Thursday April 19, 2018

Amba Vilas: The Majestic Palace of Mysore

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By Nithin Sridhar

India is well known for its heritage sites, be it temples, palaces or forts. Among the numerous palaces and forts that are present, one palace that stands tall in its majesty and unique in its beauty is the Amba Vilas Palace, which is often referred as the ‘Mysore Palace’.

DSC05406-001Mysore is a ‘city of palaces’ and apart from Amba Vilas Palace, it also has numerous other palaces like Jaganmohana Palace, LalitMahal Palace, CheluvAmba Mansion etc.

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The Mysore Palace is built in Indo-saracenic style of architecture and is famous for its beautiful domes and interior halls. The Palace structure harmoniously fuses elements from Hindu, Mughal, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architectures. The Palace is also famous for holding Mysore Dasara processions every year.

DSC05428The Palace includes a three-storied stone structure with deep pink marble domes and a centrally placed five storied 145 feet tall tower with a golden dome. Above the central arch one can see a beautiful sculpture of Gajalakshmi – the Goddess of wealth along with elephants.

DSC05432The Palace faces the east towards the Chamundi Hill, on which there is a temple of Goddess Chamundeshwari, who is the family deity of the Maharajas of Mysore. The palace is surrounded by a large garden and has numerous entrance gates. The main gate is the eastern gate and it directly faces the palace. Visitors are allowed through the Southern Gate.

DSC05436-001The interiors of the Palace are equally intricate and mesmerizing. It has beautifully stained glass ceilings, carved doors, walls decorated with paintings depicting scenes from Hindu scriptures, beautiful chandeliers and colorful pillars. The Palace includes various rooms like Ambavilasa, GombeThotti (Doll’s pavilion), KalyanaMantapa (marriage hall), Durbar Hall, portrait gallery, and Ayudha-Shala (armory).

DSC05444-002The architecture and the interiors of the Palace is a reminder of the glory and majesty of the Royal past of Mysore and the highly developed artistic skills of artists and artisans supported by the Royal family.

IMG_20151002_143212The Mysore Royal Family traces its roots to the Yadavas of Dwarka in Gujarat. The Wadiyars have ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947 except for a few gaps like when they were reduced to nominal heads by Tipu Sultan. The Wadiyars are well known for their patronage of Indian culture, traditions, arts and music.

IMG_20151002_142252The original Mysore palace was built in the 14th century by King Yaduraya, the founder of Wadiyar dynasty. But, it has been demolished and reconstructed multiple times. In 1638, when the palace was stuck by the lightening, it was built by the then KingKantiravaNarasa Raja Wodeyar. The palace was again demolished by Tipu Sultan in 1793 but it was later rebuilt in 1803 by Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, who assumed the throne of Mysore after the death of Tipu Sultan.

IMG_20151002_190101This Palace was reduced to ashes in 1897 when it caught fire during a royal wedding ceremony. The current Palace, the fourth in number, was commissioned then in 1897 and completed in 1912. The palace was designed and built by the British architect Lord Henry Irwin.

© Nithin Sridhar @NewsGram
© Nithin Sridhar @NewsGram

There are 12 beautiful Hindu temples in the Palace complex. Prominent among them are: Sri Gayatri Temple and Sri Trineshwara temple near the Main (East) Entrance, Shwetha Varahaswamy Temple near the South Entrance, Sri Bhuvaneshwari Temple at the North Entrance, and Lakshmiramana Temple behind the Palace, towards the West.

IMG_20151002_190543One of the main attractions of the Mysore Palace is the light illumination of the entire palace after sunset during specific days. The view of the illuminated palace is fascinating and attracts large number of visitors. Another attraction in the palace is the Sound and Light shows that are organized during specific days.

 

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    India and architecture go so well. We’ve been having amazing architectural sites with historical importance

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In Pakistan, Hindus don’t get even a ‘Crematorium:’ Will you believe that?

There are a lot of Hindu family residing all over Pakistan and still, there are very few cremation grounds where their last rites can be performed in that area

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Not having a crematorium in Peshawar is just one of the woes that the minority communities are facing since long. Wikimedia Commons
Not having a crematorium in Peshawar is just one of the woes that the minority communities are facing since long. Wikimedia Commons
  • Due to the lack of cremation grounds, some Hindus and Sikhs travel hundreds of kilometres just to perform the last rites as per their religious practices
  • As per reports, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence
  • Unfortunately, Hindu’s and Sikh’s have to face the same problem in the neighbouring state as well, that is Afghanistan

Death is said to be a great leveller. But the tragedy struck to some section of society in Muslim-dominated Pakistan is altogether different.

Due to the lack of cremation grounds, some Hindus and Sikhs travel hundreds of kilometres just to perform the last rites as per their religious practices. People who can’t even afford to travel, they have no option but to bury the mortal remains of their near and dear ones.

As per reports, there were about 12 cremation grounds before Independence. But with the passage of time, they vanished in the thin air of the terror-torn nation. Even in areas lying in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where about 35,000 Hindus and Sikhs live, the cremation grounds are also rare.

Also Read: Today’s Social Issues and their Answers to Children

The law of the land is non-existent for the minorities communities like Hindu’s and Sikh’s. Without taking no-objection certificate, people from these communities can’t move an inch even. The grief-stricken families have to wait for the clearances, as they are left with no other option.

People are forced to travel long distances to cremate their relatives from the areas like Swat Bannu, Kohat, Malakand etc. The cost to travel such long distances ranges from Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000 and on the top of it, the fear of robbery during these travels cannot be ruled out. Not all the Hindu families can afford to perform the last rites in the manner they want.

Unfortunately, Hindu’s and Sikh’s have to face the same problem in the neighbouring state as well, that is Afghanistan. The minority communities are compelled to bury the dead because cremation grounds are vanishing fast in Pakistan.

Although, Pakistan boats that the minority communities enjoy equal rights in their country, the ground reality seems to be completely different. Wikimedia Commons
Although, Pakistan boats that the minority communities enjoy equal rights in their country, the ground reality seems to be completely different. Wikimedia Commons

Although, the administration of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has allowed the minorities communities to perform cremation near temples. But most of the temples are built on the agricultural lands and commercial areas, which have already been encroached upon by land mafia.

There are a lot of Hindu family residing in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and still, there are very few cremation grounds where their last rites can be performed in that area.

Although, Pakistan boats that the minority communities enjoy equal rights in their country, the ground reality seems to be completely different. Not having a crematorium in Peshawar is just one of the woes that the minority communities are facing since long.


After much of the protests, finally, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has started building the facility from the chief minister’s fund, as per some government sources.

There are almost 50,000 Sikhs and Hindus in Peshawar. And unfortunately, due to lack of proper facilities, people over there are also facing the same situation what others are facing in areas like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Also Read: 7 new-age social issues in India that need a check

To expect some kind of generosity from the war-torn state like Pakistan is out of the way. Instead of spending extravagantly on the military expansion, Pakistan should come forward and full-fill the basic amenities for the citizen of its country. It’s the people who make the country and not the other way round.