The Royal Mysore Palace: Multiple Scenarios

The Royal Mysore Palace: Multiple Scenarios

The titanic construction of the Royal Palace in the city of Mysore was located 164 km from Bangalore, a four-hour trip on a KRSTC bus that came out to about ₹125 rupees.

I shared the journey with fellow travelers who boarded and got off the bus at each station.

“It must be a very popular route,” I thought philosophically while observing the seats and corridors occupied by the kindly inhabitants of the state of Karnataka.

How could it not be a popular city? The road led you to one of those the multifaceted scenarios that make you appreciate every step that you took to get there.

The trip was entertaining; everything seemed new and far-removed from my reality. I felt like a scientist; I enjoyed observing my surroundings, experimenting, and deducing theories.

This is the most breathtaking view of Mysore Palace. The transition of this architectural treasure from day to night is a masterpiece.

This is the most breathtaking view of Mysore Palace. The transition of this architectural treasure from day to night is a masterpiece.

Ease of Access

That day I woke up at 6:00 a.m.; everything was very quiet at AAO Hostels. I tried not to make a noise; I did not want to wake up any of my roommates.

I was excited; my route in Karnataka officially started with Mysore! Now everything would depend on me, and I had to be organized if I wanted to fulfill the 15-day itinerary.

Before leaving for Mysore, I had stayed at AAO Hostels for 3 days. I already felt connected to Bangalore; I had friends! I liked to talk with my roommates, the hostel staff was extremely attentive, I already knew the restaurants in the area, the subway routes … And as I got ready, I felt nostalgic.

That is the interesting thing about traveling: there is no time to take root. Just when your wings begin to grow, it’s already time to leave.

An Uber turned out to be my best option to get to Kempegowda Bus Station in Majestic; from there I took a KRSTC bus to Mysore.

I always like to sit by the window for two reasons: the first one is because I like to watch the landscape go by; the second one is because the glass provides  good support if I fall asleep.

This time, though, I did not fall asleep, and during the 140 km that separate Bangalore from Mysore, I was very attentive to every detail. I was just starting to get acquainted with India; even the smallest detail seemed wonderful to me.

The transit was fluid, and as I had planned, in 4 hours I arrived in one of the cleanest cities I had seen in India. Mysore looked like it was going to surprise me.

Palace History

The Royal Palace is an architectural jewel. It is the result of the artistic ingenuity of the Wodeyars, the kings of Mysore. It was later the residence of the local Maharaja, the monarch of the state, and is now a museum that is packed with tourists eager to learn about its history and facilities.

At the Royal Palace it was necessary to fulfill a protocolary request, which would later be common at the rest of my destinations: I had to take off my shoes.

There was a large space for people to lay out their shoes. It was then that I realized  that most Indians wore sandals, which was more practical than wearing hiking boots and socks, and then tying the laces of the boots.

At first it seemed strange to me, but as I walked through the palace’s luxurious halls, I said to myself, “Walking barefoot is like being part of the work of art; it’s like breaking cultural barriers, or like entering the intimacy of what was once the home of royalty. It is like going back in time. ”

Mysore's proud possession and one of India's most visited attractions.

Mysore’s proud possession and one of India’s most visited attractions.

Main attractions of Palace

The palace is enormous and very interesting. I spent the afternoon exploring its luxurious rooms in the company of friendly Indians with whom I took many photographs.

I went up and down steps; it was like a maze! Each narrow corridor led me to large halls, all with distinct architecture and lush decor.

Kalyana Mantapa: A room full of light, thanks to its glass ceiling. The room was like a kaleidoscope where the sunlight reflected the colors with which the columns were decorated. The polished floor gleams in the symmetrical octagon of what used to be a common place for marriage ceremonies.

Kalyana was like a kaleidoscope of stained glass and mirrors.

Kalyana was like a kaleidoscope of stained glass and mirrors.

Public Darbar Hall: Long pavilions with columns that seemed to be interminable, placed in perfect symmetry and painted exactly the same, urged me to walk through each of the interlacing arches.

The palace is now converted into a museum that treasures souvenirs, paintings, jewelery, royal costumes and other items, which were once possessed by the Wodeyars.

The palace is now converted into a museum that treasures souvenirs, paintings, jewelery, royal costumes and other items, which were once possessed by the Wodeyars.

Elephants and camels: Children loved to see the elephants and camels in the palace’s ample gardens, and they begged their parents to let them mount the animals.

The animals were large; I enjoyed helping feed them. The elephants ate many leaves and I caressed their trunks as they stretched them out to roll up big fists of grass.

Palace lighting: One of the most anticipated moments is the exterior lighting of the palace. The show didn’t start until  7:00 p.m., but I wanted to be in position beforehand.

More and more people gathered outside the palace, and the intensity of the sun gradually receded.

In Mysore, I witnessed one of the most magical sunsets I have ever seen. The sky doesn’t always have such incandescent colors. It was amazing to be at a royal palace in the company of people who, like me, also delighted in the wonder of nature.

Between the multiple scenes I had witnessed in during the day and the spectacular sunset in the evening, I felt I had comprehended firsthand why the Royal Palace is a must-see in Mysore.

Mysore Royal Palace at night.

Mysore Royal Palace at night.

Ambavilasa: I wasn’t able to photograph this room once reserved for the king’s private audiences. The hall was so amazing that I completely forgot about my camera. It was like a spell; I disconnected from time and space and just concentrated on the present.

I remember perfectly that there was a main hallway with a long waterfall lamp; the ceiling was made glass and there were yellow, bottle-shaped pillars. Yellow was the predominant color of the room.

Some Useful Information

To visit the Mysore Palace, it is important to have a full day.

One can tour the facilities during the morning and afternoon, have a picnic lunch in the spacious gardens of the palace and, without a doubt, wait until nightfall to enjoy the exterior lighting.

My expedition with AAO Hostels started with a masterpiece that I am pleased to share with all of you.

 

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