Mysore, in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, has a few things going for it but few look beyond its fabulous palace, a dynastic seat of power right up until Indian independence from the British in 1947. And for good reason – it’s pretty special, easily one of India’s finest buildings.

Disregard for workplace safety in the grounds of Mysore Palace / Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore, Karnataka, India. September 21st 2012.

A long way up, & down. Disregard for workplace safety while performing upkeep on a gate in the grounds of Mysore Palace / Amba Vilas Palace, Mysore (map-pointer-icon), Karnataka, India. September 21st 2012.

The Palace of Mysore, also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, is one of India’s most stunning buildings & I came here off the overnight bus from Fort Kochin (Cochin), Kerala, specifically to see it. And see it I did, taking away from it nothing but cranial memories, not digital ones – cameras weren’t allowed inside, where the palace is at its gaudy best, so I was prohibited from photographing it. That was probably for the best & no doubt made the visit more enjoyable – trying to photograph the palace’s magnificent over-the-top grandeur would have been a challenge, one that would have given me heartburn of vindaloo proportions. But that’s OK; as it turned out there were other things to point my camera at in Mysore, the third largest city in Karnataka.

Devaraja Market || Fragrance Heaven

One of India’s most colourful & lively bazaars.

– Lonely Planet commenting on Mysore’s Devaraja Market

Devaraja Market, Mysore, Karnataka, India. September 21st 2012

Devaraja Market, Mysore, Karnataka, India. September 21st 2012

Lonely Planet weren’t wrong as the market was indeed (very) colourful & was indeed (very) lively. I had a lot of fun in here with my camera but at times felt overwhelmed; it was one hell of an assault on the senses.

Making garland in Devaraja Market, Mysore, Karnataka, India. September 21st 2012

Making garland in Devaraja Market. Mysore is colourful & heavy on the nose. The city is one of India’s incense manufacturing centres & thus you’re never too far from someone, young or old, chaining a fresh flower garland or rolling incense sticks. Fragrant oils are also widely available & readily peddled on tourists. Shortly after taking this picture I found myself sitting in a small, backstreet shop being subject to the hard sell of various fragrant oils from Mr. India 1982 – he showed me a picture & a write-up, in French of all languages, but I still had my doubts. Time hadn’t been kind to him. I ended up there after following Max, my new Indian best friend who introduced himself to me on the streets outside the market, to the promise of visiting a local incense stick making operation. I left questioning as to whether I purchased the 10 ml rollerball vial of beautifully-smelling Indian Lotus Oil wrapped in cotton wool & newspaper that I did purchase out of an obligation to do so (& to get out of there) or out of a genuine desire to own it. The jury is still out on that one but I’ve no doubt the 460 rupees (€6.5) the vial cost will end up being the best bargain of this trip to India. Mysore, Karnataka, India. September 21st 2012

Other images I captured on the busy streets of Mysore.

On the streets of Mysore, Karnataka, southern India. September 21st 2012.

On the streets of Mysore, Karnataka, southern India. September 21st 2012.

A trader on the streets of Mysore, Karnataka, southern India. September 21st 2012.

A trader on the streets of Mysore, Karnataka, southern India. September 21st 2012.

On the streets Mysore, Karnataka, southern India. September 21st 2012.

On the streets Mysore, Karnataka, southern India. September 21st 2012.

On the streets of Mysore, Karnataka, southern India. September 21st 2012.

On the streets of Mysore, Karnataka, southern India. September 21st 2012.

Moving On
I leave Mysore in a few hours on the overnight bus north to Hampi, somewhere firmly on the tourist trail. Tonight’s bus, unlike the overnight bus I took a few nights ago from Fort Kochin (Cochin) in Kerala, is an actual sleeper bus providing actual sleeping berths (or so I was led to believe). Of course I don’t expect to sleep all that much on the 9 hour trip (sleeper berths or no it is still a bus riding Indian roads, after all) but the lower-level berth I’ve paid 500 rupees (€7) for does sound inviting.

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