In Mysore you have shopping options GALORE. Mysore might be royal and known for yoga, but many people come here just to shop. Famous Mysore silk is found here with sari prices starting at 12,000 rupees up to over a Lakh!. Khadi cotton is sold almost everywhere and I myself stocked up on about 9 meters of amazing cotton.
Read More: Shopping In India, What to Buy WHERE
Your Mysore Shopping Guide
Unlike Goa where most things are brought in and sold by random shop owners, Mysore has that old fashion feel and you’re getting things straight from the source.
As I mentioned in my Artisan in Mysore post, you can help make your own incense and oils, watch the wood workers make Inlay, and watch the sculptors work.
You can get Khaddi all over Karnataka which is known for it and they sell it in many shops in the city center of Mysore. If you’re able to go out while touring in Melukote and see the women make it, it’s so worth it and you’ll get a better price then Mysore.
While the silk factory was all done my machines with people doing minor details, the khaddi I bought was done the old fashioned way with women doing the work by hand with non-automated machines. I’ve have a post coming soon about how to get khaddi and how to get clothing made in India.
Read More: How to Ship Souvenirs Home From India
If you want silk or cotton you can go straight to the factories like I did (although if there are travel bloggers/candle making/masseuse’s out there that can afford Mysore silk I want to know how!).
Go straight to the only Mysore Silk factory and see how it’s made. It’s really incredible to watch the silk start from a bundle and the many many steps it goes through until it’s finally weaved into a sari. They use real gold on the borders and the saris are incredibly expensive. No one has been able to duplicate the famous Mysore silk although they try, so therefore you can’t take photos inside. If you’re dying for some silk, you might be able to afford the cheapest option of a square scarf for 1000 rs. You can buy plain colors by the meter at 1400 rs per meter. Actually a great deal considering the quality of the silk.
Sandalwood & more
The only shop you can buy the famous Mysore Sandalwood at is Cauvery Emporium which is government owned and pricey. Here though at least you’ll know everything is real. I picked up Ben’s souvenir here (a Channapatna toy monkey from the famous Channapatna region near Bangalore) and a couple wooden bangles made by them as well, which are hand-painted with bright pastel colors.
As for buying coffee beans, wait until you are in Coorg where it comes from and you can pick up some Kodova wine while you’re at it. If you want imported things from Jaipur (who doesn’t?) you can pick them up at Green Hotel or wait and get them way cheaper in Jaipur…
For all the little bits and bops head to Devaraja market (the main bazaar) PS did you know bazaar is a Hindi word?
You can walk through all the fruit, veggies, and flower markets because it’s actually a very unique market in that it’s clean and insanely well organized. I learned that the most expensive banana called nanjagud rasa bale, which comes from Nanjagud, is black even on the tree and has anti-carcinogenic properties.
You can pick up old framed photos of the Gods or old postcards that have been recycled and painted on. I picked up a few fake gold bangles and the guy had a ball of a time trying to fit the tiny ones on my hands. I thought I had small hands, but in India they are giant. Whey are Indian girls’ hands so small!? Just like a ring size is measured in the U.S., here they measure your wrist.
Definitely pick up your incense, essential oils and perfumes here. If you buy a 8 ml oil bottle of lavender or some scent you like (I love the Indian lotus) you can add a little alcohol to another bottle at home and put a couple drops in making it a perfume which lasts a long time.
You’ll have to try the sweets. I sadly hate Indian sweets. After all this time and trying so many the only thing I like is peanut jaggery (unsaturated sugar). You can sample pure jaggery here and taste it with rice puffs which wasn’t bad. You can try famous Mysore pak (a sweet made from sugar, ghee, and flour) with some almond milk and the most famous shop Guru Sweets just outside the market.
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