Monday, November 07, 2011

Mysore Palace, Mysore

The 20km ride from Srirangapatnam to Mysore Palace was covered in quick time. But before we fill our hearts with images of the grandeur of Mysore Palace, it was time to fill our stomachs. After driving round the blocks we stopped at Hotel RRR, totally oblivious of its reputation. To our dismay we found that it was left to the customers to “grab” a table in the overflowing restaurant. And that meant breathing down the necks of customers who appear to be at the fag end of their lunch. Either we were very hungry or the food was really good. Nobody really complained about the quality of food.

Wasting no time after lunch, we headed towards Mysore palace. Arriving at the wrong gate (one among six gates), the Tonga-wallas tried to cheat us by saying there was no parking available at the Main gate and hence it was advisable to park our car there and ride with them. But it was hard to fall for such a cheap trick – it’s impossible to believe that a destination as famous as this, which is visited by thousands of people, doesn’t have a parking lot! And sure enough we were right. There was a parking lot near the Main gate that can accommodate at least a hundred cars. After paying a nominal Rs.20 for entry and depositing our camera (not allowed inside the Palace) and footwear (both free service), we engaged an ASI (Archeological Survey of India) guide for Rs 350 (for five people).

Do you really need a guide, you might ask? And the answer is, if you really need to enrich your experience, then yes, you do need to engage a guide. Without the services of a guide you might easily walk past the umpteen 3D wall paintings, some of which took 5 years to complete, without as much as a second glance. You would also probably not think about the various tiles imported from different parts of the world. Or the expensive gifts showered on Mysore royalty from different Kings and Generals both in India and from abroad. Or the richness and extravagance of the Mysore Maharajas. Or the more than 100 year old photograph which you might mistake for a painting.

Once we were done with the guided tour of the palace, there was only one thing to do – wait for the lights to come on. On weekends and special holidays the Palace is illuminated with more than 1 lakh bulbs. It is only appropriate that this palace gets this illumination since it was under these rulers that the first Hydel Power Project was launched in Asia from Shivanasamudram.

The semi and fully lit Mysore Palace is a sight that will remain etched in your heart for years to come.

Getting-there: Bang in the middle of Mysore city.

Must-Do: Engage a guide, visit on a weekend to watch the Palace fully lit up, utilize the photo-op.
Must-Don't: Vandalism.

My Rating: 8/10


  1. super photos..and apt narration makes this tour diary for a repeated readership. Yes, as you said, a guide in any place is a good bet, as he would be letting us know, the minutes things which we will ignore when we walk past any great monument...

    Hatts off for your meticulous information on each and every bit