After spending the day at the Shimsha waterfalls we headed towards Mysore on the evening of Thursday. We didn’t go back to the Malavalli route and instead took the Kollegal – T-Narasipura route to reach Mysore – the hubby was very happy to drive without the chaotic Mysore-road traffic and kept gushing about the scenic beauty. I must mention that just before we left Shivanasamudra, on the Bharachukki falls road is the Madhyaranga Sri Ranganatha Swamy temple. This the second of the trio of the Sri Ranganatha temples along the river Kaveri – the Aadi Ranga being at Srirangapatna and the Antya Ranga being at Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. The temple itself is along a serene stretch and is beautiful without the usual milling crowd of tourists.
We reached Mysore by late evening and checked into our hotel after a dinner stop-over. The next day dawned bright and nice and we were excited to be going to visit one of the jewels in the crown of Mysore – the Brindavan Gardens and the Krishna Raja Sagara dam. But before visiting the gardens we had decided to visit the Venugopalaswamy temple at its new location in Hosa Kannambadi.
This temple has a fascinating history and you can read all about it here. The temple was originally built several 100 years ago around the same time as the Chennakeshava temple in Somnathpur and was located in the village of Kannambadi before the KRS dam was built. When the KRS dam was conceived and built, the king of Mysore ordered the people to be relocated to the new village of Hosa Kannambadi, however the temple and a few more other temples in the vicinity were doomed to be submerged. It continued this way for several decades where the temple would surface only when the water levels in the reservoir fell – mostly during the drought years. Then recently the Khodays group took up the task of relocating and restoring the temple to its present location near Hosa Kannambadi.
The temple is located in a spacious island-like location a few kilometers off the main road amidst the KRS dam back-waters. The temple complex is vast and pristine, since it is mostly untouched by tourists as of now. The original architecture has been preserved and most of the slabs and stones from the original site have been recovered and used, but the installation of the idols is yet to be done and so the temple awaits its official inauguration.
We spent a good couple of hours at the temple site enjoying the serenity and the beauty of the architecture. Thereafter we headed over to the Brindavan gardens. These gardens have been one of the major attractions in Mysore and were conceived by Sir Mirza Ismail, the then Dewan of Mysore for the beautification of the dam site. The work on it was started in the year 1927 and it was developed in the Mughal style similar to the Shalimar gardens in Kashmir in a terraced fashion – the main architect for the park was G.H. Krumbigal, then Superintendent of Parks and Gardens of the Mysore Government.
The gardens are spread across 60 acres – we spent the latter part of the day strolling through them after having a spot of modest lunch at the KSTDC hotel inside the garden premises.We decided to first walk upto the dam end of the garden to check if we could take a look at the Kaveri waters roaring and rushing through the opened gates. Unfortunately we were not in luck and were told that the access to the dam gates was completely shut from the garden end. If we wanted to have a close look at the dam gates, we would have to drive right up to the beginning of the dam-site which was a good 5 kms away from the gardens 😦 Disappointed, we trudged back and walked slowly right up to the other end, where the famed musical fountain is located. The show was slotted for 7 PM and we had gone as early as 5.30 PM. As we waited the amphitheatrical steps started filling up and how?! By the show time the entire area was teeming with thousands of people and there were only flashes going off in all directions, lighting up the night!
The musical fountain used to be one of its kind – where bursts of water, lighted up in varied hues, are synchronised to the music of popular songs. Unfortunately the shows now last only for 15 mins and there are 3 shows held with a gap of 10 mins between each show, within the one hour slot of 1 hour. This is quite a deviation from the original shows which used to go on for an hour. Also the songs chosen were quite alarming – the first one was the popular and very apt ‘Kannada naadina jeevanadi’ in SPB‘s delightful voice which gave me goosebumps. But the next two – ‘Babuji zara dheere chalo remix version(?!)‘ and ‘Dhoom machale‘ left a bitter taste in my mouth! Why do we have to cater to such stupid tastes of the populace? Why can’t we have more Kannada numbers which talk about our land and it’s beauty or atleast some good patriotic numbers if you want to reach out to people from other states?
On our way back, we did stop over at the beginning of the dam to catch a glimpse of the dam gates – the night was dark and the lighting wasn’t very good, but just the sound of the majestic roar of the mighty Kaveri brought in that rush of adrenaline in my body and soul – how I wished I could’ve been there and seen it in daylight! Nevertheless, that wish hopefully will be fulfilled sometime in the future… With that, I will end this looong post! There’s more – Mysore day-2 coming up, hopefully in the next few days!