Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mysore Street Scenes and Fireworks Market

Here is a chronicle of a day in Mysore.  Mysore is about two hours inland from Bangalore.  It is really quite a prosperous town and has been so historically.  It's last Maharajah was a very modern man and interested in everything new in terms of technology and business practices.  The Infosys campus is there, where tens of thousands of young Indian computer engineers are being trained and then employed, contributing to the prosperity of the locale. There is a well-known yoga school.  A famously vivid market.  There are several palaces in the town, but the main one is an example of beautiful Edwardian architecture, designed by an Englishman but incorporating astounding examples of both Indian and Western decor.

Photographs in the palace are not allowed, but if you are in Mysore, you must go. It is that much more beautfiul when you are visiting it with masses of Indian visitors because the ladies' sari colors harmonize so wonderfully with the interiors and the filtered light and turn it into fantasy-scape of shimmering filmy colors mostly of turquoise and lavender and blue.  With liberal sprinklings of gold.  It's an extraordinary experience.

We arrived in the full light of the afternoon.

Mysore was bustling with commerce.  Alongside the streetcorner shrines.

This is the sugar cane drink wallah.

Everyone had motorcycles.

It was the start of Diwali and the streets were lined with vendors and their marigold garlands.

In the town center everything could be found for sale.

And of course the latest Bollywood offerings were being advertised.

It's commonplace for women in southern India to adorn their hair daily with fresh jasmine.

As the day went on we found our way to the fireworks market.

Diwali is the festival of light and a combination of Christmas and New Year's

These pictures are blurry because evening was falling already when we reached this open field in the middle of town.

 I had to capture the kaleidoscopic nature of the colors created by the marquees and the shoppers' clothing.

This area was specially set up for fireworks sales.

Indian families will garland their homes for Diwali, hang colored lights up, light candles

in elaborate arrangements with flowers

and set off fireworks.  It's a very exciting time.

Wherever you are in the world, fireworks seem to bring out the kid in everyone.

Don't miss Mysore.  And come back soon for photos of the Mysore vegetable market.

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