After a heavy breakfast at Hotel Sandesh - The Prince (great hotel, value for money, very clean, good food and centrally located), I proceeded to the Mysore Palace. A beautiful and a very imposing structure, this is Mysore's biggest attraction. Unfortunately cameras aren't allowed inside, else I would have freaked out. Wonderfully and artistically built, it's interiors are India's ancient architecture at its very best. The authorities have also maintained it quite well. The Durbar Hall is quite unlike anything I have ever seen. It's very grand and gives a commanding view of the palace grounds in front.
Then, we proceeded to Chamundi Hills. There's a temple on top of it, but since I was there on a Friday -and the temple is most visited on Fridays, hence it was very crowded -and I decided to give it a miss. So we proceeded down the hill again, taking in breathtaking views of Mysore city from up the hills and passing by the Nandi Bull -an imposing structure of Lord Shiva's mount. Within minutes, I was heading towards Coorg. A brief lunch stopover at a roadside restaurant called Hotel Annapurna where delicious south Indian fare was had and savoured, served over traditional banana leaf, much like during Parsi weddings and navjotes. But this time, the fare was complete vegetarian. But I am not complaining at all. And very economical too. Rs 55 for a heavy lunch for two! Can you beat that?
Next stop: The Tibetan Nandroling monastery. The monastery is in a small town called Bylakupe, I am told this is one of the largest Tibetan settlements in India. The monastery, like any other Tibetan place of worships, is spotless clean. The Tibetans sure know how to not only decorate their places of worship with fantastic and unbelievable architecture, paintings, artifacts, etc, but also to maintain them. The monastery is also called the Golden Temple. It glints in the far distance as you approach it. It's worth spending easily an hour here and just savour the beauty and positive aura of this magnificent place.
Half an hour on the highway further is Cauvery Nisargadham, a small forest connected to the mainland by a rope bridge. Nothing spectacular here, but just like anywhere else in Coorg, the beauty of the nature and forest is on display here and at best a short walk along the long and winding pathway in the forest is recommended.
After driving for a further three hours (20.30 hrs), we reached Misty Woods, in complete darkness. I had almost torn by hair apart by then. What ought to have taken us just three hours from Hotel Annapurna where we had earlier had our lunch, we reached after five hours because we missed our turn, stopped over at the above two places, and did not head the advice to reach Misty Woods before dark.