As the authorities of Mysore Palace here are out to offer special attractions to the tourists during the nine-day Navaratri festival, they thought nothing else could be better than displaying these rare "antique treasures". Incidentally, the priceless collection of caskets made up of Gold, Silver and other precious metals has been displayed for the first time inside the Mysore Palace.
A collection of silver and sandalwood caskets and mementos that were presented to the maharajas, including late Sri Krishnaraja Wodeyar and Jayachamaraja Wodeyar are on display. They have intriguing history too.
When the Mysore kings visit various parts of the state, their subjects received them with the greatest respect. They often had many requests; these would be formally submitted in small silver and sweet- smelling sandalwood caskets. Additionally they would present the kings with mementoes of their visit in these boxes.
Sandalwood is one of the earliest items of trade, and its oil has been used in perfumes for over 4000 years. Sandalwood is believed to be scented by the gods. Its sacred properties mean it's traditionally used to carve images of deities and create prayer beads. Seventy per cent of Indian sandalwood comes from the tropical forests of Karnataka and a diminishing resource.
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