Just walking around the center of town is enough to attest to the fact that Mysore is an important stop on the Silk Route.
Shops selling silk are everywhere, easily identified by the colorful swaths of fabric draped in front of the windows, and each store has nigh thousands of folded silk lining their shelves. Saris, salwar kameezs, scarves and who knows what else!
How could we not go shopping? What better place was there to introduce ourselves to the world of silk? (Besides Kashmir, but that may be coming up in a few months…)
After we got back to our hotel room and admired our haul of gorgeous, shiny scarves, we agreed it would be a wise decision to mail the presents home, rather than carry ’em for the next few months… I got a kick out of the way the India Post packages their mail!
That night, we went to catch a glimpse of the glowing palace (AKA Amba Vilas Palace) and made a new friend.
Shiva K., palace guard, (the one between Xik and I) may look tough and serious at first, but warms easily and he immediately took a liking to Xiker in particular. That night, we met Sita, one of the king’s personal elephants!
The next day, he led us on a personal tour through the palace (no cameras allowed inside, unfortunately) and supplemented additional information to the audio guide that Xik borrowed from the tourist office.
Being shown through a palace by one of its guards, on a personal tour? Priceless.