THE MAHARAJA'S PALACE
A silhouette of the Mysuru Palace,
illuminated with ninety seven thousand light bulbs
shimmering against an inky black night is one of the
most unforgettable images of the city. Located in
the heart of the city, it stands as a reminder of
the splendor and affluence of its erstwhile rulers,
the Maharajas of Mysuru. It was the pride of a kingdom,
and is now a priceless national treasure!
The palace you see today is the fourth
to occupy this site, each of the earlier ones succumbing
to disaster and political upheaval down the centuries.
Designed by British architect Henry Irwin, the Amba
Vilasa Palace as it is also known, was completed
in 1912 at a cost of Rs. 4,147,913. A brilliant combination
of Dravidian, Indo-Saracenic, oriental & Roman
architectural styles, the Maharaja's Palace
is a splendid three storied stone building of fine
gray granite and deep pink marble domes, dominated
by a five-storied 145 foot tower whose dome is gilded
to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or
the Doll's Pavilion, a gallery of traditional dolls
from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
including a wooden elephant howdah (frame for carrying
passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold! There
are seven canons right in front of the Gombe Thotti
and are still fired to mark the beginning and end
of the annual Dasara procession. Halfway along
is the elephant gate, which is the main entrance
to the centre of the palace. The Kalyana Mantapa
or marriage pavilion with a central octagonal gabled
roof, covered by stained glasses, is to the south
of the building. Its flooring has artistic geometrical
patterns created by using glittering glazed tiles
imported from England.
Ambavilasa or Diwan-e -khas, a hall used by
the king for private audience, is one of the most
spectacular rooms of the palace located on the first
floor, facing east. On the same floor is the Diwan-e-Aam,
facing south. All around the sprawling palace, there
is much to see…the portrait gallery, the royal
armory, collections of costumes and jewelry, intricately
carved doors of mahogany and solid silver, delicate
chandeliers, exquisite stained glass ceilings, decorative
frescoes and just during the Dasara festival - the
breathtaking royal throne made of 200 kgs of
pure gold! Its ancestry is traced to the period of
the Pandavas, epic heroes of the Mahabharata. The
walls of the palace are painted with pictures of the
Dasara processions which have been painted in such
a fashion, that, from any angle it appears as if the
procession were heading towards you. There are twelve
temples within the palace complex dating from
the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries and displaying
a wide range of architectural styles.
whole palace is set among meticulously laid gardens
where one can sit down to watch one of the most enchanting
of sights in the world. The palace is open all
days of the week, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The
palace is illuminated on Saturdays, Sundays, national
holidays and state festivals between 7:00 p.m. and
8 p.m. and during the Dasara festival, from 7p.m.
until 9p.m. If you would like to treat yourself to
a private guided tour of the entire palace complex,
Mysooru Palace Board certified guides can be found
at the entrance who will take you around for a nominal
How to reach?
Palace is at the city center and at walkable distance
from most of the Hotels.
much time to spend ?
You may have to spend about 2 hours to walk around
Perched atop a low hill,
about 11kms from the city of mysore is the Lalitha
Mahal Palace. Set amidst sprawling terraced gardens
this magnificent twin storied palace was built in
1921 by the then Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV to
accommodate his most important guests, mainly the
viceroy of India. Today, it is one of India’s
most opulent hotels -The Lalaitha Mahal Palace Hotel
which offers royal living and dining in the environs
of a real palace.
Inside, the central
hall is decorated with lifesize portraits of the
royalty, lithographs portraying Tippu Sultan's battles
with the British, decorative motifs on the walls and
ceiling, carved wood shutters, wall panels and myriad
touches of regal embellishment.There are 54 rooms
and suites, including the Viceroy, Vicerine and Duplex
suites, all of princely proportions,with high ceilings
and furnished with the old palace furniture-four poster
beds, carved wooden cupboards, deep velvet covered
armchairs and gilt framed belgian mirrors.
erstwhile ballroom has been recreated as a gourmet
restaurant which serves Indian and continental cuisine
amidst genuine royal ambience. The most sought after
dish here is the Mysuru Thali - a fine array of several
delicately spiced south Indian delights served in
small bowls on a large silver platter. truly a meal
fit for a king!
Lalith Mahal Palace is about 5 Kms from City Center (towards
Chamundi Hill) and an Auto ride may cost around Rs. 100
much time to spend ?
15 Mins drive from city Center and maximum 30 mins at
at the Hotel
The Jaganmohan Palace , another of Mysuru's
majestic royal edifices was built in 1861, and served
as a royal auditorium. It houses the Jayachamarajendra
Art Gallery, a treasure house of paintings of
unpareleld beauty, handicrafts, a rare collection
of musical instruments and historical memorabilia
dating back to the nineteenth century and earlier.
The famous traditional Mysuru gold leaf paintings
are also exhibited in the gallery.
paintings of contemporary artists like Raja Ravi Varma
and Svetoslov Roerich are awe- inspiring.
It is open from 8.30am thru 6.0p.m on all days.
Jaganmohal Palace is at the city center and at walkable
distance from most of the Hotels.
How much time to spend ?
5 Mins walk from city Center and maximum 15 mins at
at the Palace
Srirangapatna, an island in the river Kaveri,
about 14 kms from Mysuru is the Dariya Daulat
Palace located amidst the scenic gardens of
Daria Daulat Bagh. Popularly acclaimed as the
"Tiger of Mysuru" Tipu Sultan, built
this summer palace in 1794 and ruled Mysuru
for a brief period after his father Hyder Ali
wrested power from the wodeyars during the mid
The structure is in Indo-Islamic style and composed
mostly of teakwood, set on a 1.5 mt high platform.
Open corridors run along its four sides with
wooden pillars at the edges of the plinth. There
are two fairly large audience halls. The four
staircases concealed from view are built in
the four partitions walls which divide the audience
hall into four rooms at four corners, with a
central hall connecting the eastern and western
At first sight, this low rectangular building fails
to impress, however its well preserved interiors are
remarkably interesting. The most striking feature of
this building is that every inch of space on the walls,
pillars, canopies and arches are painted with exquisite
paintings and murals. The paintings portay the glorious
victories of Haidar and Tippu over the English contingent
led by col. Bailee in the battle at Pollilur near Kanchipuram
in 1780. Upstairs is a small collection of Tipu memorabilia,
European paintings and Persian manuscripts. Nearby is
Tiupus fort, mostly destroyed and in ruins. It
is here that Tipu charged at the British soldiers with
his legendary sword. The fort holds within it, the Jamia
Masjid mosque and the Ranganathaswamy Temple. Closeby
is a ruined structure identified as Tipu's Palace, the
famed Lal Mahal. Outside the fort is the Gumbaz, Tipu's
tomb with splendid ebony doors inlaid with ivory. The
museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm on all days.
Dariya Daulat Palace is 30 minutes drive from City Center.
much time to spend ?
30 Mins to 1 Hour