A priceless national treasure and the pride of a kingdom, the Mysore Palace is the seat of the famed Wodeyar family.
The Mysore Palace was built over one thousand years ago, in AD 897. Saracenic in style, the palace has both Hindu as well as Muslim influences.
After a fire in 1897, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV rebuilt the palace as we see it today. The main building is of massive gray granite with a tower covered by a gilded dome. A temple is situated within the royal courtyard.
The towers, domes and verandahs seen at the Amba Vilas Palace are an example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. This is the same style as Mumbai's Victoria Terminus ~ a blend of Islamic and European details.
I'm very drawn to Islamic influence in architecture, so I found the exterior of this palace to be as pleasing as many of the Rajasthani ones I later visited.
You aren't allowed to wear your shoes or to bring your camera inside the palace. A donation of change keeps your shoes safe outside, cameras are left in lockboxes (you carry the ticket around with you).
This palace is nearly impossible to miss ~ it stands right in the middle of Mysore. It was built in the early 1900's on the site of a palace that had been destroyed by a fire.
The interior has been well-maintained ~ there's a lot of decoration (stained glass, woods, tiles) to catch the eye.
If you are lucky (or organized) enough to visit Mysore on a Sunday or during a holiday, the palace is lit up with thousands of lights in the evening. Westerners and Indian alike gather to view the dazzling sight.
It's a family affair, bringing out men, women and children ~ I rarely saw Indian women out after dark in most cities (especially if unaccompanied by a relative), so this was quite unsual.