Mysore Day Trip: Destination 5
26.01.2008 - 26.01.2008
Amba Vilas Palace is also known as Mysore Palace and was our last planned stop of the day. It is large and ornate and has design elements from all over the world.
Once we were able to find a spot to park, our driver got out and walked us to the temple where we met a friend of his who is also a state licensed tour guide (the only ones you are supposed to trust). We were told that we would have to leave our cameras outside and I started to panic. I had brought my very new, expensive digital SLR camera that I promised Kyle I would protect like it was my own child, and they expected me to leave it? After talking with Ravi (our taxi driver) and looking at the camera drop-off, he convinced us to let him hold the cameras since he was working for us and our hotel. He has to be trustful where as the guys in the camera room do not have to be. So I left my camera in Ravi's capable hands and went off to tour the palace with the guide.
We had to take our shoes off because there was a temple in the palace. I was still wary of giving my only pair of tennis shoes to people, but since we had a guide I felt a little better.
There is so much history and beauty in the palace that I can't describe it all. It was rebuilt in the early 1900s when a fire destroyed the old palace. There is a large public court which has paintings all around the perimeter, but it pales in comparison to the inner court. The doors are all carved out of wood with intricate designs. There are even some silver doors that lead to the temples. There is a large seating gallery that is open to the outside where the maharaja used to sit and hold court for the public a few hours each day.
In this picture, the right side of the palace is the front, where the seating gallery is. We entered into the palace on the left side of the picture.
The maharajas were the rulers of the states up until India became a republic. Is it still the home of the descendants of the maharajas today. At night on weekends, holidays and festivals the palace is lit up with 60,000 bulbs. It was going to be lit up that night but we would have to wait a few hours to see it, and we were getting tired. So we decided to do a little shopping instead.
Ravi took us to one of the cottage industries shops in Mysore and I bought a pashmina in bright pinks, oranges and yellows and an irridescent blue silk scarf. The cottage industries shops are state-run and very reputable to purchase from.
After that we came home and crashed into bed. I got a little sunburned on my shoulders where I didn't get the sunscreen. All-in-all not a bad trip.