Main Attractions of Palace

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Let’s have a look at what’s there in Palace Premises

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Architecture

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palace-architechture

A dramatic three storied stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble domes dominated by a five-storied 145 ft tower with a gilded dome mounted by a single golden flag.

Designed by Henry Irwin, the Mysuru Palace is one of the finest achievements of Indo-Saracenic architecture, summing up many diverse themes that have played through Indian architecture over the centuries. Muslim designs and Rajput style combine with Gothic elements and indigenous materials in an exuberant display of grandeur.

The palace is set among meticulously laid gardens and has an intricately detailed elevation with a profusion of delicately curved arches, bow-like canopies, magnificent bay windows and columns in varied styles ranging from Byzantine to Hindu.
The striking façade 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.

The sumptuous interiors of the palace, in keeping with the grand exteriors, are replete with exquisitely carved doors, expansive pavilions, delicate chandeliers, exquisite stained glass ceilings and decorative frescoes depicting scenes from the Indian epics. An enduring reminder of the splendour of the Mysuru maharajas and a testament to the dexterity of the local artisans and craftsmen.

 

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Ambavilasa or Diwan e khas

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The Ambavilasa, a hall used by the king for private audience, is one of the most spectacular rooms of the palace.

Entry to this opulent hall is through an elegantly carved rosewood doorway inlaid with ivory that opens into a shrine to Ganesha.

The central knave of the hall has ornately gilded 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.

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Gombe Thotti (Doll’s Pavilion)

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Entry to the palace is through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll’s Pavilion, a gallery of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The pavilion also houses a fine collection of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects like a wooden elephant howdah (frame to carry passengers) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold.

Other features of the Gombe Thotti are the seven canons which is situated in front of the Gombe Thotti and are still fired to mark the beginning and end of the annual Dasara procession.

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Kalyana Mantapa

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The Kalyana Mantapa or marriage hall is a grand octagonal-shaped pavilion with a multihued stained glass ceiling with peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns. The entire structure was wrought in Glasgow, Scotland.

The floor of the Mantapa continues the peacock theme with a peacock mosaic, designed with tiles from England.

The hall is lined with elaborately detailed oil paintings, illustrating the royal procession and Dasara celebrations of bygone years.

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Public Darbar Hall

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durbar-hall

The Public Darbar Hall for public audience is 155 feet in length and 42 feet in breadth, with majestic bottle-shaped columns tastefully painted in pleasing colors. The hall contains a priceless collection of paintings by great Indian artists including Raja Ravivarma.

The hall opens into an expansive balcony supported by massive columns that has a fine view of the Chamundi Hills and parade grounds.

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Royal Paintings

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royal-paintings

On the southern part of the Kalyana Mantapa is the portrait gallery. The focal points of the gallery are two portraits by Raja Ravivarma of the one year old child prince Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. Considered national treasures the paintings also show fine examples of the traditional royal jewellery of the nineteenth century.

The portrait gallery also has two large portraits of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, by English artist Harold Speed. Other portraits of interest are a miniature of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in water-colour and gold and an oil on canvas of Yuvaraja Narasimharaja Wodeyar by Felix Wecksler.

The portrait gallery also contains a fine selection of photographs from the nineteenth century, the most interesting being a large portrait of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, consisting of thin bromide prints pasted on canvas, by palace photographer R. Vasu. Apart from this the Palace also houses innumerous examples of traditional Mysuru paintings. Artists of this school used locally available material for their paintings Subjects of the paintings include Hindu deities, courtly life, historic battles and scenes from the great Indian epics.

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