Among the palaces and forts in India, Mysore palace has this flamboyant status. It’s a must-visit when you are in Karnataka.
The Mysuru Palace, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, is a historical palace and the royal residence (house) at Mysuru. It is the official residence of the Wadiyar dynasty and the seat of the Kingdom of Mysore. Mysuru is commonly described as the ‘City of Palaces’, and there are seven palaces. The current structure was constructed between 1897 and 1912. The palace is within a fort which is known as the new fort.
The architectural style of domes of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic, with blends of the Hindu, Mughal, Rajput, and Gothic styles. It is a three-story stone structure with marble domes and has a 145-foot five-story tower (taken from Wiki). The palace compound is humongous. And the detailing at each and every corner are overwhelming. The main hall has wall-to-wall paintings showing a procession with all the important personalities. The royal family has silver and sandalwood chairs. Some rooms have golden-plated pillars. The high-class craftsmanship on silver and gold plated walls, wooden ceilings are too much to handle in one visit. The palace has its horse, elephant, and camel group, which they use every year during the Dussehra procession.
How to reach?
I took a KSRTC bus from the Satellite bus stand. Buses are available for Mysore every minute from the Satellite bus stand. Otherwise, one can get a bus from Majestic as well. It generally takes 3-4 hours to reach Mysore.
Mysore palace is about 2-3.5 km from the bus stand. There are pre-paid autos available at the bus stand only.
What is the best time to visit Mysore?
Mysore has good weather around the year. It is slightly warmer than Bangalore. Dussehra is the main festival here. I heard the entire city is decorated for this occasion. Huge processions are organized. They decorate elephants and horses brigade and use them in the procession. But one needs to book hotels in advance for Dussehra.
Hotel Hanumanthu since 1930
It is a big name around Mysore for its biriyani and polao. The setup is small, and the chicken biriyani was slightly blunt for my North-Indian taste. But the place was super crowded. So my guess is the taste is local and original.
Dolphin Icecream and bakery
Right outside the exit of Mysore palace, besides the magistrate’s office, there is a cute bakery, called Dolphin. Their red double-decker bus surely attracts a lot of attention. They have juices, shakes, ice cream, and snacks. I liked this place. After roaming around the palace for 3-4 hours, I relaxed here for some time.
If you like colors, love to bargain in the local market you would love the century-old Devaraja Market. It is famous for flowers, fruits, color powders(Kum Kum), silk sarees, and sandalwood products.
The people of Mysore love the golden colors. I saw massive cutlery and home decore of pital (Brass) in the old market area, definitely something to explore.
One place that I wanted to see but could not was Brindavan garden and KRS dam. The massive garden is on the banks of the Kaveri river, right beside the KRS dam. It is about 20-23 kilometers from Mysore. I reached Mysore late did not want a night stay at Mysore, so skipped the dam.