Jaganmohan Palace Mysore
The city of Mysore has a total of seven palaces. The most iconic palace among them is the Mysore Palace. However, not lagging too far behind in terms of popularity and visit by tourists is the Jaganmohan Palace which also lies in the heart of the city and was built by the erstwhile rulers of Mysore, the Wodeyar family.
History of Jaganmohan PalaceThe Jaganmohan Palace was built by HH Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III in the year 1861. It was used as an alternate accommodation for the royal Wodeyar family in place of the Mysore Palace since it was being reconstructed, as the previous one had caught fire and was reduced to ashes. This was used as an accommodation for the royal family until the Amba Vilas Palace was completely reconstructed by the year 1912.
The coronation of HH Rajarshi Krishnaraja Wodeyar was done in the pavilion inside the palace in the year 1902. The ceremony was also attended by Lord Curzon, then viceroy and Governor - General of India. The king also used the durbar hall for his public meetings inside the palace. The palace was later converted into an art gallery in the year 1955 and was named after the king Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar as the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery. The early convocations of the Mysore University were also held here as well as the first session of the Mysore Legislative Council which was held in July 1907.
The Establishment - Jaganmohan PalaceThe construction of the palace has been done in the traditional Hindu style. An external facade with a hall was added to the posterior of the palace in the year 1900. There are miniature temples crafted on the facades. The interior walls are painted with scenes of the Mysore Dusshera and Jumbo Safari which stretches across the three walls. This is the earliest possible trace of the Mysore Dusshera and it has been painted with the help of vegetable dyes. A family tree depicting the royal lineage of the Wodeyar family is also painted on the walls. A special part of the architecture of the palace is the wooden carvings of the Dashavatara i.e. the ten reincarnations of Lord Vishnu which are present in the parliament.
Art GalleryThe Jaganmohan Palace was converted into an art gallery named after HH rajarshi Jayachanarajendra Wodeyar in the year 1955. The gallery also includes the largest collection of artifacts in the southern part of India. Prominent among the collections of paintings and other collections are the works of the iconic painter Raja Ravi Verma, which include depiction of scenes from epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The number of paintings in the gallery crosses 2000 and includes all styles of paintings from the Mughal era to even Shantiniketan. 16 paintings of Raja Ravi Verma were donated to the gallery by HH Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar.
A highlight of the gallery is a painting known as the 'lady with the lamp' which was painted by the famous artist Haldenkar. It is the only painting in one seperate dark room in the palace. This has been done in order to give the painting an effect that the light of the lamp is illuminating the face of the lady. There is also a collection of paintings made by a British officer named colonel Scot, which is a pictorial depiction of the war between the great Tipu Sultan and the British. This is said to be the only visual evidence of the war. Besides these, the gallery also includes paintings of great artists like Rabindranath Tagore, Nikolai Reorich and Svetoslav Reorich.
Artifacts in Jaganmohan PalaceApart from paintings, the gallery also includes weapons of war, coins, brassware, old musical instruments as well as currencies of the olden times. A french clock, which has the mechanism of a parade by miniature soldiers marks the passage of every hour, playing of the bugle marks the minute and beating of the drums mark seconds, is one of the unique and popular aspect of the gallery. Paintings made on grains of rice, which can only be viewed through a magnifier are also a part of the gallery.
Developments in Jaganmohan PalaceDue to lack of space to accommodate more paintings, another hall was added to the gallery in the year 2003 and the Regional Conservation Laboratory (RCL) was given the responsibility to restore some of the iconic paintings of Raja Ravi Verma as they were beginning to get damaged since they were more than 100 years old. Some of the paintings restored by them were Syendri, which had a hole in the canvas, The Victory of Megnath and Malabar Lady. The murals on the walls were also begining to be destroyed due to water seepage from the walls. The RCL has been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the same.
The Jaganmohan Palace also has an auditorium which is mainly used for cultural performances, dance and music festivals, mainly during the period of Dusshera. You can pay a visit to the palace any day of the week between 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM. The entry fees here for adults is INR 20 and for children upto the age of 10 is INR 10.
Chamrajpura, Mysore, Karnataka 570004
Phone: 0821 242 3693
So history and art lovers, what are you waiting for? This palace would provide you more fodder then anyone else! So now you know where your destination is!