Mysore is a town of palaces, but the Mysore Palace, also known sometimes as the Main Palace, is the most majestic of all. The image of the illuminated Mysore Palace against the dark black sky is one of the most unforgettable images of the city. It takes ninety-seven thousand light bulbs to produce this enchanting image of the Palace. Located in the middle of the city, the Palace is a reminder of the grandeur of the past and is today an invaluable national treasure.
The Amba Vilasa Palace, known as the Mysore Palace, blends outstanding Dravidian, Indo-Saracen, Eastern and Roman architectural styles. The Maharaja Palace is a beautiful three-storey stone building of fine gray granite and rich pink marble domes, with a five-storey 145-foot tower whose domes are gilded in gold. One enters the palace through the Gombe Thotti or the Doll's Pavilion; it is a pavilion of traditional dolls from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection also includes a wooden elephant howdah (the structure for carrying people on the elephant) decorated with 84 kilograms of gold.
One of the oldest buildings in Mysore is Jaganmohan Palace. This palace is more than 150 years old. Like the Mysore Palace, this Palace is also a beautiful and decorative palace built by the Kings of Mysore. In the 150 years of its existence, this palace witnessed a number of important events that were instrumental in shaping the destiny of the modern state of Mysore, now known as Karnataka. This palace was built in 1861 and was originally an ornate wooden palace and was used by the Royal family when it was destroyed by fire in 1897.
Until the Mysore Palace, the royal family resided in this palace. The coronation of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV took place here in 1902. This ceremony was attended by the then Viceroy and Governor General of India, Lord Curzon. At the time of the wedding of Krishnaray Wodeyar IV, the ornamental front portion with a hall was added to the main building and is therefore called the Wedding Pavilion. The wedding pavilion was also used as the Dubar Hall where Krishanraja Wodeyar IV celebrated his annual birthday and the Dasara Durbars until the completion of the new Sejje or Durbar Hall in the Main Palace in 1910.
Lalitha Mahal Palace
The Lalitha Mahal Palace lies on a small hill 11 kilometers from Mysore City. This palace is set in the middle of a sprawling terraced garden. Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV commissioned this two-story palace in 1921. This palace was built solely to house the Viceroy of India. E.W. Fritchley from Mumbai designed the Renaissance-style palace and included principles of Italian palazzo design and English manor design. This palace has now been transformed into a heritage five-star hotel of the Government of India's India Tourism Development Corporation for special royal guests. The Palace has been carefully maintained to preserve its grandeur intact.
During their reign, the Maharajas of Mysore constructed a number of decorative houses. Most of these buildings have been built for personal use. Almost all of these buildings have remained intact to this day. Most of these royal buildings house a number of modern institutions in the city of Mysore. Such buildings are outstanding examples of the excellent craftsmanship that prevailed at Mysore in those days. These highly decorated and intricately carved royal buildings have been preserved and their architecture has remained intact to this day as a result of the joint efforts of the people of Mysore and the Government of Karnataka. The Cheluvamba Mansion is one such building.
Two sons and three daughters were with the Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar. The sons are living in the palace of Mysore. He built mansions for the three daughters and named them after his daughter. After their marriage, the princesses used these mansions. These mansions were gorgeous and set in a sprawling garden. They were built attractively by the best craftsmen of those days. The rooms of the Karanji mansion are elaborately hung, and the gardens that surround them are carefully laid out.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace
Three daughters and two children had the Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar of Mysore. The two sons of Maharaja, Krihsanraja Wodeyar IV and Narasimharaja Wodeyar, resided in the Main Palace; the King constructed three mansions for his three daughters. The Jayalakshmi vilas mansion is built for his one daughter.These three mansions were built in three different corners of Mysore, on the top of small hills that gave an excellent view of the city. The three mansions have been named after the three princesses.
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