A beautiful city in India located on the foothills of the beautiful Chamundi Hills in southwest Karnataka, Mysore is also famous as the “city of palaces”. Officially known as Mysuru, it served as the capital city of the Mysore Kingdom from 1399 to 1947.
The name Mysore meaning ‘Abode of Mahisha’ in Kannada is famous for its palaces, silk, spices, and sandalwood. Mysore is well connected by rail, road and flights from all the major cities in India.
Mysore Palace: The royal residence of the Wodiyar Dynasty who ruled the kingdom of Mysore for more than 500 years, the Mysore Palace is also known as the Ambavilas Palace.
The seat of the kingdom of Mysore is the central piece of attraction with an amalgamation of Muslim, Rajput, Gothic, and Hindu style of architecture. The idea of building the palace was initiated by maharaja Krishnarajendra Wodeyar IV who chose the British architect Henry Irving for the purpose, it took around 15 years to complete this wonderful palace.
One of the most coveted tourist place, the Mysore Palace gets around six million visitors every year. Displaying an excellent combination of Indo-Saracenic architecture, the exotic palace captivates you with its outstanding display of exquisite carvings and works of art from all around the world.
The Golden throne at the palace is a perfect specimen of imperialism, Darbar-e-Khas, Gombe Tohti or the Doll’s Pavilion, Kalyan Mandapam, and armory are some of the exemplary features of the royal abode. The expansive palace complex also holds 12 major Hindu temples which are a must visit.
Golden Throne – The renowned Golden Throne or Chinnada Simhasana or Ratna Simhasana in Kannada, is the royal throne of the ruler of the Mysore Kingdom, attracting tourists visiting the city during the Dussera festival. The ceremonial throne studded with diamonds is assembled at the Durbar Hall of Mysore Palace amidst tight security and direct supervision of the Maharani Pramoda.
The richly ornamented throne is a pride possession of the Wodiyar Dynasty and open for public viewing during Dussera festivities and later dissembled for safe keeping.
Diwan-e-Khas – With its unique features, the Diwan-e-Khas is an ornate hall in the Mysore Palace is one of the most captivating room at the site. Larger-than-life, 155 feet by 42 feet sized hall, the ceremonial meeting hall of the royal family is adorned with majestic bottle-shaped columns and sculpted pillars.
The exquisitely designed hall which was often used for the king’s private audience comprises of awe-striking stained-glass ceilings, impressive chandeliers, decorated steel grills, and embellished mosaic flooring of semi-precious stones is a perfect example of royal opulence.
Chamundeshwari temple: Located 13 km from Mysore, atop the Chamundi Hills is the Chamundeshwari Temple. Dedicated to goddess Chamundeshwari, it is among the most powerful and prominent temples in Mysore. Dedicated to Shakti, goddess Chamundeshwari is the tutelary deity of the Maharajas of Mysore and is said to be built by the Hoysala rulers in the 12th century.
The quadrangular edifice of the Hindu temple constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture with a seven-story tall ‘gopuram’ (tower) decorated with labyrinthine carving. The divine temple can be reached by climbing 1000 steps, cycling, or by car.
Jagmohan Palace: Used by the Wodeyar kings of Mysore as an alternate retreat for the royal family, the Jagmohan Palace is a magnificent palace of architectural brilliance.
A feather in the princely state of Mysore, the Jagmohan Palace is a treasure trove of old paintings, antiques, and sculptures. More than 150 years old the place is among the oldest buildings in Mysore built during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in 1861.
Enhancing the glory of the Wodeyar dynasty, the palace is built in a traditional Hindu style, it is a three storey wonder displaying phenomenal work of Raja Ravi Varma. The royal façade has religious motifs and miniature temples crafted on it while the interior walls have beautiful murals.
The art gallery at the Jagmohan Palace is an enriching ensemble of paintings and artefacts prominent among which are the Lady with the Lamp, by artist Haldenkar. Other eminent artists whose works feature in the palace are Rabindranath Tagore, Nikolai Roerich, Svetoslan Roerich to name a few. The palace also comprises of an auditorium which was used for traditional dance, music festivals, and other cultural activities.
Brindavan Gardens: A famous attraction in Mysore, the Brindavan Gardens is a landmark destination for travelers visiting the beautiful Mysore city. A notable abode of nature, the Brindavan Gardens is built across the Kaveri river, adjoining the Krishnarajasagara dam, it is just 21 km away from the city of Mysore.
From it’s inception in year 1932 the garden has witnessed huge footfall and has made a prominent place in the bucket list of the travelers. Besides the scenic beauty of the Brindavan Gardens you can enjoy boating at the beautiful lake within the garden premises. The landmark Brindavan Gardens come alive post sunset when the synchronized musical fountain displays a harmonious water dance and colorful illumination of lights which caress your senses and leave you in a trance.
** The timing of the synchronized musical fountain keeps changing according to the season so plan your trip accordingly.