After the end of our engagements in Bangaluru, we started our journey at about 4.00 p.m. by a hired Qualis for Mysore. After a 45 minutes coffee break on the Bangaluru-Mysore highway, we reached Mysore around 7.30 p.m. We checked in a pre-booked guest house which was more like a home stay. The guest house belonged to a company where my host was working. The guest house was posh and located at a peaceful area not far away from the city centre. There was a cook attached to the guest house who prepared breakfast and meals as per our requirements.
Day-1 : Somnathpur- Srirangpatnam-Mysore Palace-Brindavan Garden
After a heavy breakfast in the guest house, we started our journey for Somnathpur at around 10.00 a.m. The road journey (30 kms) was not as bad as anticipated by us on the basis of the experiences of earlier travellers on this road. The star shaped temple is dedicated to Prasanna Chennakeshava ( Happy and handsome Keshava) an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The stone inscriptions at the entrance of the temple give the history of the temple. The temple was constructed in 1268 by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a commander in the army of Hoysala king Narsimha-III. Hence the name Somnathpur is given for the village.
The temple is enclosed from all the sides by a high wall. The temple is based on a high platform. The lower panels of the platform have sculpted processions of elephants followed by sculpted horsemen above it and then the band of foliage in the next. The upper moldings have carvings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology. I have seen almost similar type of architectures of platforms in Belur and Halebidu temples. The ceiling of the main hall is supported by lathe turned pillars probably of granite stones. Ceiling is intricately decorated with carvings. There are three temples within the enclosure of the main hall. The main idol of Keshava is missing while other two idols of Janardan and Venugopal are still intact. Architecturally, everything about the temple appears symmetrical – be the shape of vimanas (domes), panel horizontal carvings on the base and vertical carvings on the temple domes. Another interesting point about the temple carving is that no place has been left out in the temple structures without carvings.
We spend about one hour in the temple complex. Despite being in the midst of the winter, the day was quite warm and the sun was very strong. I would advise to those interested in doing photography in the temple complex to consider visiting the temple say before 9.00 a.m. or after 4.00 p.m. to get the lighter sunrays for photography.
After Somnathpur, our next place to visit was Srirangapatnam. I have visited this place a couple of times in 70s and 90s. This is a live temple requiring us to e stand in the queue for ‘darshan’ of Srirangapatna. After lunch at Dasaprakasha, we proceeded to Mysore Palace which I had seen in my earlier visits. The camera, mobiles are not allowed inside the palace. However, one can take pictures from outside the palace.
It was almost 3.30 p.m. when we ended our round of the palace including the museum. We returned to the guest house for some rest. After tea/coffee in the evening, we commenced our journey to Brindavan Garden. We all had seen the Garden many years back but none of us has ever seen the garden and fountains under floodlight. So we had planned to visit the Garden only after sunset. It took almost one hour to reach Brindavan Garden gate. There were large number of cars and buses already parked giving an estimation of the number of people already inside the Garden. After buying entry tickets, we entered the Garden. A series of fountains were already flooded with lights which looked beautiful. Our main interest was to reach the last fountain which was a musical fountain playing on the tunes of Hindi and Kannad film songs. The musical fountain show ended with ‘Sare jahan se achhaa Hindustan hamaara’ song which, I would say, was the highlight of the musical fountain show. We returned to our guest house at around 9.30 p.m. and after dinner followed by some chit chat, we retired for the day.
Day-2 : Chamundi Hills-Jagan Mohan Palace-Bangaluru
After breakfast, we commenced our journey to Chamundi Hills for visiting the Chamundeshwari temple (13 kms). There was no rush at the temple and our ‘darshan’ was smooth. Compared with my earlier visits, the surroundings of the temple has been kept very clean. The views of Mysore city and race course from the road to Chamundi Hills look very good. On our way back, we visited Jagan Mohan Place art gallery and spent an hour or so to see the paintings and other historical items kept on two floors of the palace. We returned to the guest house for lunch and after taking rest for a couple of hours, we commenced our return journey to Bangaluru thus ending a short and satisfying visit to Mysore and Somnathpur.
Some of the pictures taken during the journey are posted below with captions.
The pictures start with places visited in Mysore and then to Somnathpur temple.
|On way to Srirangapatna|
|K R Circle, Mysore|
|Mysore Palace seen from the gate (Mobile upload)|
|Brindavan Garden in the night.|
|View of the Mysore Race Course from the road to Chamundeshwari temple.|
|Statue of Mahisasura - Chamundi Hills|
|Gopuram of Chamundeshwari Temple.|
|Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore. Behind the Palace is the Art Gallery.|
|Art Gallery of Jagan Mohan Palace.|
|The sanctum sanctorum of the Main Keshava temple|
|The idol of Keshava inside the main temple|
|Image of Vishnu at the outer wall of the temple|
|Image of a lady carrying fruit in the outer wall of the temple|
|Dancing Ganesh on the outer wall of the temple|