The Devaraja Market
Mysore Travel Blog› entry 22 of 37 › view all entries
Half way through the afternoon, we arrive in the bustling city of Mysore. Itâ€™s our first taste of real Indian pandemonium since Madurai, and it takes us a moment to convert. As soon as we leave our hotel there are dozens of rickshaw drivers, touts, salesmen and curious locals who walk up to us, all wanting something from us.
All we want is to walk to the Devaraja Market, and even though we have to tell people who us to do otherwise every few minutes, we stick by it. On our way, we finally run into a cow who is partially blocking traffic on an intersection.
Itâ€™s the weirdest thing, weâ€™ve all heard about, seen it on television or on pictures, but it still seems like a weird joke.
A cow is strolling by in the middle of the road, smelling something interesting on the pavement of an intersection, and trucks, rickshaws and scooters pass by as if this is completely normal. The cow doesnâ€™t even get nervous from all the traffic driving by.
Itâ€™s moments like this that remind us that India is not just a different country, itâ€™s a completely different world. No matter where we have been in the past, jeans, T-shirts, American pop music, Hollywood movies, Coca Cola and McDonalds were just about everywhere.
This is not the case in India. As long as weâ€™ve been in this country, we havenâ€™t seen any jeans or T-shirts, heard or seen nothing even close to familiar music or movie advertisements and apart from a few bottles of Coca Cola that can be had in restaurants and hotels, the western world has no influence whatsoever in this corner of the earth.
When we arrive at the Devaraja Market, we are surprised by an explosion of colour. Stalls sell every imaginable fruit and vegetable, there are beautiful flower garlands as far as the eye can see and there are also piles of kumkum in every shade possible. Kumkum is coloured powder used for bindi dots on heads of married women, and one of the salesmen who sees me watching all the different piles of powder takes my hand and draws a flower of kumkum on it. I soon find out it is easier to get rid of no washable ink.