|Location||Located at Mirza Road in the heart of Mysore in Karnataka|
|Dedicated To||Gajalakshmi, ‘Goddess of Strength’|
|Significance||A brilliant example of Pallave art & architecture|
|Also Known as||Maharaja’s Palace|
Blending together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic style of architecture, the Mysore Palace is one of the key tourist attractions in the city of Mysore. Mysore was under the rulership of the Wodeyar Dynasty from 1399 till the independence of India in the year 1947. The Wodeyar rulers erected a palace in the city in the 14th century. The palace, however, suffered sever damages by a lightning strike in 1638. It was then repaired and expanded, falling upon evil times once again by the late 18th century. No wonder, a new palace was constructed in its place in 1803. Surprisingly enough, the palace was again destroyed by a fire in 1897.
Kempananjammani Vanivilasa Sanndihana, the queen regent of Mysore, commissioned a British architect Henry Irwin to erect yet another palace in its place. The construction got finished in 1912.
The stately and elegant Mysore Palace blends together various styles of architecture namely Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic styles. The architectural style, however, is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic. The stone structure of the temple has three storeys with marble domes and a 145-feet-high tower. A large garden around adds charm to the setting all the more. The temple is built in fine gray granite while the domes are constructed in deep pink marble. The frontage of the temple is beautified by seven huge arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch. There are tall pillars that support the central arch. An exquisite sculpture of Gajalakshmi can be seen above the central arch.
The Gombi Thotti or the Doll’s Pavillion serves as the entrance to the huge palace. To reach the centre of the palace one has to pass through the Elephant Gate which is adorned with beautiful floral designs and a two-headed eagle, the royal symbol of Mysore. To the north of the gate are some ancient dolls dating back to the 19th centuries. The Kalyana Mandapa or the Marriage Pavillion lies to the south of the gate. The pavillion has an octagonal ceiling that bears colourful stained glass with peacock motifs. Fabulous chandeliers from Checkosalavakia can also be seen hanging from the ceiling. The second floor houses the Diwan-i-Am or the Darbar Hall, measuring 155 ft in length and 42 ft in breadth. Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience also lies on the same floor.
The Palace is now under the supervision of the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the Karnataka Government. The palace has been turned into a museum exhibiting a huge collection of royal paintings, portraits, jwellery, costumes etc. The most attractive feature of the palace is the gold royal throne of the Wodeyars, weighing 200 kg. The throne is on display during the Dussehra festival.
The most popular festival of the city of Mysore is of course Dussehra. The festival is celebrated on a grand scale throughout the city, attracting a large number of tourists and travellers from all parts of the world. Being on the scene of the festival is an excellent way of gaining an insight into the traditions and culture of the people of the city. The 200-kilograms gold throne can also be seen during the festivities.
How to Reach
By Air: The closest airport from the city of Mysore is at Bangalore (130 km). The airport operates regular flights connecting to almost all the major destinations of the country.
By Rail: There are trains like the Kaveri Express and the Shatabdi Express running between the cities of Bangalore and Mysore on a regular basis. Bangalore has links with cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Hyderabad, Chennai etc.
By Road: There are regular bus services from Bangalore to the city of Mysore. The city is well-connected by road as well to the major destinations of the country.