The second-most-visited sight in India (after the Taj Mahal), this palace is among the very grandest of India’s royal buildings and was the seat of the Wodeyar maharajas. The original palace was gutted by fire in 1897; today's structure was completed in 1912. The lavish Indo-Saracenic interior – a kaleidoscope of stained glass, mirrors and gaudy colours – is undoubtedly over the top. It's further embellished by carved wooden doors, mosaic floors and a series of paintings depicting life here during the Raj.
English architect Henry Irwin designed the palace and construction cost ₹4.5 million. On the way in you'll pass a fine collection of sculptures and artefacts. Don’t forget to check out the armoury, with an intriguing collection of 700-plus weapons. From 7pm to 8pm every Sunday and national holiday, the palace is illuminated by nearly 100,000 light bulbs that accentuate its majestic profile against the night. Entrance to the grounds is at the South Gate ticket office. While you're allowed to snap the palace’s exterior, photography within is strictly prohibited. Note that many visitors have been unable to download the palace-information app (promoted at the ticket office).