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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrAmba Vilas Palace also known as Mysore Palace lies in the city of Mysore in Karnataka and is the official residence of the former Kings of Mysore, who ruled the state of Mysore from about 1399 till 1950. Consisting of two meeting halls or Durbar halls, the palace is an enormous and fascinating array of gardens, buildings and courtyards. One of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, ranked next to the Taj Mahal, the Mysore Palace is located centrally in the old fort region of Mysore opposite to the Chamundi Hills .
HistoryBuilt by King Yaduraja in the 14th century, the palace has been razed and constructed a couple of times. In 1897, Queen Vani Vilas Sannidhna and Maharaja Sir Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV hired the services of an architect from Britain, Lord Henri Irwin, to replace the old palace, which was almost burn down, with a new one. The present palace was completed in 1912 and some extensions have been added to the old construction in 1940, during the reign of the last king of Mysore, Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiar. Under the supervision of the Karnataka tourism department, this palace is completely under the possession of the present royal family members of Mysore.
According to local legends, Krishna and Vijaya, who belonged to the Yadu dynasty which originally hailed from Gujarat , came to Mysore on a pilgrimage and took shelter for the night at the Kodi Bhyraveswara temple. In the morning, they heard from the villagers that local ruler, Chamaraja, had died and the chief of the neighboring village, Karugahalli Maranayaka, was trying to make the best of the situation by demanding the deceased king’s daughter’s hand in marriage. It was then that these two heroic brothers unleashed their forces and defeated and killed Karugahalli Maranayaka, and Vijaya, the elder brother, claimed the hand of the Princess. Thus, the Wadiar dynasty took shape and Vijaya was succeeded by 24 rulers who ruled the princely state right up until 1950.
What to ExpectCommonly referred to as a classic example of the Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture, the Mysore Palace is a unique combination of Muslim, Rajput and Gothic style of art forms. The palace comprises of a three-stoned structure with domes of marble and a five-storeyed tower which rises up to 145 feet. The building is a three-storeyed structure made of fine granite in gray color with domes made of pink marble and the façade consists of a number of huge arches all along the hallways. The central arch is flanked by two smaller arches which in turn is held by long pillars. The palace compound has more than 18 temples. Surrounded by fine gardens on all sides, the main entrance displays the royal emblem and coat of arms of the princely state of Mysore. The palace also has a number of secret tunnels which lead to other places like the Seringapatam fort.
One of the most magnificent of all Indian palaces, Mysore Palace is famous for its spacious halls and its large collections of paintings. The room for private audience, known as Ambavilasa, has a meticulously carved gate made of rosewood and studded with ivory. The central part of the hall in this palace has a number of beautifully gilded columns with ceilings made of stained glass, spectacular chandeliers with floral designs and the pietra dura mosaic on the floor is decorated with semi precious stones. While entering the palace, one has to cross the Gombe Thotti or Pavilion for Dolls which can be described as a gallery of traditional dolls of the 19th and 20th centuries. The marriage hall or Kalyana Mandapa is a grand pavilion of octagonal shape with the ceiling made of stained glass embellished with motifs of peacocks, entirely made in Glasgow. The palace is lit up every Sunday and on all public holidays from 7 PM – 7.45 PM, which is indeed a sight to behold.
The Mysore Dasara festival is celebrated with great pomp within palace compounds every autumn when famous musical artists perform in the palace grounds. On the day of the Vijaya Dashami one gets to see the parade of decorated elephants.
How to Get ThereOnly four miles from the Mysore Airport, the palace can be reached in 10 minutes from the railway station and the bus stand. There are direct flights to cities like Bombay, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai and Thiruvanathapuram to Mysore.
Similar Places NearbyVisitors to Mysore must check out the Jaganmohan Palace, the Lalitha Mahal and of course the beautiful Brindavan Gardens. One might also like to visit the nearby historical city of Seringapatnam made famous by the great ruler Tipu Sultan .
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Author: SubhasishMitra. Last updated: Jun 06, 2015