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Visiting a Marvel: The Palace of Mysore

Saturday, May 28, and Sunday, May 29

At the advice of the Sisters of Notre Dame at the Sophia School, Professor Hotchkiss, Tom and I traveled to a nearby city called Mysore this weekend.

The Sisters were kind enough to organize a car and driver for us for the overnight trip making the journey very relaxing and enjoyable. On the way to Mysore we stopped in a city named Srirangapatna, known for its great religious, cultural and historic importance. 

Tom McKrill and Donovan Maben in front of the Palace of Mysore.
Tom McKrill and Donovan Maben in front of the Palace of Mysore.

Here we visited the summer palace of Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore during the late 1700s. Tipu Sultan and his army have great significance in India because of their continued resistance against the British and the combined forces of the British East India Company until their final demise in 1799.

The palace was very unique as sticks of bamboo acted as curtains and a sort-of air conditioning system, blocking the heat from the sunlight yet letting in the winds and cool air to keep the inside cool through the extremely hot summer months. The palace was quite bare and not maintained as the British took most items of value after killing Tipu Sultan. Locals invaded and now reside in the surrounding areas that were once used by Tipu Sultan and his army. 

After continuously trying to find a hotel with available rooms, we finally settled in at Sandesh the Prince. After a refreshing swim in the hotel’s pool, the three of us were lucky enough to see the Palace of Mysore lit with over 90,000 bulbs, a site that was simply breathtaking in the evening.

The following morning we were able to tour the palace but were not allowed to take any pictures inside. Thanks to Professor Hotchkiss’s quick thinking, we hired a licensed tour guide who thoroughly explained each and every physical and historical detail the palace has to offer. Currently, a maharaja, an Indian prince, still resides there with his two sons and over 200 servants. Needless to say, he has everything taken care of for him and can truly be described as royalty.

The Palace of Mysore lit up at night.
The Palace of Mysore lit up at night.

One can clearly tell that the palace’s architecture was heavily influenced by British style. Many items were decorated with gold and silver as well as ivory. Put simply, the Palace of Mysore was one of the most beautiful places any of us have ever visited. No wonder many tourists from all over the world visit it every year. For anyone visiting India, the palace is definitely a must see as its beauty can only be appreciated by visiting the marvel. 

Once we finished touring the palace we headed back to Bangalore, a journey that lasted just under four hours. Needless to say, after that long car drive we were happy to finally reach the warm and quiet confines of the Sophia School. 

- Donovan Maben