In India, it’s always said you need to look down when you walk, but here I like to look up as there are so many beautiful sights…
Mysore is a city like no other in this country. In India, it’s always said you need to look down when you walk, but here I like to look up as there are so many beautiful sights. There are something like 230 heritage buildings and structures that were created by the maharajas of Mysore, from vast palaces to the clock tower where the tour begins.
There’s only time on a two-hour walk to see a handful of the most prominent and most intricately decorated of these, because I also like to introduce my guests to the culture and traditions of the city and the lifestyle of the people. So we spend time in Devaraja market, which is an old building the size of two football pitches and full of life. There are people haggling with stallholders, cows walking through, the smell of jasmine from the flower sellers… There are so many stories to tell about the place and there’s always something different to see. It’s my favourite part of the tour and the clients love it as well.
At the corner of the market, you’ll find the family shop of the royal cook who invented the city’s most famous sweet, Mysore pak, which is still run by his descendants. It’s made with gram flour, ghee, sugar and so on, and it’s so mouth-melting that everyone enjoys trying it. We have excellent coffee in Mysore as well, not to mention the delicious local-style masala dosa pancakes which are nice and spicy.
Another highlight for visitors is the approach to the Palace with Chamundi Hill in the background – and the building itself, of course. I explain the story of its creation: how it was built on the site of a wooden structure that was destroyed by fire, how it combines so many different architectural styles such as gothic, Georgian, Hindu, Saracenic, that sort of thing. It’s a magnificent place and rightly one of the main attractions of Mysore.