Category — Travel
Mysore has always been next door to Bangalore and like all things next door, I’ve always put it off thinking it was next door after-all. I did visit it often though either as a stop on the way to the Nilgiris or to visit Dad who would be working there for part of the year.
Lately as I’ve been reading to prep for Tour of Nilgiris, Mysore surprised me. There was a wealth of information on the city and I knew so little of it. So here’s some interesting info I came across. Mysore is the first stop on the tour!
- The name Mysore is an anglicised version of Mahishūru, which means the abode of Mahisha in the Kannada language. Mahisha stands for Mahishasura, a mythological demon that could assume the form of both human and buffalo. According to Hindu mythology, the area was ruled by the demon Mahishasura. The demon was killed by the Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose temple is situated atop the Chamundi Hills.
- Until 1947, Mysore served as the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore.
- Mysore Airport is also known as Mandakalli Airport.
- The city was the location of the first private radio station in India.
- 1897 an outbreak of bubonic plague killed nearly half of the population of the city.
- With the establishment of the City Improvement Trust Board (CITB) in 1903, Mysore became one of the first cities in Asia to undertake planned development of the city.
- A fire at a television studio in 1989 claimed 62 lives.
- The highest temperature recorded in Mysore was 38.5 °C (101 °F) on 4 May 2006, and the lowest was 7.7 °C (46 °F) on 16 January 2012.
- Among 63 cities covered under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, Mysore City Corporation was adjudged the second best city municipal corporation and was given the “Nagara Ratna” award in 2011.
- The city got its first piped water supply when the Belagola project was commissioned in 1896.
- The city has had an underground drainage system since 1904.
- Mysore was rated the second cleanest city in India in 2010 and the cleanest in Karnataka.
- The first college to be set up for higher education was the Maharajas College, founded in 1864.
- A high school exclusively for girls was established in 1881 and later it was converted into Maharanis Women’s College.
- The University of Mysore was the sixth university to be established in India and the first in Karnataka.
- The Mysore Medical College, founded in 1924, was the first medical college to be started in Karnataka and the seventh in India.
- The Dasara festivities, which are celebrated over a ten-day period, were first introduced by King Raja Wodeyar I in 1610.
- The main palace of Mysore, Amba Vilas was burned down in 1897, and the present-day structure was built on the same site.
- The Mysore Pak traces its history to the kitchen of the Mysore palace.
- Mysore is the location of the International Ganjifa Research Centre, which researches the ancient card game Ganjifa and the art associated with it.
- Kannada writers Kuvempu, Gopalakrishna Adiga and U. R. Ananthamurthy were educated in Mysore and served as professors at the Mysore University.
- R. K. Narayan, a popular English-language novelist and creator of the fictional town of Malgudi, and his cartoonist brother R. K. Laxman spent much of their life in Mysore.
- Sudharma, the only Indian daily newspaper in Sanskrit, is published in Mysore.
- Mysore was the location of the first private radio broadcasting station in India when Akashavani (voice from the sky) was established in the city on 10 September 1935 by M.V. Gopalaswamy, a professor of psychology, at his house in the Vontikoppal area of Mysore, using a 50-watt transmitter.
- In 1957, Akashvani was chosen as the official name of All India Radio (AIR), the radio broadcaster of the Government of India.
- Javagal Srinath, who represented India for several years as its frontline fast bowler, comes from Mysore.
- India’s first youth hostel was formed in the Maharaja’s College Hostel in 1949.
All Facts Credited to Wikipedia.
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December 13, 2012 No Comments
Less than a week to the start of TfN and I’m all excited. It’s time to start blogging TfN
To prep for the trip I’ve been reading up on TfN, Cycling and Places we’re passing through on the tour. So, that’s what I’m going to be blogging about over the next few days. Starting with my list of 20 things I Didn’t Know About TfN. How many of these do you know?
- The first TfN in 2008 was just a few friends who got together and decided to combine their passion for cycling with a mission.
- The Supermarket chain Nilgiris was the first – title and main Sponsor in 2008.
- The most number participants on a tour was in 2010 with 100 riders.
- 2009 had the most number of women riders – 12!
- Oldest Rider on TfN in the last four years was Peter Clarance Smith [aged 60 in 2009]
- In 2010 Rishi Nair (8 years) became the youngest rider on tour ever.
- The maximum kilometers ever done in a day across events is 180km in 2011 on Day 3 from Hasan to Medikeri.
- The furthest any rider has come to join TfN is USA.
- The most competitive section in 2011 was Day 5 – The Climb on the CS was Category 1, with some heat and humidity
- Most expensive bike ever at TfN was a Pinarello Dogma ridden by Rajesh Nair.
- The coolest cycles ever at TfN are Venky’s Fixie (2011), George’s Moulton (2008), Mark Anderson’s Bike (2011)
- The most difficult cycle to cycle on TfN ever was a full suspension Hero Octane in 2008.
8 Things You Should Know About TfN 2012
- You get to ride on the NICE expressway. Cyclists are not allowed on NICE road during rest of the year.
- Three states are covered on the route – Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
- The tour also goes through three National Parks - Bandipur National Park, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and Nagarhole National Park.
- An average day’s ride at TFN ranges between 100 and 180kms.
- 70% of the tour is non competitive. There are separate categories for Men and Women.
- The most competitive section this year will be on Day 6 – The day involves a lot of climbs, and the CS is at the end with some 30 more km to climb to reach home.
- The results of each competitive section are announced at EOD and the accumulated time for the 6 days is summarized at the end of the tour.
- The leader for each day of the tour gets a Blue jersey that can be worn by the cyclist the next day.
How many of these did you know?
I’m looking forward to TfN and I’m all butterflies. It’s going to be a fun ten days in the mountains.
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December 12, 2012 6 Comments
It all started with Chenthil, like a lot of things do
Che cycles and I find it amazing to see him come back all exhilarated. He cycles maybe a maximum of 50 km, that’s 50 km! It should be tiring with all the undulations and bad roads, it should be exhausting with legs groaning but he seems invigorated. To me its a paradox. I’ve been into sports all my life so I understand the exhilaration he feels, I’ve felt it too. But now well over 30 do I really want to do that to myself?
Then last year Che went along with TfN as official photographer. The conversations we had over the 8 days of tour were, simply put ‘wierd’. He talked about carbon frames, fixies, bonking and more. And he came back gushing! For days after he wouldn’t stop talking about the scenic routes, the curves and climbs, the riders and their endurance, their ages, the cycles, the food,… Oh! I can go on
My curiosity piqued, I wanted to know more about why people push themselves. Its a high no doubt but what makes people want that high, why do people want to cycle up a mountain, why do people want to cycle?
I wanted to experience TfN, see the high with my own eyes. So this year when Che started talking about TfN 2012 I asked if I could travel along and blog about it. The guys at TfN graciously said yes. I’m going to TfN this year and I’m not cycling it! Yay!
Ok, I’m all set to travel but what do I know about cycling? Last I cycled was in school, agreed it was the coolest bike with both front and back shock absorbers and a boy’s cycle at that, still back then I was 16 and in my prime A few years back I thought to try it again and borrowed a friends cycle. Day 1 saw me cycle across the city in one gear fearing for my life and Day 2 had me throwing in the spade at the Windsor Manor climb. So what do I know about cycling?
Being an official blogger isn’t easy, you have to do justice to the event. When its a sport, its tougher. You have to cover so much. I needed a voice, a story. I’ve been wondering about this for a while now. I read up on cycling, TfN, articles about TfN, cyclists blogs,… and still I don’t seem to know it. Ah, don’t mistake, I know about it just don’t know know it, you know. Its the experiential that missing.
That’s my voice – my story. I’m an outsider and my story’s from this side of the fence as I watch TfN 2012 unfold. Along the journey I hope to learn more about cycles, touring, TfN, cycling terminology, what cyclists eat, what makes them tick and much more.
Hope you join me as I watch them ride | suffer | brag
8 days of TfN through three states and national parks this years starts December 16th. Sadly its full. But this year the TfN guys have a special – Entrée. So if you can’t/didn’t make it to the full tour you can join us for a 3 nights 2 days ride through the Nilgiris. You can know more and register here.
October 11, 2012 No Comments
The last two weeks have been fun, I travelled, met some very interesting people and just had a ball. We photographed two weddings at two corners of India and each was so different.
We started our journey with a quick trip to Kovilpatti my ’sasural’ or as I see it my second home. From there on to Tuticorin for Hemanth and Mala’s wedding. Theirs was a simple wedding yet ‘hat ke’ or different. Hemanth and Mala added a little bit of themselves to the wedding process and I was glad to be a part of it.
It was a simple ‘nadar’ wedding where an elder gives a little speech and blessing followed by the boy tying the ‘magalsutra’ (its the Indian equivalent of a ring) or thread signifying marriage around the girls neck. There are some more speeches and the wedding’s complete. Hemanth and Mala added to the ritual by having a fusion wedding the day before with a bridal march to choreographed music and a theme. That was a nice twist to it all!
From hot seaside Tuticorin we rushed to freezing cold Jaipur for another wedding. This one was on a grand scale in palaces and heritage resorts. North Indian weddings are long affaires that go on for three to fours days. They are a riot of color and ritual. I don’t know if I’d like to be the bride in all of that but I definitely enjoyed watching it all through my viewfinder.
After almost four years I picked up a camera again and saw the world through a viewfinder. I hadn’t realized just how much I had missed photography in the last few years. Telling a story with pictures the way I see it unfold is cathartic. It gives you a voice beyond words, and I love hiding behind my camera and seeing the world unfold in front of me.
Its been a great two weeks filled with so many things I love – travel, people, places, rituals. I realized I enjoy weddings, they say so much about people and our culture. This year is a year of experimentation for me. I want to try out as many new things as I can and find myself in it all.
Of course all this travel also meant that I didn’t have internet connectivity everywhere so I’ve missed putting up a few blog posts. I hope to make up for this in the next couple of days.
Here’s a quick photo journey of the last two weeks… [These's are Che's pics, I hope to put up mine soon ]
Its been a great two weeks travelling across India, meeting friends and seeing places after years. I’d gone to Jaipur last 5 years ago and so much has changed! This year has started of so well, can’t wait for the adventures to unveil through the year!
February 14, 2012 4 Comments
I’ve been to Calcutta a few years ago and I loved the city even though mustard oil doesn’t suit my tummy Che’s first ever wedding video collage reminded me so much of the place. This one’s for you Calcutta
November 25, 2011 1 Comment