Mysore Palace, Karnataka, India

Among the grandest of India’s royal buildings, this fantastic palace was the former seat of the Wodeyar maharajas. The old palace was gutted by fire in 1897; the one you see now was completed in 1912 by English architect Henry Irwin at a cost of ₹4.5 million. The interior of this Indo-Saracenic marvel – a kaleidoscope of stained glass, mirrors and gaudy colours – is lavish and undoubtedly over the top. The decor is further embellished by carved wooden doors, mosaic floors and a series of paintings depicting life in Mysore during the Edwardian Raj era.

The way into the palace takes you past a fine collection of sculptures and artefacts. Don’t forget to check out the armoury, with an intriguing collection of 700-plus weapons.

Every Sunday and national holiday, from 7pm to 7.45, the palace is illuminated by nearly 100,000 light bulbs that accent its majestic profile against the night.

Entrance to the palace grounds is at the South Gate on Purandara Dasa Rd. While you are allowed to snap the palace’s exterior, photography within is strictly prohibited. Cameras must be deposited in lockers at the palace entrance.

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