A magnificent palace, adding to the royal grandeur of this city of palaces, Mysore is the Jaganmohan Palace. An apt example of architectural brilliance, this palace holds immense historical prominence as well. Situated at the centre of the city, Jaganmohan Palace used to be a retreat home for the Royal family. Over 150 years old, it was constructed in 1861, during the reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III.
History of Jaganmohan Palace
One of the oldest buildings of Mysore, this palace was the palace where the Royal family had resided after the old Mysore palace was burnt during the wedding of Chamaraja Wodeyar’s eldest daughter. Old Mysore palace was built with wood in the year of 1861. Unfortunately a fire broke and burnt the entire structure.
The then ruler of Mysore Krishnaraja Wodeyar III built an alternate residence for the royal family in 1861. However, owing to the fire in the Old Mysore Palace in 1897, royal family shifted to jaganmohan Palace. Jaganmohan Palace was the home for Mysore royal family from 1897 to the year 1912. Until the construction of new Mysore palace was completed, which was in 1912, the Royals of Mysore stayed here.
This palace has witnessed many important events. During the period of royal stay at this palace, this palace was used for holding daily durbar of the king and also special Dasara durbar. Even the coronation of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV took place in this palace in the year 1902.
It was here in this place, at the pavilion, where the very first session of the Legislative Council of the Mysore, then known as the Representative council, was held which was in 1907. Few of the earlier Mysore university convocations also used to be conducted here at the palace hall. After 1923, the pavilion was also used as the venue for representative assembly for conducting varied state affairs, which itself was one of its kind; a democratic way of working in a princely state.
Even now, various cultural programs and conferences are hosted in this grand hall of the palace, especially during the time of Dussehra festival. The hall has been designed and decorated aesthetically with intricate carvings of the ten incarnations of Hindu Lord Vishnu on its two wooden doors.
Architecture of the Jaganmohan Palace
Jaganmohan palace has been built in the traditional Hindu architectural style. It is a three storied building. In 1900, this palace was extended when an additional front area with three was added to the existing palace. A hall was also added.
The most striking feature of this palace is the intricate carvings that adorn the entire structure. Visitors will be mesmerized with creative excellence at the entrance of the palace itself. A beautiful masterpiece, the main door of the palace has exquisitely carvings on its both sides. The carvings are of Dashavatara, about the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
Its entablatures display exquisite carvings of religious significances such as miniature temples and motifs related to Hindu religion. On the other hands, the breathtaking carvings on the walls of Jaganmohan Palace display royal history, lineage of the Mysore royal family along with murals on the Mysore Dusshera.
Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery
During the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, this palace with its three stories has been converted into an art gallery, named as Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, displaying a rich collection of painting by various known artists. It was done in the year of 1915, while the name Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery was given in 1955, after the last Sri Jaya Chamarajendra Wodeyar Bahadur.
One of the best galleries in the South India, it presents the opportunity to get a closer look of the paintings by many renowned artists. Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery boasts of having rare collection of Rembrandt paintings as well as works of world’s greatest artists such as Aless Caddy, Nikolai Roerich, P.P. Ruben, Titan, Jiladin Ville along with Gunoy’s miniature paintings. It also consist masterpieces of many great Indian artists. Paintings by the Raja Ravi Varma, Raja Rama Varma, S.L. Haldankar, M. Veerappa, Ishwardas, Subbukrishna and Rabindranath Tagore have been displayed at this art gallery, making it a dream place for art lovers.
This art gallery displays more than 2000 valuable paintings, each of them a masterpiece in itself. These paintings offer a glimpse into the history of Mysore and India of that period. Various style of paintings such as Mysore, Shantiniketan, Mughal period, Western, etc., are displayed at the art gallery. This art gallery also has a rich collection of exquisite artifacts are also displayed here which were an essential part of Royal life in earlier days. Various antique pieces such as weapons, coins, currencies, brassware, ceramics, French musical clock, furniture are also displayed. A wide variety of sculptures, gold leaf paintings, sandalwood carvings, ivory carvings, mementos, etc. are also displayed at the art gallery.
Jaganmohan Palace Timings and Entry Fee
With a minimum entry fee, you can explore this marvelous architecture. The Jaganmohan Palace Timings are 10 am to 05.30 pm.