OUR TRIP TO MYSORE PALACE / ALSO KNOWN AS AMBA VILAS PALACE / MYSORE MAHARAJA PALACE
After spending awesome time in Coorg, it was the time to pack our bags and head back to Bangalore. Since we were going via Mysore, so we decided to have a halt there for a quick visit to Mysore Palace. This beautiful city of Karnataka is famous for its rich cultural heritage. You will find magnificent palaces, temples, forts surrounded by stunning gardens and exceptional craftsmanship that makes every inch of Mysore a unique and a sought after holiday destination.Since we had little time at hand so we decided to explore only Mysore Palace and Mysore zoo during that visit. We zeroed in on this palace as we had heard so much about it.
We reached Mysore Palace at around 2 PM and were awestruck by it’s beauty and grandeur at the first sight. We reached the ticket counter only to get informed that cameras were not allowed inside the palace. Then we again went back to the entrance gate as the lockers for depositing camera and bags was at the entrance. After that, we purchased tickets to go inside and deposited our shoes at that ticket counter itself. Yeah dear…shoes were not allowed inside the palace, and we explored it barefooted. While you are allowed to snap the palace’s exterior, photography within the palace is strictly prohibited. So, even though you can carry your mobile phone inside the palace but clicking photos is a strict no-no inside the palace.
This magnificent Mysore Palace was first built by the Wodeyars kings in the 14th century and is the official residence of the Wodeyars,The Maharajas of Mysore. However, later on, this palace underwent many reconstructions.
Entrance to the palace:
There are three entrance points – One is South Entrance, which is for general public, Second is West Entrance which is usually opened only during the Dasara festival. And then there is third one (see the pic below) which is the Main entrance of the palace which is opened only for the royal descendants during the Dusshera festivities and other important occasions. If you notice in the photo below, you will see the emblem designed on the entrance gate and archand coat of arms of the kingdom of Mysore, around which the kingdom’s motto is written in Sanskrit whose meaning in english is “never terrfied”.
Ok, so after security checkup, we went inside the palace. You can hire a guide if you want, but we didn’t as I wanted to explore the palace on my own. And I must say the interiors were stunning and lavish and the Indo-Saracenic architecture of the palace is a blend of Hindu, Islam, Gothic and Rajput style.
This three storied stone palace has marble domes which are pink in colour and also has a 145 feet high five storied tower and a facade with several expansive arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which is supported by tall pillars. Above the central arch is a sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, Luck and abundance with her elephants.
We went inside and the interior of the palace was very beautiful infact much more beautiful than the exterior. Now transmuted into amuseum, this palace showcases sculptures, artifacts, paintings, royal costumes and armory with an intriguing collection of 700-plus weapons which were once possessed by the Wodeyars. On the Ground Floor of the palace, we saw musical instruments, costumes, children’s toys and portraits, while the upper floor had weapons at display.
Gombe Thotti/ Doll’s Pavilion – Ground Floor
We first saw GOMBE THOTTI/ DOLL’S PAVILION at the ground floor where a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were at display. Apart from this, it has Indian and European sculpture, ceremonial objects, a wooden elephant howdah (frame to carry passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold. There is a KALYANA MANTAPA, a spectacular and a grand octagonal shaped hall with a multi-hued stained glass ceilings with peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns where all royal weddings, birthdays and ceremonial functions were celebrated.
The Public Durbar Hall – First Floor
On the first floor we saw THE PUBLIC DURBAR HALL, where the king used to host major ceremonial gatherings. The Durbar hall is decorated in Gold and Turquoise colour and there are a series of paintings on the wall. You will also get to see a series of paintings on the rear wall which shows Goddess Durga in her various forms. There is a passage that takes you past the beautifully ivory-on-wood inlaid door of the Ganesh Temple, to the Amba Vilas where private audiences (Diwan-i-Khas) were held. AMBA VILAS HALL was used by the king as a hall for private audiences.I was awe struck when I saw the stained glass ceilings and the beautiful chandeliers with floral motifs inside this hall. This palace complex has twelve Hindu temples. The Maharajas of Mysore were devotees of Goddess Chamundi, which is why the place faces Chamundi Hills.There is also a temple within the palace complex.
There are many souvenirs shops just outside the palace from where you can purchase Mysore silk Sarees, wooden items and artifacts. The best time to visit this palace is during the Dusshera festival in October when the palace is illuminated with Lakhs and Lakhs of incandescent lights. Elephant and camel ride options are also there.
- Address: Sayyaji Rao Rd, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001
- Entrance: Entrance to the palace grounds is at the South Gate on Purandara Dasa Rd. Parking available at the South Gate.
- Timings: The palace remains open all the days of the week from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm.
- Time Required to explore the entire palace: 3 hours approx.
- Ticket Price: Rs 20 for Indians and Rs 200 for Foreigners. Also, you can hire audio tour gadget which is available in Hindi, English, Kannada, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese languages.
- Best time: During October when the Dassara Festival is celebrated with full swing here. Else, you can visit it any time of the year.
- Cameras are not allowed inside the palace.