Thursday, February 04, 2010

Devaraja Market, Mysore

A short distance from the palace, we began to see vendors with their colorful produce propped up on top of wooden crates and shallow baskets. Bananas appeared to burst forth, an overwhelming scene of yellow. Women balancing large baskets of green-skinned oranges deftly manipulated their way through the crowd. We were now in front of Mysore’s renowned Devaraja Market. Passing through narrow entryway, we were suddenly bombarded with color and a bustle of activity. Mounded piles of powder in impossibly bright colors caught the eye and tempted the hand. The produce was a symphony of color as well; shallow baskets of reddish carrots were arranged in a spiral effect; the red-violet bottoms of small aubergines were all turned to face the outside; the green-gold star of squash pushed its way out of the basket. Green veggies of a large variety each had their particular way of presentation; some were mounded in massive piles, others neatly laid one next to the other; and still others in baskets slightly elevated from the pavement, the contents mounded higher in the center to look even more abundant. The tops of burlap bags were rolled open, revealing chilies, garlic, onions, and potatoes. Puffed rice erupted from metal bowls, while cashews, dates, and Indian savory snacks were carefully packaged in plastic bags. Men walked through the aisles with large sacks of potatoes or shallow baskets of bananas on their heads. Other aisles specialized in home goods such as whisk-brooms, coconut scrapers, wooden rolling pins, pots & pans, rodent traps, and handmade soap. A few stalls even sold long strands of hair in brown, black grey, and white colors.

Not to be missed were the aisles specializing in flowers. Massive quantities of marigolds in yellow, gold, and rust colors made it rather difficult to see the vendor sitting behind the pile. Large translucent burlap bags revealed its content of more marigolds, exchanging hands rather quickly from seller to buyer. Interspersed one could see strung flowers in yellow, purple & pink, as well as jasmine. Shallow baskets containing saffron and other flowers were also being sold. In between taking photos, observing the scenes before us, and maneuvering through the bustling aisles, our attention was occasionally interrupted by young boys asking “what is your nationality?” then “would you like to see a demonstration of how incense is made – I (or my father) makes it” or “please smell my oil/perfume – smelling is free.”

See more photos of the Devaraja Market on my Mysore Flickr page
Loading image
Click anywhere to cancel
Image unavailable

1 comment:

Bibi said...

I kind of regret now not having bought some of the essential oils.... For some reason the one I bought in Ooty doesn't smell good anymore...:<(

BTW, I neglected to take a photo of this display. Could you send this one to me? :<)