Mysore Palace, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, is located in the heart of Mysore city and draws millions of tourists every year, being one of Karnataka's major destinations.
This historical palace inside the Old Fort was the official residence of the Wadiyar (Wodeyar) dynasty who ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1950. A palace was first built inside the fort in 1399 by Yaduraya Wodeyar, the founder of the Wadiyar dynasty.
The sprawling Mysore Palace, which is in Indo-Saracenic style, is a replacement of that old wooden structure that was destroyed in a fire in 1897 while the wedding ceremony of Rajarshi Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV's eldest sister Princess Jayalakshmi Ammani was taking place.
That year itself the young monarch and his mother, Her Majesty Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhna, regent of Mysore, delegated Lord Henry Irwin, a British architect, to construct a new palace.
The palace is a three-storey stone structure made with fine granite, grey in colour, having deep pink marble stones atop and a five-storey tower measuring 145 ft. The size of the palace measures 245 ft by 156 ft. In 1912 the construction of the palace was completed at a cost of Rs 41,47,913.
A sculpture of the goddess of good luck, prosperity, and wealth, Gajalakshmi, with her elephants is seated atop the central arch.
Displays in the palace include royal dresses, souvenirs, musical instruments and weapons used by the Wadiyars.
An array of superb paintings include the ones illustrating eight manifestations of goddess Shakthi as also a masterpiece by famed artist Raja Ravi Verma.
The palace remains illuminated during 10 days of the renowned Mysore Dasara festival that is celebrated every year during autumn. Many religious and cultural programmes are performed at the palace during this time.
The conventional Dasara procession initiates from the palace on the 10th day or Vijayadashami with great pomp and zeal, the central attraction of which is the idol of goddess Chamundeshwari seated on a golden mandapa made of around 750 kg of gold.