Some markets in India are important tourist sites in themselves. In Mysore, a visit to the Devaraja market is a must on every tourist’s itinerary. Many heritage walks in Mysore include the market. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, the market offers some great photography opportunities. It also gives tourists an insight into the daily life of Mysore.
Quick Facts About The Devaraja Market
- Visit Duration: 2 -3 hours
- Entry Fee: NA
- Timings: 6:00 AM – 9 :30 PM
- Address: Sayyaji Rao Rd, Devaraja Mohalla, Shivarampet, Mysuru- 570001 ( MAP)
History and Design of the Devaraja Market
This market dates back to the reign of Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. At the time it took the form of a small weekly market where fresh vegetables and fruits were probably the most traded items. Today, the market has over 800 shops and is spread over 3 acres of land.
Construction of the structure of the market is housed in today began in the 1900s and advanced in stages through the years during the reign of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar. It was named after erstwhile Maharaja Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar.
The market was designed with individual sections dedicated to different types of products. For example, one section of the market is dedicated to fresh flowers while another deals solely puja materials.
Other prominent sections of the market include the sections for vegetables, fruits, jaggery, onions and potatoes, puffed rice and coconut. There are 4 entrances to the market; one on Dhanvanthri Road in the south, one opposite Dufferin Clock Tower in the north and two entrances to the middle of the market on the Sayyaji Rao Road. Shops are arranged along three aisles that run through the length of the market.
What to Buy
Devaraja market isn’t the perfect spot for souvenirs. Instead, the market focuses on everyday materials used in Mysore. To see the entire market, you should enter from either the north or south entrances.
Fruit is sold in the northern section of the market. Bananas are the most popular fruit sold in the market with more than 40 different varieties to choose from. Vegetable shops dominate the southern section.
The flower section in the market advertises itself with the fragrance of tube roses, lotuses, jasmines and other fresh flowers. It is interesting to see how the flower vendors quickly string marigolds and tuberoses into elaborate garlands. Though they may not last long enough for you to take home with you, you could buy a string of jasmines and wrap them around your wrist for a fragrant reminder of your walk through this market.
What you can carry home with you is jaggery, puffed rice, spices, and incense. Some shops even sell bangles and bindis. Unlike malls, Devraja market is a wholesale market and so be prepared to bargain.
When to Visit
The market comes alive much before sunrise when truckloads of fruits and vegetables arrive from neighboring parts of Mysore. For photographers, this is one of the best times to visit the market. The market sees the most visitors during the morning and evening.
Fresh flowers arrive at the market in the early morning and in the early evening. As with any wholesale market, prices increase dramatically during the festival season. The shops are open till long after sunset with many traders offering discounts to help sell their perishable stock. The market closes to a unique sight.
As the shops close, fruit and vegetable waste is left in heaps in the aisles. The market is then opened to welcome cows and other stray animals who feed on this. In this way, the market is part of a sustainable chain.
Sightseeing in and around Devaraja Market
Most visitors spend an average of 1 hour in the market. This leaves you with plenty of time to visit the nearby sights. Some of Mysore’s popular tourist sites within a 1km radius of the market are:
KSIC Silk Factory and Showroom
One of the things Mysore is well-known for is the Mysore Silk Saree. This saree is characterized by its lightweight nature and delicate zari borders. While there are many places you can buy a Mysore silk saree, this is one of the few places where you can see the saree being woven. Photography is not permitted.
Clock towers are common structures in most heritage cities and Mysore is no different. There are two clock towers near the Devaraja Market. The smaller one is also known as Chikka Gadiyara while the larger tower is named Dodda Gadiyaara.
The Mysore Palace or the Ambavilas is an iconic structure in Mysore. Some members of the royal family still live here and hence only part of the palace is open to tourists. The palace is a fine example of the Indo-Saracenic architecture characteristic of this region.
The walls of the palace are adorned with oil paintings that reflect the Maharaja’s life and rule. The Doll Pavilion is another interesting sight. The Durbar Hall with its mahogany ceilings and solid silver doors is another popular palace attraction.
For art lovers, a visit to the Mysore would be incomplete without stepping into the Jaganmohan Palace Art Gallery. The gallery displays an extensive collection of art by a number of famous artists.
One of the most noteworthy paintings displayed is the “Glow of Hope” by Raja Ravi Verma. The gallery also showcases pottery and sculptures. Other things you should not miss out on in the gallery are an ivory palanquin and the famous sundial.
St. Philomena’s Church is the second largest church in Asia and is known for its religious significance and architecture. The church is constructed in a Neo-Gothic style and is said to be inspired from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
The twin spires that rise up to a height of 175 feet are one of the main attractions of this church. Relics of St Philomena are also housed in a catacomb under the church. This is also one of the few churches in India to have stained glass windows. These paintings depict stages of Christ’s life and were made in France.
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