An exquisite and breathtaking grandeur standing proudly in an Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, the Mysore Palace is a majestic edifice in Mysore, Karnataka and is a royal symbol of the city. Also renowned as the Amba Vilas Palace, it was the erstwhile residence of the royal family of Mysore kings and is still their official abode. The palace was built in 1912 for the 24th ruler of the Wodeyar Dynasty and is one of the grandest palaces in the country.
The foundation structure of Mysore Palace was laid down by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, referred to as ‘Rajarishi’’ by Mahatma Gandhi. The edifice was further expanded later on by his son who was also the last Maharaja of Mysore, Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar. The Indo-Saracenic style which is a blend of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles, gives the façade of the palace a regal look and vibe. Facing the lofty Chamundi Hills towards its east, the landscape of Mysore Palace is a stunning sight to behold both during the day or night.
Mysore Palace Karnataka is the second most visited historical monument in India by both local and foreign visitors after Taj Mahal. Visitors can explore the palace from the inside and marvel at the beauty of this stunning creation. Currently nestled inside the Old Fort, Mysore Palace is famous for its light and sound show and the grand Dasara celebrations.
The magnificent and grand palace has a rich history joined to it which goes back to the 14th century. The palace was home to the royal Wadiyar family of Mysore for almost 600 years, from 1350 to 1950 and had witnessed several construction and re-construction in its lifespan. It is believed that Yaduraya Wodeyar, the first king of the Mysore kingdom, constructed a palace in Puragiri aka the Old Fort during his rule which was later demolished to make the current one.
At first, the edifice was a wooden fortress which got struck by lightning in 1638 and was rebuilt under the rule of Kantirava Narasa Raja Wodeyar. In 1793, the palace was destroyed and rebuilt by Tipu Sultan when he took over the Wodeyar dynasty. after the demise of Tipu Sultan in 1799, the palace again came under Krishnaraja Wodeyar III who renovated the palace as per the Hindu architectural style. In an unfortunate even, the palace was ruined because of a massive fire during the wedding function of Princess Jayalakshmmanni which was rebuild again by Maharani Kempananjammanni Devi and her son Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. A British architect Henry Irwin designed the palace and completed it in 1912, costing over 41 lakh rupees. After a few years, the palace was further expanded, and a Durbar Hall wing was included under the rule of Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar in 1930s.
Constructed in the Indo-Saracenic form of architecture which is an amalgamation of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture, the Mysore Palace is a stunning structure to behold and a specimen of the brilliance of the artisans. The Indo-Saracenic style was an architectural revival movement by British architects in the 19th century which drew elements from the Indo-Islamic and the Indian architecture blended with Gothic and Neoclassical styles.
Designed by a British architect Henry Irwin, Mysore Palace is a three-storeyed stone structure with marble domes and a 145 feet tall five-storeyed tower. Upon entering, a huge lush green garden welcomes the visitors which encloses the palace. The entrance is through ‘’Gombe Thotti’’ or Doll’s Pavillion where traditional dolls from distinct centuries are showcased on a wooden elephant adorned with gold. The motto of the kingdom, ‘never be terrified’, is etched in Sanskrit on the entrance gate and the arch. The palace faces the Chamundi Hills as the maharajas of Mysore were known to be ardent devotees of Goddess Chamundi. There are also secret channels going through the palace cellar that lead to Srirangapatna and other restricted areas. The palace has three gates
East Gate – opens during the Dasara celebrations for VVIPs
West Gate – opens during Dasara celebrations
South Gate – for public
Inside Mysore Palace The maharajas of Mysore were very religious people and as a result, there are twelve temples inside the complex built during different time period ranging from 14th century to 1960s. There is a luxurious private hall known as ‘Ambavilasa’ which has a doorway carved out of rosewood. The room was used by the king to conduct private meetings with his ministers here. The hall for public hearing and announcements is the Darbar Hall or the ‘’Diwan-I-Am’’ which is 155 feet high and is impressively designed. The royal throne in the Diwan-I-Am is a masterpiece with exquisite artwork on the gold covered seat and is only displayed to public during Dasara celebrations. Another masterpiece is the wedding hall or the Kalyan Mandapa which is a huge octagonal shaped hall with glass ceilings and glazed tile flooring. There is an intricate network of kaleidoscopic artwork which is filling the entire ceiling.
Mysore Palace has an incredible assortment of things to see in and around which signifies the grandeur and wealth of its kingdom. Some of the best things to see in Mysore Palace include:
Mysore Palace is one of the precious possessions of our country which has been presently converted into a museum. Visitors can explore the palace and the rooms which are allowed for the public which are accessed through the grand and strikingly chiseled doors. From the Durbar Hall to Diwan-I-Am to solid silver doors, finely incised mahogany ceilings, and many other adornments make this palace a mesmerizing sight to behold and a glimpse into the royal lifestyle of the Wodeyars.
Showcases in the palace museum include royal dresses, mementos, musical instruments, and weapons used by the Wodeyars. Other pieces include an assortment of fine paintings including the ones demonstrating eight manifestations of Goddess Shakthi by famous artist Raja Ravi Verma is also found in the palace.
Timings – 10am to 5:30pm
Entry Fees :
Adults INR 70
Children – (10-18 years) INR 30
Students – (study tour) INR 10
Parking – INR40 (car), INR 20 (two-wheeler)
By Air: The Bangalore International airport is the nearest airport from Mysore which is connected to all cities of India and countries abroad. It takes approx. three hours to reach Mysore via road from Bangalore.
By Train: Mysore Junction is the nearest railway station from Mysore at 2km and connects trains from all cities in the state and some neighboring state’s cities as well.
By Road: You can take a bus from the Kempegowda Bus Station in Majestic to Mysore.
This breathtaking Indo-Saracenic architectural style of creation came into existence in the year 1912 for the 24th ruler of the Wodeyar dynasty and is amongst the largest palaces of the country. The Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic style of design of the palace harmoniously blends with each other giving the structure a regal look. Located in Mysore, Karnataka, the Mysore Palace is the second most visited historical monument after Taj Mahal and is truly a sight to behold.
The initial Mysore Palace was built by Yaduraya Wodeyar which was a wooden fortress while the present palace was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV.
Mysore Palace is in Sayyaji Rao Road at Agrahara, Chamrajpura in Mysore.
The royal descendants of the Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore live in Mysore Palace. Currently, Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar is the 27th titular maharaja of Mysore Palace.
Yes, Mysore Palace is one of the most significant historical monuments in India and the second most visited monuments in India after Taj Mahal.