Historical Importance: Official residence of the Wodeyar Kings
Things to do/Activities: Sightseeing, Elephant and Camel Safari
Nearby Places: Brindavan Gardens, Chamundi Hills, Mysore Zoo
Known for: Intricate art works and enormity
Located in the centre of Mysore city, Mysore Palace, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, is one of the prominent tourist spots in India. One of the largest palaces in the country, Mysore Palace is the official residence of the Wodeyar maharajas. It is said that the original palace was made of wood and was damaged due to fire during the marriage of Jayalakshammanni, who was the elder daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar. The palace was then reconstructed in 1912 as a perfect blend of Indo-Saracenic style and mixes the elements of Hindu, Rajput, Muslim and Gothic styles, thanks to the renowned British architect, Henry Irwin, who designed the palace. The main highlight of this three-storey building, which is 245 feet wide and 156 feet long, is its intricate carvings along with its artworks and beautifully decorated rooms. This wonderful national treasure is also a kaleidoscope of stained glass and mirrors. Mysore Palace has now been converted into a museum and is a treasure house of paintings, souvenirs, jewellery, royal costumes and riches which were once owned and possessed by the Wodeyar royal family. Read further to know more about Mysore Palace and the attractions inside and outside the palace.
Mysore palace has ample nearby attractions which includes Chamundeshwari temple, Brindavan Gardens, Mysore Zoo, St. Philomena’s Church and Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery.
- Located on top of Chamundi Hills, Chamundeshwari temple is about 13km from Mysore city. This temple of Sri Chamundeshwari, the deity of Mysore Royal Family, is located from 3,849 feet above sea level. The temple is worth seeing with its beautiful idol of the Goddess standing, wearing a garland of skulls. This deity is also called ‘Mahishasura Mardini’ (or ‘Killer of Demon Mahish’) for killing the buffalo demon, ‘Mahishasura’.
- Brindavan Gardens, popular garden about 15 km from Mysore city, lies adjoining Krishnarajasagar Dam (KRS) constructed across Kaveri River. Constructed in 1924, the dam has a length of 8600 feet and a height of 130 feet and is constructed below the confluence of Cauvery, Hemavathi and Lakshmanateertha rivers.
- Renowned as one of the oldest in India, Mysore Zoo, or Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, houses a wide variety of species. It also boasts of having a huge inflow of visitors, thanks to its alluring flora and fauna. If you are travelling to Mysore, never ever think of striking this off your travel itinerary. What makes visiting the zoo a great experience is that the animals are kept in well-protected enclosures and the visitors can view them moving freely.
- Philomena’s church is a must visit destination in Mysore. Located just 3 km from the city bus stand, this church boasts of being one of the largest churches in the country. The church is illuminated in the evening, a sight which is not to be missed. The cathedral was constructed drawing inspiration from the Cologne Cathedral of Germany which was built in neo-gothic style.
- The Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, renowned as one of the best art galleries in South India, is popular for its exclusive collection of artefacts and paintings which were once possessed by the Wodeyar royal family. Originally known as Jaganmohan Palace, the building was converted into an art gallery in 1875. This art gallery houses a rare and excellent collection of paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and many other renowned artists.
Things To Do
In Mysore Palace, visitors have the option of elephant and camel rides in the palace other than sightseeing. The visitors can also engage in a small shopping spree near the residential museum.
How To Reach
Accessibility is never a problem to Mysore palace as it is located in the centre of the city. Mysore city bus stand shares a wall with the palace as it is in the corner of the palace. The KSRTC bus stand, from where long distance buses run, is just a couple of kilometres away from the palace; the south gate of the palace is just 1 km from the city bus stand. The city railway station is 2½ km away and there are frequent bus and auto services available for commutation.
Other Things/Places Of Importance
Visitors visiting Mysore Palace can make a visit to the temples inside it. The rulers of the palace constructed almost 12 temples inside the palace which include Someshwara Temple, Lakshmiramana Temple and Shwetha Varahaswamy Temple, dedicated to lord Shiva, lord Vishnu, and one of Vishnu’s incarnations, respectively. These twelve temples showcase the varied architectural styles of 20th century. The palace also has a residential museum which displays the private possessions and artefacts of the royal family.
Renowned as one of the largest palaces and popular monuments in India, Mysore Palace is indeed a visual treat which takes us back to that golden era of the city of Mysore.