Mysore PalaceThe Palace of Mysore is a palace situated in the city of Mysore, southern India. It was the official residence of the former royal family of Mysore, and also housed the durbar (royal offices).
Mysore has a number of historic palaces, and is commonly described as the City of Palaces. However, the term "Palace of Mysore" specifically refers to one of these palaces, Amba Vilas. The palace was commissioned in 1897, and its construction was completed in 1912. It is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in Mysore.
HistoryThe Kingdom of Mysore was ruled by the Wodeyar dynasty from 1399 until the independence of India in 1947 and the subsequent dissolution of monarchy by the Indian constitution. The Wodeyar kings built a palace in Mysore in the 14th century, but this palace was partially damaged by a lightning strike in 1638. It was repaired and expanded, but fell into neglect by the late 18th century. It was demolished in 1793, and a new palace was built in its place in 1803. This palace was destroyed in a fire in 1897 during the wedding of Princess Jayalakshmanni.
The Queen-Regent of Mysore at the time, Kempananjammanni Vanivilasa Sanndihana, commissioned a British architect, Henry Irwin, to build yet another palace in its place. The architect was requested to combine different styles of architecture in the construction of the palace. The construction was completed in 1912. The palace apprently cost Rs. 42,00,000 to build at the time.
ArchitectureThe architectural style of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic, and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden.
The three storied stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble domes was designed by Henry Irwin.. The facade has seven expansive arches and two smaller ones flanking the central arch which is supported by tall pillars. Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth with elephants.
Every autumn, the Palace is the venue for the famous Mysore Dasara festival, during which the entire palace is lit up with thousands of bulbs, and leading artistes perform on a stage set up in the palace grounds. On the tenth day of the festival Vijaya Dashami, a parade with caparisoned elephants and other floats originate from the palace grounds.
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