Monday, January 23, 2017
One of India’s most iconic heritage sites, the Palace of Mysore in India is a historical gem that must be explored by architecture lovers. Located in Mysore, Karnataka, it also happens to be the official residence and seat of the Wodeyars, which are the Royal Family of Mysore and the rulers of Mysore (1399-1950). Appreciated all over the world for its scenic beauty, this palace is a sprawling architectural marvel, with a series of structures within the main palace. The main palace has two large durbar halls, and also includes a colossal array of courtyards, gardens, and other palace buildings. The palace, which was built by the Maharaja Rajarshi Krishnarajendra Wadiyar IV, is now one of the most visited historical sites in India, after the Taj Mahal in Agra. Today, tourists from all over the world visit the palace, and owing to the huge growth in the number of hotels in Mysore, there is no dearth of accommodation options for visitors.
Coming to the palace and its architecture, there are few words that can do justice to its spectacular beauty. Described as Indo-Saracenic, the palace’s architectural style blends Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic architecture elements and styles, which creates a stunning monument. It is an imposing structure, standing at three storeys tall, with glorious marble domes and a staggeringly tall 145-foot tower. The palace, like many palaces across the world, also has attached gardens, which are all immaculately maintained. Mysore Palace has three main entry points, including the East Gate, the South Gate, and the West Entrance. Apart from these entrances, there is also a network of secret tunnels from the cellars, which lead to other palaces and secret areas in the palace.
Mysore Palace isn’t just an old monument; it is also the venue for many special celebrations, one of which includes the famous Mysore Dasara Festival, which symbolizes the triumph of good over evil in the Hindu mythology. The festival has been celebrated at the Palace since the year 1610, with no expense ever spared. Nowadays, to celebrate this festival, the Palace is decorated with over 90,000 lights for two months leading up to the festival.
There are few things in Mysore that could ever compete with the appeal and sheer scale of the Mysore Palace, which still exudes a regal air till date.