We started off on a Saturday morning and first stopped at the restaurant next to Janapada Loka for breakfast. To our delight, we had unexpectedly reached there during the folk festival. We were lucky to witness the dance forms Thaarle Baarle suggikunitha, Ayravara kunitha, Burrakatha, Gee gee pada. They were all energetic, dramatic with pulsating music and had all artists casually performing bare feet in the heat.
The first seemed like a dance for the deity with drummers accompanying it and some rituals too. The prominent colours were red and yellow.
The next one had a gentleman performing dancing energetically while balancing the idol on his head while the whole thing itself was balancing on a brass kettle. There too were a different set of drummers holding their own while keeping up with his energy. It was quite a thrill to even watch the performance.
This was followed by were a bunch of dancers of a wide range of ages with poles decked with colourful tassels rhythmically dancing away to the beat of music.
Then was the group dressed in faux tiger skin playing drums and dancing. It was hard to not tap your feet to their energy and pulsating music.
Up next was a bull dressed in finery and anklets while artists played the naadaswaram. A small bit also involved the bull running with the gentleman and a couple displaying feats of strength and control
And next was a team, of which 2 folks were dressed remarkably well with stunning waves of white hair, swords and rich gold coloured ornaments.
With the rhythm still playing at the back of our minds, we headed from there to Kokkare Bellur, the popular sites to see the cranes that came very year. It was quite the treat to see the huge birds casually propped up on thin branches of the trees there, mostly tamarind trees. With their dramatic wing-spans, hints of pink in their plumage, stick thin legs and long beaks, it is quite pleasant to spend time watching them go about their day. The little ones kicked up a racket while the mothers got them food, It’s quite surprising how the trees’ thin branches manage to hold their large bodies. The red tiled roofs around make an unassuming backdrop for these birds.
On our way further to Mysore, we saw a board to Aartipura, and headed there. It was a site still being excavated and analysed for remains of an ancient Jain temple. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed but it’s quite a lovely pit stop with a small water catchment at the top of the hill and very calm looking idol of Mahavira with the sky providing the perfect backdrop.
We’ve been to Mysore a couple of times before and everytime try to see something new. So we next headed to the Railway Museum in Mysore. The rail museum though small is a dream-come-true for anyone who wanted to check out the rail driver’s seat in a train. There were vintage coaches from various times open for exploring, letting you sit inside a while and conjure up images of an (unrealistically) romantic past. It was fun to examine all kinds of seats- from long school bench like ones that looked like the inside of a tempo traveller of today’s times. There was even one where you could see the coal-hauling section of the train. Quite charmingly, there was also a 1925 Austin re-made to have rail-wheels in place of the tyres thereby allowing it to be used as a rail-car! Despite it being a small track, we both had our share of fun taking the toy-train ride because why not!
There was also a special display of the Mysore maharani’s saloon/coach- oh to have a full-size wooden bed inside the train!
Up next: Purple bicycles and temple ponds