In Mysore you are never too far away from a heritage building or a mansion with royal connection. Not for nothing is Mysore called the City of Palaces. Beautiful manors or stately homes, with decorated porches, archways and terraces, exquisite balustrades and cornices are visible at every turn.
The focal point is of course the Amba Vilas Palace, popularly known as the Mysore Palace and visitors regularly catch glimpses of it while criss-crossing the city to various sights of the city.
Mysore Palace (Amba Vilas Palace):
Set in the centre of sprawling grounds, Amba Vilas Palace overwhelms at first sight. It was built nearly a century ago and designed by British architect Henry Irwin, who was the Madras state consultant.
Golden Throne and Durbar Hall:
Though the palace itself is overwhelming and awe-inspiring, the sight that usually stuns people is the magnificent Durbar Hall, with its ornate ceiling and vividly painted colonnades. Also watch out for the intricately carved wooden doors which lead to more lavish rooms.
Standing inside the Kalyana Mantapa or marriage hall is a fascinating experience. It is an imposing and massive octagonal structure with a multi-coloured Belgian stained glass ceiling that is breathtaking.
Faced with the grandeur of Amba Vilas Palace, it is easy to miss the historic fort that surrounds it. The original walls were built under the Wadiyars in 1524 but gradually the defensive glacis was flattened.
Temples within the palace:
Within the palace premises and scattered all along the walls are many temples associated with the royal household which are still functioning to this day.
Sound and light show:
For nearly an hour in the evenings, it is possible to step back in time and get back into history. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Mysore Palace, a spectacular sound and light show unfolds.