Continued from here
We started the day the way Anand likes it, with masala dosas! We headed off to GTR after reading of it. However, the in-house dosa connoisseur rated it just ok and I felt it was too oily for me to even finish it since I was quickly full. We then picked up some snacks to last us the day and headed off towards Karighatta passing by the Sayyaji Rao road in Mysore with its multitude of gorgeous old buildings in all shapes and sizes still being used for different purposes.
Karighatta is a hillock flanked by Lokapavani, a tributary of Kaveri that flows by it. For those who enjoy climbing stairs, there’s also a trek route uphill. There are quite a few mythological stories surrounding the place. Hairpin bends make up the drive uphill. There are a couple of viewpoints on the way up from where one can get an expansive view of Srirangapatna and Mysore. There is a small temple on the top referred to as the Tirupati of Karnataka. It is the first temple where we noticed a staircase to climb to the top of the structure. It was heartening to see there were saplings of various trees planted near the temple in an attempt to regain its green cover. Beside it and a little uphill is also a canopy where one could sit and enjoy the calm munching on some star fruit and peanuts sold by the vendors outside the temple.
Next stop was at Mahadevapura which was a small town with a water spot. It turned out to be the most Indian-village-like-village I had ever seen. Most buildings were older structures with tiled roofs and pillars. When we asked a shepherd for directions to the water spot- he asked us if it was for shooting(a movie?) or the bird sanctuary. Our curiosity was piqued and we chose to follow the route to the shooting location. We reached the Rajaparameshwari Anicut. To the right was a mud road on the banks of the flowing river with various interesting groups of people, small distances away from each other. First a group of young men playing in the water and some even learning to swim, further ahead a family performing some bewildering rituals on a gentleman with water from the river, and still further ahead a lady with a bunch of other people who had marked territory with washed clothes and refused to let us even carefully walk past them to get nearer to the water! It truly takes all types.
In the area left empty of other humans, however, we were cheered up to see beautiful birds going about their day unperturbed. To the right of the anicut was a weir over which we could walk up quite a distance. It was a lovely view of the Kaveri with just the river, our feathered friends and us.
We made our way back to the road the shepherd had pointed us to, towards the bird sanctuary. It was a confusing spot. There was an area with seemingly no entrance from the side we’d reached it. However, there was a board stating “Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary- Gender Hosahalli Island” The Kaveri also continued to give us company by its side. The only other people were a group of young men out to spend a day with their liquor. With no clear directions, we decided we’d have to check it out some other time. If any of you manage to explore it, do let us know.
Starving by now, we decided to have our lunch in a place I’m quite fond of – Hotel Mayura River view in Srirangapatna. It’s a hotel with a restaurant where you can have a meal by the scenic riverside in the open under the shade of the verdant trees.
Our tummies satiated, we moved on to places at Srirangapatna we wanted to explore. Srirangpatna itself has a huge number of places but we also had to head back to Bangalore that evening so we were limited by time. We started off with Dariya Daulat Bagh and hired a guide too. It is a beautiful palace made mostly of teakwood. The outside of the building is quite unassuming. However, the real magic is inside of it. A museum of Tipu sultan’s life and times.
The walls were covered with beautiful paintings made with natural colours depicting war scenes and a multitude of armies and Indian rulers. Add to this deliciously rich wallpaper made of silk and the elegance of the Diwan-i-khaas and Diwan-i-Aam and it all made for a lovely time exploring historical grandeur. Photography is not allowed inside which is all for the better because there’s no crowd around every exhibit just to take pictures. The summer palace is surrounded by huge, well-maintained, beautiful garden that’s perfect to laze around with a book or for kids to run around and explore.
Just behind the palace, beyond the trees are steps leading to the Kaveri. It is mostly unseen by tourists and an oasis of calm beside the river where we sat watching a lone coracle go by the egrets on the boulders.
There was a small older structure on our way to our next spot. We got off the car and I entered, only to see cattle inside and some belongings of an old man after which I realised he probably lived there. We asked him if we could take pictures of the place and he was both amused and confused at why we’d find it special.
The next stop was at Dodda ghosai ghat.There is a Kashi Vishwesharaswamy temple on its banks too. However, it was quite full of devotees and so we made our way out in a short while.
The place simply known as Gumbaz (dome) was where we headed after this. It was a mausoleum built by Tipu Sultan for his father but later continued to be used for himself and his wife too. At the time of Tipu’s burial here that was allowed by the British, a severe thunderstorm is said to have struck. It must have been quite a dramatic scene. Tiger stripes are painted inside the dome to keep up with Tipu being called Sher-e-Mysore (the tiger of Mysore). On the verandah outside are graves of other relatives and further away are those of those who fought beside him in various roles in his Army.
Next to the Gumbaz is a mosque where prayers continue to take place. On the other side is a vast horse stable too. There were huge dovecots at the entrance of both this area and that of the Dariya Daulat Bagh.This space has a small garden ahead of it that is also well maintained.
Tip: If feasible, try visiting Srirangapatna taking a day off from work to have lesser crowds. These are popular places for school groups to visit too so wading through them could be avoided this way.
Our last stop was the Sangam which was the point at which the Kaveri, Hemavati and Lokapavani rivers met. It is yet another functional temple so had several groups of people around.
However, if you could tune that out and sit calmly by the river you just might catch a lovely glimpse of the sun on its way down, its eager rays gradually melting into the water gently drawing the curtains down on another day of wandering and wonder.
Up next : China :The most beautiful location I’ve ever visited