Royal Seat of the Maharajas of Mysore
The Palace of Mysore (also known as the Amba Vilas Palace) is a historical palace in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, southern India. It is the official residence and seat of the Wodeyars — the Maharajas of Mysore, the former royal family of Mysore, who ruled the princely state of Mysore from 1399 to 1950. The palace houses two durbar halls (ceremonial meeting halls of the royal court) and incorporates a mesmerizing and gigantic array of courtyards, gardens, and buildings. The palace is in the central region of inner Mysore, facing the Chamundi Hills eastward.
Mysore is commonly described as the City of Palaces. There are about seven palaces inclusive of this; however, Mysore Palace refers specifically to the one within the Old Fort. Built by the Maharaja Rajarshi H.H. Krishnarajendra Wadiyar IV, Mysore Palace is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in India, after the Taj Mahal, and has more than 3 million visitors annually.
King Yaduraya first built a palace inside the Old Fort in Mysore in the 14th century, which was demolished and constructed multiple times. The regent of Mysore, Her Majesty Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhna, and her son, the Maharaja of Mysore His Highness Rajarshi Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, commissioned the British architect Lord Henry Irwin to build a new palace to replace the old one which had been turned into ashes by fire. Meanwhile, the royal family stayed in the nearby Jaganmohan Palace.
Construction of the current palace was commissioned in 1897, completed in 1912, and expanded around 1940 (including the addition of the present Public Durbar Hall wing) during the reign of His Highness Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, the last Maharaja of Mysore Kingdom. The construction was completed in 1912, but the fort continued to be beautified and its inhabitants were slowly moved to the newer extension built off the palace.
The architectural style domes of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic and blends Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles. It is a three-stone structure with marble domes and a 145 ft five-story tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden. The entrance gate and arch hold the emblem and coat of arms of the kingdom of Mysore, around which is written the kingdom's motto in Sanskrit: "न बिभॆति कदाचन" (never terrified).
Mysore Palace main approach
The palace has three entrances: the East Gate (the front gate, opened only during the Dasara and for VVIPs), the South Entrance (for public), and the West Entrance (usually opened only during the Dasara). In addition, there are numerous secret tunnels from the palace cellar leading to Srirangapatna, other palaces, and confidential areas.
The three-story stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble domes has a facade with several expansive arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which is supported by tall pillars. Above the central arch is a sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck and abundance with her elephants. There are three major exclusive temple buildings within the Old Fort, and about 18 inside the palace heart building. The Maharajas of Mysore were devotees of Goddess Chamundi, which is why the place faces Chamundi Hills. Besides, head of the Parakala Mutt stays the spiritual rajguru (royal teacher and guide) as a reason of which the palace is built next to an even older Parakala Mutt headquarters