Located at the heart of the city, the Mysore Palace or Amba Vilas is a three-storeyed majestic monument that leaves onlookers mesmerised with its beauty. A gorgeous amalgamation of Hindu and Saracenic architectural styles, incorporated with elements of Neo-Classical, Indo-Islamic and Gothic styles, the palace boasts two huge durbar halls, well-laid out gardens and sprawling courtyards. The durbar hall is magnificent, with stained glass windows and tall pillars, an ornately carved ceiling and grand Kalyanamantapa (marriage hall). The doors of the palace have intricate carvings, and the rooms are huge and well-appointed. Vast, manicured lawns with pretty flower beds can be seen within the compound. The palace has been made with fine grey granite, adorned with deep pink-hued marbles. The palace can be entered through three grand gateways: the east gate is open for special dignitaries, the south gate is for the general public and the west gate opens during the famous Dasara (dussehra) festivities. Tourists can also visit the intriguing cellar of the palace that has many secret tunnels that connect to various areas of the town. The opulence of Mysore palace is unmatched, and it also home to a golden howdah (elephant seat), expensive and rare paintings, and a jewel-encrusted golden throne. This throne is put on display to the public during the festival of Dasara. Within the walled campus, the Residential Museum (where one can find the living quarters of the royal family), and Shwetha Varahaswamy temple are other points of interest. Every Sunday, and on special occasions such as Dasara, the palace is illuminated using almost 100,000 bulbs! This is one experience you cannot miss in Mysore. The whole city seems to be glowing, and thousands gather to enjoy the spectacular festival. Sometimes, local musicians play classical instruments for the crowd. It was in 1897 that the construction of the new palace started as the old one had accidentally caught fire. Built at a cost of INR 41.50 lakh in 1912, the palace was constructed by the architect of the royal residence of the Wodeyar dynasty, Henry Irwin.

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