A day of pilgrimage, part I

One of the things I love about Mysore city is how it blends modernity with tradition. As much as I embrace change, I have always favoured bridging the old and the new rather than completely cutting oneself off and “moving on”.

The streets are filled with two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws.

The problem with Mysore city, on the one hand, is that it is not really the core of 21st century technology, and most officials seem disinterested in preserving its heritage — the latter seems to be characteristic of the country itself. And yet, it is probably the most open-minded and therefore the most likely to embrace change and multi-dimensional growth1

Near Ambavilas.

I found myself among company making a day trip to two well-known temples in this region. One of these temples (the focus of part I today) lies just outside Ambavilas, the so-called “Mysore Palace”2.

The majority Hindu population sees cows as sacred. Cows, therefore, have all-access passes.

The temple is best described as unassuming. In fact, if you do not already know it, you are almost certain to miss it. But almost everyone in the city knows it; tales about it have been passed down generations, and people speak of the deep impact it had on the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore3.

Farms and irrigation canals surround the city.

Remnants of the erstwhile kingdom are peppered all around the city especially in the form of rest houses for travellers or towers to measure the depth of many a lake, most of which are now as dry as a bone. Continue reading