The Palace of Mysore or the Mysore Palace is a historic palace situated in Mysore – The Cultural Capital of Karnataka. Mysore palace incorporates a gigantic and mesmerizing array of buildings, gardens and courtyards. This magnificent palace faces the Chamundi Hills in central Mysore. This cultural capital of Karnataka boasts seven palaces including the Mysore Palace. Mysore palace is India’s second most famous tourist spots after Taj Mahal.
A palace was first built by King Yaduraya inside the old fort in the 14th century. This palace was demolished and re-constructed multiple times. Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhna and her son Rajarshi Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV gave the responsibility of building a new palace replacing the old one which was destroyed by fire, to the British Architect Lord Henry Irwin. In the meantime, the royal family took shelter in the Jaganmohan Palace. The commission of the current palace took place in 1897 and was completed in 1912.The present Public Durbar Hall was added later in 1940 during the rule of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. Even after completion of the re-construction, beautification of the palace continued.
The architectural style domes of Mysore Palace described commonly as Indo-Saracenic are a blending of Hindu, Muslim, Gothic and Rajput styles. The three stone structured palace has marble domes and a five-story tower which is around 145 ft. A large garden surrounds the palace amplifying its beauty. The arch and the entrance gate holds the coat of arms and the emblem of the kingdom.
The Palace of Mysore has three entrances namely the South Entrance (for common public), the East Gate (Also the front gate, opened for VVIPs and during the DASARA festival), and the West Gate (opened during the Dasara festival). There are innumerous secret tunnels leading to Srirangapatna, confidential areas and other palaces from the palace cellar.
Mysore palace was constructed using fine grey granite and the domes of the palace were built using deep pink marble. Several arches, supported by tall pillars can be seen here. The sculpture of Gajalakshmi, also called the goddess of wealth, good luck, prosperity and abundance can be seen above the central arch. Within the old fort there are three major temple buildings. The palace heart building contains about 18 temples. The palace was built facing the Chadumndi hills as the Maharajas were great devotees of the Chamundi Goddess. It is said that the palace was purposely constructed next to Parakala Mutt headquarters because that was the place where the spiritual Rajguru used to reside.
During the Dasara festival, more than 96000 lights are used to illuminate the palace for a period of two months. The palace ground becomes a major stage for performance. Leading artists perform stage shows in the grounds of the Mysore Palace. On Vijaya Dashami, the tenth day of Dasara, a parade with floats and caparisoned elephants originate from this place.
There are a number of unique rooms inside the palace. The Indo-Saracenic style of architecture makes these rooms extremely beautiful and magnificent.
The king used this room as a hall for private audiences. Entry to this hall is through a magnificently carved rosewood doorway. Inlaid with ivory, the doorway opens into a shrine which is dedicated to the Lord Ganesha. Ornately gilded columns, decorative steel grills, stained glass ceilings, chandeliers, pietra dura mosaic floor decorated with semi-precious stones can be found in the central part of the hall.
The Kalyana Mantapa also the marriage hall is an octagonal shaped grand pavilion with geometrically arranged peacock motifs and multi-hued stained glass ceiling. The whole structure was given shape in Glasgow, Scotland.
Gombe Thotti or Doll’s Pavilion
Entry to the palace is through the Doll’s pavilion or Gombe Thotti, a gallery of dolls from the nineteenth century. The pavilion is also the house of a collection of European and Indian sculpture and ceremonial objects such as a wooden elephant howdah decorated using 84 kilograms of gold.
There are numerous other elegantly decorated rooms in the palace. Diwan-e-aam and the armory are two of the rooms. Diwan-e-aam served as a public room where the people used to come and meet the king to submit petitions at scheduled times. The armory contains arms such as cutlasses, lances, pistols etc. which were used by the rulers of Mysore.
There are 12 Hindu temples inside the palace complex. Some of the famous temples include Someshvara Temple, Shwetha Varahaswamy Temple, Lakshmiramana Temple, Sri Prasanna krishna Swami Temple, Kodi Someshwaraswami Temple, Sri Bhuvaneshwari Temple, Sri Gayatri Temple and Sri Trineshwara temple.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_Palace. The text of this article is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License