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 its 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. Now every sandalwood tree is
protected by Law.