Karnataka doing volunteer work.  She recommended the “water million” juice (that’s how it was spelled).  A cute promotional gimmick, except the other juices were spelled more of less correctly.  Anyway, it was good.

The next day I eschewed the tours (I like to walk a city). On the streets and sidewalks were a great many six pointed stars, usually scrawled in chalk (the signs for Karnataka State Bank have this logo).  Whether this proclaimed an affinity for the Jewish State or, like the svastikas inscribed on Hindu temples, predated its current associations, remained unknown to me.

Eager to escape the heat and honking, I walked west from the palace and noticed an arrow sign stamped ZOO.  Dubious at first - India is not known for its zoos (with so many national parks and exotic fauna they seem superfluous) and the zoos on hand are often dingy, miserable places, I found Mysore’s Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens very fine.  It’s one of India’s most venerable, dating from 1892, with a large collection of birds and spacious grounds for the animals.  Heavily forested, with tended paths, it makes for as pastoral a walk as one can find in this city, the trees and exotic birdcalls muffling Mysore’s incessant honking.

Mysore5

After the zoo refresher, I returned to the Maharajah’s palace – inevitably not as showy without its evening aurora but still handsome in the sunlight.  The complex dates from 1912, the original having been destroyed by fire in 1897.  Day visits require tickets, sold at the south gate for two hundred rupees, and cameras have to be checked into security cupboards – except when they don’t.  I noticed this discrepancy walking the grounds – the phone cameras I could accept with a shrug but other visitors clicking their Canons and Nikons sent me back to the starting gate and demanding satisfaction.

“You can carry no problem sir,” said the security man, handing my two cameras back to me.  “You can take no problem.”

In India, this happens a lot.

(Page 2 of 3)
Last modified on Friday, 01 January 2016

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