Everywhere the sense of beauty without vulgar opulence is apparent. Soft white marble floors, strong and shining granite pillars and ceilings painted tastefully with intricate floral designs in muted colors capture the senses. Not one color is visually jarring in the magnificent Mysore Palace .
The palace at Mysore was built over one thousand years ago, in 897 AD. Saracenic in style, the architecture has both Hindu as well as Muslim influences. In 1897, however, the wooden palace accidentally caught fire and was destroyed. During the regime of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the chief architect Henry Irwin designed the new palace, which we see today .
If the magnificence in the interior of the Palace is anything to go by, this is not hard to believe. No history textbook can give the feel of Maharajas and Princesses as the tour of Mysore's Palace can. It is not surprising that a long line of visitors queue up outside the Palace every day so as to get a whiff of the lives of past royalty
The faint sounds of the royal trumpet echo in one's memory as one leaves the palace gates. Which textbook can depict all that is seen here? How much has been said without words: the symbolism of the peacock and the unicorn, the royal finery, the class and caste distinction during the period, the wealth, the economy, the lifestyle, the aesthetic sense, and the emphasis on art. Those were certainly splendid times, if just the sight of long-forgotten royal belongings could evoke this nostalgia .
Architecture: The Mysore Palace is a three-storied building, 245 feet in length and 156 in breadth.The Palace has a series of square towers with arches covered by domes. There is wide-open space in the front and a gold-plated dome about 145 feet from the ground covers the open courtyard in the center. The entrance is through the 'Gombe Thotti' or the Doll's Pavilion, a gallery of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects. Halfway along is the elephant gate, which is the main entrance to the center of the palace.
On the second floor you can see the 'Diwan-I-am' Durbar Hall 155 ft. long and 42 ft. broad. The hall has an ornate ceiling, a shining floor and many sculpture pillars which are said to have been painted with gold. Another main attraction of the palace are the frescoes depicting eight manifestations of Goddess Shakthi (strength), Scenes from the Epics; Ramayana and Mahabharata and an original painting of the renowned painter Raja Ravi Verma.
Best time to visit : September to October during Dusshera.
How to get there:
Air: The nearest Airport is the Bangalore airport. Bangalore (130km) is connected to all the major cites of the country by air.
Train: Trains 6210 Express, 6222 Kaveri Express and the Shatabdi Express run between Mysore and Bangalore regularly. Bangalore is also connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Hyderabad, Madras and Mangalore by Express trains.
Bus: There are regular bus services from Bangalore to Mysore. Bangalore is well connected to Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kanyakumari, Mangalore and Madras by bus. There are direct bus services from Mysore to Kerala and other major cities in the state.