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Mysore Palace, Karnataka

Mysore Palace is a magnificent palace situated in the city of Mysore in Andhra Pradesh. This palace is the official residence of Wodeyar's. Wodeyar is the erstwhile royal family of Mysore and also houses two durbar halls which is also called ceremonial meeting hall of the royal court. Basically Mysore is known as the city of Palaces as there are several famous and beautiful historic palaces. In all of these palaces and monuments, Mysore Palace is very special because of its beauty, architecture and historical background. Mysore Palace was commissioned in 1897, and construction of this beautiful palace was completed in 1912. Now a day this place is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Mysore. Photography is not allowed in the palace.

Architecture of Mysore Palace
Mysore Palace is well known for its beautiful architecture. Architecture of Mysore palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic. This beautiful palace blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic styles of architecture. This palace is three-storied stone structure with marble domes and a 145 feet five storied tower. The atmosphere of the palace is very beautiful and surrounded by a large garden.

The three storied stone building was designed by Henry Irwin. Building of the palace is built of fine gray granite with deep pink marble domes. There are seven expansive arches on the fašade and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which is supported by tall pillars. There is an impressive sculpture of Gajalakshmi above the central arch which is the goddess of wealth, good luck, prosperity and abundance. This sculpture of Gajalakshmi is with her elephants.

Attractions in Mysore Palace
Ambavilasa or Diwan e Khas : This is a unique portion of the palace which was used by King for private audience. This is one of the most spectacular rooms of the palace. You can enter this place through an elegantly carved rosewood doorway inlaid with ivory that opens into a shrine to Ganesha. The central nave of the hall has ornately glided columns, stained glass ceilings, decorative steel grills and chandeliers with fine floral motifs, mirrored in the pietra dura mosaic floor embellished with semi-precious stones.

Gombe Thotti (Doll's Pavilion) : This is the entry point for the palace and also known by two names, Gombe Thotti and Doll's Pavilion. This is a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There are also some of the fine collection of Indian and European sculptures and ceremonial objects like a wooden elephant howdah (frame to carry passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold.

Kalyana Mantapa : This is basically a grand octagonal shaped marriage hall or pavilion with a multi-hued stained glass ceiling with peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns. Kalyana Mantapa is wrought in Glasgow, Scotland. Floor of this beautiful Mantapa continues the peacock theme with a peacock mosaic. This place is designed with tiles from England. The walls of Kalyana Mantapa become more splendid during the royal procession and Dusehra celebrations.

Temples in Mysore Palace : There are around twelve Hindu temples inside this beautiful Mysore Palace. The oldest temple built in this palace is of 14th century while most recent was built in 1953. Some of the famous temples in Mysore Palace are Someshvara Temple and Lakshmiramana Temple.

Public Durbar : There is a public durbar in Mysore Palace which is also known as Diwan-e-aam. This place was a public hall where the general population could meet the king at prescribed times with petitions.

Armoury : There is an armoury in the palace which has a collection of different types of arms which were used by the members of the royal family. There are weapons which were used in the 14th century like lances and cutlasses. There are also weapons that were used in the early twentieth century.

Special events in Mysore Palace
Famous Mysore Dusehra Festival is celebrated in Mysore Palace in every autumn. In this festival a huge stage is set up in the palace grounds where several famous and leading artists perform. A parade with caparisoned elephants and other floats originate from the palace grounds on the tenth day of the festival.

Dusehra is a famous festival of Mysore which is celebrated in the months of September and October. This festival is celebrated and commemorated for the victory of the great Goddess Durga over Mahishasura. This festival is known as the triumph of good over evil according to the Hindu mythology. This festival has been celebrated by the Wodeyars at Srirangapatna from 1610 and in Mysore with great pomp from 1799. Since then the tradition still is carried. Palace of Mysore is illuminated with more than 96,000 lights during the celebration of this festival.

How to reach Mysore Palace
By Air : There is a functional airport at Mandakalli with very basic facilities in Mysore. This airport is undergoing up gradation and expansion. Other airports near Mysore are Bangalore and Mangalore which are around 140 km and 250 km from Mysore.

By Rail : Mysore is well connected with all the famous and important cities and states of India through its railhead. This railway station of Mysore is linked to Bangalore and many other south Indian cities. You will easily get super fast trains like Shatabdi from Mysore.

By Road : Mysore is well connected with all the major and important cities. There is a very convenient network of roads and highways which connects Mysore to other important cities of the region. Some of the major cities which are well connected with Mysore are Bangalore, Ooty, Hassan and Bandipur. There is a regular bus service for Mysore from all the important cities and you can also hire private taxis and buses from Mysore.