Although this was our fifth visit to Mysore, there was still so much more to explore. We took a gorgeous day trip to the Shravanabelagoda and Melukote, both a couple of hours from Mysore.
As is always the case when we stay with our good friends Stephen and Manjula at Mysore Bed and Breakfast, we made some lovely new friends – Dave and Ann from Cleethorpes in UK – and the four of us decided to take a day trip which would include Shravanabelagoda – home to a famous Jain temple and a giant statue of the revered figure Gomateshwara – and the temple town of Melukote. It was too far to go by rickshaw, so we travelled luxuriously by car, driven by the ever-enthusiastic, flourescent orange bearded Anjam.
We’ll eat where you eat. Local, cheap food is good, we tell our driver, with the confidence of travellers who have spent countless months in India, eating at all manner of food outlets. He tells us of an idli place in a house just outside of Mysore where each idli costs 1 rupee. We say let’s do it.
We stroll into the bright orange front room of a house. All seats at the table are taken up by hungry locals who eye us up with curiosity more than anything. The owner notices us and makes a mental note to assemble us a plate each. We head into the adjoining purple room and take a seat at the long bench. It’s ok? Shafi asks. It’s very good, we reply.
Tom asks me if I think we need to tell them no butter, no ghee. I say, when have you ever seen butter on idli? He says true and we don’t mention anything.
The doorway frames a couple of people who are clearly trying to work out our story. Two women walk into what is obviously their regular breakfast spot and start giggling as soon as they see us, out of surprise I assume.
On our penultimate day in Mysore, we enjoyed one of Stephen’s infamous ‘Mycycle Tours’. I say ‘we’, Amy took a rickshaw tour due to her dodgy leg and I taught myself how to cycle while holding a camera.
The cycle tour is remarkable. Stephen has been taking guests on a bike rides around Mysore for years, so he knows his stuff. Srirangipatna is an unlikely place to head to if you don’t have the inside scoop, so taking one of Stephen’s tours around this stunning river island just next to Mysore is a real treat. Despite having already visited the area a few years ago, it was amazing to see the area with a fresh pair of eyes. The area is extremely rural and full of fascinating culture. Stephen is an excellent guide, so you can really get beneath the surface. The tour takes you through villages where people live in traditional mud huts, over bridges with views of endless rocky rivers and through paddy fields that don’t even seem real. It really is a fascinating and beautiful day out.
My video can hopefully translate a little better than my words…
Thanks for making us feel so at home Stephen and Manjula, see you again someday.
Last time we visited Mysore was back in January 2014. We had a great time, but it was not Mysore itself that made us return this year. It was our beautiful hosts and friends, Stephen and Manjula.
I found our previous trip to Mysore to be a bit of a mixed bag of awesome and not awesome. Amy would say that the only reason I feel like that was because got ‘taken for a ride’ by a local, who was exercising a very popular scam on us. She was right (as usual) and looking back now, I remember how much I did love it. I was also probably a little scared at the time. For a mummy’s boy (yes, I was 29 at the time) from a small town in the south west of England, in India for the first time, I found it all a little overwhelming, for sure!
What was the scam I hear you say?
HIYA, we're Tom and Amy. We left the UK in Feb 2016 to explore what the rest of the world has to offer. Amy left her job teaching music and Tom left his making videos. We hope to fill this blog with a combination of musings, creative offerings and useful advice. Let's be inspired! x