Palaces of Mysore


THE MAHARAJA'S PALACE


A silhouette of the Mysuru Palace, illuminated with ninety seven thousand light bulbs shimmering against an inky black night is one of the most unforgettable images of the city. Located in the heart of the city, it stands as a reminder of the splendor and affluence of its erstwhile rulers, the Maharajas of Mysuru. It was the pride of a kingdom, and is now a priceless national treasure!

The palace you see today is the fourth to occupy this site, each of the earlier ones succumbing to disaster and political upheaval down the centuries. Designed by British architect Henry Irwin, the Amba Vilasa Palace as it is also known, was completed in 1912 at a cost of Rs. 4,147,913. A brilliant combination of Dravidian, Indo-Saracenic, oriental & Roman architectural styles, the Maharaja's Palace is a splendid three storied stone building of fine gray granite and deep pink marble domes, dominated by a five-storied 145 foot tower whose dome is gilded in gold.

 


Entry to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll's Pavilion, a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including a wooden elephant howdah (frame for carrying passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold! There are seven canons right in front of the Gombe Thotti and are still fired to mark the beginning and end of the annual Dasara procession. Halfway along is the elephant gate, which is the main entrance to the centre of the palace. The Kalyana Mantapa or marriage pavilion with a central octagonal gabled roof, covered by stained glasses, is to the south of the building. Its flooring has artistic geometrical patterns created by using glittering glazed tiles imported from England.

The Ambavilasa or Diwan-e -khas, a hall used by the king for private audience, is one of the most spectacular rooms of the palace located on the first floor, facing east. On the same floor is the Diwan-e-Aam, facing south. All around the sprawling palace, there is much to see…the portrait gallery, the royal armory, collections of costumes and jewelry, intricately carved doors of mahogany and solid silver, delicate chandeliers, exquisite stained glass ceilings, decorative frescoes and just during the Dasara festival - the breathtaking royal throne made of 200 kgs of pure gold! Its ancestry is traced to the period of the Pandavas, epic heroes of the Mahabharata. The walls of the palace are painted with pictures of the Dasara processions which have been painted in such a fashion, that, from any angle it appears as if the procession were heading towards you. There are twelve temples within the palace complex dating from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries and displaying a wide range of architectural styles.

The whole palace is set among meticulously laid gardens where one can sit down to watch one of the most enchanting of sights in the world. The palace is open all days of the week, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The palace is illuminated on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and state festivals between 7:00 p.m. and 8 p.m. and during the Dasara festival, from 7p.m. until 9p.m. If you would like to treat yourself to a private guided tour of the entire palace complex, Mysooru Palace Board certified guides can be found at the entrance who will take you around for a nominal fee.

How to reach?
Palace is at the city center and at walkable distance from most of the Hotels.

How much time to spend ?
You may have to spend about 2 hours to walk around the Palace


THE LALITHA MAHAL PALACE

Perched atop a low hill, about 11kms from the city of mysore is the Lalitha Mahal Palace. Set amidst sprawling terraced gardens this magnificent twin storied palace was built in 1921 by the then Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV to accommodate his most important guests, mainly the viceroy of India. Today, it is one of India’s most opulent hotels -The Lalaitha Mahal Palace Hotel which offers royal living and dining in the environs of a real palace.

Inside, the central hall is decorated with lifesize portraits of the royalty, lithographs portraying Tippu Sultan's battles with the British, decorative motifs on the walls and ceiling, carved wood shutters, wall panels and myriad touches of regal embellishment.There are 54 rooms and suites, including the Viceroy, Vicerine and Duplex suites, all of princely proportions,with high ceilings and furnished with the old palace furniture-four poster beds, carved wooden cupboards, deep velvet covered armchairs and gilt framed belgian mirrors.

The erstwhile ballroom has been recreated as a gourmet restaurant which serves Indian and continental cuisine amidst genuine royal ambience. The most sought after dish here is the Mysuru Thali - a fine array of several delicately spiced south Indian delights served in small bowls on a large silver platter. truly a meal fit for a king!

 

 



How to reach?
Lalith Mahal Palace is about 5 Kms from City Center (towards Chamundi Hill) and an Auto ride may cost around Rs. 100

How much time to spend ?
15 Mins drive from city Center and maximum 30 mins at at the Hotel


JAGANMOHAN PALACE

The Jaganmohan Palace , another of Mysuru's majestic royal edifices was built in 1861, and served as a royal auditorium. It houses the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, a treasure house of paintings of unpareleld beauty, handicrafts, a rare collection of musical instruments and historical memorabilia dating back to the nineteenth century and earlier. The famous traditional Mysuru gold leaf paintings are also exhibited in the gallery.

Oil paintings of contemporary artists like Raja Ravi Varma and Svetoslov Roerich are awe- inspiring.
It is open from 8.30am thru 6.0p.m on all days.

 


How to reach?
Jaganmohal Palace is at the city center and at walkable distance from most of the Hotels.


How much time to spend ?

5 Mins walk from city Center and maximum 15 mins at at the Palace


DARIA DAULAT PALACE

In Srirangapatna, an island in the river Kaveri, about 14 kms from Mysuru is the Dariya Daulat Palace located amidst the scenic gardens of Daria Daulat Bagh. Popularly acclaimed as the "Tiger of Mysuru" Tipu Sultan, built this summer palace in 1794 and ruled Mysuru for a brief period after his father Hyder Ali wrested power from the wodeyars during the mid 18th century.

The structure is in Indo-Islamic style and composed mostly of teakwood, set on a 1.5 mt high platform. Open corridors run along its four sides with wooden pillars at the edges of the plinth. There are two fairly large audience halls. The four staircases concealed from view are built in the four partitions walls which divide the audience hall into four rooms at four corners, with a central hall connecting the eastern and western corridors.



At first sight, this low rectangular building fails to impress, however its well preserved interiors are remarkably interesting. The most striking feature of this building is that every inch of space on the walls, pillars, canopies and arches are painted with exquisite paintings and murals. The paintings portay the glorious victories of Haidar and Tippu over the English contingent led by col. Bailee in the battle at Pollilur near Kanchipuram in 1780. Upstairs is a small collection of Tipu memorabilia, European paintings and Persian manuscripts. Nearby is Tiupu’s fort, mostly destroyed and in ruins. It is here that Tipu charged at the British soldiers with his legendary sword. The fort holds within it, the Jamia Masjid mosque and the Ranganathaswamy Temple. Closeby is a ruined structure identified as Tipu's Palace, the famed Lal Mahal. Outside the fort is the Gumbaz, Tipu's tomb with splendid ebony doors inlaid with ivory. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm on all days.


How to reach?
Dariya Daulat Palace is 30 minutes drive from City Center.

How much time to spend ?
30 Mins to 1 Hour