Mysore Palace—the former home of the Wodeyar family, who ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 until India’s independence—is an architectural marvel with equally stunning interiors. Though a fire destroyed most of the palace at the end of the 18th century, it was restored in 1912, and today is among the most visited attractions in India.
Mysore's star attraction, and a popular stop on most city tours, Mysore Palace, aka Amba Vilas, is a gargantuan complex featuring seven palaces, all interconnected by a series of secret tunnels. The Indo-Saracenic architecture that dominates here is eye candy enough, but it's the interiors that really stand out, with their colorful stained-glass panels, intricately carved wooden doors, and ample mirror and mosaic work, not to mention a large collection of paintings and royal artillery.
Arrive with a guide as part of a Mysore day tour or as part of longer multi-day excursion from Bangalore.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Mysore Palace is a must-visit for architecture lovers and history buffs.
- The palace grounds are free to visit, but entering the interior requires a ticket.
- Sound-and-light shows are held every night, except Sundays.
- Note that photography is prohibited inside the palace.
- Shoes must be taken off before entering, though lockers are available at the gate.
How to Get There
The entrance to Mysore Palace is located at the southern end of the complex on Purandara Dasa Road. It's about a 10-minute drive or 20-minute walk from the city's main railway station, Mysuru Junction, making it easy to visit as a day trip via train from Bangalore (or Bengaluru) (the journey can take as little as two hours, via the Shatabdi Express). Many tour operators also offer day trips from Bangalore to Mysore specifically to visit the complex.
When to Get There
While Mysore is great throughout the year, with its warm winters and mild summers, travelers wishing to explore the exteriors of the palace should be prepared to get wet should they visit during the monsoon season, which runs from June through August or September. The best time to see the palace is during the annual Mysore Dasara festival in September or October.
One of the most important festivals in Mysore, the annual Mysore Dasara is a 10-day affair featuring all sorts of celebrations, including special royal assemblies, processions of elephants and idols, and a huge fair full of food and handicraft booths. Mysore Palace is also illuminated on evenings throughout the festival, thanks to nearly 100,000 light bulbs.