Sandalwood and Mysore has an inseparable connection.
So what's sandalwood by the way?
This is a tree grown in the forest. The Western Ghat forest region around Mysore had vast reserves of this exotic variety called Indian Sandalwood (Santalum album) or Mysore Sandalwood.
The used part of the tree is its wood. This is used for making many things like for carvings, paste and most importantly for making sandalwood oil. Sandalwood has a mild yet pleasing aroma. What is unique is the wood piece retains its aroma for many decades.
Sandalwood is a slow growing tree and it takes many decades before it is harvested (by felling the tree).
The oil is extracted from the wood. This is a hugely expensive item to buy ( may be around Rs 700000 a kg ).
Cosmetic industry (soaps, perfumes etc) use them as a natural fragrant. The abundance of sandalwood in Mysore in fact led to the creation of a Government Sandalwood Oil factory around 100 years back by the ruling Maharaja of Mysore, Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV. The factory still produces sandalwood based cosmetics.
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