An illuminated view of Mysuru Palace during Dasara celebration, in Mysuru on Wednesday. (Photo: KPN)
Mysuru: It was Kakasura Madappa, a cook in the palace, who churned out a delicacy on the orders of then Maharaja Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, but its unique taste convinced the ruler that it should be called ‘Mysuru Pak,’ says heritage expert Eechanur Kumar.
The sweet dish, which has become the city’s signature dish, not only relished by thespians like the late Dr Rajkumar, Rajnikanth, the late Shivaji Ganeshan and politicians like Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and scores of foreigners too. The secret recipe has been handed down subsequent generations by kin of Madappa, who, incidentally, sell it in a petty shop "Guru Sweets", in the corner of Devraja Market on Sayyaji Rao road. ‘Mysuru Pak’ sold at "Guru Sweets" has turned a Dasara treat for tourists so much so that they queue ten to 12 hours in advance to reserve their place to watch Jumbo Savari procession on Vijayadashami.
While the shop attracts more than 1000 customers a day, 40 per cent of them are outsiders including tourists. Even though many more shops have included ‘Mysuru Pak’ in their menu, this humble mart has not lost its fame till date. "My great grand father Madappa even introduced the taste of Mysuru Pak to general public by starting a sweet mart, Desikendra sweet stall on Ashoka road. Later it was shifted to Sayyaji Rao road, more than 50 years ago. Then, Madappa’s son Basavanna continued selling Mysuru Pak.
Later, while Basavanna had two daughters, his sons in law, Puttaraju and Sangaraju continued the tradition.
Now currently, three children of Sangaraju including me, Mr Kumar and Nataraj are continuing the tradition.
Fifth generation in the family, our children too who are studying have shown interest in taking forward the family tradition by helping us during their free time and during the busy days," Mr Shivanand, the fourth generation vendor of the family and son of Puttaraju, told Deccan Chronicle.