I hadn’t taken kindly to a suggestion by companions in travel we visit the Maharajah’s palace in Mysore. The palace was commissioned in 1897, and its construction was completed in 1912. This palace is now one of the famous tourist attractions of India.
After a vacation in the mountain cool of Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu we’d descended to blistering heat of the plains, and completed our brief rest stopover in Bangalore following twelve hours of bone shattering road travel from the hills. We now faced another eighteen hours travel to our home in Pune, Mararashtra.
Usually, following a trip of this duration we needed a day to recover before returning to work, and it didn’t seem logical to add this side trip lasting several hours to the physical punishment our bodies endured on annual holiday travel. However, majority were in favor of the trip, so we were soon on our way to Mysore.
Our trip proved to be well worth the effort after all. We marveled at the opulence of ornately carved doors with their gold and silver inlays and statues and works of art beautiful to behold. All this was guarded by men placed in strategic places by a government now proud owner of this palace. The Maharaja who commissioned the palace was long gone.
On the walls were paintings, which graced corridor after corridor. These depicted annual festivals during which time Maharajahs rode elephants through the town of Mysore accompanied by nobles and persons of rank. Rich tapestries hung over doorways where thousands of servants used to await a clap of the Maharaja’s hand to service his every need.
The guide, droning his monotonous commentary led us to a review area where the Maharajah would sit to receive homage of assembled subjects in the square below. We marveled at cleverly constructed air ducts which acted as efficient air conditioners long before the advent of their electronic relatives of this era. Indian engineers of that early era were competent professionals and are so today.
The most spectacular sight was the throne. It was made of gold with precious stones liberally embedded in the support frame, flashing brilliance on all who paused to look. I remember the brilliance of the rubies, and the ever present guards hovering over onlookers, watching carefully lest someone be tempted to stray beyond barriers.
I don’t recall any of the names of Maharajahs who lived in this palace, but will always remember the brilliance of the surroundings, and, of course, the throne. This is indelibly imprinted in my memory with snippets of the history of this area of India, and those who contributed to the countries ancient greatness.
I hope I’ve whetted your appetite for a glimpse of this magnificent tourist attraction. When you do make your journey, be sure you finish the day with an evening visit to the Brindavan Gardens nearby.
“© Ian Grice 2010 All rights reserved”
The above image is copyrighted to Wikipedia