gratitude travel

A Sight For My Sore Eyes

VidyaSuryShopsoutsideNimishamba
Dear Friends,I was offline for two days as I was out of town – visiting the lovely city of Mysore, which is just under 150 kilometers away from where we live. It was a pleasant two days visiting a couple of beautiful temples Vidur wanted to see. We also visited the Zoo and the famous Ranganthittu bird sanctuary – where we had a fantastic time.On day one, we arrived at Mysore around 10.15 am and after settling into the University guest house, where Sury was scheduled to lecture, we had lunch. Then, after Sury’s session was over, he joined us and we all left for Ranganthittu bird sanctuary. It was the breeding season at the bird sanctuary and a leisurely boat ride around the lake was delightful, letting us see crocodiles sunning themselves, while hordes of birds either watched from their perch, or swam in the water, or looked after their little ones in their nests. Oh, I will always remember this wonderful afternoon as the sun beat down, making sweat run in rivulets as we got excited about being so close to viewing a variety of birds. We were very lucky to visit in season.

We returned happily exhausted around 7 pm, eager to attend the cultural activities at the University, only to find that they just finished 🙂 Dinner was scheduled at 8 pm – and I had the pleasure of watching the cook preparing “roomali roti” in the open air. He would roll the dough, then expand it by flinging it into the air several times and deftly catching it – and by the time he was done, he would have a thin sheet of dough he would spread on an iron pan covering the coals, where the “roti” would cook in seconds. The cook then lifted it off, folded it and went to the next one. I tell you, it was such fun to watch. Would you like to watch?  I found a video for you here: The aroma in the air – mmmmmm – was terrific and made our mouths water.

I feel like an ass for not shooting the video myself. Sigh. Also, did not take photos of the fabulous menu! Grr. I will, next time!

On Day 2, we were up at 5.30 am – only to find there was no running water. The caretaker then switched on the motor – and the problem was solved by 6.15 am. Then we got ready and went for a walk around the lake on the university campus. By the way, the Mysore University, also called Manasagangotri – is a beautiful campus spread over – hold your breath – 900+ acres. Really! The lake is called Kukkarahalli Lake – lovely place lush with greenery (like most of Mysore) with lots of birds.

We returned to our guest house around 7.45 am to get ready to leave for breakfast followed by our planned temple visits. After a sumptuous breakfast of “dosas” and “shavige bath” – the dosas were freshly prepared in the open air and served!

We set off towards the Pashchimavahini river and onward to Srirangapatna, near Mysore, where the Nimishamba Temple is located. We had to stop at the main road and walk to the temple along the street lined with little shops selling items for worship ranging from lemon-garlands to flowers, coconuts and lots of other stuff.

VidyaSuryShopsoutsideNimishamba

What a beautiful temple! And fantastically maintained. The deity was gorgeous and there were lovely statues around the temple.

Just outside towards the right was the river Cauvery – where devotees go bathe or wash their feet before entering the temple. The path from the river to the temple  was full of vegetable vendors with fresh produce from the neighboring fields.  Fulfilled, we set off to the Chamundeshwari Temple in Chamundi hills in Mysore.

It is a picturesque and winding ride up the Chamundi Hill. At a particular point, you can see a panoramic view of Mysore, its palaces and other landmarks – and it is fantastic. On the way up is also the “bull” temple – an amazingly huge bull made from a single rock. At the Chamundeshwari temple, feet pricking from the heat, we ran to the temple entrance after leaving our footwear at the stall near the temple. And a few steps into the temple, we were amply rewarded with ice cold water running at our feet – oh, bliss!

After visiting the temple we also saw the Mahabaleshwara temple nearby. Then we headed towards the bull temple – it is a different route from the approach route.

We directly went to the zoo from there – it was 12 -ish in the afternoon. Luckily, we were able to find a battery-operated vehicle that takes 10-12 people around the zoo – the trip lasts an hour. If we were to go on foot, we would have meandered around without covering even half the zoo at 6 pm! The vehicle trip was great – and we got to see all the animals, much to Vidur’s satisfaction, who is crazy about animals. By 2 pm, we were very ready for lunch.

The vehicle at the zoo

We went to a nice restaurant and had a relaxed lunch, and then returned to the guest house around 3 to laze the afternoon away. Can you believe I actually napped for a couple of hours? I felt guilty when I woke up. Even stranger was the fact that Vidur also napped. That child teenager thinks sleeping is a waste of time! By 5.30 – we were up and freshened up. We then packed our stuff and were ready to leave. Our friend in Mysore came over – we chatted for a while and around 6.30 decided to go and have an early dinner before catching our train at 8.30.

We returned home, pleasantly tired at midnight, changed, had a wash and went straight to bed.

Today, it is life as usual. Just two days – and it feels like much longer – just as a wonderful break should feel! 🙂 One thing I learned – I definitely need a new camera and I am putting it on my wishlist, on priority!

And when I got back

I was thrilled to see an email from Ajen of AM Experience to let me know that he has featured my guest post “Love is my currency” on his blog. I would be honored if you would read it and comment. I know I am perhaps asking too much – but because I love you, I want to share it with you. Thanks. Ajen publishes an amazing magazine called the AM Experience – which I fell in love with, instantly. Besides the aesthetics which took my breath away, the content is superb.

Ah, Just one more thing… 

I am so grateful for all the support you showed for my post  Expanding the Mind: Let’s Learn About Indian Temples! at the ZenSational Living Blog. Part 2 was published by Sheila today and is here for you to read:  Expanding The Mind: More on India’s Temples and a day in the life of Vidya. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Here are the links again, to my guest posts:
Love is my currency at Ajen’s
and
Expanding The Mind: More on India’s Temples and a day in the life of Vidya at Sheila’s
Group hug to everyone! I appreciate your love.
Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Do consider leaving a comment – or just reply to this email! I’d love to know what you think.Cheers!Vidya

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    March 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Hello my friend! Well, I was delighted with this post, the beautiful pictures and your taking us on the journey with you. I was so amazed at your schedule and how you could pack so much into a couple of days. It looked like an enchanting trip and i must say I am a bit jealous. I have the itch to travel, but it’s not in the cards for me right now. So I’ll just keep coming over here and taking these lovely trips with you! Your eyes seem to take in every delicious drop of life, and your ability to communicate it to the world is much appreciated.
    In other words, I loved it, Vidya! Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

      Thank you, Terri – this trip was a stroke of bonus for us and the moment Sury suggested it, we just grabbed it, also thanks to Vidur being on vacation. We literally packed our bags and left. The fact that it was only two days made it easier. Sometimes unplanned trips turn out to be so fabulous – just like this one.

      Thank you for your kind words…I owe my Mom my ability to appreciate every single thing and am glad I have friends I can share them with! Love you! And I do hope you will travel to India (maybe when you’re a best-selling author?)
      Hugs! I am waiting for that day!

  • Reply
    Harleena Singh
    March 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Wow Vidya!

    I loved the post, more-so the pictures! It was almost as if I was transported to Mysore myself and seeing these beautiful temples and the places there!

    I was too small when I had traveled with my parents to really remember anything about it except for Mahabaleshwar Temple, but you made it all possible through your pictures and words.

    And not to miss the Rumali Roti maker- something I always love watching as it truly fascinated me how they manage to make it (and somehow I can never get it right- it flies and never lands in place lol…)

    Nice that you had a little get-away and loved the change. We got a chance to see these awesome pictures too that surely did revive my memories a little. 🙂

    Heading over to read your guest post now.

    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 24, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Thank you, Harleena for sharing your experience! The rumali roti chap was amazing. I am pretty sure I would have ripped it if I ever got to getting it to the size the guy managed so dexterously. Hehe. Thank you for visiting Ajen’s I really appreciate it!

  • Reply
    Nezzy
    March 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I have to tell ya I’m just sittin’ here in awe of all the beautiful in your most professional lookin’ photos. Breathtakin’!

    Have yourself an awesomely blessed weekend sweetie!!! :o)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 24, 2012 at 11:11 am

      Ah, Nezzy, thank you so much for your lovely comment. Indeed we were lucky to get away like that – in the middle of the week, thanks to Friday being a holiday here for the Kannada New Year.

      I wish you a fabulous weekend followed by a super week! Hugs!

  • Reply
    fran sorin
    March 24, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Vidya…

    I would have loved to have tagged along with you on this trip. The bird sanctuary, magnificent natural beauty, and the colorful roadside stands…plus the temples made me think that this is a place I want to visit. Thanks for sharing Vidya. 🙂 Fran

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Fran dear, when you visit India, come stay with me. I’ll take you on this trip. We had a wonderful time! Hugs!

  • Reply
    umashankar
    March 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I loved all those breathtaking photographs. They are all flawlessly composed. Exposure is top class. I loved the video of the bread-maker. Thanks for sharing, Vidya ji.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 25, 2012 at 3:24 am

      Hi and welcome, Umashankar! 🙂 Thank you for the lovely comment! Do visit again!

  • Reply
    Joy
    March 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Vidya,
    I am delighted that you enjoyed your break! I am about to take one week off, unplugged, my entire being wishes for this experience.
    Your photos are beautiful, thank you! I feel as though I am there as you travel, seeing what you see, from the photos and your wonderful descriptions. I feel that you have such reverence and appreciation for life and I love your *vision*. Thank you:)

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 25, 2012 at 3:23 am

      Thank you, Joy. We were so lucky to be able to take it and for that, I am grateful. The absolute peace minus internet reminded me of life just over a decade ago 🙂

      The bird sanctuary was so breathtaking – I could have stayed there watching those lovely birds and the nests.

      I hope you enjoy your week – please know I look forward to your return, refreshed. Thank you, Joy, for your presence in my life.

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    March 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I’ve never seen lemon garlands before. I find them beautiful.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 25, 2012 at 3:18 am

      They smell wonderful, Unknown Mami. These garlands are offered when we pray for something, or as thanksgiving. We also light lemon lamps – after squeezing out the juice and flipping the side. 🙂 Thank you for coming by!

  • Reply
    Paige | simple mindfulness
    March 26, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and experiences! While my world travels are temporarily on hold until the little ones get a little older, I can see the world through your lens. Thank you so much!!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 30, 2012 at 8:14 am

      Thank you, Paige. I hope we meet some day in real life! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ish
    March 26, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos. Makes me want to visit India again.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 30, 2012 at 8:15 am

      🙂 Glad you liked them, Ish. Do visit. And thanks for your lovely comment!

  • Reply
    Ajen
    March 27, 2012 at 5:31 am

    OK.. When Jim and I visit India, we are so contact you!!!! I love your pictures and your descriptions. At this very moment, I am looking at this post as a welcomed break to a very busy weekend. …and I say to myself, “at least I can live vicariously through Vidya’s experience.” You have inspired me to see the wonders in and of Northern California!

    ..and oh.. did someone mention roti???? yummm. I can only imagine the smell. My brother-in-law mum makes amazing roti… it is even more amazing to watch her make it!

    Thank you soo much for sharing, Vidya!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 30, 2012 at 8:17 am

      Ajen – when you visit India, please come home. I’ll make rotis for you 😀 Hugs to you!

  • Reply
    Tejpal Ramanlal
    March 2, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Want to send e-mail,

    Need Your e-mail id.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      March 2, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Hi Tejpal! My email id is vidya at vidyasury dot com – it is in the sidebar 🙂 Thank you for visiting.

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