When I heard Mysore was the most flamboyant place in South India, I naturally thought of, oh, Halloween in West Hollywood or Christmas in Palm Springs and couldn’t wait to go. Well, it’s not that kind of flamboyant. It is, however, colorful and full of sandalwood, silk and incense. And as much yoga and ayurveda as your booty can bear.

Mysore is named after Mahisurur, a mythical place where the demon Mahisasura was slain by goddess Chamundi. Mysore’s history began in 1399 when the Wodeyar dynasty was founded to serve as a vassal state of the South Indian Vijayanagara Empire. The Wodeyars remained in service of Vijayanagar until 1565, when they declared their sovereignty, which remained in effect more or less until 1947, save for a brief period of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan’s supremacy.

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