kings of mysore

this weekend i went westward to mysore, seat of wodeyar kinds and capital of sandalwood and silk.  traveling on my own this time, i treated myself to a deluxe single in a budget hotel which offered a king-size bed (!) with real mattress (!!).  after four weeks on hosa road my $8 room in mysore was truly heavenly.  i managed to use the entirety of the king-size bed, through the night rolling from one side to the other or stretching legs and arms davinci style as far as they could reach.  if there were snow i could have made snow angels.  it was fantastic.

but one does not go to mysore to sleep in king-size beds.  one goes to see the palace.  and climb 1000 steps to the temple on top of chamudi hill.  and visit the silk factory, where weavers themselves pull you through the complex refining winding spinning threading weaving process admidst the hammering of industial-age machines.  saris from this factory start at 6800 rupees (about $140) and reach 2 lakhs ($400).

one goes to visit the sandalwood factory, where sandalwood tress from maharashtra and tamil nadu (and actually africa, since they’ve been over-forested in india) are chipped and ground into powder, compressed and distilled into oil, refined and exported for use in high-end perfumes.  100ml goes for 2700 rupees (over $50) these days.  no you should not expect me to return with any silk or sandalwood as souvenirs.  they wouldn’t permit photography in the factories (nor could i get a picture of the snake charmer without having to pay him), but the rest of the town is incredibly photogenic.  some tourists got a little carried away and took pictures of me


~ by aliciawolcott on July 7, 2010.

2 Responses to “kings of mysore”

  1. When in Rhinbeck, I looked at your blog w/Booma, and we both agree that you are a great writer. Nice photos, too. Stacy

  2. thanks for the shout-out! i’m glad you’re both reading! enjoy!

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