Stories of Silk

Stories of Silk

Lodestars Anthology map


Lodestars Anthology travelled with us earlier this year for a glimpse into local life in India. For the purposes of their journey, kamalan chose South India, specifically the region around Mysore. Known for its silk industry, Mysore is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, also home to a plethora of architecture and markets. The journey, thus, revolved around community, with an in-depth look into markets, crafts, and architecture.
  • History & Architecture

  • Crafts & Design




We started our day early in the morning with a visit to the flower markets where we were greeted by a variety of local blossoms. In that midst of a riot of colour and a mélange of people, we witnessed a different world, especially considering the time. Our final destination called out to us, though and soon we were on our way to Mysore. The road took us through the Karnataka heartland, meandering through paddy fields and the lush greenery of the countryside. At Channapatna, we made a quick stop to discover the tradition of making wooden toys going back generations. These toys are eco-friendly and made from only the locally available ‘ivory wood’.

Our next stop was at the village of Ramnagar, known for its silk cocoon factory and market. Here, we learnt about the process of manufacturing silk, right from the stage of the cocoon to the final product, providing us with an insight into the reasons behind the flourishing of the (silk) industry in this region.

The last break in our journey was at Srirangapatna, the confluence of three holy rivers of the south. History saw it as the capital of ancient empires, present day sees it as a site of holy pilgrimage where people come to perform the last rites of loved ones. We visited the Ranganathaswamy temple, Tipu Sultan’s forts and palaces, masters/something else of Indo-Islamic architecture, and the Gumbaz, the tombs of Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali.


We arrived at Mysore in the evening, tired but happy after our interesting day of travelling. The next morning we went to the Devaraja flower market, which has been in existence for over a century. With its splashes of colour and variety of flowers, this is easily a photographer’s paradise. After having our fill of this photographer’s haven, we headed off to the Mysore Palace, the seat of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore. This iconic structure of Indo-Saracenic architecture was a treat to our eyes. Built with materials from over the world, this ornate palace is home to several unique rooms, known for/standing apart for their intricate detailing and splendour.

We also went to the oldest street of Mysore, (called) Mandi Mohalla. A curious amalgam of shops, we came across a butcher, an electronics shop, a pet shop, and a sandalwood shop all next to one another! This extraordinary market tethered us to it for a good part of the day, without us even realizing that we’d spent so much time here, interacting with the locals, uncovering secrets, and generally absorbing the place.

The next day we drove to the Chamundi Hills in the morning for a photography shoot as it offered spectacular views of the surrounding areas. Legend has it that it is here where the epic battle between the Goddess Chamundeshwari and the demon Mahishasura took place. After a hearty breakfast at a local spot, we set off for the Somnathpur temple, one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture.

The last stop on our journey took us to the famed Brindavan Gardens. With its range of flowers and trees, varieties of orchards, fountains, terraces, cascading waterbodies, and beautiful walkways, roaming through its environs feels almost like an ethereal experience. Before long, our wonderful trip came to a close, and we were soon driving back on the lush roads to Bangalore.

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