Saturday, 13 June 2015

Mysuru : Ambavilasa Palace (Mysuru Palace)

Mysuru : Brindavan Gardens

Mysore Zoo/Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

After zoo our next visit was to magnificent Mysore Palace also called Ambavilasa Palace. It is one of the seven wonders of India. We reached the palace around 2 PM. Parked the car in the parking place provided. Stood in the queue for entry tickets. Looking at the queue we could guess that Palace is too crowded. After collecting the ticket we left the footwear in the place provided because footwear is not allowed inside the palace also clicking photos inside the palace is prohibited.

This palace was built by the King Krishnarajendra Wodeyar IV. It was the former seat of Mysuru Maharajas (Wodeyar's). The palace complex incorporates beautiful courtyard, gardens and sixteen temples. We could not visit these temples because of the crowd.

Entry to the palace is through Gombe Thotti (Doll's Pavilion). Here we can see traditional dolls from 19th and early 20th centuries. Apart from dolls Gombe Thotti also has golden Howdah (Ambaari) which is a special attraction during Dasara. During Dasara procession idol of Goddess Chamundeshwari will be kept inside this golden Howdah and this Howdah will be carried by a decorated elephant. Gombe Thotti also houses collections of Indian and European sculptures. I was thrilled to see golden Howdah in real but couldnt enjoy its beauty for some more time as security guards were shouting at the crowd to move further.
The architectural style of the palace is described as Indo - Saracinic and it is the mixture of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and and Gothic architectural style. Entire palace is five - storey building.
Golden Howdah
As we moved further the beauty and elegance of the Royal palace started unveiling. There are many beautiful arches supported with tall pillars. Above all arches there are beautifully carved sculptures of Gods and Goddesses.
There are many rooms in the palace. All doors of the rooms are elegantly carved in rosewood or sandalwood. Some doors are made of silver and are inlaid with ivory. Palace has many big halls and precious paintings. There is an unique room called Ambavilasa which was used by the king as a hall for its audiences. This hall has beautiful glass ceiling, chandeliers with floral motifs, beautiful mirrors, mosaic floor embellished with semi precious stones.
Beautifully Crafted Door in Silver
Golden Door

We entered Kalyana Mantapa (Marriage Hall). It is a grand octagonal shaped with multicolored glass ceiling. Peacock motifs are arranged in geometrical patterns. The floor also displays a beautiful mosaic. On the walls of Kalyana Mantapa many oil paintings are displayed which illustrate the royal procession and Dasara celebrations.
After this we entered an armory which contains arms used by the members of the royal family. it has lances, cutlasses, pistols and other 14th century weapons.
Though the photography inside the palace is prohibited, many people were clicking photos with their  mobile. Security guards were shouting at them and demanding fine for clicking photos. But I somehow managed to click some photos with my mobile. Still a week was remaining for Dasara but palace was over crowded. Just imagine the situation during Dasara.
Marriage Hall

There are many other rooms and attractions inside the palace. But visitors are not allowed everywhere. We came outside the palace, enjoyed in the courtyard. There were few elephants practicing for Dasara celebrations with their guards. Security is very tight inside the palace. I was just imagining the royal life of Wodeyars who ruled the state of Mysore from 1350 to 1950 and stayed in the royal palace.

But currently a major portion of the palace is under the control of Govt of Karnataka. Only a small portion of the palace is under the possession of princess Pramoda Devi Wodeyar wife of late Prince Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar who demised on the 10th December 2013. Infact High Court of Karnataka had passed judgement in favor of Wodeyars. However Govt of Karnataka moved Supreme Court after its defeat in the High Court. The case is still pending in the Supreme Court.

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