What a load of bullocks!

Trip Start Oct 27, 2004
Trip End Aug 17, 2005

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Monday, January 3, 2005

After the tranquillity of Hampi we were quite sore to leave but, as we had booked train tickets, leave we had to and Mysore was actually not too bad a city. We stayed in "Parklane Hotel" no less however I do not think that it lived up to it's London counterpart (nice though it was).

Mysore's palace was particulaly impressive with some of the most intracate ivory inlaid doors I have ever seen (and on this trip inlaid doors have been quite common!) Apprently they took 12 years to make and they were only the side doors. Beside them were even bigger more extravagant silver ones!

We also climbed the 1000 steps of Chamundi hill whilst we were feeling fit (and yes made it back down by foot also). Hidus are meant to do it as a pilgramage to the temple at the top of the hill which overlooks the whole city at 1000M. Halfway up there is a 14 foot tall statue of Nandi (the bull who is said to be Shiva's carrier) which gets covered in a mixture of cocconut husks and ghee which, because of the heat and the fact that the bull is carved from black stone makes for a stone bull which smells quite like it's flesh counterparts! It took a lot of deductive reasoning and dectective skill but Kris and I managed to figure out that Nandi is probably a God to whom Hindus pray to for help in fertility issues. Our first and only clue was the fact that almost every man who walked around the statue stopped at one very telling place to place their hands upon the rather well endowed bull! Kris is determined I remind you all at this point that the bull is covered in smelly butter and that the pilgrims rubbed this into their foreheads! An image which I am rather more keen to forget!

We also managed to spend some time with two really nice Indian guys who were in Mysore to do a big software/computer deal type thing. It was good to spend time with Raj and Ganesh, getting a real Indian view on all that we saw and opinions that weren't skewed by them seeing us as foreigners ready to part with cash.

It was lovely to speak to some genuine people in India, as mentioned, there was no motivation of a sale behind our conversations. Listening to their stories of how they came to be, by Western standards, two middle class computer whizzes was particularly interesting. I don't think there are many University computer-sciences students in Britain that had to finance their studies with full-time manual labour. It was also pleasant just to be in the company of two pleasant people for a few days, although the managers of our hotel were certain that they were trying to con us! It does pay to trust people some of the time though, even in India!
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