Some of the Palaces have now become attraction for visitors, some of them are government offices and some are hotels, and university office. Some of them are Mysore Palace, Jaganmohan Palace, Jayalakshmi Vilasa, Lalitha Mahal etc.,
History of Mysore Palace
It has been written in "Shrimanmaharaja's Vamshaavali" that kings of mysore were living in one palace in mysore in 14th Century. After this palace was destroyed by lightning. in AD 1638, it was re-constructed by "Ranadheera Kantheerava Narasaraja wodeyar". This is the oldest accurate information available regarding the mysore palace. It is known from history that palaces like "Soundarya Vilasa", "Naama Teertha" etc and 11 canons were placed in the palaces in different places.
It is said that in 1793 inorder to build a new city called as "Nazarabad", Tippu Sultan demolished all the old buildings including the palace except temples. In 1799 during the throning ceremony of the prince due to unavailablity of the palace the ceremony took place in Nazarabad under a pandal. This information has been clearly written by a english officer.
For this reason due to the requirement of a palace, a new palace was built in hindu architectural style during 1800-1803. Because the palace was built in a very small duration of 2 years by the end of 19th Centuary, it was in a bad condition and some of the parts started crumbling. Also in 1897 during the wedding ceremony of princess Jayalakshmmanni most of the parts of the palace were burnt down by fire. Hence inorder to bring back the glory of the mysore palace the queen, then representative of the kings family thought of building new palace which would be similar to the old palace. She inagurated the building of the new temple in October 1897.
The construction in charge was taken by B. P. Raghavulu Naidu who was Executive engineer in the mysore palace division. He made elaborate studies on architecture that had to be applied for the new palace by visiting delhi, madras and calcutta and made plans for the new palace.
It costed Rs. 41,47,913 for the construction and was complete in 1912. This is the magnificiant and a masterpiece palace which is standing in front of us and visited by hundreds of people from all over the world daily.
The main building is built of grey marble stone and is three stories. On top of this is a five storied domes which are covered with gold. It is 145 Ft in height from ground level to the top of the dome. There are five of the domes (Kalash) and they were established in 1914.
This palace is built around a place called "Thotti" which is a large open space To the east of fround floor there is huge elephant door. To the south there is huge and beautiful Kalyana Mantap where festivities take place. On the first floor facing eastern direction there is "Durbar Hall" or Court yard. For conducting personal meetings there is "Amba vilas" in this floor.
This beautiful building is 245 Ft in length and 156 Ft in width. There are fire extinguishing machines located in all parts of the palace in order to prevent any fires.
There are fort on the western side of the palace which is almost in a square shape and has five enterances and is built in indi-cerasenic style. To the east there is a huge main enterance called "Jaya Maarthaanda", to the north is "Jayarama" and "Balarama", to the south is "Varaha" , to the west is "Brahma puri" and "Kari Kallu thotti" Main gates.
On sundays, national holidays and during dasara navarathri festival, the palace is lit up with lights which is festival for eyes and is a experience of a life time in viewing the palace in full lights at night!!. There are gardens infront of the palace where people can sit and enjoy the beauty of the palace.
Let us see the other palaces that make mysore "Palace City".
This palace is towards the western part of the famous mysore palace and at a walkable distance. Until the completion of the main palace auditorium in 1912 all the annual day and dasara festival celebration were taking place here. There is beautiful and artistic mantap in front of this palace. Wedding ceremony of "Naalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeya" and "Shri Kantheerava Narasimharaja Wodeyar" took place in this palace.This palace was built by "Krishnaraja Wodeyar the third ".
The crowning ceremony of "Krishnaraja Wodeyar the fourth" also took place here in 1902. This place was used for staying of royal family until the new palace was built and it was used for entertainment afterwards. Now this is a famous art gallary which consists of paintings by famous indian painter "Raja Ravivarma". The large auditorium is used for major cultural events in mysore.
This is now the administrative office of University of Mysore (UOM) and folklore museum. It was built in 1901 by then king of mysore "Chamaraja Wodeyar" for his elder daughter.
This palace is to the western side of "Kukkara Halli Lake" and located approximately 4 KM from mysore palace.
This is second in size, beauty and famous among the palaces. The foundation stone was laid in November 18, 1921 by "Krishnaraja Wodeyar the fourth". This palace gets its beauty by the chamundi hill to its backside and is located towards east of mysore city. The palace is eyecatching by its whiteness which comes from the granite stone brought from italy for the construction.
Now this palace is a five star hotel and attracts VIPs and tourists from foreign countries and rich people!.
This palace was built in 1842 and used as "Special School" for young prince's. The palace is built in 36 acres sorrounded by gardens. The speciality of this palace is that the facing portions of the palace is made of soft iron. After entering the palace we can see a large verandah. The first floor resembles the ground floor. This building looks beautiful and artistic. This palace was a hotel for a long time and currently locked for visitors.
Built in 1880, this palace was school for "Chamaraja Wodeyar", "Krishnaraja Wodeyar", and young prince's. This is also called as summer palace. A swimming pool has been built in a modern style and joining to this palace is the zoo garden.
This palace was built for the third princess during 1910-11 and is beautiful to view. The dome atop the palace add to the beauty of the palace. This palace is now the famous CFTRI (Central Food Technology and Research Institute) and is in very good condition.
This palace was built for second princess. The construction started in 1902 and was completed in 1932, it is built in indo-greek style and encompasses 38 acres of land. This palace is located next to "Karanji Kere" lake on the way to Lalithamahal palace.
This was built during 1822 and 1838 and is atop the chamundi hills. This palace was re-constructed by "Krishnaraja Wodeyar the fourth". The royal family were visiting this palace for excursion. "Krishnaraja Wodeyar the fourth" was being taught philosophy and english here in this palace. This palace has been built in indo-british style.
Standing near the palace at the view point, one can enjoy the panoramic view of mysore city. We can also see Biligiri hill (B. R. Hills) ranges, Nilgiri hill ranges and the backwaters of KRS dam (Brindavan Gardens) from here. This palace was a hotel for some time and currently this is crumbling without any maintenance. Visitors are not allowed to this palace.
There are lots of small palaces in and around mysore which can be visited. Mysore is famously known as CITY OF PALACES.