While coming back from Kannur to Bengaluru, we planned stop at Mysore Palace. We didn't stop for lunch on the way and thought of taking a break at Mysore and have some light lunch. It's a historical palace in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, southern India. It is the official residence and seat of the Wodeyars — the Maharajas of Mysore, the former royal family of Mysore, who ruled the princely state of Mysore from 1399 to 1950. Asked our taxi driver to drop us at the entry gate of Mysore Palace and park for next 1 hr.
There is a dedicated parking area adjoining Mysore Palace campus. There is another huge parking across the road and lot of buses were parked in that parking.
Ticket counter was empty, so it hardly took 5 minutes for us to enter into the campus. There was no one at the main entry to check out tickets. Entry ticket for one person costs 40 Rs and there is no ticket for camera. I specifically asked for camera fees and surprised to know that no fees is charged for cameras.
After entering into the Mysore Palace campus, we thought of taking a round of this huge compound. The palace houses two durbar halls and incorporates a mesmerizing and gigantic array of courtyards, gardens, and buildings. The palace is in the central region of inner Mysore, facing the Chamundi Hills on the other side. There is lot of open space around the main palace. There is a temple around one of the corners of Mysore Palace.
The Palace of Mysore is also known as the Amba Vilas Palace. After walking outside the palace, we reached the entry which takes you inside the palace. We needed to take out shoes. As we reached the counter to deposit our shoes, the guy standing there refused to give us a token and assured that we need not to worry :). Anyways, we moved on and stood in the queue.
As we reached the security check, we were notified that cameras are not allowed inside and you need to keep it somewhere. Now I got to know that why there was no fees for camera but the person at ticket counter didn't bother to inform us about that. After spending 5 minutes in discussions with security folks, we got to know that a counter is there outside the compound where camera can be deposited. This was again a task of 15 minutes to take shoes back, deposit camera and then come back.
Now we decided to directly go back to our cab and continue with our next journey towards Bengaluru. As we headed back to the shoe counter, the man at the counter asked for 'tip' and then gave us our shoes. Isn't it weird?
Mysore is also popularly the City of Palaces. There are about 7 palaces inclusive of Mysore Palace. Now we didn't have to explore more in Mysore City. Probably we shall go there again sometime. I have also heard a lot of the Dussehra celebrations in Mysore, so let's see if I plan for it in future.
To know more about the history and architecture of Mysore Palace, check out - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysore_Palace
It seems that Mysore Palace is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in India, after the Taj Mahal, and has more than 3,000,000 visitors annually. But not sure if I should compare it with Taj or not.