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Our Story : My trip to Bangalore – Part 24

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Once it was planned that I will be going to Bangalore to meet AS, I was in a super good mood. The few remaining weeks just passed by planning the trip. I had been to India couple of time before but Bangalore was a different story. First of all AS was there and everyone had told me that Bangalore is a nice place to be. I was not quite sure what to expect but it didn’t matter as AS was there and I was sure everything will be fine.

Finally, the day arrived. I had a flight from Sydney to Thailand and Thailand to Bangalore. In my excitement, I couldn’t eat much on the plane. I was so pumped to see AS again after so many months.

When I landed in Bangalore International Airport, all I wanted to do was collect the bag from the carousel and run to find AS outside. It was hot in the airport but I didn’t care about anything at all. I passed the immigration, picked up my bad and went to find AS.

There were so many people there and the airport was really big. Everywhere there were people patiently waiting for their loved ones to come out and in the middle of this chaos I spotted AS. I just ran to hug him. I was so happy to hold him again and I was over the moon.

I know I was in India and PDA is not common but I couldn’t hold my excitement. In all this excitement, I left my baggage trolley a few meters from us. Once the initial meeting was done, AS hurried to get the baggage as it not safe to leave it without anyone looking after it.

AS had a car booked with a driver and he took us to our hotel. I really didn’t care what happened after that because for the next 2 weeks AS was going to be with me and we were going to have heaps of fun.

The serviced apartment he booked was in a quiet street with only a few rooms. I didn’t know much of the Bangalore but AS lived there and I trusted him completely to plan of the days and take us around. We went to a nearby restaurant for dinner and just talked till late. I don’t know when I fall asleep but I had a very good rest.

Rest of my time in there was fully planned by AS. There were so many things I wanted to do and see and AS was making sure they happened. He took me to many attractions around Bangalore for the next few days.

Bangalore Palace

The Bangalore Palace was built by a Wodeyar King in 1887 on the 400 acre space. Inspired by the Windsor castle, this palace was built in the Tudor style, complete with Gothic windows, foiled windows, battlements and turrets resembling the Daria Daulat Palace in Srirangapatanam

 We bought our ticket and were given an audio guide to take us around. The ground floor consisted of an open courtyard containing granite seats covered with fluorescent blue ceramic tiles. It also contained a ballroom for holding private parties. I wished I could take some of the furniture and paints home as they were really beautiful and I am sure very expensive.

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The first floor, containing an elaborate hall known as the Durbar Hall, can be reached by climbing a decorated staircase. This is a sprawling hall where the king used to address the assembly. The walls along the staircase are adorned with paintings and the Durbar Hall has a massive elephant head mounted in it.

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One side of the hall contains stained glass windows in Gothic style. The yellow colour is used profusely and the walls and the sofa set in the hall are in yellow. A screen on one end separates the area where the ladies used to sit and watch the assembly proceedings in relative privacy. Some paintings of Raja Ravi Verma are also displayed here.

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The interior walls of the palace are adorned by old paintings belonging to the mid-19th century, including some Greek and Dutch paintings. Some of the other attractions include a dining table belonging to the Diwan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail. This table contained a mother-of-pearl inlay with Chinese lacquer work.

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The maharajah’s courtyard has a bench and a fountain which was a gift from the King of Spain Don Alphonso. I loved that bench so much that we ended up taking many photos there.

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According to the audio guide, when he was deposed of power in year 1931 he visited Bangalore and found solace in this courtyard, because the columns and arches were of Moorish Architecture which were from back home. The Wadiyar’s gracious hospitality made him present this fountain and bench made of bright coloured tiles by the leading art deco ceramicist Seville.

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I was really amazed by the palace and could imagine how the rich and famous lived their life. When we exited the palace, we were in a big beautiful garden.

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Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

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I was surprised to see such a green open space in the middle of a city full of hustle-bustle. Spread over 96 acres of landscaped terrain, Lalbagh or the Red Garden was laid out in 1760 by Hyder Ali, and is now one of Bengaluru’s most famous greens. A beautiful glasshouse, modelled on the original Crystal Palace in London, is the venue for flower shows and we were lucky to be there during one of the shows.

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The garden has trees that are over 100 years old. It also has an aquarium and a lake. Rose garden is one of the other attractions.

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It seemed like a nice place for lovebirds to date as we saw them everywhere.

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It reminded me a lot of the zoo in Nepal where young people date hiding from preying eyes of society.

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Dodda Basavana Gudi (the Bull Temple)

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Dodda Basavana Gudi (the Bull Temple) is situated in the N.R. Colony, Basavanagudi area of South Bangalore. The Hindu temple is inside a park called Bugle Rock.

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The bull referred to is a sacred Hindu demi-god, known as Nandi; Nandi is a close devotee and attendant of Shiva. Dodda Basavana Gudi is said to be the biggest temple to Nandi in the world. The stone cult image of Nandi is continually covered with new layers of butter, benne in the local language of Kannada.

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The majestic structure of Nandi, 15 feet tall and over 20 feet long, has been carved out of a single granite rock.

Outside the corridors of the Bull Temple, there is huge 20 ft high pillar which has its base adorned with relief figures on all sides. One figure is of special interest which shows a male playing a string instrument facing the Big Bull.

Legends abound regarding the origin of the magnificent bull carved in a crouching position. The surrounding area of the temple was inhabited by groundnut growing farmers and a bull used to graze on the flourishing groundnut crop. Enraged at the loss caused by the bull, a farmer hit the bull with a club and the bull was was transformed into a stone. Stunned by this event, the worried farmers built a temple to appease the bull of Lord Shiva, Nandi; thus originated the practice of farmers offering their first crop of groundnut as an offering to the bull. The occasion gradually metamorphosed into the famous the Kadalekayi Parishe (The Groundnut fair), which is held in the month of November. Every year, during the fair farmers offer their first crop of groundnut to the sacred bull of the temple.

I went to a few more temples in Bangalore but the thing that impressed me the most was the shopping mall in there [OBVIOUSLY!!!]. We went to a few different shopping malls every day and I did find a few items I liked to buy. AS also took me to the market where they sell accessories like chura and tika and a street where they sell saris only.

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At the end, I bought a few saris for our mums and few for me, a lehenga set and few accessories. I wish I can go back and shop again as they have so much variety.

In addition, we spent some time with AS’s friends. Some of them were really nice inviting us to their home for lunch while we met some in restaurants for dinner.

It was nice to know his friends and see him in his environment. They seemed to be nice people and just happy for AS and me. Before I left, they gave me some gifts as well and I was really touched.

From Bangalore, we went to Mysore and I will write about it more in my next post.

Till then take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 25

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Our Story : My next trip – Part 23

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

I was so excited and happy with the news of AS’s visa that I started counting days to his arrival. Our family and friends were very happy for us as well as they knew how much we missed each other.

I was already dreaming what I was going to do when he got here. I would love to get our own place and start our new life together.

But things were not meant to go according to plan and here is how one of our conversations went.

Me: (All excited) I am so happy baby.

AS: I know and me too.

Me: So when are you going to book the ticket.

AS: I talked to my work and they have asked me to work till the end of the month.

Me: But that is 3 weeks away.

AS: I know but I have to stay so they can give me a good recommendation for the future. I can’t just pack and leave.

Me: Can’t they let you go before that? Come on I have been waiting for so long and I can’t wait any longer.

AS: Come on baby, I know you want me there and I want me there too but I have to finish my obligations here before I leave.

Me: I am sure you can work it out.

AS: I have talked to my boss and this is the best option.

Me: Then I am not happy 😦

AS: Come on dear, just few weeks more and I will be there.

Me: I have been patient for so long and you still want me to wait for a whole month, I can’t.

AS: Listen to me please, we will be fine. Now you know I am coming, start planning what to do when I get there. Then the time will pass quickly.

Me: No, I want you here next week.

AS: You know that it is not possible.

Me: Then make it happen.

AS tried his best to calm me down and finally I gave in. OK so he was coming finally and I could wait a few more weeks.

Then after a few days I had the following talk with him.

Me: Hey when are you planning to book the ticket?

AS: Soon. Once everything is sorted out here, I need to go to Kathmandu and then I will come to Sydney.

Me: I didn’t realise that you are going to Kathmandu too.

AS: I have to see my family and sort everything and I will be there soon baby. Just count the days.

Me: I am sure you are not going to Kathmandu just for a few days so tell me what date you plan to be here.

AS: You are not angry with me.

Me: Me being angry is not going to solve the problem so tell me the date so I know for sure how long it’s going to be. (I was trying to be an understanding girlfriend and I did want him to spend some time with his family but at the same time it was getting harder for me. It had been 4 months since I saw him last)

AS: I am thinking end of September or early October

Me: OK that’s cool.

We talked everyday as he finalised his life in India and pack his bags to come to Sydney. I knew it was a big move for him as he was leaving everything he knew behind for me and I wanted to make the transition as smooth as possible.

I was doing my best to give him all the information about here so he wouldn’t get a shock when he comes here.

Then while we were talking one day, we came up with a brilliant plan. As he couldn’t come to Sydney so soon so I decided to go and meet him in India for few weeks. I had some holiday accumulated and I had never been to Bangalore before so it was the perfect excuse. I had been to many parts of India before so I kind of knew what to expect but at the same time Bangalore seemed more exciting as AS was there.

As we talked more AS was able to take his last week off from work, so that was when I decided to fly. The way it planned out was, I would fly from Sydney to spend some time with him for 2 weeks and after that, he would go to Nepal. He would spend a few weeks there with his family and would the fly to Sydney.

It looked like a perfect plan and I would be able to bring some stuff of his with me too.

I was really excited when we made the plan and immediately booked the ticket and looked forward for my next holiday with AS.

Next post will be my trip to Bangalore and surroundings. Again, there will be the airport and a holiday.

As I mentioned before, our love story will not be complete without airports :).

Until the next post take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 24

Windsor Castle : England

Castles have always fascinated me as they always make me wonder about the people who have lived there and their lavish life styles. So I was really excited to visit the Windsor Castle. We hired a car from Brighton and with the help of a GPS navigator, we reached the Windsor castle. Unfortunately finding parking proved to be more difficult than expected but we did manage to find parking next to the train station. It was funny to see that the parking meter didn’t take any cash but only card. Luckily, we had one but there were a few other people who didn’t know what to do as they had only cash.

We then took a short stroll toward the Windsor Castle. As soon as we saw the main gate, we realised that there was a long queue for the tickets. I was bit worried as we wanted to do more than one place in one day. Fortunately a guard came and asked us if we were with a group. I told him that it is only the two of us so he asked us to follow him and to join the shorter queue inside as we had unknowingly joined a queue for groups. So in next 10 minutes, we bought our ticket and we were inside the castle. The tickets cost 17 pound per adult.

Here is some history about the Windsor Castle from Wikipedia:

Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it has been used by a succession of monarchs and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle’s lavish, early 19th-century State Apartments are architecturally significant, described by art historian Hugh Roberts as “a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste”.] The castle includes the 15th-century St George’s Chapel, considered by historian John Robinson to be “one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic” design.[2] More than five hundred people live and work in Windsor, making it the largest inhabited castle in the world.

Inside, in one corner they were handing out a free audio guide so we grabbed them and walked in. After a short wander through the St. George’s gate then onto the Middle Ward, bailey formed around the motte or artificial hill in the centre of the ward, we could see a great view of the Castle complex. We took lots of photos there as that is what I had always seen in pictures as Windsor Castle for a long time. As we were taking the photos, we saw a few guards walking past us and we joined hundreds of people trying to take a photo of the guards.

We wandered around for a while and decided to go inside St George’s Chapel and have a look around. There are lots of tombs of many Kings and Queens buried there as well as many noble men. The chapel is located in the Lower Ward of the castle, which is one of the principal residences of Queen Elizabeth II. The most famous tombs must be of King George V and Queen Mary. They are beautifully decorated and we can see the history of arts of centuries. In one of the side aisles, there is a memorial of Queen Elizabeth II’s parents (George VI and Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) and her sister, Princess Margaret.

 In this chapel, The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie Rhys-Jones were married in 1999 along with many other royals .Also Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles had a blessing at St. George’s Chapel after their civil ceremony in Windsor.

Then we headed to view Queen Mary’s Dolls house. Unfortunately, there was a long queue so we decided to skip that and instead went to the State Apartments. The Queen was not there so we were allowed to go in.

The State Apartments are amazing and was very huge.  As the self-guided audio tour took as to many rooms, it explained about its history and they were really fascinating. The rooms we were allowed to go into were the King’s Drawing Room, the King’s Bedchamber, the King’s Dressing Room,  the Queen’s Drawing Room,  the King’s Dining Room , the Queen’s Ballroom,  St. George’s Hall Paintings  and the Lantern Lobby . I also came to know that they were completely gutted in a fire in 1992 then subsequently rebuilt. There were lots of artworks and many by Van Dyk, and also a self-portrait by Rembrandt. Then there are rows in the wall full of family portraits of the royal families from many centuries.

Also in some rooms there were lots of other priceless pieces from the years ago including guns, swords, crowns from everywhere in the empire as well expensive china dinner sets, clocks. There were also displays of shields of the previous knights of the garter AS was so interested to look in detailed in this room; I literally had to drag him away from there. If you look into detail, you can spend the whole day in the castle but we didn’t have so much time so we had to go around quickly.

In one of the rooms, there were displays of 50 different photos of Queen Elizabeth II celebrating her Golden Jubilee this year. It was really crowded and me and AS go separated. I panicked for a while as I didn’t have a mobile with me so didn’t know how to find him. But I was relieved when I saw him again looking at the photos oblivious that I was not with him. 🙂

It was a really nice and sunny day for our visit to the castle and it was fun to go inside the rooms and walk the pathway which had been walked by famous kings and queens including Queen Elizabeth II.

On the way out we went to one of the shops in the castle and bought a souvenir exclusive to Windsor Castle. There was lots of souvenir merchandise like jewelleries, clothing, books, housewares, toiletries, children’s gifts

There was also a post box of royal mail where we took photos.

From there we made our way to the exit and handed over the audio guide. Outside the castle we saw two police officers equipped with big guns. The palace itself was surrounded by small period houses and looked beautiful.

Please click here for more photos.