Mysore - Shopping
Best Shopping Areas : Devaraj Urs Road, Sayyaji Rao Road, Ashoka Road and Dhanvantri Road.
Government Silk Factory - Jhansi Lakshmibai Road
Like Srigandha (sandalwood), Mysore Mallige (Mysore jasmine) and Mysore Badane (Mysore brinjal), Mysore is also famous for its Silk. Silk sarees and Magutas are being traditionally worn since a long time, both on religious and auspicious occasions. Silk sarees come in a large variety, the cost of saree depending upon the content of gold in it. The sarees are tastefully gold laced on its both edges and the pallu which is wrapped over the body. Not only private weavers in well-known centres like Molakalmur and other places but also the Government Silk Weaving Factory in Mysore produce excellent varieties of silk sarees, Magutas and ties.
The silk products of the Factory still commend wide acceptability for its genuine quality, gold lace and colour. Right from taking out of yarn from the cocoon upto weaving the yarn into colourful garments takes place in Mysore. The Factory has a show-room in its premises at the Manandavadi Road and also at the shopping area of K.R. Circle. Discount on sarees is offered during some seasons. Private showrooms in Mysore sell sarees produced by private weavers.
Mysore is a reputed place for handicrafts. Artisans, both in their homes and at work centres produce a variety of items. The elegant and attractive items of handicrafts mostly are wood-based, made out of sandalwood, rosewood and teakwood. With the ban on ivory, production of handicrafts in ivory has unfortunately disappeared. Mysore continues to produce a large quantity of sandalwood and hence sandalwood articles are the best items for purchase.
A variety of articles, including a large number of figures of gods and goddesses, are available either in sandalwood or rosewood. They are manufactured by some of the best craftsmen either individually or at craft centres established by reputed private firms. The inlaid works of rosewood like teapoys, coffee tables and other items of furniture are attractive and pleasing. Different sizes of elephants are also produced out of rosewood, sandalwood and teakwood, so also figures of gods and goddesses. Jewel boxes, table-top items and a large variety of small items, ideal for gifts and presentations, are also available. The Cauvery Handicrafts Emporium of the Karnataka Handicrafts Development Corporation is an ideal place for purchase these and other items like silk sarees, jewellery and other handicraft and artefacts.
Besides handicrafts, sandalwood items and oil, silk fabrics, Mysore is also famous for Agarbathies or incense sticks. Varieties of agarbathies are manufactured by leading agarbathi manufacturers and small vendors. Most of the branded agarbathies are of excellent quality and Mysore is still the home of the best variety of these incense sticks. The incense sticks are still traditionally manufactured like the age-old times.
Bamboo is split into thin lengths of about nine inches and then rolled into sticks with Punagu, a variety of base for perfume and Jigutu, a variety of gum. Besides these forest products other items like sandal spent wood, halmadi, and charcoal are also used. The sticks are dipped into locally manufactured scents like jasmine, sandalwood etc. They are allowed to dry and packed in attractive packages of 10, 50 and 100 sticks of different sizes and varieties. These joss sticks are lit even today in most of the houses during the morning and evening prayer or pooja timings and on all auspicious occasions. Some of the leading manufactures have established a good export market, both from Mysore and Bangalore. They also have a commanding local market. Besides these branded varieties, a number of small scale manufacturers also market their products in the local market. Some of the popular brands are Cycle Brand, Vasu and Sugandh Shringar, in different aroma.
Other Ethnic Products
Stone carving is another traditional art item of manufacture in Mysore. There are a number of sculptors, who carve excellent pieces of idols of gods and goddess, apart from other figures, mostly needed for temples and other auspicious places. Some of these master sculptors, who have their own centres in the city, have won State and National awards and reputed for their masterly works in stone. Some of their works have been installed in other places of the country. A few of their pieces have also been exported to other countries, mostly for installation in temples and religious centres.
Mysore is a reputed place for good paintings. There are a number of artistes who produce some of the excellent art pieces in the traditional Mysore and other styles, including water colours and oil paintings. One branch that has become popular recently is the Ganjifa paintings. This ancient art, which was popular in Mysore during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, has been revived. These miniature paintings are mostly related to Hindu mythology, of gods and goddesses. They were being used as playing cards in the past. Some of the leading painters are M. Ramanarasaiah and Raghupathi Bhat.