OF SANDALWOOD, SAREES AND SWEETS: A STORY OF MYSORE
Mysore or Mysuru is a bustling city that evokes warm feelings of nostalgia for Kannadigas and non-Kannadigas alike. While it’s not off the grid, Mysore is a town that constantly reminds you of the past. So, what is it about this place that makes visitors so fond of it?
WHY IS IT EASY TO LOVE MYSORE?
Always running in a buzz of activities, Mysore is never in a hurry. But you can always hear the low hum of a crowd so eager to set off on their day.
Unlike other cities within Karnataka ,here, everyone functions at their own pace. It’s said about all cities but it must be pointed out that this city never sleeps.
Popular amongst domestic and international tourists, the easygoing nature of the city and its residents helps in preserving the old world charm. Such nitty-gritties lend the place an authentic character unique to its own.
Since we are on the topic, let’s take a look at the crowning glory of Mysore. The erstwhile royalty. Alternatively titled Mahishasurana Ooru, which means village ruled by king Mahishasura. It is believed that Goddess Chamundi killed the demon king Mahishasura to bring back peace and harmony in Mysore. Over the eras, the administration of Mysore has changed hands from Wadiyars to Nizams to Colonial British. The influence of each party can be witnessed in the relics within Mysore. For instance, when Wadiyars ruled, it was a celebration of art and artists from all over the country. When the Britishers ruled, their artistry was evident in the buildings that are still around.
Christened the Heritage city, Mysore is synonymous with architectural marvels all around. The elaborate planning of the Wadiyar administration culminated with parks, roads, gardens, mansions, public markets, water bodies and buildings crafted with the utmost detail. When uttered, the name Mysore brings to mind the hordes of palaces and it is rightfully called the City of Palaces. The first and foremost palace of importance, the Ambavilas palace or the Mysore palace has so much cultural and historical significance that you cannot help but mention it for every conversation on Mysore. A touristic hotspot, the city of Mysore can get even more vibrant during the Dussehra celebrations.
WHAT TO SHOP IN MYSORE?
For souvenirs to get on your way back from Mysore, the golden rule is to focus on sweets, silk and sandalwood. Mysore really qualifies to be a shopping destination.
Globally renowned for its delicate fabric, supple feel and gorgeous embroidery, these sarees are a testament to artististic integrity of Mysore. Places like Government Silk Factory and K R Circle are your best bets to find the perfect saree of your dreams. The 6 yards of elegance holds so much heritage as it is pure silk weaved and embroidered with gold threads imported from Gujarat.
Moving on to the next iconic Mysore aspect; sandalwood. An aromatic experience indeed, it leaves you wanting for more. Sandalwood is best known for its fragrance and healing properties. A protected plant species, it is easy to get duped when you are looking for pure sandalwood. Used in cosmetics, perfumes, essential oils and soaps it is a must have for aroma-enthusiasts.
Finally if you still have a little bit of space left in your suitcase, then let’s go straight to the sweets. From the quintessential Mysore Pak to Gulbarga’s Malpuri, and many more like Bellary Khova, Bhatkal Halwa, Amingad in between you will literally feel like a kid at the candy story spoilt for choice.
There’s always so much to see and do in Mysore. It’s very easy to get carried away and feel like you are part of the city in the short time you have known the place.