Mysore is popular among tourists as the city of palaces, as one would find many such historical structures in some of its important places. Of all these majestic structures, tourists find Mysore Palace truly magnificent. The most memorable sight for travellers visiting this palace is its illumination during the Dasara festival and other special occasions, when it comes alive with over 96,000 lights.
An amazing grandeur of a glorious period in history is clearly visible from its architecture. This palace stands in the middle of Mysore city, and attracts millions of visitors every year. Most of the interesting places to visit in this city are located close to this palace. It is the official residence of Wodeyar royal family, which had ruled the region from the late fourteenth century till the year 1947. This wonderful structure has been built over a vast area and has the influences of Roman, Indo-Saracenic, Dravidian and Oriental styles in its architecture.
History of this palace dates back to the fourteenth century, when it was first built by the kings of Wodeyar dynasty. After the death of Tipu Sultan, the state capital was shifted from Srirangapatnam to Mysore. Owing to this sudden change, the palace was rebuilt in the traditional style with mud and wood quite hastily. An important event in the Mysore palace history occurred in the year 1897, when the structure was burnt down due to a fire. It broke out out during the wedding of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar’s eldest daughter.
A British architect named Lord Henry Irwin was commissioned by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV to build a new palace at the site where the old one had burned down. While the construction was in progress, the royal family stayed in Jaganmohan Palace located nearby. It got built in the year 1912, and was beautified with fantastic embellishments.
Around 1940, the palace was expanded under the rule of the last Maharaja of Mysore Kingdom, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar. The current structure consists of several rooms including an opulent hall called Ambavilasa. Visitors would also come across twelve Hindu temples in this palace complex. The oldest one belongs to the fourteenth century, when the original palace was built. The most recent of these temples was built in the year 1953.
Popular among them are Someshwara, Lakshmiramana and Shwetha Varahaswamy temples. People visiting this palace would also come across a grand octagon-shaped marriage hall called Kalyana Mantapa comprising of stained glass ceiling and beautifully arranged peacock motifs.
There are many attractions that visitors would find while touring this architectural wonder. One of them is an audience chamber, which was used by the king to hold conferences with his ministers. Another section is the Diwan-E-Aam, which was used as a place where common public could meet the king at times scheduled for petitions. Tourists would also find a room where arms used by members of the royal family, such as, lances and cutlasses are kept.
People coming to Mysore for visiting this palace and other tourist attractions located nearby can book a room or suite in a hotel near Mysore palace for a comfortable accommodation. There are some excellent hotels near the palace that offer quality accommodations at reasonable rates. All these hotels are well-equipped with all the modern facilities that are designed to provide a memorable stay for their guests.