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Mysore is the most popular and the second largest city in Karnataka state. Often referred as the City of Palaces, the royal city still retains its old world charm with its heritage buildings, traditions, temples - and of course palaces, foremost among them Mysore Palace, former abode of the former royal family. There are also many lesser known but beautiful royal buildings spread across the city. Here are five of the best:
Lalitha Mahal Palace
Located close to Chamundi Hill Road, the second largest palace in Mysore (top) has corridors and halls with lovely paintings of Mysore rulers and historical events of the Mysore kingdom. The restaurant block is also alluring, with a spectacular curved roof and glass dome at the center. One of Mysore's top tourist desttinations, it's also now a five-star hotel maintained by the India Tourist Development Corporation.
Located in Nazarbad Mohalla, this was built in 1902 on an elevated area of 38 acres for Krishnajammanni, a second princess of Mysore. Its Indo-Sarcenic Renaissance style of architecture comprises stone cleave balconies, cusped arches, carved stone columns, and sunshades, and is now home to the Postal Training Institute of the Department of Posts.
Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion
A stunning palace on a high ridge on the campus of the University of Mysore, it was built in 1905 for Maharaja Chamaraja Wodeyar, and originally set in vast estate of 800 acres. The palace has an imposing structure and an equally impressive architecture, with large and intricately carved pillars. The highlight is the kalyana mandapa, a square hall with a 40-foot-high glass dome. It currently a general museum as well as two others devoted to archaeology and folklore.
A magnificent palaces on the Mysore- Krishnaraja Sagar road, close to the Mysore Railway Station, it was built in 1911 for Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV's third daughter Cheluvajammanni. This mansion is spread over a huge area and is surrounded by gardens like all other palaces in Mysore. But it can be seen from the outside only, as it now houses the Central Food Technological Research Institute.
Christopher J. Fynn
Built in 1861 by for Krishnaraja Wodeyar III as an alternate retreat for the royal family, its main attraction is the hall with wooden doors, with marvelous carvings which depict Dashavatara, the ten incarnations of the Lord Vishnu. There are also breathtaking wall carvings displaying the history and lineage of the Mysore royal family along with murals on the Mysore Dussera. This is also one of the popular attractions not to miss in when touring Mysore.