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Once one of the richest cities in India, Mysore has a history of over 1,000 years. After rising to power as the capital of the Wodeyar kings, the city was home to Tipu Sultan, the famous rebel leader known as the "Tiger of Mysore." While Tipu Sultan ultimately perished in his unsuccessful struggle against the British, Mysore survived; through the years, it managed to balance development without lowering living standards or destroying cultural artifacts, a lesson for modern India itself. Today, the city is one of the cleanest and most organized in India, home to a number of significant buildings and historic sights.
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Have a private dinner with Mysore’s prince and his family, who live in the half of the palace not open to the public. He will give you a private tour of his home and detail the history of his family, whose rich past also bears the weight of a curse.
Visit a sari silk weaving mill and meet with the owner to see how intricate patterns, hallmarks of luxurious fabric from Mysore, are woven through a complex punch-card system.
Spend a morning wandering around Mysore’s fantastic fruit and vegetable market. Learn how to roll incense sticks or purchase fragrant fennel seeds, the latter being a local custom for freshening one’s breath after a meal.
Sample crispy dosas, large, flat pancakes made of lentil flower and stuffed with a variety of fillings, from curried potatoes and onions to shredded chicken. Stop by a chaat stall, which serves savoury snacks, such as aloo tikki, or potato fritters served with cilantro and sweet tamarind chutney; bhelpuri, puffed rice served with vegetables and a tangy sauce; and laddoos, decadent, ball-shaped sweets made from a variety of flours.
Board your own private jet to travel in sheer luxury through India’s best leisure spots on this remarkable 10-day journey. You’ll explore Cochin’s colonial wonders, cruise Kerala’s backwaters on a luxury Kettuvallam, and enjoy refreshing poolside cocktails at your five-star beachside resort on Goa’s white-sand beaches.
Head to sunny South India for 12 days of luxury travel. You’ll explore Mumbai, taking in the dazzling, world-famous Bollywood, then head to the backwaters of Kerala where you’ll step aboard a luxury Kettuvallam. Interact with locals, shop in markets, and view ancient temples while staying in luxurious Taj hotels.
Built by the Maharaja of Mysore to host his most important guest, the Viceroy of India, today the Lalitha Mahal Palace is one of Indiaâ€™s most opulent hotels. Set on a ridge with commanding views of the gently sloping valley, the Lalitha Mahal offers guests a taste of princely living in a real palace. A grand, two-story structure with twin Ionic columns, spherical domes, and Indian marble, the Lalitha Mahal features fifty-four stately suites and rooms, all of which are comfortable and spacious, and offer natural light, period furniture, four-poster beds, deep velvet-covered armchairs, air-conditioning, televisions, telephones, and framed mirrors. The hotel contains three eateries: a restaurant serving Chinese, north and south Indian, and English-inspired Continental cuisine; a tea lounge serving snacks and non-alcoholic beverages; and an elegant bar built in the style of an English club, with dark-paneled wooden furniture and countertops. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, jogging tracks, and billiards tables. The Lalitha Mahal lies twenty minutes from Mysore Airport, and less than twenty minutes from downtown Mysore itself.