Located approximately 172 km away from Bangalore airport, Mysore Palace is the abode of Wadiyar dynasty. It is famous among tourists for its Indo-Saracen-Gothic architectural design, and its red-coloured domes that stand in stark contrast to the brass and cream-coloured building.
However, Mysore Palace did not always look the way it does today. In an accidental fire in 1897, a certain section of the older structure of the palace suffered damage, moving the then Wadiyar King, Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV, to construct this one.
He hired celebrated British architect Henry Wright for this job. Since its completion in 1911, this palace has been the centre of attraction for all those who visit Karnataka.
Its four arched gateways are discernible from a large distance. The eastern gate faces the main structure of the palace. This gate is only accessible to royalty, their guests and important dignitaries and Dasara processions always head out from this gate. Tourists can access the palace from the south gate.
Gombe Thotti or Doll’s Pavillion
The Pavillion houses several objects from the royal collection. The pavilion is spread out throughout the different parts of the ground floor. Here tourists can see and compare the older and newer model of the palace, various
European marble sculptures, idols of Hindu deities, and also the golden howdah, on which Chamundeshvari Devi, the family deity of the Kings, is taken for procession during Dasara.
Kalyana Mantapa or marriage hall
The Kalyan mandapa is an octagonal structure whose dome receives support from triple cast-iron pillars, imported from Scotland.
It has a multi-coloured ceiling made of stained Belgian glass. Further, a grand Chandelier adorns this hall. A series of 3-D paintings about Dasara processions can be seen on the walls of Kalyana mantapa. This hall was last used during the marriage of Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar and Trishika Kumari, in 2016.
Next to the marriage hall is a gallery. Here one comes across the portraits of several members of the Wadiyar family. It also houses the portrait made by famous painter Raja Ravi Verma of King Krishna Raja Wadiyar and his sisters.
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This hall is located on the first floor of the palace. On the gates of the hall, a statue of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV and a cut out of his most loyal servant, Jamedar Peer Bait, greets visitors. This hall was designed by Sri Raghavulu Naidu. 150 ft. long and 45 ft. wide, this hall has two rows of pillars upholding its collonaded arches.
Paintings depicting different avatars of Devi as well as those inspired from Indian mythology adorn the walls and ceilings of the hall. Durbar Hall also houses the last painting of famous artist Raja Ravi Verma, Sita’s Swayamvar.
Amba Vilasa or Private Hall
Located next to Durbar Hall is a smaller Amba Vilasa that was reserved for the king’s use. Cast iron-bell shaped pillars support the structure of this hall.
The adornments on the pillars as well as the Burma teak roof daze the travellers. Different sorts of glass creations, slides and ornamental glass ceilings add glitz to the Amba Vilasa.
Atma Vilasa Ganesha Temple
The temple has a six ft. tall and two ft. the wide idol of Ganpati. This idol is believed to have 450 shaligrams stored in it. However, this temple is accessible only to royal members of the family. Every Dasara, members of the royal family hold a Puja within the temple.
Currently, a large portion of the palace is retained by the royal family that lives there. Mysore Palace is an important emblem of the cultural, political and historical legacy of Mysore’s past and present. A visit to Karnataka must entail space for a trip to this architectural splendour, Mysore Palace.