Saturday, April 20, 2013

Majestic Mysore

Sri Chamundeshwari Temple
Mysore is about a 200 km southwest of Bangalore in the state Karnataka. During my visit in Mysore I was hosted by Abhi who is originally from Punjab. Abhi took me around to see Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hill, and a silk factory.
A brief background on Mysore: The name comes from a place called Mahisasura where a demon (Mahisuara) was slain by a goddess (Chamundi). Mysore was founded by the Wodeyar dynasty in 1399, but remained in the power of the Vijayanagar empire until mid 1500s.

Mysore Palace was where the Wodeyar maharajas lived. In 1897, during the eldest daughter’s wedding, there was a devastating fire and the entire palace needed to be rebuilt. English architect Edward Irvin rebuilt the palace by 1912. The most interested things we learned was that the last day of Navratri, Dussehra, is a huge event in Mysore. [The 9 day long festival of Navratri represents the triumph of good (Hindu deity Ram) over evil (Hindu deity Ravan).] The king would sit on a howdah made from 300 lbs of gold during the festival to thank all the good fortune in his life. 
Unfortunately the most beautiful part of the Palace is the inside  but you are not allowed to take photographs. It is quite gawdy, but so intricate and tons of detail. Here are a few photographs from the outside.

Chamundi Hill was also a beautiful view and the Sri Chamundeswari Temple was interesting to see. 
Oh monkeys haha!

The Government Silk Factory was an amazing experience! Definitely a go-to if you go to Mysore. The factory is not very traveled, but the entire silk making process (omitting the cocoon to thread step) is done there and viewable to the public. To top it off, it was entirely free. The silk making process as I remember it being explained:
  1. Winding thread to a bigger roll
  2. Doubling two pieces of thread
  3. Twisting the two pieces of thread together
  4. Rewinding thread 
  5. Warping: 85 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes
  6. Threading onto 900 meter roll
  7. Weaving 1,480 strings (width) into a 6.3 meter long sari. This step takes 4 hours for one sari!
  8. Bleaching fabric- gold thread isn’t affected
  9. Dying fabric
  10. Ironing fabric
  11. Final analysis to ensure quality is up to standard.

White and gold silk thread they gave me. So fine and gorgeous!

I also had some very delicious food as always. Thanks Abhi for showing me around! As a thank you I bought Abhi his very first bottle of Champers. Funny thing is they didn't have a single cold bottle and ice is nonexistent to cool it down. So my solution - frozen peas and corn to get it semi cold. Good memories from Mysore.
Ice cream break!
India's version of chips & salsa - Masala Papad. My  new favorite!


  1. ahh.. the memories.. the bike ride, mysore palace, chamundi and most important the champagne.. :) :) :)

  2. Hi thr, Very nice and informative blog. Me and my sister are also planning to visit Chamundi Hills on our Kinetic scooter from Mysore. Was wondering if the hill roads were safe to ride thr? Did you guys switch off the engine downhill on your way back? Need some tips, Kusum