Today I travelled on an air-conditioned coach from Bangalore to Mysore, a reasonably comfortable journey which took about 4 hours and cost 140 rupees — about US $3.50. I could have taken a non-A/C bus for 65 rupees (about $1.50), but I figured I could afford to treat myself!

On arrival in Mysore, I immediately booked an overnight bus to Hospet (for Hampi) for the following night, and then took an ancient Ambassador taxi to the hotel I’d selected from my Rough Guide (actually it’s a friend’s Rough Guide — thanks Gavi!), the KSTDC Mayura Hoysala, which is a former colonial-era mansion with a beer garden. I got a pretty good double room with A/C for a little under $20 for the night (the place I stayed in Bangalore, the Royal Lodge, was less than half this price, but had no A/C and wasn’t quite as clean as the Rough Guide had led me to believe).

After some lunch (veg bajii and a beer), I walked into the centre of Mysore and visited the Maharaja’s Palace (completed in 1912). It was very crowded, and I joined thousands of Indian tourists and a small number of foreigners for a bare-foot shuffle around the opulent halls.

Now I’m writing my blog and checking emails, eseentially killing time until 7pm when the Palace will be illuminated with over 5,000 lights — it’s supposed to be quite a spectacle.

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