The Indian city of Mysore houses a palace that has undergone several reconstruction phases in the past. Opened in 1912, it is one of the country’s most famous tourist attractions. Its complex integrates temples dedicated to Hindu deities, wedding and audience halls, but above all, the throne room is greatly appreciated by visitors.
India is a country rich in heritage, culture and architecture, and the Mysore Palace is an impressive example of all this.
Also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, it is one of the largest royal palaces in India. It is also, after the Taj Mahal, the most visited attraction of this country. The magnificent palace is the main attraction of the city of Mysore located at the foot of Mount Chamundi, in the state of Karnataka. Interestingly, Mysore has been declared one of India's cleanest cities, which is an additional lure for tourists.
The original construction of the palace dates back to the 14th century. According to legend, the first ruler of the Wodeyar dynasty built a palace on the present site as the official residence of the royal family. Over time, the palace was rebuilt from the ground up several times. Much of the original castle was destroyed in the 19th century when a fire broke out during the Maharajah's daughter's wedding.
The Maharaja then hired Henry Irwin, a famous British architect, to renovate the entire Mysore Palace. Irwin completed the renovation in 1912, and the present appearance of the palace is due to him. Later, only the magnificent Durbar Hall wing was supplemented.
While the exterior is a typical example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, the interior is a fusion of Gothic, Mughal, Islamic and Indian elements. Amba has a fine, pink marble that adorns its domes, and plenty of arches, canopies, and lower pillars designed to perfection. Stained glass ceilings and glazed floors are also worth mentioning. Besides, luxurious chandeliers and high-end furniture look out of this world.
Inside the palace, there are temples, rooms, courtyards, balconies. Unfortunately, indoor photography is not allowed here. Although, your mind will never forget the extraordinary beauty with which your eyes will mate. The main gate of the Gombe Thotti is decorated with elephants carved in gold.
During the reign of Mysore, Durbar Hall was where the Maharajas of Mysore addressed the public. This is also the most luxurious room inside the palace, a real IG lure for all tourists who secretly try to immortalize the room's beauty. Next to it, the Mysore Palace hall bathed in gold and ivory also attracts the eye. There is also the traditional Kalyana Mantapa wedding hall, which has hosted hundreds of royal wedding ceremonies.
You can visit the palace all year round. Most locals, however, claim that the palace is the most beautiful during the Dasara Festival. Dasara or Vijayadashami is a festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil. But unlike the rest of India, it is celebrated in Mysore for a full ten days.
The biggest stars of the festival are the elephants that march during this festival on the city's streets. Inside the palace, the royal family and their guests enjoy a special celebration and ceremony. During the festival days, the entire Mysore Palace is lavishly lit, and a real sight to behold.