Palaces in Mysore
Wodeyar kings of Mysore have built quite a few palaces in Mysore and this has earned the city the sobriquet of City of Palaces. Following are the palaces present here:
This is the main palace of Mysore and also termed as Mysore Palace. This palace was built in the year 1912 at a cost of Rs. 41.5 lakh in the Indo-Sarcenic style. The earlier wooden palace that existed at this location got burnt in a fire during the wedding of Jayalakshammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar, in February 1897. The architect of this palace was Mr. Henry Irwin and the consulting engineer was Mr E W Fritchley. The palace is a three storied structure with the tallest tower with a gilded dome rising to 145 feet above ground. In the first floor is the grand Durbar hall, where the kings used to hold their assembly. Some of the other important halls within the palace are Kalyana Mantap (the wedding hall), Gombe Thotti (hall of dolls) and Amba Vilasa (private hall). Life-like paintings, murals, arms, trophies, stained glass windows and decorated domes enhance the arhcitectural splendour of this palace. This is the center of all festivities during the Dasara.
Jaganmohan Palace was built in the year 1861 by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in a predominantly Hindu style to serve as an alternate palace for the royal family. This palace housed the royal family when the older Mysore Palace was burnt down by a fire. The palace has three floors and has stained glass shutters and ventilators. It has housed the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery since the year 1915. The collections exhibited here include paintings from the famed Travancore ruler, Raja Ravi Varma, the Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich and many paintings of the Mysore painting style. The Durbar Hall here was the place where the early convocations of the Mysore University were held. The hall also serves as an auditorium for staging cultural programmes.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion was built in the year 1905 by Chamaraja Wodeyar for his eldest daughter Jayalakshmi Devi. This mansion has three wings and contains a series of twin Corinthian and Ionic columns, regal pediments and oval ventilators. The mansion was originally built with a cost of Rs. 7 lakhs. This mansion was acquired by the Mysore University to house its post-graduate campus. It was renovated in the year 2002 from funding provided by Infosys foundation. The main hall in this mansion is the Kalyana Mantapa which has an eight-petal shaped dome with stained glass windows with a gold-plated Kalasha(tower) at the top. A new gallery called as Writer's Gallery has been created in the Kalyana Mantapa hall that will exhibit personal items, photographs, awards and writings of renowned writers of Kannada. A special illumination system has also been added to this heritage structure. This mansion is said to be the first university museum complex in the country.
The architect of this palace was Mr E W Fritchley. The palace was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV in the year 1921 for the exclusive stay of the Viceroy of India. The palace is pure white in colour and is built in the style of Italian palazzo with twin Ionic columns and domes. It also has a sprawling terrace and landscaped gardens. This palace has now been converted into a five-star hotel belonging to the Ashok Group of Hotels. The interior of this palace contains venation marble floors, rosewood furniture and a stately balustrade staircase. The central hall in the palace contains life size portraits of the royalty, lithographs, motifs, a Belgian glass dome and carved wood shutters. An ancient elevator, still in working condition is also present.
Rajendra Vilas is a palace atop the Chamundi Hill. This was conceived in the 1920s and completed in the year 1938-1939. This was built as a summer palace for the Wodeyar kings. This palace is currently owned by the current scion of the royal family, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar. There are plans to convert this into a Heritage hotel.
Cheluvamba Mansion was built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV for his third daughter, Cheluvarajammanni. It now houses the CFTRI (Central Food and Technological Research Institute).