25 July 2012

An old historical City-Srirangapatna

This was an enchanting experience and a wonderful experience. I have been crossing over through SriRangapatna for long time, but never got down to stopping here and exploring around the old town. Its since childhood, and the "Sword of Tipu Sultan" can i find my connection to this place and also my acquaintance with the people here. A plan over the weekend, to experience the grandeur was something on the cards and matured into memory on photos and now a script through the writeup.
SriRangapatna, is located 120 Kms away from Bangalore, and is just a leap before the other major historical City of Karnataka, Mysore. I am sure if you are visiting srirangapatna from Bangalore, and god forbid, the tasty masala dosas from Adiga's or A2B engulf you in sleep, you are sure going to wake up at mysore, which is just 15 kms ahead from this place. The roads are a treat to drive on, and we have had some of the best times, while driving down this excellent mettaled road.
The plan was to cover the famous Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary first in the morning and then continue to explore the vicinities of the city and then next day head towards Mysore. I have already written about Ranganthittu trip which can be read here. We started early from bangalore and reached Srirangapatna by morning 9:30 am. The city is situated on the national highway and spread across both its side. Its a typical indian town with lot of hustle bustle during the day time, since these places play host to most of the villages around for shopping their daily bread and butter. The bus Stand gave us the first signs of that, with not many options lucarative enough to call us in for the breakfast. The best we could never have imagined to us, happened. While trying to get some basic information about the place and some decent eating joint around, i asked this Autorickshaw Driver, named "Raja". I was suddenly surprised by his eloquence and willingness to discuss. he even went back to his auto and got some small postcard of the photos of srirangapatna and told me about the places around the city. I candidly asked him if he worked a Guide too, which he didnt feel bad about, but replied with a no and smiled. As with the conversation, we found that he was a good fellow and so very unlike other Rickshaw drivers talked sensibly. We finally decided among us and booked him for the day, for some 300 Rs to take us through the city.

First destination was a Hotel for breakfast prescribed by Raja in the city centre, as a pure Brahmin hotel having repute for food. As the auto pulled out of the bus stand, the stalls and pheris around the road disappeared and came across a huge entrace, typical to all the forts in india and that marked the entrace to the town also. Soon, i discovered that its a town, set in the fort vicinities and so is not a huge place to deal with. The market place also confirmed that, with a smaller coverage. To some extent it looked like a market atop a hill station with not many super markets and top of the town goodies on sale. Soon, the auto pulled over near a small house, with a wodden door and quite dusty surrounding. It took me a while to realize that this is the place, where we would be relishing the tasty dosas and kesri baths. The insides gave me a feel of some olden day restaurant. The place was though quite old but clean. The walls with huge photos, and of godess lakshmi on the counter, embraced the place. Also we could see that not many visitors come to the city, and if they come over, they dont come inside on such a typical eating joint, which is a definite miss for them. Soon a huge sized, old man but in excellent health, with moustaches seen never before appeared in front of us. He was wearning a clean shirt and tilak on his forehead, probably living the customs of a brahmin hotel. As he took our order, we observered the place. the breakfast lined up at our table in no time, and thats what we took to finish it off, no time. The experience was good and soon we were again onboard our personal vehicle for the day. Now the promise was to visit the famous Ranganthittu bird sancutary. As we returned from the sanctuary quite satisfied with the exploration, Raja waited patiently. Now the plan was to head back to the city and see the old & the golden places from the times of tipu sultan.

1, Raghunath Temple:

First on Raja's mind was Raghunath temple. A short drive and we came across this beautiful temple with huge carving on the front, as is seen across most of the temples in south india. Its work seemed quite peculiar and there was market just outside it selling all sorts of things. Raja told us that we could buy all of those local items on an govt. emporium than buying from there. We followed the suite and soon entered the Temple. It was a marvellous work with a complete stone rock being carved to make out this temple. The walls were huge in size, and aroma of dhoops and flowers in the dark shades of the interiors gave a great feel. The floor was amazing cold because of stones and it was a real delight to see not much of crowd inside the temple. The outskirts of the temple had carving of god's various forms. There was a Section to store & hold water on one side and a Yagy-Shala next to it. The huge pillars offered us some solace and we transcended to those days when the raja would have come to the temple with all his glory and offered his puja. Outside the temple was a chariot parked, which is used during the yearly festival to carry the Diety around.

2, Tipus Tombstone:

3, Water Gate & Tipu's masjid:

4, Summer Palace:

5, Sangam:

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