In the early 20th century, the Mysore Kingdom in India was one of the largest producers of sandalwood in the world. It was also one of the major exporters of the wood, most of which was exported to Europe. During the First World War, large reserves of sandalwood were left over because they could not be exported due to the war. In order to make good use of these reserves, Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the King of Mysore, established the Government Soap Factory in Bangalore. This factory, which was set up in 1916, started manufacturing soaps under the brand-name ‘Mysore Sandal Soap’ using sandalwood oil as the main ingredient. A factory to distill sandalwood oil from the wood was set up at Mysore in the same year. In 1944, another sandalwood oil factory was set up at Shimoga. After the unification of Karnataka, these factories came under the jurisdiction of the Government of Karnataka. In 1980, the Government decided to merge these factories and incorporate them under a company named Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited. Sharabha, a mythological creature having a body of a lion and the head of an elephant, was chosen as the logo of the company. This was because the creature represents the combined virtues of wisdom, courage and strength and symbolizes the company’s philosophy. The company has since diversified and manufactures incense sticks, talcum powder and detergents, apart from soaps.
Where to buy : KARNATAKA SOAPS & DETERGENTS LIMITED