5 things you should shop in Mysore

Posted on August 20, 2019 by

Mysore shopping

“Shopoalcohalism is not dangerous to your health. It won’t kill you. Your bank balances may not like it but that is totally a different thing.” That should be humanity’s motto of life – well, it is our motto of living at least and, for shopaholics like us weekend markets of Mysore are little paradises.

The reputation of Mysore‘s markets for its famous silk sarees, rosewood and sandalwood products, rock sculpture souvenirs, coffee powder, etc – not to mentions its delicious cuisine which has got centuries of refinement had reached us long before we had set foot in them.

And there are really several special products that you can buy in this city that once formed the empire of the great ruler Tipu Sultan but today we limit ourselves to 5 things you should shop in Mysore.

1. Mysore Pak

over 70 years ago, the king of Mysore called for a cook reputed locally for his skills during the time to create a new, original sweet that would bear the name of the city (an idea that can only occur to a ruler of the sweet loving country like India).

The cook prepared a special sugar syrup called ‘paka’ and its cooks were referred to as ‘Nalapaka’. Mysore Pak is a living example to what a bit of imagination and creativity can do for the gratification of our taste buds and thus a natural favorite to be first in our list of 5 things you should shop in Mysore.

This special delicacy has as its main ingredients flour, sugar, and butter and is easily available in a number of places – Sayyaji Rao Road and Guru Sweet Mart. There are a number of variants among which we especially loved and thus lovingly recommend variations offered by  Annex Bombay Tiffanys, Indra Sweets, and Mahalaxmi.



2. Mysore Silk Sarees

Next in our list of 5 things you should shop in Mysore is something that is fast catching eye of fashion industry experts and middle-class women alike – Mysore Silk Sarees.

While some claim Mysore’s connection to silk goes as far as its most legendary ruler Tipu Sultan, there is no clear evidence produce to fortify such claims. What one does know is that the Mysore royalty has acted very consciously to encourage the silk industry in the twentieth century in Mysore and its surrounding areas. The industry had a great advantage in that the region is ideal for the growth of mulberry, the main feeding ingredient used by silkworms. The industry thus shows the city’s genius not in the textile industry but also in the incredible art of rearing silkworms.

No city in India seems capable of making its reputation on the back of its garment industry unless it also produces iconic sarees too. And Mysore is no exception. Its Silk sarees are tremendously popular both in surrounding areas and in the whole of the country because of their use of a rather light and smooth variety of silk which retains a very distinctive sheen even after multiple washes. A golden Zari border beautifies these gracefully beautiful silk sarees. To make sure they are original, you must keep in mind to check for an embroidered number on one edge.

We brought our own Mysore Silk Sarees in the KSIC Mysore Silk showroom which stood up to its reputation for being the best place to buy them and thus we highly recommend it though there are several other showrooms in the center of town.

3. Sandalwood Products

We leave you to choose your favorite option from among a number of Sandalwood products as the third in the list of 5 things you should shop in Mysore. A sandalwood oil factory was established here as far back as in 1917 by King of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar and Diwan Sir M. Visvesvaraya just two kilometers from the royal palace. to benefit from the rich sandalwood forests of the region and ever since it has grown to be an important hotspot for products using sandalwood.

Pure sandalwood oil is a rare thing even here since the forest department very aptly regulates cutting of trees in order to preserve forests from complete destruction. Still, you can but a number of oils, soaps, perfumes, etc infused with beautiful sandalwood fragrance.

The factory itself is the best place to buy these products. We also used the opportunity to see the sandalwood harvested first hand and the extraction of tremendously useful sandalwood oil from it in the factory. You can also buy the products from shops in Gandhi square and Devaraja Market.

Timings: The factory can be visited from 9:30 AM t0 11:00 AM and 14:00 PM to 16:00 PM on all days except Sundays.

4. Mysore painting

There are a number of artifacts to be found in Mysore – wooden and stone sculptures the size of toys that can be bought as souvenirs, rosewood, etc, there are only two slots we can avail them. The paintings come from a very ancient form and might trace its origin to the famous carvings of Ajanta and Ellora. The paintings got a royal boost during the royal patronage it enjoyed in times of Vijayanagara empire. During 15th and 16th century. They mostly depict gods, goddesses, and scenes from the famous mythological tales of Hinduism. They use delicate drawing and pleasant colors and their overall effect is that of simplicity because of a lack of too fine details. Their distinction lies in their use is the gesso work, which is a kind of embossing done by using white lead and glue overlaid with gold foil. Its delicate and low-relief form sets it apart from Tanjore style which used bold embossing as well as the use of glitzy precious stones absent in Mysore painting. Ganjifa cards are also available with these patterns. We brought Mysore paintings from the Mysore Palace.


5. Mysore betel leaves

Mysore’s paan – a preparation that is packed its famous betel leaves folded in spirals, have a proverbial reputation and are thus a natural favorite to make it to our list of 5 things you should shop in Mysore. In the simplest variety, the leaves are smeared with some slaked lime (Sunna or chunnam) and then rolled with a filling of chopped betel nuts. Devaraja Market, in particular, is frequented by Paan lovers lusting after its famous for its unique color and incredible taste. The paan is often eaten after meals as sweet dishes but like sweet dishes need not be kept limited to that.

Mysore betel leaves

The betel leaves have other traditional uses too among locals. They are often used as an offering to guests and can be offered as gifts to guests at home as well as wedding as parting gifts when they are leaving.


This list of things to buy in Mysore is by no means an exclusive list. A number of items are skipped over here – wooden and stone sculptures the size of toys that can bought as souvenirs, rosewood artifacts, Coffee powder from nearby Coorg district famous for its coffee plantations, agarbatti (Mysore is one of the main causes behind Karnataka being dubbed as ‘agarbatti capital of India’), Mysore Jasmine, Channapatna toys etc to name a few.

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