Thursday, November 24, 2011

My new name, a temple, a palace and an exhausting day

I've decided to change my name. Since arriving two weeks ago everyone has taken it upon themselves to call me Sir. Thank you Sir. Good evening Sir. Can I help you Sir? I've been in several cities and small towns now and the word seems to have gotten out that my name is Sir. But I'm not complaining, it's nice that no matter where I go everyone knows my name.

Young men selling hand carved chest sets for $2

Young boy begging for money, I gave a rupee

Today was a busy day. The driver and tour guide picked up my mom, stepfather and their friends at their hotel first. While I was waiting for my pick up I just hung out on the street, leaning against a pole watching life go by. A small boy came begging for money, it's the first time in two weeks so I gave a rupee. Two you men came up on a scooter to conduct the business of selling souvenirs from their backpack to the tourists standing beside me. Then my van showed up.

We drove first to Somnathpur which is where there is a 740 year old Keshava Temple, it's one of the grandest and last of the Hoysala monuments. Three stellar compact temples share a chiseled plinth and the entire fabric of the temples is lavishly decorated with intricately carved epical sculptures & processional figures and the profusion cover every inch of wall space. Star-shaped sanctuaries, low elevation and tightly packed sculptural scheme is exclusive to Hoysala art and was never replicated. Here we had to remove our shoes before entering the temple, and there were a lot of girls on a school trip here.

Somnathpur, a Jain temple

All hand carved

School girls reviewing their photos  


Then we went to Srirangapatnam where we visited the Daria Daulat, a summer palace of Tippu Sultan which was built in the 18th century in the Indo-Sarcenic style. I only took photos of the gate as photos of the summer palace were not allowed.

Entrance gate to the summer palace

Next was a visit to the Mysore Palace, an absolutely beautiful palace. Part of it is still occupied by a royal family and the other part is open to tourists. It was built in 1897.

Mysore Palace

South entrance gate to the Mysore Palace

The Jain temple within the Palace grounds

We made two stops to souvenir shops and then to the Mysore Market. Because it was quiet, clean and very well organized it is now on the top of my list of favorite markets. The market was divided into sections, one for produce, one for flowers and so on. Remember the two boys that I mentioned earlier that came up on a scooter selling souvenirs at my hotel. I ran into them again at the market still selling. On of the young men told me that he thought I was Indian when he saw me at the hotel, so he didn't bother me. Now that he knew I was tourist he wouldn't leave me alone, hoping that would buy some small trinket from him. I didn't of course, but I did enjoy talking to him.

This young boy was so giddy to see us and his English was very good. The colors
are powered chalk used for various religious purposes and for making brightly colored designs on the floor

Many stalls like this sell only garlic, onions and potatos. What else does one need?

Delicious red bananas. The old man selling these gave me on to try.

Finally back to the hotel where people still seem to remember my new name, a good dinner and finally a hot shower.

Here's some misc photos through out the days. (click on photo for larger view)

Boys selling trinkets in a small village

Plowing the field by hand
Harvesting rice

1 comment:

  1. This is 'South India', Sir.

    You have experienced the cutural difference between the northern and southern India with your new name itself. In south, people always give more respect to others.

    Good pictures. It seems that, with your attitude, all subjects of your photographs becomes so co-operative to you.