Mysore Palace or Amba Villas epitomises India’s rich history and legacy. This luxuriant estate (amongst the most magnificent and talked-about in India) demonstrates a rich cultural heritage of its own. This royal residence serves as the office of the Kingdom of Mysore and as the official seat of the Wadiyar dynasty. Thus, a trip to Mysore is unfinished, unless, you have paid a visit to this majestic palace featuring fantastic architecture and an extraordinary history from its illustrious past to present-day standing. Stationed in the heart of Mysore, facing Chamundi Hills, within the old fort – this palace is built atop the site of an ‘ancient’ 14th-century fort that was demolished and rebuilt many times. Mysore Palace is the most-visited attractions of India, after the Taj Mahal, exceeding 6-mn yearly visitants.
In 18th-century, Maharani Kempananjammanni Devi and her son Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV ordered Henry Irwin, a British architect to construct a new palace. The development was commanded by an executive engineer who had administered extensive architectural studies during his visits to Delhi, Madras, and Calcutta. You will notice a glimpse of the architectural designs from these cities in the Mysore Palace. In 1930, during the reign of Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, the palace was farther extended.
The citadel recapitulated its beautification and residents gradually relocated to the more latest built off’s. Inside the palace, the architectural characteristics of domes are expressed as Indo-Saracenic; they star amalgams of the Mughal, Hindu, Gothic and Rajput styles. As for construction, this 3-story palace is conceived from stones and is embellished with a 145-foot 5-story tower and a few magnificent marble domes in a deep pink and ravishing grey colour. Mysore palace possesses 3-entrances: Front (East) Gate for dignitaries, South Gate for the public, and West Gate opened only on Dasara. The foremost complex is 245 feet long and 156 feet wide and is enclosed by a big garden.
My mind will always remember the exquisite charm my eyes feasted on. The inlet passageway has some astonishing European and Indian artefacts. Leading to intricately designed arches, stained glass ceilings, opulent Czechoslovakian chandeliers, awnings, columns, glazed flooring, durbars and exquisite furnishings. Over the middle arch, is a sculpted-statue of Gajalakshmi with her elephants – the divine Goddess of wealth, good fortune and abundance. Apart from that, there are chambers, temples, courtyards, terraces, each more glorious than the other. There are 3 influentially-exclusive temple buildings in the Old Fort and 18 in the main palace. Within the mansion premises, temples are scattered all along. Of these, the Lakshmi Swamy Temple is of enormous significance as it’s one of the oldest – Also, the royals were crowned here.
Other temples worth taking a look are the 19th-century Shweta Varahaswamy Temple (containing murals from Ramayana and Bhagavatha), and temples devoted to Shiva and Krishna. Bhuvaneshwari temple, however, turned out to be my favourite with its unusual Surya Mandala. All along, you will discern breathtaking examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture. Presently, Mysore Palace brings alive its ancient history through its celebrated light and sound show on Dussehra. The palace is ornamented with a hundred thousand lights. You can visit this treasure cove of ancient artefacts daily between 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.