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We next headed to Mysore by train. It took us two hours from Bangalore to Mysore.
Mysore was a very touristy place compared to Bangalore, however it was a very clean city. It also wasn't as large of a city.
So we did what most tourists do when in Mysore, we spent a couple days sight seeing. We had a tour of the famous Mysore palace which belonged to the last king of Mysore before the British took over. We also visited the local zoo, a couple of historical temples and the famous Brindavan gardens. We also decided to visit the local wax and sand museum Although the wax museum was nothing to write home about, the sand museum was somewhat a little more interesting. A local artist had built large structures (often either historical scenes or personalities from popular culture) needless to say out of sand.
Another popular sight many people visit is the Chamundi hills. There is a temple at the top of the hills dedicated to a goddess (known as Chamundi) whom the local people worshipped during the reign of the former king, including the royal family. We also made the trip up the hill, however we were a little late reaching the temple and the capacity to visit the temple on the hill was full by the time we reached. So we just made a big circle and drove back down the other side of the hill. However, we got to see some neat views of the city on our journey down.
Bangalore and Mysore are cities located in the southern state of Karnataka, where the official language is Kannada. We found most people spoke English and were able to get by with that alone. It was interesting to see the cultural shift, especially marked by the language requirement. While in the north of India Hindi is widely spoken, the southern states don't speak Hindi much (in spite of it being the official language of India).
One morning for breakfast we had a very simple dish of Plain Dosa and Idli at a very popular tiny little restaurant called Mylari. It could hardly seat 20 people at a time. However it had come highly recommended by friends, so we went looking for it. It was incredibly busy and only opened for a few hours in the morning. The restaurant only served two items for breakfast; Dosa and Idli and that too the simple and plain versions, nothing fancy. It was one of the most delicious preparations I had eaten. It definitely made our authentic check list.
Unlike the very cosmopolitan vibe Bangalore boasted, Mysore was a traditional historical Indian city. It was quieter and other than the touristy places, seemed to have a laid back, tranquil feel.