Srirangapatnam Island, Mysore Streets


A very uninspiring day in Srirangapatnam, a small island on the river Sangam, the site of the old fort of Monarch Haider Ali and the Tipur Sultan, his son. Tipur is best known for his resistance against the colonial British and his penchant for tiger stripes. What remains on the island is the tomb of his family, his final resting place, the ruins of his palace (out of bounds), a museum I did not care to enter, promising more of the same collections of guns, furniture and royal portraiture, a mosque, a temple, the old jail and a trip to the river.

An adamant auto-rickshaw driver asks for 250 to take me to all the attractions, we settle on 150, but I must probably have overpaid still.

When I get back I stroll through the streets of Mysore, visiting the Devaraja market, Asoka Street and Gandhi Square, among others. The rough guide states: "Mysore is a great city simply to stroll around.", and takes a romantic view of the city emphasising its charm and faded grandeur. I feel I must have got off at the wrong stop. What I saw was the clogged arteries of a rotting city, auto-rickshaws literally mowing people over just to get through, hawkers selling their wares amidst very chaotic activity. I buy some Mysore pak from the well recommended Guru Sweet Stall and a bunch of bananas which turn out to be leathery in texture when eaten.

My sense of apathy has grown since I entered Mysore. I wonder why my enthusiasm opted to wait outside this city. I am actually looking forward to moving on to Bangalore, which I will do first thing tomorrow.

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