Monday, January 29, 2007

"Drive" to mysore

Yesterday, we friends (CoolBlueGang) drove to Mysore. I'm referring to this as a "drive" & not a "trip". There is a reason for that & you'll just find that out.

First of all, people have become so busy that we friends (CBG) hardly meet on weekends. So, we (Srini & me) decided that we have to plan for a one-day trip. Srini's suggestion was that the backup plan would be to go to Mysore. That is, if we couldn't decide on any other place, then we would go to Mysore.. We started off the planning almost 2 weeks ago. But the actual planning didn't happen till last week. I shot off an email asking suggestions for places. No one replied. I suggested Hogenikal falls. Somebody shot it down saying it's a dirty place. Srini suggested that we can go to Mysore itself & we could visit Melkote on the way. I suggested Chunchanakatte falls (which is at a little distance from Mysore).

Narendra was not free on Friday & Saturday. So, we postponed the trip for Sunday. Srinivas came to my place on Friday to finalise the plans. We planned leave early at 6AM in the morning, go to Mysore for breakfast. We planned to visit Chamundi hills, zoo, palace & then visit Chunchanakatte falls (instead of KRS as KRS would be crowded on a weekend). We had even communicated this plan to everyone by Saturday. We planned to take 2 cars - Srini's Getz & my Santro. The planning was all done well. So, I thought the trip would be good too..

On Sunday morning, I woke up at 5AM & I was ready by 6AM. We were in Chandru's house by 6:30 or 6:45. Naren was supposed to come there. We didn't have to wait long. He came in his car & suggested that he'll get his car & I can leave behind my car at Chandru's place. I agreed to do so. And we started from Chandru's place at 7 AM. The start time was quite good, even though it was a little be late than planned. We could have reached Mysore by 9 or 9:30. That would have meant a little late breakfast. So, instead, we stopped on the way at Kamat Hotel at around 8:15 or so. We had a heavy breakfast there. On the way to Mysore, I heard comments like "What are we going to do at zoo? Why are we going there?", etc. I decided to ignore them.

By the time we reached Mysore it was about 9:45. We decided to go to Chamundi hills first. We were on the top at 10. We enjoyed the view there for a few minutes & spent some time there. Although we went to the top of the hill, we didn't go to the temple as none of us were interested. Some people said that they didn't want to go to zoo. We had seen a glimpse of a lake on the way to Chamundi hills. We decided to go to that place next.

The lake was called "Karanji Kere" (kere means lake in kannada). There was also a park next to the lake called "Karanji Kere Park". We strolled around in the park for a few minutes. Then we went boating in the lake. The boating was for a short duration only. We peddled our boats for half an hour & returned back to the park. The park had a good spacious aviary. There were lots of different kinds of birds there - peacocks, swans, and many others whose names I do not know. Visiting the aviary was the only good thing (or the only thing) that we did in Mysore. It was 11:30 by the time we came out of the aviary. There was a butterfly park further down. But nobody seemed interested to visit that. I would have liked to go to the butterfly park. But many people said they were hungry & wanted to find a good restaurant for lunch.

When it comes to lunch, my friends think that I'm THE reserved guy. Actually one thing I haven't understood so far is that why so many of my friends, who are all pure vegetarians, prefer to go to non-vegetarian hotels for lunch. It's not that there are not many decent vegetarian restaurants around. It's just they prefer to go to expensive non-vegetarian hotels only. My policy is that as far as possible I'm not going to eat anything at a non-vegetarian hotel. One thing my friends always ask me is how I'm going to survive when I go out of country. I would like to tell them straight on their face that it may be tough when I go out of country, but it's quite bad here, when I go out with my friends itself. I mean, right here in my own country, when I'm with my friends, when we have so many choices of vegetarian restaurants, I have had to skip lunches with my friends because they fancy non-veg restaurants (& detest vegetarian places). Sigh.. I don't want them to feel bad, so I haven't told this on their face yet.

Anyway, coming back to our "trip", these guys wanted to go to a "good" hotel for lunch. I called up my cousin & found out the names of a couple of hotels that were good. I didn't get the directions to those hotels. We could have asked our way around. But my friends, as I told you earlier, somehow detest eating at a vegetarian only hotel. After a drive through the city, Narendra saw an advertisement of some star hotel. Everybody else agreed to go there. I didn't protest. I'm very sure they all knew it was going to be a non-veg hotel. And everybody knows quite well, that I wouldn't eat anything in such places. Still, everybody wanted to go to that place. So, there was no point in protesting.

These guys asked directions for that hotel & managed to find the hotel. (Although if we had asked for directions to the vegetarian hotel suggested by my cousin, we could have gone there. But how could these guys go to a veg restaurant? It would be below their dignity!). I plainly told them I'm not going to eat anything at that hotel. But these guys carried on & had lunch at that hotel while I was just sitting next to them, idle. It took more than an hour to finish their lunch there. (Now that I think of it, I feel that I should never even have gone inside that hotel). After their lunch, I walked around & found a vegetarian hotel quite closeby & had my lunch there. (It was not an expensive hotel. It wasn't even a hotel with an AC room. But it was an ordinary vegetarian hotel & the food was good).

So, by the time we finished our 2 batches of lunch, it was 3PM. We then went to Mysore Palace. Since it was a holiday (Sunday), there were a lot of people. My friends didn't want to go where there is crowd. So, we just got to the palace gates & turned back. They didn't want to go to zoo too. KRS would have been crowded either. So, we decided to check out Chunchanakatte falls. The only directions we had was that it was on the Mysore-Hassan route. Somebody also informed that it is on the way to KRS. We decided to go on the way to KRS & ask for directions to Chunchanakatte. We hadn't gone very far, when we asked for directions. We were told to take the ring road as that would lead to the falls. The ring road turned out to be the Bangalore-Mysore road. And although we did ask directions at a few places, no one had heard of Chunchanakatte. Then I realised that at some distance from Mysore, (when coming towards B'lore), a road to the left goes towards Shravanabelagola & Hassan. I suggested we take that route & ask people there if they knew about Chunchanakatte. We finally decided to take that route & go to a max of 20 kms & if we didn't find the route, we head back.

When we took the deviation, we asked around & found out that we were on the right track. Chunchanakatte was on the way to K.R Pete. K.R Pete was about 35 kms from there & Chunchanakatte was about 7-8 kms from K.R Pete. It was already 4:15PM by then. If we had decided to go to Chunchanakatte, it would have been very late in the night to come back. So, Srini suggested we skip the place & return to Bangalore instead. On the way back, we stopped only at Coffee day & we were back at Chandru's place by 8PM. I was back home by 8:30 PM.

In short, we went to Mysore. There we visited Chamundi hills, but we did not bother to go to the temple there. We skipped the zoo completely. We did not go to the Palace either, we just saw it from outside. We did not go to KRS either. We went half the way towards Chunchanakatte falls & returned back. The only place we went was boating & the aviary at the Karanji Kere Park. We didn't even have a look at the whole park. We missed places like butterfly park.

So, we just had a "drive" to mysore & not a trip as we didn't visit anything at all. It was as though we had gone there just for lunch. And for me it was as though I went just to sit at that non-veg restaurant when my friends were having lunch.

Anyway, here are the few photos that I clicked. I just wanted to post these photos, but ended up writing so much.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007