I had an opputunity to vist India at attractive discount travel package by a website. Mysore Palace or the Maharajah’s Palace located in the heart of the city at Mirza Road, is the most attractive monument in Mysore. One of the largest palaces in the country, also known as Amba Vilas, was the residence of the Wodeyar Mahararaja’s of the Mysore state. The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897 and was rebuilt for the twenty fourth Wodeyar Raja in 1912.
The three storeyed building, 245 feet in length and 156 in breadth has a series of square towers with arches covered by domes. There is wide open space in the front and the open courtyard in the centre is covered by a gold-plated dome about 145 feet from the ground.
The entry to the palace is through the ‘Gombe Thotti’ or the Doll’s Pavilion, a gallery of Indian and European sculpture and ceremonial objects. Halfway along is the elephant gate, which is the main entrance to the centre of the palace. The gate is decorated with floriated designs, and bears the Mysore royal symbol of a double headed eagle. Inside there is an enclosed courtyard. To the north of the gate are dolls, dating from the earlier nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a ceremonial wooden elephant howdah (carriage kept on top of the elephants to carry royalty) decorated with 84 kilogram of 24 carat gold and other souvenirs.
To the south, the magnificent ‘Kalyana Mantapa’ or the marriage pavilion has a centre octagonal gabled ceiling, covered by multi coloured stained glass with peacock motifs arranged in geometrical patterns and beautiful chandeliers from Chechoslavakia. Tall, slender cast iron pillars wrought at Glasgow, Scotland are arranged in groups of three at the corners of the central octagon. The floor is laid with glittering glazed tiles imported from England in artistic geometrical patterns and the walls which lead to the Mandapa are lined with oil paintings depicting Dusshera celebrations of the bygone royal era. It was a worderful trip at budget travel with cheap airline tickets from Travelmia.com