Mysore is a city of palaces, but the most magnificent of them all is the Mysore Palace sometimes know as the main palace as well. One of the most unforgettable images of the city is the image of the illuminated Mysore Palace against the dark black sky. It takes ninety seven thousand light bulbs to produce this enchanting image of the palace. The palace is situated in the middle of the city and is a reminder of the grandeur of a by gone era and is today an invaluable nation treasure.
The palace that stands today is fourth one to be built in the same site. When the capital was shifted back to Mysore from Srirangapatnam, after Tipu Sultan’s death, the palace was hastily rebuilt with wood and mud, in a Hindu style. The royal family moved into it in 1801. But this palace was burnt down in a fire that broke out during the wedding of the oldest daughter of Maharaja chamaraja wodeyar in 1897. The reconstruction of the palace was undertaken immediately and the royal family moved to Jaganmohan palace. The English architect Henry Irwin designed the new palace and it was completed in 1912 at a cost of about Rs 41 lakhs.
There are seven canons in front of the Gombe Thotti and are used to this day to mark the beginning and the end of the Dusehra festivities every year. Ahead of this is the elephant gate, this gate is in the main entrance to the center of the palace. The kalyana mantapa or marriage pavilion has central octagonal gabled roof that is covered with stained glass. This pavilion is in the south of the building. The floor of the Kalyana Mantapa has beautiful geometrical patterns created by using shining glazed tiles imported from Britain.
There are the twelve temples inside the Palace complex dating from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries and have varying architectural style. The palace is set in a carefully laid out gardens. One can visit the palace of all days of the week between 10 am and 5:30 pm. The palace is illuminated on Sunday, national holidays and state festivals between 7:00 pm and 8:00Pm and during the dusehra festival from 7pm to 9pm.