Mysore Palace

Lonely Planet review

Among the grandest of India’s royal buildings, this fantastic palace was the former seat of the Wodeyar maharajas. The old palace was gutted by fire in 1897; the one you see now was completed in 1912 by English architect Henry Irwin at a cost of Rs4.5 million.

The interior of this Indo-Saracenic marvel – a kaleidoscope of stained glass, mirrors and gaudy colours – is undoubtedly over the top. The decor is further embellished by carved wooden doors, mosaic floors and a series of paintings depicting life in Mysore during the Edwardian Raj. The way into the palace takes you past a fine collection of sculptures and artefacts. Don’t forget to check out the armoury, with an intriguing collection of 700-plus weapons.

Every weekend, on national holidays, and through the Dasara (Duesshera) celebrations, the palace is illuminated by nearly 100,000 light bulbs that accent its majestic profile against the night.

Entranceto the palace grounds is at the South Gate on Purandara Dasa Rd. While you are allowed to snap the palace’s exterior, photography within is strictly prohibited. Cameras must be deposited in lockers at the palace entrance.

Also available within the compound is a multilingual guided audiotour of the palace, the price of which is included in the foreigners’ ticket.

A Sound & Light show is held most evenings at 7pm, which narrates the palace's history with effects of illumination; English-language shows were being launched at time of research.