February 28, 2010

The pride of India - Mysore Palace, India

I have visited a lot of palaces across India. But, I have never seen such an impressive and magnificent palace like the one located at Mysore city of South India. This palace can be arguably considered as the most beautiful palace in India. This monument is not only the pride of Wodeyar kings; it is  the pride of entire nation.

Mysore Palace is the best tourist attraction of Mysore, the heritage city of India. The palace is situated at the city center. The Mysore Palace has an interesting history. It was built by the royal family of Mysore city, Wodeyars during the 14th century CE. In 1638 CE, the palace was destroyed by lightning and was reconstructed by the King Kantirava Narasa Raja Wodeyar (1638 - 1659 CE). Tipu Sultan destroyed the palace in 1793 CE. After Tipu's death, the Wodeyar dynasty came to power again. The palace was rebuilt in 1803 CE. It seems the Mysore palace always had a bad fate. It got destroyed again in fire in 1897 CE. The current structure of Mysore palace, which was designed by the British architect Henry Irwin was constructed in 1912 CE. This palace is a masterpiece in Indo-Saracenic architecture, which can be considered equivalent to the great Mughal residences of the North and the stately colonial public buildings of the South.

The palace complex is very huge. It houses various buildings and twelve temples. The main building, the new palace, is an impressive five floor building with a glided dome by a single golden flag. The palace is located amid well laid gardens and parks with beautiful arches and pillars. The interior of the palace is also too beautiful with a lot of halls and rooms. Amba Vilasa, the room used by the king for the private audience, is one of the most spectacular rooms in the palace. The Doll's Pavilion houses a lot of old dolls, gifts and prize materials. Kalyana Mandap hall is full of beautiful oil paintings depicting the epics of India. The hall is a grand octagonal-shaped pavilion with glass ceiling with peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns. The public Durbar Hall is looking majestic and it also houses various paintings.

The Palace has a lot of rooms and halls apart from what I mentioned above. It even houses some rare original paintings of Raja Ravi Varma. You can also find old photographs and paintings of various family members of royal family. The durbar halls and some rooms in the palace have attractive and decorative pillars and colorful ceilings. The huge silver doors located at a room are incredibly beautiful.

There is a wrestling ground below the new palace. At a short distance from the new palace, the old palace is located, which houses weapons, paintings and royal dress materials. The old palace is simple and clean compared to the new palace.

The palace complex houses twelve temples and some of the temples are very ancient such as Balkrishna temple, Shweta Varaha temple and Lakshmi Ramana temple. You can also take camel rides or elephant rides in the palace complex.

The evenings are the best time to spend in the palace complex, as the main palace building is illuminated with thousands of bulbs which is extremely attractive and unbelievable. It is indeed a spectacular view to find the entire palace lit up with the dark background in the evening.

The Mysore Palace is open all days of the week, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The palace is illuminated on Sundays, national holidays and state festivals from 7:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. The palace is illuminated between 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. only during the Dussera festival.

One main disadvantage of this place is it is highly crowded. If Government can organize properly and control the crowd, it would be really helpful.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:

Site Name: Mysore Palace
Site Type: Palace
Location: Mysore, Karnataka state, India
Highlight: One of the best palaces of India; Dussera festival celebration; Evening illumination
Nearest Railway Station: Mysore
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
Climate: Warm and cool throughout the year
Local Transport: Well connected by buses, private taxis, and auto rickshaws; (even you can find tongos (horse driven carts)
Hotel: A lot of hotels - budget as well as high class - throughout the city
Restaurants: Mysore's cuisine is rice-based; Idlis and dosas are also famous; You can find a lot of restaurants both vegetarian and non-vegetarian throughout the city

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  2. Long ago,when I was young I had visited Mysore and seen the Palace. The mage is always been in my heart and a get thrilled even now when I talk of the Palace. .... Ramchandra Karnik