MARCH 14, 1952
MYSORE, India, Thursday—We flew over the very tip of India on our way to Mysore from Trivandrum. It was rather a roundabout way but very interesting, for the formation of the rocks is peculiar in many places and the hills we saw in the distance today rise straight out of the valley almost perpendicularly.
Because of our little sightseeing jaunt we were late in arriving in here and kept everybody waiting for lunch. We wanted to try and see some old temples during the afternoon but it seemed impossible to find anything old. We were shown all the new housing and the new buildings and they took us to the palace, which is fairly modern and has some wonderful examples of stuffed animals and some fine swords and muskets from many periods. We also visited the zoo and tried to make the tiger climb a tree, which we were told was a particularly interesting little trick, but he refused to show off. At 5:30 one of the ministers came to drive us to the top of the hill to see a very beautiful temple just at sunset. On the way up we passed the statue of the sacred bull, which is a really fine piece of work. The temple was interesting to see, too, and though we had not been previously allowed to enter Hindu temples they did allow us to go in a little way in this one. We had to remove our shoes and, as a consequence, I can report that nylons hold up very well in walking over rough stones.
From the temple we went to the Krishnarajsagar Dam, at which there is a hotel and beautiful gardens. Also, there is a display of fountains which are as beautiful as the fountains of Versailles. I doubt if it would occur to us to use some of our water for such a purpose near Boulder Dam or any of the other dams we have built, but I can assure you that at dark, with the lights on, it made a beautiful sight and attracts many people.
We were very late for dinner as a result of this late afternoon entertainment and as usual I was apologetic for having kept everyone waiting. But this time my host was with me. At dinner the orchestra played some Indian songs, which, to me, have a plaintive undertone.
Early next morning I went and spoke to the students in the university and then visited the Food Technological Institute, which is doing excellent work for this part of India.
At 10:30 we left for a sightseeing tour which was to end up in Bangalore at 4:15. We had a wonderful morning and were glad to have with us a very elaborate picnic lunch. We visited an old fort, the scene of the decisive victory of the English over the Moslem General Tippu and we saw his tomb. Then we saw one of the most beautiful small Hindu temples I have yet seen and on our way we passed a mosque that was uniquely built with two minarets close together and some beautiful carving.
Again I have to report a late arrival in Bangalore, with people waiting to see me. I hurried through the brief interviews and then dashed over to the Maharani College to speak to the girl students, half an hour late.