MS Trip – One State, Many Worlds



Karnataka: A state I’d never considered to be remotely interesting before. Bangalore: known for IT companies. Mysore: the Mysore Palace. That was perhaps my only knowledge of the state.

For once, I was clueless in a Social Studies class. The lesson wasn’t about Kerala, with which I was thorough, or Tamil Nadu, my hometown. This was different. This was hard. After a bit of the history, the landscape, and other things about the state of Karnataka, I was ready to go and live what we’d learnt in our books.

We reached Bangalore after an uncomfortable bus ride, throughout the night. We would freshen up, then visit ISAC, ISRO’s satellite centre. Waiting outside the premises, anyone could tell that ISRO took security seriously. There were guards at every post, and even well- known officials had to show their ID before entering the area. But severity or not, the place was a sight for sore eyes. Green palm trees, well-manicured grass and pastel flowers, decorated the area.

Inside, we were welcomed with warm smiles from the Chandrayaan II, director and general director of ISRO. After watching two videos explaining ISRO’s aims and what space is all about, I finally realised that I was there. This was the place where everything happened. Here, every minute detail counted. If any single thing went wrong, BOOM! Gone. I had finally realised the importance of space missions.

After lunch in Bangalore, we headed off to Shravanabelagola, a huge pilgrimage centre for Jains. After a 650 step climb, a statue of Bahubali, a great king, waited on top, calmly meditating. Unfortunately, we were a bit late in our arrival, so we had to go to Hassan immediately. The next day, we went to the temples of Belur and Halebidu. Belur really mesmerized me. The detail in which the Hoysalas had gone to make the temple matter was simply incredible. The various statues of Shiva and Parvati, the Dasavatharam of Vishnu, the different statues and sculptures of mortals compared to devas, all were huge sights to take in. Halebidu didn’t fail to impress us either. The famous Hoysala emblem, the Chennukeshava, was all perfect. After lunch, we decided to try our luck again by climbing the 650 stairs to visit the great statue of Bahubali.

While forcing ourselves to keep climbing, we took in the beauty of Shravanabelagola from the top of a hill. Once the hard climb was finally over, we rested for about 5 minutes at the top, as we looked down from a great height, then finally we went into the shrine. It was really amazing; it was as if the statue itself radiated a sense of peace. The white marble statue was intricately carved, with ancient scriptures on its feet. As the sun went down, we climbed back down, glancing back up every few minutes, hoping to get another glimpse of the statue before we left.

The next morning in Mysore, we left to see the zoo! As we walked in, we could see the giraffes walking elegantly across their enclosure. It was as if it was a cut-out from Kenya, not here in India. They looked that perfect. I’d never really noticed how big the zoo was before, but then, the range of animals was endless! Lions, tigers, chimps, bats, snakes, you name it, it was there!

We weren’t done yet. That evening, we went to Kukrahalli lake, a man-made lake. The lake actually made me a bit sad. Through the years, the lake had lost its natural beauty. Now, 43% of it is chemicals. Algae floats on the surface. We all hoped the people would save it soon.

The next day, we went to Ranganathittu bird sanctuary. The birds were really beautiful, especially the green ones with brilliant red eyes. As much as it was a bird sanctuary, it was also a croc sanctuary! While on the water to see a few birds, Divya and I jumped every so often as we saw lazy crocodiles sunning their backs everywhere!

After that, the Mysore Palace. God, I’d never seen a building that beautiful! Built in the indo sarcenic style, it displayed probably every colour ever made. As if that didn’t satisfy us, the girls were thrilled to hear that it was designed by a woman, the king’s mother! On a tour, we saw important rooms in the palace, like the open durbar hall, the king’s dressing chamber, the painting halls, and many other interesting places.

The day after that, however, was probably the best. An amusement cum waterpark! YES! It was probably the best ending to a trip I’d never forget.

-Aditi.V, 7th grade


Student Quotes

“Mysore Palace – you would see centuries worth of beauty there.”

-Siddarth Y, 6th grade


“To sum it up, the trip was really fun, interesting and educational; we learnt a lot about our country. Jaihind!”

-Natrajan, 7th grade


“I was lucky I got to see a real satellite being tested. Soon it’s going to be launched!”

-Khushi, 7th grade