1. It’s located in the “City of Palaces”
Mysore Palace is located in the city of Mysore in the Indian State of Karnataka in the south of the country. This city has been described as “The City of Palaces.”
That’s because the Mysore Palace isn’t the only palace, there are a total of 7 palaces. Some of these have been turned into a hotel such as the Chittaranjan Palace and the Lalithamahal Palace. Others are private residences and one named the Jaganmohana Palace serves as a museum.
2. Only this one is referred to as “Mysore Palace”
All the other palaces have their own name and none of them are referred to as “Mysore Palace.” The only real Mysore Palace is the one located in the “Old Fort.”
The original name of its location was “Puragiri” which literally translates to “Citadel.”
3. The original palace dates back to the 14th century
Mysore Palace has served as the royal seat of the Kingdom of Mysore and the official residence of the Wadiyar dynasty. This dynasty has ruled over the Kingdom for hundreds of years.
The kingdom was founded around the year 1399, which is about the time that the original palace was constructed as well. This original palace was expanded numerous times over the next centuries as well.
4. A heavy fire set the old palace ablaze
The original palace wasn’t as extravagant as the current palace though as most of it was made of wood. The “Old Palace” was even referred to as the “Wooden Palace.”
This makes it all the less surprising that this old palace met its demise because of a heavy fire. This happened in the year 1896 during that year’s Dasara festivities, a festival dedicated to the victory of good over evil.
The royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore was destroyed.
5. The current palace was completed in 1912
Even though there were multiple other palaces that the ruling dynasty could use in Mysore, the Mysore Palace had been their official seat since the conception of the Kingdom. This means that they didn’t waste any time starting constructing a new palace in the same location.
A year following the fire of 1896, the construction of the current palace was started. 15 years later, in the year 1912, the new Mysore Palace was completed.
6. It was constructed by a renowned British architect
The Maharaja at the time, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, and his mother Maharani Kempananjammanni Devi were the royal family members who ordered the construction of the new palace.
They didn’t just waste any time, they also didn’t mind spending a few bucks on their new home. They hired one of the most famous architects in British India at the time, Henry Irwin, who was one of the most prolific architects in the region in the late 19th century.
Irwin had been awarded a CIE in the 1888 Birthday Honors, a reward given by Queen Victoria herself to celebrate her birthday.
The price to build the palace was staggering as well as it cost about Rs 41,47,913, which is over USD 30 million today!
7. It was built in a style often used by British-Indian architects
The feature that gives the palace its unique appearance is its magnificent red marble domes. These were constructed in a style referred to as Indo-Gothic. This architectural style can be described as a Gothic revival style and is also sometimes referred to as “Indo-Saracenic” as it incorporates traditional elements of the region as well.
The palace was built in a combination of Hindu, Mughal, Rajput, and Gothic styles, all styles often used by architects in British India.
8. The most prominent feature is its five-story tower
The palace has a total length of 74 meters (245 feet) and a total width of 47 meters (156 feet). One of the most remarkable facts about Mysore Palace is that it has a majestic tower that has about the same length as its width.
The 5-story tower stands about 44 meters (145 feet) tall and is much taller than it initially appears as it’s located in the middle of the building. This gilded tower really gives the palace a magnificent look.
The building itself is constructed with grey granite and the façade of the building consists of multiple arches that are supported by pillars. The main arch is ornamented with a sculpture of Gajalakshmi the Goddess of wealth, prosperity, fortune, and abundance, along with her elephants.
9. Mysore Palace has an amazing arched entrance gate
One of the entrances of the palace has a monumental structure that resembles some of the famous triumphal arches in Rome or Paris. This gate is referred to as the “East Gate” and is only opened for special occasions such as the Dasara Festival.
The entrance for the public is referred to as the “South Gate” and allows you to enter the immense garden which surrounds the palace.
There’s a third entry as well, the “West Gate,” but this gate is also closed to the general public and only opened during special occasions.
10. The palace consists of numerous buildings
The palace grounds are referred to as the “Old Fort,” and there are a lot more buildings located within it. 3 large temples can be found outside the palace and a staggering 18 temples are located within the palace itself.
Since the palace served as the official residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore, there are also 2 “Durbar Halls” which functioned as the ceremonial meeting halls of the royal court.
Apart from these buildings, the palace also incorporates numerous courtyards, corridors, gardens, and numerous rooms for a large number of purposes.
11. Mysore Palace can put on a magnificent light show
The major state festival in the Karnataka region where the palace is located is called the “Dasara.” During this festival, there are processions and Hindu Temples, and other culturally significant buildings are lit.
The Mysore Palace is one of the most wonderfully lighted buildings in the city as it can put on a magnificent light show.
One of the most fun facts about Mysore Palace is that it kinda looks like an improved version of Harrods in London during the Christmas period, don’t you think?
Alright, it looks ten times better, agreed!
12. It’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in India
If you think about tourist attractions in India, then the Taj Mahal is most probably the first thing that comes to mind, right? After all, it’s the most popular tourist attraction in the country and has been chosen as one of the 7 wonders of the world.
But did you know that Mysore Palace is the second most popular tourist attraction in India? This amazing palace welcomes nearly 6 million visitors every year!
Millions of people want to get a glimpse of this amazing structure, and who can disagree? It’s definitely one of the most wonderful palaces in the entire world!