Sunday, July 12, 2015

Saturday with Our Senior Missionary Couple

Yesterday we decided to enjoy some of India beyond the mission office and our Church buildings. With Elder and Sister Bedke, our senior couple who provide absolutely essential service in the mission office, we went to Mysore, about 3.5 hours south of Bangalore. Our destination was the palace of the Maharaja of Mysore. This royal family ruled Mysore starting in the 1400's. In the 1600's they expanded their domain to include Bangalore and much of what today is the state of Karnataka. They were the ruling family until independence from Britain, when the various princely states united together to form the nation of India.

On the way to Mysore, we passed through the wonderful Indian countryside. We saw many people engaged in their common vocations, including this farmer plowing his field:
Plowing fields

Throughout the day, we saw teams of oxen pulling carts and wagons of various sizes and loads. Near the end of the day, we saw this driver, likely headed home from a day of work.
Headed home after a day of work
The palace at Mysore was constructed over a 12 year period, ending about 1911. The palace was constructed on the site of an earlier, wooden structure which was mostly destroyed in a fire in the mid 1890's. Then, in the 1930's, it was expanded by the addition of a large viewing stand on the front or east side of the palace. In the picture below, you see that there is one color of building on the left, to the rear of the building. This is the portion constructed first. The right portion is the 1930's addition. You can see the receiving hall on the right side of the picture.
Palace of the Maharaja of Mysore
In the picture below, we are standing in front of the palace with the Bedkes. Over Elder Bedke's shoulder is the center archway of the viewing area. Each year there was/is a very large parade with a number of elephants. The elephants pass through the arch, under the balconies and into an inner court where the Maharaja would alight from his ride. On either side of the center arch are platforms where the royal family, ministers and other government officials sat to watch the parade. The large courtyard where we are standing was filled with the people of Mysore.
Berretts on the left, Bedkes on the right, in front of the palace at Mysore
We left Mysore and headed to the waterfalls at Shivanasamudra. Actually, there are two, twin falls, which must be viewed from two different points. They are formed in the Kaveri River, as it divides around a large island
Gaganachukki Falls

Bharachakki Falls

At the Gaganachukki Falls we were visited by a new friend.
We also watched a family of monkeys, including three young ones who loved to play and swing from the roots.
Near Bharachakki Falls

Overall, it was a very pleasant day, made possible by our wonderful driver, Vishnu. He keeps us moving and generally on time.
Vishnu, our driver


  1. We loved our visits to Mysore Palace and to the falls. Mysore is, indeed, beautiful While you were at the falls, did you go down and then back up the long flight of stairs? We had to take several breaks when we went back to the top.

    1. I did go down. like you, I could not make the climb back up without a break. Wisely, Sister Berrett waited for me at the top of the stairs.

  2. A rare glimpse... President and Sister Berrett in their p-day casuals! :)

  3. You are having an amazing experience....the photos are fabulous!

  4. You are having an amazing experience....the photos are fabulous!