STOP PRESS

The super city of Mysore and its many fantastic attributes are featured in the Guardian.

Yes, and we do get a couple of mentions, too…

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Please check their article here….. for much more info on Mysore

 

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Why come to Mysore Bed and Breakfast

What makes the difference?

At lunch yesterday, after the cycle tour with a mix of cyclists some from our BnB and some from a different Airbnb in Mysore the difference between ours and this other BnB became apparent from their conversation. It was super to get that feedback and how different peoples experience can be….

Both were comfortable clean places. But the difference?

You’re sharing our home.

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We start welcoming you with an introductory email about us, the house and how we can help you have a great stay in Mysore. These are packed full of information about things to do to help plan the stay including our own useful web site at http://www.manjulasmysore.in and getting to know us through our blog http://www.meandmycycle.com

Our guests really appreciated our help but equally important was beginning to feel welcomed and making a connection right from the outset.

We provide detailed information about how to find us and if it’s required, a pick up from the airport or helpful details for dealing with autorickshaws.

Once you arrive, and Lucie has said hello, we welcome you with a guided tour, (most guests get confused between the different floors), a welcoming drink, visiting the roof terrace, understanding the necessity of filter water and the availability to top up your own bottles a refreshing tea or coffee and especially important a simple map showing where we are with highlights of places to eat and visit tailored to your interests.

We’re here to help with information and advice, arrange easy going transport from drivers we know and trust.

So, we want you to have a great experience and want to return for more!

Above all it’s “the people that make it” sharing our home with a rich mix of wonderful people from around the world.

Top Tip 4

Is about tipping

Its quite amazing how many people forget to tip or think its not done to tip (really?!)

Tip, Obviously if you’re happy with the service you’ve received provide a thank you in the form of a tip. Round it up, minimum 10 Rs maybe five to ten percent of the cost. There is no golden rule. but do tip. Try to remember the people behind the scenes: the one who clears the table, the cleaner wherever you stay, they get paid the least and may not see anything of the usual tips. The minimum wage is 200 rs per day and with the growth of the  middle classes and effects on tourism prices are seriously going up. It just might not seem it to you.

If you’re not happy then it’s an important statement not too.

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I was a bit mad when I first visited india twelve or so years ago. Someone just had to look in my direction to get ten rupees. At one hotel, with a lift, every time I went up or down I gave him a tip. Now that was too much. I was his best mate. 😉

It’s really easy to forget, especially if you’ve had an itinerary arranged by a company so you’re not paying for things as you travel around.

So its important to tip but also to keep in mind what’s an appropriate amount. If we go the other way and tip too much then it feeds foreigner inflation. Maybe we’ll do another top tip covering how to  work out the correct price to pay.

I was amazed to hear that some travellers had read advice that you shouldn’t tip in India, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Please do tip.

At our house we have a tin for tips that go directly to the cleaners and the gardener. Manjula only takes for the money she’s given to pay for any meals she makes.

If I ever get any tips from delivering a cycle tour (it does happen once in a blue moon), they go to charity.

So what to tip?

we’ve found a great intro to how much to tip on this site

IMG_5674Created by our wonderful friends at Indiasomeday, (check their main site, they put itineraries together for people) whose guests when visiting Mysore come stay with us at Mysore Bed and Breakfast.

Here’s our inconsisten take on what to tip. (On reading it again, it definitely seems like I’m a bit tight.)

Just today we were at one of our favourite lunch time ‘hotels’ (meaning restaurant) the cost of the meal was 600 Rs, we left a 20 Rs tip (its shared amongst all the staff) tip and another  10 rs to the car park attendants (its maybe not shared!). I’m from Yorkshire and we’re known to be a bit tight but we DO tip.

In Hampi, during our last visit (check the blog for more info) Manjula and I were discussing the young guy working at the Guest house. I can’t believe it but Manjula gave him 200, now she’s acting the Maharani. He said that foreigners never gave tips, just the Indians gave. Astonishing!

p1150171Oh and another thing: Drivers. they are of course a mixed bag but we do tend to get a little bit fed up of them trying it on all the time. (We have found a selection of great drivers who promise no hassle!) So I’m really careful how I tip a driver. I want to tip to reinforce good behaviour (the ineffective stick and carrot) so if they use the meter, are helpful, do their job well, I’ll definitely tip. I see it as an encouragement to be nice guys. In particulate our drivers will not be tricksy ( I hope)  and if they’ll been hanging around at the airport for your flight, they’ve been helpful with the baggage and generally driven well, please do get them a tip.

On the other hand if you get an auto driver that will not use the meter, don’t use him (if you can be bothered) and if in anyway he’s tricksy make a point of demanding the exact fare. and wo wo wo if he wants you to visit a shop to help him get a voucher for petrol then he’s just lost his tip and any future work!

That’s my approach anyway. It might be pushing a rock up the hill to try change the approach of the drivers but I’m trying and our drivers are pretty good!

So why choose a homestay?

and why choose ours?

Its sharing our home……

which is clean, comfortable, with a great atmosphere, home cooking, continental or Indian breakfasts, an outdoor sit out and roof sun terrace with lots of plants, two lounges, small library, fast WIFI, in a quiet residential area with super amenities next door and which is just ten minutes from the action in the city, such as the Palace and Market.

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we provide insights into India with information and advice on what to see and do, from the perspective of Manjula (from Mysore) and Stephen (from the UK) to help you make the best of your time here.

 

 

we have a lovely dog, Lucie

 

 

a series of over ten parks starting opposite our house

a house with wonderful art from around the country

MYCycle tours, scrumptious meals and cookery lessons

oh, and we’ve been no 1 in Mysore on Trip Advisor for five years

according to India today these are the ten top reasons to choose a Homestay here

 

Top Tips

The first of our tips focus on how to deal with some of the challenges you might face, particularly if you’re a first time visitor to India.

So if you’re aware, take your time, and follow the simplest traveller rules you’ll find India the richest of experiences where you’ll wish to return for more.

Number One: Everything, always takes longer than you expect.

Check here

Number Two: India will change you, so be prepared.

Check here

Number Three: one night stands aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

Check here

Number four: is about tipping.

check here 

More top tips will follow.

Follow us

lovely people, fab reviews

I’m just catching up and responding to reviews on Trip Advisor. Its such a nice job, its actually one of those we should all aim for, a job that’s not a job, because we love it so much. We’ve got exactly that here, whether its welcoming guests, helping them get the best out of Mysore, helping them solve problems (lack of Rupee notes, comes to mind), chatting over dinner, making breakfast and dinner, preparing for new guests, keeping it ship shape, sharing jokes, building bridges across oceans and cultures. super!

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Thank you so much to all of you who have left feedback and reviews wherever you’ve done it. Fact is we wouldn’t have been able to create what we have without it, our guests over the years have depended on fair, open and frank reviews. Thank you.

Tibet in a day!

One of the popular places to visit for a day, from Mysore, is the Tibetan Settlement of Bylakuppe near Kushalanagar. A great friend of Manjula and Stephen’s is Ani Samten, originally from the States she is a Buddhist nun (that’s what Ani means) who’s lives at a Monastery in the settlement.

Some of our guests have been really lucky to be able to meet up with Ani and get a personal tour!

Let’s hear from Ani Samten herself about that very tour.

“One of my fave jobs at the monastery is giving tours to visiting foreigners.
We have our original, traditionally built/decorated temple, a new temple under construction, an incense-making factory and a statue maker.
I’ll take you on a virtual tour, in the same order I take visitors, starting with the old temple.

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Welcome to Drikung Kagyudpa Monastic Institute, known as Kagyu Gonpa in the settlement.

Everyone enters through the main gate. The original temple is up the steps, in the background

 

 

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The double entry door to the temple.

Notice the rich, vivid colours and how every surface is painted…often in a different colour.

In Tibet, where the landscape can be so stark/barren, it is amazing to see richly painted temples such as this emerge over the crest of a hill.

 

 

 

 

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Inside the shrine room.

As in most temples in Tibet, every inch of wall space is painted/covered with thangkas, wall hangings of deities/lamas painted on canvas and framed in brocade.

Left rear is a throne for HH Dalai Lama. Rear of the room is a huge, red Buddha Amitabha statue, encased in glass. To the left of the statue is a photo of our lineage head.

Two of the three drums used in our ceremonies are in the photo, as are both types of cymbals. Three types of horns are used in our ceremonies, but none are in this photos.

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A huge thangka of Buddha Amitahba in his Pure Land.

Buddha Amitabha is the Buddha of Infinite Light, and very important to the Phowa practice. Phowa is the transference of consciousness at the time of death. Our lama, H E Choeje Ayang Rinpoche, is a Phowa master.

The two black items are two of the very long horns used in our ceremonies. They telescope out to be very long when used

On the table in front of the horns is tsog (blessed food) offering, which will be distributed to the monks and lay people after the tsokpa (prayer service).”

 

 

Do check Ani’s facebook page to contact her and for more details of her life here in India

If you’re fortunate there may the opportunity to meet up with Ani if you choose to visit the Tibetan Settlement. For details of how to contact Ani and to arrange a day trip to the Settlement where you’ll also find: the Golden Temple, other monasteries, Thangka, carpet and prayer flag workshops. shops in Camp One and restaurants for Tibetan meals.

Farrell Factoid

It isn’t admissible to stay after dark in the settlement without a Goverment pass (takes ages) but its prefectly possible to visit for a day trip either from Mysore or Coorg (its just on the edge of  Coorg). We can arrange a taxi and if you wish to stay overnight (nearby) we can suggest places.

Do check the map of the settlement drawn by one of our previous guests to help you find your way around.

Ani doesn’t charge for her tours but I’m sure a donation to her work at the Monastery would be appreciated.

Do be sure to check out the workshop where they make the statues, it’s one of my personal favourites.

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