Mysore is a significant educational hub, the foundations for which were laid by King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV during his enlightened rule. Today, the city can boast of 7 Engineering and 2 Medical Colleges. Engineering education started in Mysore with the establishment of the National Institute of Engineering in 1946, the Second Oldest engineering college in the state (After UVCE Bangalore). Medical education started in 1930 when the Mysore Medical College was transferred from Bangalore to Mysore. Mysore is also well known for its provess in Sanskrit, the mother language of many Indian languages. Some people refer to Mysore as the Sanskrit capital of India. A Sanskrit newspaper called ‘Sudharma’ is published from Mysore for a nominal price of 1 Rupee.
Mysore is famous for silk sarees (Mysore Silk), sandalwood carvings and the many varieties of perfumed incense sticks. Mysore’s market places can be a good place to start, like Ashoka Road, Sayyaji Rao Road and for a mix of Western and Indian traditional shopping head to Devaraj Urs Road. To experience one of India’s best markets head to Devaraja Market where tourists and locals alike shop for daily fruit and vegetables as well as the rows and rows of flowers and various spices. Devaraja market is on Dhanwanthri Road. On the east row of the Devaraja Market there is an oil shop with two brothers, Azam and Adil, who always pull in tourists for a nice conversation and maybe some chai. They have some good recommendations for food and things around the city so give them a visit. Their shop has a row of the watercolor powder, about 1/3rd from the north end. Be warned however. There are quite a lot of perfume sellers that sell inferior goods, don’t be tempted by nice boxes and free gifts. As a rule, if it looks like a bargain, the perfume is poor quality. The real stuff is normally found further from the centre, but is mostly for export.
Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium, Sayaji Road – Sandal wood figurines and caskets, Agarbathis (Incense), Chenapatna Dolls and Wooden Toys, Traditional Deck of playing cards
Mysore is famous for its most famous traditional sweet, the Mysore Pak. Mysore Pak is a sweet dish generally cut into rectangular pieces and is made out of Gram Flour, Sugar (or Jaggery) and lots of Ghee (clarified butter). You can find it all over the city.
South Indian breakfast favourites like idlis, sambars, masala dosas are widely available and quite good. It is not clear if the Mysore Masala Dosaactually originated in Mysore, but you can try asking. You can find some of Karnataka’s speciality dishes like:
Jain Bhojanalay – There is Jain Bhojanaylaya on Ashoka Road, behind Sangam Theartor, near to Gandhi Square, Managed by Jain Temple Trust. The facility is available for Jain people only. No food is served after Sunset.
Mysore is part of Karnataka state where the liquor laws are one of the most liberal in the sub continent. Most international brands are readily available. The city is lined with bars and other restaurants serving liquor, there are Around 10 pubs in the city. Some of the recommended places include :