My last day on my own before meeting my parents very conveniently happened to be on the 14th of October – this year’s Dasara celebration, the last day of the 9 day Durga Purja festival (if you remember from Khajuraho, Durga is She Who Kicks Ass), and I just so happened to be meeting the folks very close to Mysore, one of the biggest Dasara celebration cities in India. Makes this a fairly obvious last stop really.
I visited Mysore Zoo the day before…
Look! A tiger! If you squint quite a lot you can pretend i saw it in the wild!
…but my real reason for visiting was the parade. On a day when all the vehicle owners decide that decoration is more important than being able to see, it’s probably a good thing that the main roads are closed off. There’s a VIP pass available for tourists to buy for a stupid jacked up price which guarantees you cushy seats in the palace, but I am a) cheap and b) disorganised (couldn’t find the tourist office, so I probably couldn’t have bought a pass anyway) so I went for the locals’ option of stake a plot and sit there for 5 hours waiting for the parade to start. I managed to get a view by wedging myself between the fence, a telegraph pole and a lamppost. Can’t say I loved the intense crowds, but the parade was fantastic. So, enjoy my collection of elephants in fancy dress, cows in party hats, lots of drums, some big cheeses on horseback, and a very popular goddess.