Palaces signify the life of royal families and the reign of rulers. Karnataka boasts of several palaces that take visitors on a journey back in time in a regal fashion.

Famous Palaces of Karnataka

Palace of Mysore

Palace of Mysore, in Mysore city, was the seat of Wodeyars and the official residence of the Maharajas of Mysore. They ruled this ‘princely’ state between 1350 and 1950. Mysore city is popularly called “City of Palaces.” The city boasts of 7 palaces.

Palace of Mysore is the one within the Old Fort. It was constructed by Maharaja Rajarshi His Highness Krishnarajendra Wadiyar IV. Today, the palace is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India. It comes second after Taj Mahal in popularity. The palace witnesses over 6 million visitors every year.

Palace of Mysore features Indo-Saracenic architecture. It has several distinct rooms. There are two ‘durbar’ halls, plus a slew of huge courtyards, buildings, and gardens. The palace stands in the center of inner Mysore. Chamundi Hills are just opposite the palace.

Every autumn, the Palace of Mysore becomes the hub of festivities. The Mysore Dasara festival is celebrated with aplomb here. Famous artists perform on palace grounds. On the 10th day, which is Vijaya Dashami, visitors see a vibrant parade with caparisoned elephants and floats. It begins from the palace grounds.

Bangalore Palace

Bangalore Palace stands behind the popular palace ground of Bengaluru city. It is about 8 km from the heart of the city. The palace sees swarms of tourists from across India and abroad. The palace was built during 1862. Its construction was initiated by Rev. Garrett. He was the first principal at Central High School.

The palace, along with the grounds, takes up 454 acres of land. Bangalore Palace features Tudor architectural style. The royal family of Mysore owns this palace today. Interior walls are decorated with old paintings that date back to the mid 19th century. Visitors can also find Dutch and Greek paintings here.

Tipu Sultan Palace

Tipu Sultan Palace is near the popular KR market in Bengaluru city. This palace is famous as a summer retreat. It was built by Kempe Gowda, the founder of Bangalore city, in 1790. The whole palace is made of teakwood. A Ganpati Temple inside the palace catches the eye. The artistically carved arches of the palace are in Islamic style. The palace features Mogul architecture.

Tipu Sultan is called the “Tiger of Karnataka.’ He sacrificed his life in a freedom battle against the British. Tipu Sultan is regarded as the first Freedom Fighter of India.  His palace depicts the rich history of this southern state of India.

Lotus Mahal

Lotus Mahal is in Hampi. This Mahal exudes architectural brilliance of the Vijayanagara Empire. It fuses elements from the Islamic architecture beautifully. Visitors come here to see the outstanding amalgamation of Hindu-Islamic architecture.

The chief attraction of Lotus Mahal is the Zenana Enclosure, which is a separate place reserved for royal women. The base of Lotus Mahal starts with conventional architecture of Vijaynagara style. The Mahal features pyramidal towers that depict Islamic architecture in an extra ordinary style.

Walls of Lotus Mahal feature beautiful carvings of birds and other artistic patterns. On some arches visitors can find carvings of Makara Torana. This is a famous sea creature mentioned in Hindu Mythology. It is also known as the vehicle of Goddess Ganga.

This two-storied beautiful pavilion featuring huge pillars and incredible stucco mouldings attracts a large number of visitors. An interesting thing to note here are traces of pipelines between sides and arches of roof. The lines are believed to be used to regulate temperature of the Palace and keep it cool.

Karnataka has more such fascinating structures or palaces. They draw history lovers and admirers of ancient art. Even a common traveler can simply spend leisure time, admiring the fantastic carvings and paintings, and basking in the glory of Karnataka’s rich history.


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