Monday, February 28, 2011

Mysore Palace

I've been really meaning to see the Palace, but just haven't gotten around to it. I finally decided that last night would be the night. It is lit up every Sunday night at 7 PM and possibly one night during the week. During lunch at Anu's, I met another newcomer named Tracey, who came with me.

The palace right before the lighting.

And right after.

One of the entrances

I was having some technical difficulties with taking a photo with me in it, so this was the best I got.

2011 02 27 photo
This photo was almost perfect but I chopped off the top! This is another place I would like to revisit and take some more photos!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kukkrahalli Kere

Yesterday Rachel took me to a nearby lake for a brisk walk.

2011 02 26 photo
It was quite nice, especially with the rising sun.

The loop covered about 2.25 miles, some of it away from the noise of Mysore.

This would be a great place for certain husbands to run when they visit (although I am not sure when he is going to find the time when he arrives!).

I would love to see this tree when it blooms!

We met her friend Pooni for the walk.

Afterwards we went to the Green Hotel for breakfast.

It was built by the British and was also a nice respite from Mysore.

Something new

One of my goals while here in India for so long is to try something new everyday. It can be as big as going to see a temple 2 hours away or as small as eating something different at a place I've been to before.

Rachel took me to a different restaurant (or "hotel," as they are sometimes referred to here) for lunch yesterday.

2011 02 25 photo
The most expensive thing on the menu is 25 rupees! The conversion is about 45 rupees to the dollar, which means, nothing on the menu is more than 56 cents!

I tried 2 different kinds of dosas with chutney and sambar. They were delicious and both of our meals combined added up to 56 rupees. Now that's what I call a bargain :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Deveraj Market

2011 02 24 photo
Yesterday Janice and I spent the day shopping.

Now this is what I would call an organic market!

So many colors and textures to take in - like my friend Claudia said, it's a photographer's dream!

My favorite part was just to observe the locals interact with each other. I wish I could understand what they were saying!

And of course all the gorgeous saris!

(S)he stopped and struck a pose for me.

I definitely will be returning to snap more photos!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Two weeks

I have officially been in India for two weeks now. So far I have experienced a myriad of emotions: joy, happiness, doubt, fear, loneliness, contentment, impatience, patience...all over the place! Overall I can see why yogis continue to return here...something about practicing in the shala with Sharath and photos of Guruji smiling on you, hearing all the other students around you pushing themselves, breathing with sound...the whole thing is just somthing special.

I am currently blogging from Santosha's, a great breakfast place with free wi-fi. I think I will be uploading photos here in the morning from now on, instead of getting frustrated with my connection. I am enjoying some chai, fruit salad and banana carrot & beetroot bread with ghee. Delish!

Yesterday I met some girls at an "Italian" restaurant and had some pizza!

I haven't been craving Western food just yet, but I will admit, it was a nice change.

Feeling better

Thanks for your words of encouragement. I have to remind myself that I am IN INDIA and stuff happens. Unclench and enjoy :)
tunic: Gap
leggings: Lululemon
sandals: J. Crew, remix'd
scarf: Vastra, here in Gokalum
After the computer stuff yesterday I enjoyed a nice coconut and banana smoothie to calm my nerves. And this morning, hallelujah, the usb stick magically worked. The connection seems a bit slower, but I'll take it!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some things stay the same

For whatever reason my Internet stick decided to stop working today (that red light at its end is a bad sign). After spending the better part of the afternoon with the Reliance IT guy, the solution apparently is to wait until 6:30 pm and hopefully it will be up and running again. I thought perhaps it was a compatibility issue with the MAC but it didn't work on his PC either. Currently I am at Anu's Internet Cafe, waiting to skype with the hubs and keeping my fingers crossed. The joy of technology...things don't work no matter where you are!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Chamundi Hill

Chamundi Hill is located on the outskirts of Mysore.
2011 02 20 photo
Walking about 1000 steps will take you to the top. I went with Adam, a new friend from the Toronto group that is here, right before sunrise yesterday.

Halfway to the top is a 5-meter high granite statue of Nandi, Shiva's mount.

Unfortunately the sky was a bit foggy so the view wasn't as clear as I would have liked.

The Chamundi temple awaited us at the top of the mountain. Because we were there so early we weren't bothered by too many vendors selling random stuff. Apparently it is more auspicious to do this hike in silence, so I may have to return on my own.

I am hoping I can catch up on real-time blogging and photo uploading this week. I have been meeting more people and being a bit more social, which has been great but then cuts down on computer time.

Sharath moved my start time up this morning as well! Now I start at 7:30 AM instead of 8 (which is actually 7:15 in real time). I am happy to be starting earlier as it allows me more time for breakfast!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Thali

The saga of Friday continues...

We were a bit hungry after climbing up and down the stairs at Melukote. Our driver was taking us to the next stop (some more temples) and found this random "restaurant" (the sign outside side "Mess Hall" - note to self - take pictures of signs as references!) along the way.

Traditional thali is served on banana leaves.

You sit on long skinny tables so the server can come by and put the food on the leaf. Pictured from right is Maria from Austria, Megan from Colorado, me (excuse my funny expression, I think I was in mid-sentence or something) and Kjirsten from Chicago.


And more food. You transfer the rice onto the banana leaf and mix it with the dal, curry and chutney and then eat with your fingers. Delicious!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Yesterday I took my first day trip out of Mysore. I met some girls who had hired a driver to go to Melukote (Melkote), the location of some Hindu (? - still trying to grasp the vast history here) temples, about 50km away.

The main temple is a large square building, dedicated to Lord Cheluva Narayana Swamy or Tirunarayana.

The carvings on the temple was incredible...just so ornate.

We climbed up many stairs to the beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Yoga Narasimha.

The view was gorgeous and walking barefoot on the stairs just gave me a sense of how old and worn everything was. I do not understand any of the religious aspects of the temple, but people were going inside to pay respects to the priests (photography not allowed inside temples!).

The top of the temple

Here I am in a little alcove.

Behind me is a carving of some feet. Maybe in reference to a god?

The pool at the base of the temples is called Kalyani or Pushkarani pond

I can tell these day trips are going to require multiple posts, due to the amount of photos I have as well as the length of time the photos take to upload to Flickr. I want to blog in real time as much as technology allows me to, but we'll have to see...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

First foray into the "city"

The yoga shala at which I am practicing is located in Gokalum, which is a fairly wealthy suburb of Mysore (for you Houstonians, think West U/River Oaks). Mysore is the larger surrounding city.

Today I went with 3 other yogis (Jill, Beth and Kirsten) to Dasaprakash for a yummy lunch of thali.

2011 02 17 photo
Thali is a meal that includes small portions of rice, dal (lentils), chapatis (similar to tortillas), vegetables, curd (similar to yogurt) and a sweet.

The hotel/restaurant is located in downtown Mysore, a rickshaw ride away from Gokalum. Mysore proper is definitely more bustling and what I imagine to be more typical "India." Vendors were all around, selling anything you can imagine, from books to underwear and everything in between. Some were a bit aggressive, so being forceful with your "No!" is a must.

We stopped by Rashinkar after lunch to pick up some clothes one of the girls had made.

They stock many beautiful fabrics, scarves, etc. I looked but am not ready to buy just yet.

Tomorrow is a day off from yoga because of the full moon. A day of rest will be good for the body!