Mysore Palace: A Guide To Karnataka's Stunning Jewel! - GlobeTrove (2023)

Anyone and everyone who visits Mysore in Karnataka, knows that the Mysore Palace is the city’s crowning beauty. Ironically, with four different trips to the city, this was just my second visit to the palace. My first visit was when I was just 15 and the beauty of the palace stuck with me.

Shawn on the other hand had never seen the palace before and I couldn’t help but bug him till he gave in. I am glad that he did because the Mysore palace has an intriguing story and is so pleasing to the eyes.

In fact, Shawn and our friend Veeshan loved the palace so much that we landed up spending around three hours just in the palace. A large part of that time was spent clicking photographs of our surroundings and with such beautiful surroundings, who could blame us?

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Mysore Palace: Table Of Contents

  • Top Mysore Tours To Consider
  • Who Built The Mysore Palace?
  • Getting To The Mysore Palace And Entrance Fees
  • Inside The Mysore Palace
  • The Palace Gardens
  • The Main Palace Courts
  • The Residence Quarters Of The Mysore Palace
  • The Temples In The Mysore Palace
  • Light And Sound Show In The Mysore Palace
  • Fun Facts About The Mysore Palace

Top Mysore Tours To Consider

Full-Day Private tour of Mysore from Bangalore

This is one of the top rated tours that leave from Bangalore. It is a private tour so you can set the pace much better as compared to the other tours. It includes a guide who will take you around and show you the sights.

Aside from the Mysore palace, you will also get a chance to visit the Chamundeshwari temple, the Tipu Sultan palace and St. Philomena’s cathedral. These are all must sees if you are headed into Mysore.

Since it is a small group tour, it is much cheaper than a private tour which is why it is one of the popular picks for people who have a short while in Bangalore and still want to see the Mysore palace.

Bangalore: Mysore Tour with Lunch and Guide

This tour leaves from Bangalore and is perfect if you want just a day trip out of the city. That way you leave early in the morning, see the whole of Mysore including the Mysore palace and are back in approximately 10 hours.

It includes a comfortable air conditioned bus journey and a pick up and drop service. The tour takes you to Bailey’s dungeon in Srirangapatna which many other tours do not. It is a quick stop on the way. It also includes the sand museum.

Note that this tour includes both lunch and a guide!

Book Your Tour Now!

Who Built The Mysore Palace?

Mysore Palace: A Guide To Karnataka's Stunning Jewel! - GlobeTrove (1)

This is just a small peak into the interiors of the Mysore palace.

The Mysore Palace however is the most majestic of them all. One thing that not many people realize is the fact that the Mysore palace is not very old.

In fact, the building was actually constructed in the 20th century and hence its architecture appears to be so modern. Why is an interesting question.

The previous palace was a wooden palace. During the Dussehra celebrations in 1896, the palace however caught fire and was burned to the ground.

Krishnaraja Wodeyar IVand his mother commissioned a new palace to be built and they hired a British architect named Lord Henry Irwin. Their mandate was that the new palace should be well… Palatial!

Lord Henry did not disappoint. An interesting point to note is that the entire construction of the palace cost approximately Rs 41,47,913/-. If you adjust for inflation that is approximately $4 million today!

Getting To The Mysore Palace And Entrance Fees

The Palace is a very popular landmark in the city and anyone who lives in the city can direct you to it with ease. To be more specific however, the palace is located in Chamrajpura.

Since the palace is vast in size, you can catch a glimpse of the tip of it from whichever side you approach. One nice thing about the palace is it has a nice parking lot. You pay a nominal fee to park there but it saves you the headache of hunting for parking space in the city.

The best time to visit the palace is during Dussehra. It is when the palace is illuminated with lights and is a participant in the celebrations.

Alternatively, if you can’t be in Mysore during those days, aim to visit on a Sunday evening (7-7:30) or on a public holiday. That is when you will get to see the palace lit up.

As far as the entrance fees go, we paid Rs 50/- per person which allowed us admittance into the palace grounds, the gardens, the main palace area and to the temples.

From what I remember the cost for children below 10 years was free, children aged 10- 18 years have to pay Rs 20/- and foreigners have to pay Rs 200/- for their entry. This ticket however does not the residential complex of the Mysore palace.

Inside The Mysore Palace

There is quite a lot to see when one enters the gates surrounding the Mysore Palace. Honestly, at first, we did not know what to do. There were no signs and we just followed the crowds.

Big mistake! We landed up going round and round the palace three times before we saw everything that we wanted to catch a glimpse off. The palace can be divided largely into the gardens, the main palace area, the residence area and the temples.

Unfortunately, there is a flow to the human traffic that isn’t discernible immediately. This is what I suggest you do to make the most of your experience and to save time as well as the impact on your feet.

The Palace Gardens

I would suggest visiting the Palace gardens either the first or the last. This is because if you choose to visit them first you will definitely have to walk less. Unfortunately, sometimes the time of the day you arrive at matters a lot. So, if the sun is overhead and the heat is killing you, it may make better sense to enter the palace first where it is definitely cooler.

The Mysore Palace gardens extend in front of the palace and are well manicured. They extend right down to the main gate.

While you may not be allowed on the lawns, there is enough and more of the paved walkways to explore. The gardens provide a great place to get a great photograph with the whole palace in view. Definitely not something that you should miss.

The Main Palace Courts

Mysore Palace: A Guide To Karnataka's Stunning Jewel! - GlobeTrove (2)

The majestic inside of the Mysore Palace.

One of the first things that you have to do before entering the main palace courts of the Mysore Palace is to deposit your shoes with the counter outside.

The fee attached to it is Rs 2/- per set of shoes that is kept there. You will be handed a white bag in which everyone n your group can keep their shoes and a token to prove they are yours at a later time.

Once you have done this, join the line of the numerous tourists entering the palace. This part of the palace tour (self tour) is covered under your ticket.

The main palace courts have a number of halls including but not limited to the Durbar hall, Ambavilasa and the Kalyana Mantapa. Don’t worry about missing out on any of the areas because the flow of tourists walking from spot to spot will guide you in the right direction. I found the inside of the Mysore palace overwhelming.

Not only is the palace grand and beautiful but the colors that highlight the walls, the ceilings and even the tiles are hypnotizing.

They also form a great backdrop for photographs. I think one of the reasons why we spent so much time inside the main palace halls was because of the number of photographs that we kept clicking. It was hard to stop!

The Residence Quarters Of The Mysore Palace

The residence quarters of the Mysore palace should be stop two on your self-guided tour of the palace. This part of the palace is not covered under the initial ticket that you bought. We had to pay an additional Rs 45/- per person to enter.

There is a spot to deposit your shoes here too. It is just Rs 2/- per person and shoes are not allowed inside.

Compared to the main palace area, the residence quarters appear less well kept. They however are no less fascinating.

One thing to note is that photography is not allowed here so I can’t show you what the inside looked like. The residence quarters contain a number of artefacts from the clothes that the royals wore to the swords that they used.

Old pictures adorn the walls. Some are black and white photographs. Others are almost ancient portraits of the Wodeyar royals.

It is fascinating to look at each of them and note the date in which it was painted. As you meander through the residence quarters of the palace you will also see the furniture that the royals used and the trophies that the collected.

The Temples In The Mysore Palace

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One of the many temples in Mysore Palace.

One thing that struck me when we entered the palace complex was the number of temples that are present in it. Lines of devotees form to pay their respects. Like all temples in India, these temples too require that you remove your shoes before entering.

We walked through just one of these temples and found the architecture and carvings really pleasing to look at. If you love exploring temples in south India, I would suggest spending a little more time looking at the ones that are within the complex. We were a little short of time and sustenance, so we decided to head on to grab a bite to eat.

Light And Sound Show In The Mysore Palace

One of the main attractions is the light and sound show in the Mysore Palace. Chairs are organized in front of the palace and the show depicts the story of Mysore and the grandiose palace.

Note that the story is usually retold in Kanada which is the regional language and was one of the reasons why I hardly caught much of the story.

On the flip side, I paid quite a bit of attention to the displays within the palace itself so I was able to piece bits of the story together.

The palace illumination is totally worth it even if you don’t understand the language. I highly recommend it if you are in the vicinity during that time.

Timings of the Light and Sound show in the Mysore palace: 7 pm- 8 pm every day except Sundays and government holidays.

Languages: A quick update. I recently learned that Monday to Wednesday the show is held in Kannada and on Thursday to Saturday the show is held in English.

Where To Stay In Mysore When Visiting?

Safari Quest (Budget)

⭐️ Rating: 8.5/10 (115 Reviews) Price: $38 per night 📍Location: 40/C, Behind Kanti Conventional Hall, Industrial Suburb Details: Read more on now!

If you are looking for a nice budget spot to stay in when visit, the Safari Quest hits all the right notes. It is located just under 5 kilometers from the Mysore palace and gives you a taste of the city life and some gorgeous mountain views.

One big bonus is that the Safari Quest allows pets which is important to people like me who travel with ours. It also has a free parking which is great if you are driving from Bangalore to Mysore with your own transport.

Fortune JP Palace (Mid-Range)

⭐️ Rating: 8/10 (714 Reviews) Price: $64 per night 📍Location: #3, Abba Road, Nazarbad, Mysore Details: Read more on now!

If you are looking for a place to stay in Mysore that does not break the bank and yet gives you the luxury stay experience then check out the Fortune JP Palace.

This hotel has some epic views of Chamundi hills. That isn’t all it offers. The rooms definitely live up to the five star experience with air-conditioning, a large flat screen TV, toiletries, free Wi-fi and more.

Don’t think of it as an old school Indian palace either. Fortune JP Palace is as modern as it gets and even has a large swimming pool for the guests to indulge in!

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel (Luxury)

⭐️ Rating: 8.5/10 (3116 Reviews) Price: $89 per night 📍Location: 1 MG Road,, Mysore Details: Read more on now!

One of the best places to stay in Mysore is the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel. This amazing hotel has it all! A central location, unbelievable amenities and amazing rooms. Trust me… Once you sink into the soft bed, you may not want to get up to explore the city again!

Pro Tip: Ask for a room with a mountain view. Just because the hotel is centrally located doesn’t mean that you have to look out at the city. A select few rooms in the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel have some epic views. If they aren’t full, they may upgrade you at no cost!

Oh and if you do stay here, make sure that you try out the Indian restaurant. They have some amazing chefs in employ and they can rustle up some amazing South Indian (And North Indian) food.

Fun Facts About The Mysore Palace

Before we wind up talking about this interesting spot, there are a couple of interesting facts about the Mysore Palace that I thought I would share with you.

1. The Original Palace Burnt Down

When the Wodeyars ruled Mysore way back in the 14th century, the palace was built of wood. The old fort surrounded the palace. Being made of wood, the structure was susceptible to fire. Despite multiple renovations, the initial palace succumbed to a fire in the midst of a royal wedding.

2. The New Palace Was Designed By A British Architect

Interestingly enough, the burnt down palace did not deter the Wodeyars. Maharaja Krishnarajendra Wodeyar IV commissioned a new palace. This one would outshine the original palace. The architect that he chose was of British origin and well known back in the day. His name was Henry Irving.

3. It Took 15 Years To Build The New Palace.

If you’ve been to the Mysore palace and seen the sprawling structure, you will realize that 15 years wasn’t much to build such a huge structure back in the day. The design mingles Hindu, Muslim and Gothic architecture. It is a unique structure and is often Buckingham palace of India.

4. Dussehra Is The Most Popular Time To Visit The Mysore Palace

The palace received 6 million visitors every year. Loads of them visit during Dussehra. This is because the festival is celebrated in the palace with a lot of pomp and joy.

It is a tradition that spans back many years. It draws in lots of tourists from the neighboring cities. Many drive from Bangalore just to take part in the celebration.

If you are planning a trip to Mysore browse through the details of our weekend road trip to Mysore for inspiration.

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