The palace which stood on its ashes! – Erakina
The Mysore Palace, which is also known as the Amba Vilas Palace has been home to the long-ruling wodeyar dynasty who ruled Mysore for more than 500 years until when mysore finally joined the Indian union. Wodeyars were a dynasty of 25 kings who ruled Mysore and adjacent areas till 1947. They were great patrons of art and literature. It was during their reign, the famous Mysore palace was built.
Legacy of the palace and its patrons
The current palace which we see is the 4th one to be built in its place after being destroyed many times. The original palace was built of fine wood way back in the 14th century. The maintenance of the palace was neglected by the Wodeyars until it was finally destroyed during the reign of Tipu Sultan who rose to be the king of Mysore from being a general in Wodeyars army. Finally, after the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799, it was decided to rebuild the palace by Krishna raja Wodeyar who assumed the throne at the age of five. As the palace was hastily built by the king, it got destroyed in a fire accident in 1897 during the wedding of Jayalakshmammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar.
Finally, the palace which we see today was built during the reign of the Queen regent, Kempa Nanjammani Vani Vilasa Sannidhana. She commissioned an English architect Henry Irwin in 1912 to rebuild it which cost them around 41 lakhs. It took them around 15 years to carefully build this beauty!!!!
An architectural marvel
The current Mysore palace is a major tourist attraction for its architectural splendor. As it was built by an English architect, it was built in Indo -Saracenic style which was a famous form of architecture from the late 20th century. The palace is a visible blend of Islamic architecture with Rajput style combined with the
elements of The Gothic style finely using indigenous material to decorate and increase its beauty.
It is surrounded by meticulously laid lavish gardens. It has delicately carved arches standing as an excellent example of Gothic architecture. It has bay windows and columns which stands as an example of Rajput-style architecture. It is a delight to architecture lovers to watch many styles ranging from Byzantine to Indian architecture style. The facade of the palace stands beautiful with seven arches standing
side by side supported by tall pillars. It is further made impressive by an impressive sculpture of goddess Gajalakshmi.
Visual elegance during Dussehra
If you are planning to visit this place or nearby it during Dussehra, never miss a chance to visit it at night time. Beautifully decorated with electric bulbs and an elegantly illuminated palace is a visual delight to all of us watching it during this time. It has been a norm from the times of the Wodeyars to illuminate it during the Dussehra festival. Around 6 million tourists visit the Mysore palace during this time to
enjoy its beauty. The palace is decorated with thousands of lights to attract tourists. The palace never kept people in isolation, it was said that even during its reconstruction in the
1900s, visitors were welcomed to enjoy.
Currently, the palace is managed by the government of Karnataka and is also an official residence of the wodeyar dynasty. In general, it has sound shows at night during weekends in normal times. During Dussehra,the palace welcomes the tourists with special light and sound shows especially on
weekends from around 7.00 P.M.
The icing on the cake
The palace has special braille guides for visually impaired people giving everyone a chance to enjoy its beauty. Golden Ambari i.e. the palanquin which was earlier used by the royal kings is currently used to carry the idol of goddess Durga during the Dussehra procession. The kings have a habit of maintaining
personal temples within their palace or forts. Likewise, the Wodeyars have also built around 14 temples within the palace complex which is a special feature. Around 6 million tourists come to visit the palace annually which makes it the second most visited tourist place after the Taj mahal. After the Indian Independence, the Wodeyars had to shift to another place. So, the Mysore palace is turned into a museum that has many artifacts, royal clothes, etc., of the Wodeyars.
-by Krishna Amrutha