One of the oldest civilisations on earth, India is a country with kaleidoscopic varieties and rich cultural and royal history. The Mysore palace, once the residence of the Wodeyars is often compared with the Buckingham palace of England. Now a museum, the Mysore palace, which is a great example of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture is said to display the largest collection of gold items. Mysore palace, also known as the Amba Vilas Palace is now the second most visited monument in India after Tajmahal with over 6 millions of visitors annually.
Mysore palace is the prime attraction of tourists visiting the South Indian city of Mysore. Mysore is also known as the city of palace with 7 palaces including the mighty Mysore palace. This heritage palace was built within the old wooden fort facing the Chamundi Hills which was the residence of the Wodeyar dynasty from 1399 to 1950. The new palace commissioned in 1912 was built as a replacement of the old wooden fort which was destroyed by fire during a royal celebration in 1897. This architectural marvel was designed by then British consultant architect of Madras state Henry Irwin.
Where is Mysore Palace?
Mysore palace is located in the South Indian city Mysore also called Mysuru. This historic city located in the foothills of Chamundi Hills is a witness of the era of Wodeyar dynasty and Tipu Sultan. Though many of the Wodeyar dynasty monuments were destroyed during Tipu Sultan’s rule, there are still many architectural marvels from the era of Wodeyar dynasty which still says the rich cultural and architectural richness of that era.
When was The Mysore palace built? : the untold history.
The Wodeyar dynasty ruled Mysore for 6 centuries. The origin of the Wodeyars can be traced back to the Yadavas. The Yadava community of Gujarat came to visit Karnataka and on being impressed by the natural beauty of the region, they settled in Mysore. Yaduraja Wodeyar is the first king of the Wodeyar dynasty who built the Mysore palace within the old Mysore fort in the 14th century. In 1799, following the death of Tipu Sultan, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar declared Mysore as his capital and finally came under the British rule. The dynasty name was changed from “Wodeyar” to “Wadiyar” by his successors.
The new palace was built as the old palace was destroyed by fire during the royal wedding ceremony of princess Jayalakshmi Ammani, eldest sister of his highness Rajarshi Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The new palace was constructed at a cost of Rs 41,47,913. Lord Henry Irwin was the architect of this royal palace.
Why should you visit Mysore Palace? : the attractions & events:
This majestic royal palace is converted into a museum. The extremely embellished and perfectly designed doors lead to the royal ornate rooms. The museum displays royal dresses, paintings, musical instruments and weapons of the Wodeyar dynasty. A painting illustrating the 8 manifestations of the goddess Shakti made by the legendary artist Raja Ravi Verma along with other extremely beautiful paintings find a place in this palace.
Main attractions of Mysore palace are the Royal Golden throne, the Kalyan Mandap (wedding hall) and the Durbar hall. The Elephant Gate is decorated with floral designs and holds the royal symbol of Mysore on it. The Royal Elephant Throne which was decorated with 84 Kilograms of 24 carat gold is displayed towards the North side of the Elephant Gate. A series of oil paintings on the walls illustrating the Mysore royal dussehra procession is one of the main attractions of the palace. The interesting thing about these paintings is that from whatever direction someone looks at them, the procession seems coming in one's own direction.
The Mysore dussehra festival:
This mighty palace remains illuminated for 10 days with 1,00,000 bulbe during the dussehra festival. Different cultural and religious programmes are hosted along with the display of two royal thrones namely the Chinnada Simhasana and the Ratna Simhasana. A procession of camels and elephants with the royal sword “Pattada Katti” happens on the day of Mahanavami every year. The prime attraction of the Vijayadasami is the idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari being seated on the mantapa made with 750 Kgs of Gold.
How to visit the Mysore Palace?
Mysore city is approx 140 Kms from the city of Bangalore. It is well connected with the other parts of the country by bus, trains and air. The palace is open for tourists from 10 AM to 5;30 PM everyday. Battery operated vehicles are operated by the management for the convenience of the visitors.
Light and sound show at Mysore palace:
A light and sound show is organised everyday of the week except Sunday. The show is conducted from 7PM to 7:40 PM. The palace is kept illuminated on Sundays, National holidays and state festivals.