Karnataka · Travel

Devaraja Market, Mysore: a potpourri of color, customs and culture

With a penchant for exploring the native spirit and culture of a place, I stepped into the renowned Devaraja market of Mysore on my recent visit to the city.  Over 100 years old, the market is the epitome of vibrancy, activity and vivacity.  A prominent landmark of the heritage city, this market is literally the “go to” place for all kinds of fruits, vegetables, items of worship, spices, baskets and all kinds of knick knacks.

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Vicinity of the market

Having visited local markets in other cities, I found the market here fairly organized in comparison with others.   There are separate sections for fruits, vegetables, flowers and the like.  So while I witnessed the typical chaos, there was certainly a method in the madness.  A great place to soak in the local culture, tradition and customs of the city, the market is truly the delight of the offbeat traveler.

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Mounds of vermilion on display

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Don't miss the various kind of red chilli for sale
Don’t miss the various kind of red chilli for sale

The best part of the market of course is the flower section that is a complete riot of colors and an eclectic mix of pleasant fragrances emanating from lilies and of course the delightful variants of jasmine.

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The highlight of the market of course is the queen of flowers aka jasmine that is integral to the culture of Mysore.  While there are known to be more than 300 varieties of jasmine, the “Mysore mallige” or Mysore jasmine ( whose botanical name is Jasminum grandiflorum) is famous not only throughout Karnataka but also the entire world.

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Endemic to the region of Karnataka, these flowers are cultivated in and around the areas of Mysore and the nearby Srirangapatna.  Patronized by none other than the royalty of the city, the flower continues to be an inspiration for many a poet and numerous artists.  Extremely popular, they hold a special place in the life of Mysoreans and people of the state,  be it festivals, weddings or special occasions.

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Pre-set jasmine buds mounted on a thick surface to adorn the braid of a bride, a custom common in South India

Mounds of unstrung jasmine are devoured in bulk by resellers and retailers the moment the stock arrives.  Interestingly, these flowers are so different from the jasmine of Mangalore that also is from the state of Karnataka.

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A visit to the Devaraja market, proved, yet again, that flower markets in our country are a true reflection of India’s endless diversity. Ubiquitous yet unique, each of them offer an experience that compares to none other.  To read about other Flower markets of India, read my article on Happy trips here.

33 thoughts on “Devaraja Market, Mysore: a potpourri of color, customs and culture

  1. Namma Mysore and I loved the jasmine buds( moggina jade)! Mysore is indeed the heritage city of karnataka:)

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  2. Mam u took us to a virtual trip to this wonderful market of Mysuru…We were in Bengaluru from 2006 to 2010…and touring this market was a special memory..your lively writeup and snaps..truly relived those fond memories.. : )

    Like

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