We travelled from Pondicherry to Mysore – about 450 km in a rented car. the trip was by far the best road trip we have had in India. (We are definitely getting more experienced in what to ask for, what to make sure happens and doesn’t happen, etc.). Mysore is in central India on the Deccan Plateau. It is cooler than anywhere we’ve been in the south and it is also drier. we are drinking lots of water to help our bodies adjust to this phenomenon. we read in the newspaper that Karnataka (the state we are in) is experiencing record breaking cold spell – a low of 8 degrees! (celsius)
On our 8 hour drive from Pondicherry to Mysore we saw Arunchual – the mountain where Shiva turned himself into a beam of light to stop an argument between Vishnu and Brahma. There is a wonderful story to go along with this event and it is a revered place of pilgrimage – surrounded by ashrams and shrines and temples.
we passed miles of granite quarries – big trucks coming out onto the road with massive slabs of granite on their long beds. we could see the seams of granite being cut off the mountain sides. these pieces are shipped to towns and cities where carvers will be hammered and chiselled them into temple idols, gods and goddesses.
we arrived on festival weekend – harvest and bounty being celebrated. the cows are given a turmeric bath and their horns are gaily painted and hung with bells.
David and Jospeh grill the spices vendor about the quality and grades of the cardmon, tumeric, cinnamon and black pepper. they enjoyed tasting the wares for freshness and of course everyone enjoyed the conversation that goes along with the stop at his street ‘shop’.
In front of every temple or shrine is someone selling flowers and/or coconuts to offer. this was a beautiful selection in front of a tiny streetside shrine that is just to the left of Joseph’s elbow in the last picture.