Mysore palace lit with lights

7 Palaces In Mysore You Shouldn’t Miss

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Mysore rulers were hailed to be great patrons of arts and architecture. They were reasonably ostentatious in their living style, as is evidenced by the number of magnificent monuments encompassing elaborate palaces, temples, churches, and gardens that they built to enhance the architectural aspect of their Kingdom. These architectural wonders today are a time capsule that boasts of a heritage that is rich, unrivaled, and decadently prideful. 

Apart from the well-known Mysore Royal Palace, there are several palaces of equal grandeur that no traveler should miss on their trip to Mysore. In fact, these palaces are pivotal to the uniqueness of the city. These palaces collectively earned Mysore its title of being the city of palaces. None of the palaces have architectural similarities and their history, purpose, and interiors are nothing short of compelling. 

List Of Mysore Palaces

Mysore Palace (Amba Vilas)

Mysore Palace guide

The most famous one on the list, the Mysore Palace was built during the regime of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV after the old wooden palace was destroyed due to an accidental fire in the year 1897. Rs. 42 Lakhs were spent on its construction which took 15 years to complete (1897 – 1912). Designed by the chief architect Mr. Henry Irwin with workmanship by local artists, it is a fusion of Hindu and Islamic styles of architecture (Indosarcenic) with traces of European influence constructed mostly out of granite.

The grandest of all the Mysore palaces is the iconic Amba Vilas; which also happens to be the second most visited palace after the Taj Mahal. For more extensive information about this unique architectural marvel, do check out the detailed blog on Mysore Palace.

Jagan Mohan Palace (Art Gallery)

Jagan Mohan Palace - Art Gallery

During the nuptial celebrations of Princess Jayalakshmi Ammani, eldest sister of Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar, the old palace, whose interiors were constructed mainly of wood, caught fire and the damage incurred by the structure was severe. The decision was taken to entirely demolish that structure and build a new palace. The construction of the new palace took place between 1897 and 1912. In this interim, the Jaganmohan Palace became the primary residence of the Maharaja and his family.

Completed in 1861, The three-storied Jayachamarajendra art gallery houses one of the largest collections of artifacts in South India. The collection includes rice drawings, french musical calendar clocks, many portraits, ancient artistic possessions, ivory carvings, home furnishings, wall hangings, brass, and gold plated ornaments, paintings depicting the wars, the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharatha, etc. The “Lady with the lamp” painting is just one of the many wonders housed in this palace. 

  • Entry Fee: Rs.60 for adults, Rs. 30 for children below 12 years. Only cash is accepted.
  • Timings: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM on all days
  • Photography and Videography are strictly prohibited inside the palace premises.
  • Footwear has to be removed before entry.

Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace

Jayalakshmi Vilas Palace

Built by Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV in 1905 for Princess Jayalakshmi Ammani, the eldest daughter of Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar. The palace is located on the premises of the University of Mysore, on a small hillock overlooking the Kukkarahalli lake. Although the mansion has 125 rooms, 300 windows, and 287 exclusively carved doors spread across 6 acres of land, the public is only allowed entry to three hallways/ buildings. The other rooms of the palace have been closed for years due to renovation work.

Wooden chariots, puppets, crowns, possessions of the regionals of that time, old treasures, temple idols, and ancient fossils are well showcased in the museum. The wooden mansion (2nd in the hall) portrays a uniquely magnificent piece of architecture. The beauty of this sight is one to behold.

  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Timings: 10:15 AM – 1:15 PM, 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Photography and Videography are strictly prohibited inside the palace premises.
  • Footwear has to be removed before entry.

Lalitha Mahal

Lalitha Mahal Palace

The Lalitha Mahal Palace today is a three-star hotel and the second-largest palace in Mysore city. Built entirely with marble imported from Italy, it is nothing short of a dazzling marble marvel with unique interiors. 

This two-storied composition with the twin iconic columns was built in 1921 by order of his highness Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. This place was constructed for the exclusive stay of a politically important guest, the Viceroy of India. The architectural style is influenced by the St. Paul Cathedral in London, particularly the central dome.

Some scenes of popular and super hit movies including KGF, Muthu are shot in the palace premises.

Restaurant inside Lalitha Mahal Palace
Palace Restaurant

The ambiance in the palace is one of royalty and the hedonistic showcase of decadence instantly transports you to a world where luxury happens to be a necessity. You can even participate in a surreal experience where you get to live like a prince in a real Maharaja palace. Book your royal stay right away.

The information below only applies to visitors, and not to the residents of the hotel.

  • Entry Fee: Rs.100 per person. You can get free tea and biscuits at the restaurant. Cash and UPI payments are accepted.
  • Timings: 11 AM – 7 PM
  • Entry to visitors is restricted to only the ground floor.

Chittaranjan Palace

The Chittaranjan palace, constructed for the sister of Maharaja in 1916 is now outfitted as a hotel. In its illustrious provenance, it has also been used as the headquarters of a film studio (Premier Studios) for several years. Set as a part of sustainable tourism, all the profits made are distributed to fund the many charitable and environmental projects in India. This eco-friendly hotel is also known as a green hotel. You can book your stay here from their official website.

The hotel restaurant is open to visitors. The Malgudi coffee shop is run by women, who are rumored to be trained by French bakers. They certainly live up to the hype by presenting the best coffee in town.

Rajendra Vilas Palace

Located atop the Chamundi hills at 1000 feet above sea level, Rajendra Vilas Palace was the summer palace for the Wodeyars of Mysore. But now it serves as the private palace for the royal family. It is closed to public visitors. The central dome is influenced by the style of the Mysore Palace.

 

Cheluvamba Vilas

Situated opposite the Mysore Rail Museum, is the Cheluvamba Vilas. This palace is now the famous CFTRI (Central Food TechTap and Research Institute). It is maintained and regulated by the Central/Union Government of India. It is a restricted place hence entry is denied to the public. The CFTRI guest house is only open to CFTRI employees and their families. 

The Cheluvamba Vilas Palace was built for the third princess of Maharaja Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV between 1910 and 1911.

Other Palaces & Heritage Sites

The other noteworthy heritage palaces and mansions include Vasanth Mahal, Lokaranjan Mahal, and Karanji Mansion. However, for now, these monuments are not open to the public. 

Other heritage sites include the Maharajas and Maharani College, Banumaiah’s College, Marimallappa’s and Hardwick’s High School Buildings, the National Library, the Town Hall, Crawford Hall, Krishnarajendra Hospital, Cheluvamba Hospital, and the Mysore Railway Station, etc. These sites were built in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

You should take more than a gander at these old buildings while sightseeing other popular tourist places as they are located in the heart of the city. For the complete list of heritage buildings across Mysore, click here.

Out of the 7 main heritage palaces discussed in this post, 5 palaces are open to the public, and 2 are restricted

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