The Mysore Palace is one of the grandest and most incredible buildings in India without a doubt. Unlike other of the most famous landmarks in India, the Mysore Palace is not centuries old but rather built in the 20th century on the site of previously constructed palaces. It is in fact the fourth building built in the same location.
History Of Mysore And Mysore Palace
Hidden away in Karnataka, lies the old world city of Mysore. It has a certain serene air even in the hustle bustle of the city life. When you step into the city, you’ll see the lush greenery.
The Mysore Palace, also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, is one of seven palaces in the royal city of Mysore. The original palace built of wood, and was burnt down in 1897 during the wedding of Jayalakshammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar and was rebuilt in 1912 at the cost of Rs. 42 lakhs. The building used to be the residence of the Wodeyar Dynasty and the seat of the Kingdom of Mysore who ruled over the city from 1399 until India’s independence in 1947 through a succession of 25 rulers.
Although the original palace was built in the 14th century in the same location, the building standing there today was finished in 1912 and was commissioned to Henry Irwin, a British architect who also designed other buildings in the south of India. Irwin was given the mandate to design “an exotic palace”, his wish seems to have fulfilled now.
The Mysore Palace is often referred to as a Gothic building but it is in fact a perfect example of Indo-Saracenic architecture blending in elements of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic architecture.
The most notable elements of the Mysore Palace are The Durbar Hall, the Ambavilasa, the royal howdah (elephant seat made with 84kg of gold), the Kalyana Mantapa.
The palace is stunning to see from the outside, especially at night on Sundays and public holidays when it is lit with 97,000 lights.
The palace area also holds 12 Hindu temples dating back from the 14th to the 20th centuries.
The Durbar Hall
This hall is fully decorated in pink, yellow and turquoise with intricately painted columns all symmetrically spaced across the hall.
The walls of the Durbar Hall are decorated with priced paintings from the time.
The Ambavilasa room is similar in design to the Durbar hall but this room is even more spectacular than that Durbar hall. This room is as majestic and regal as any royal palace could ever look.
Kalyana Mantapa, also known as the marriage hall, the hall is octagonal in shape and the amount of detail and work that went into the room, with its vaulted domed ceiling and gilded columns, is remarkable. The walls are decorated with various paintings some of which depict the Dasara festival Mysore is so famous for.
Mysore Dasara History
According to the myth, Goddess Chamundeshwari fought a war for nine nights against the demon, Mahishasura. On the 10th day, she triumphed over the demon. The town came to be called Mahishasurana Uru (meaning, the town that Mahishasur belonged to), soon changed to — Mahisur or Mysuru (anglicized as Mysore).
his year, Mysore Dasara, completes 408 glorious years of celebration in almost the exact same manner.
The nine nights of Navratri, are celebrated with much enthusiasm that include dance and music shows.
Dasara Celebrations At Mysore
Vijayadashami starts with a puja at the Mysore Palace, called the Nandi Dhwaja Puja that commences at noon. Nandi Dhwaja translates to the flag, Nandi; Lord Shiva’s vehicle, mounts when he lands on Earth to protect the good from the evil. It is held symbolic to the act of Goddess Chamundeshwari.
After that, the Jamboo Savari, the most sought-after procession of the year in Karnataka begins from the Mysore Palace with Goddess Chamundeshwari’s idol perched on a well-decorated elephant among several others.
Throughout the 10 days Dasara festival, Karnataka State Government arranges music, dance, and folk dance performances, flower and doll shows, wrestling and Food and Film festival. The Yuva (Youth) Dasara, which consists of musical concerts performed by youth icons, is also conducted during Dasara.
The Mysore Dasara is celebrated elaborately with great enthusiasm. During this period, the whole of Mysore undergoes serious changes and it is decorated beautifully with the streets lighted and the trees decorated. It attracts a huge audience both from all over India and all over the world.
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