The rise of Maratha military power under Shivaji and his heirs in the
immediate north of what is today considered South India had a profound influence on
the political situation of South India, with Maratha control quickly extending as far
east as Ganjam and as far south asThanjavur. Following the death of
Aurangzeb, Mughal power withered, and South Indian rulers gained autonomy from
Delhi. The Wodeyarkingdom of Mysore, which was originally in tribute to
Vijayanagara and gained in strength over the next few decades, subsequently
emerging as the dominant power in the southern part of South India. The Asaf
Jahis of Hyderabad controlled the territory north and east of Mysore, while the
Marathas controlled portions of what is today Karnataka. By the close of the
"medieval" period, most of South India was either ruled directly from, or under tribute
to Nayak dynasty or Wodeyars.
The original palace in Mysore was of wooden construction and was burnt
down by a disastrous fire in February 1897, said to have started at the closing
function of the marriage of Princess Jayalakshmammanniyavaru . The
Maharani, then Regent, decided to build a new palace on the model and on the
foundations of the old one. This should reflect the grandeur of the old Mysore Palace.
Henry Irwin, who had at that point in time recently retired as Consulting
Architect of the Government of Madras received the contract and his plans were
approved. The speed with which he drew them up can be appreciated by the fact that
construction was inaugurated in October 1897 by Her Highness, the Maharani - only
eight months after the fire .
The journal Indian Engineering in its issue of October, 1898 speaks of the
Government's directive regarding reconstruction of the palace: "...in the
reconstruction, stone, brick and iron should be the chief materials used, and that the
use of wood and other combustible materials should be avoided wherever possible".
The estimated expenditure at the planning stage was Rs. 25 lakhs (Rs. 2 500 000).
The report goes on to record: "Mr. Irwin, of Madras, was given the work of preparing a
suitable design, which, it should be said in fairness to him, he did most creditably. The
design was adopted, Mr. Irwin paid a fee of Rs. 12 000 and the work was put in hand
in August 1897. But in an evil hour the Durbar determined that the work should be
carried on departmentally...". A mistake was made, comments the editorial, in ordering
manufacture of the bricks locally instead of getting them from Madras, as there was
nothing wrong with bricks used for the new High Court building at Madras [also a
Henry Irwin building]. As it turned out, the experiment proved a failure - according to
the journal - both regards the quality of the bricks produced and the expenditure
The Palace of Mysore or the Amba Vilas Palace is a palace situated
in the city of Mysore in southern India. It is the official residence of
the Wodeyars - the erstwhile royal family of Mysore, and also houses
two durbar halls (ceremonial meeting hall of the royal court).
Mysore is commonly described as the City of Palaces, however, the term
"Mysore Palace" specifically refers to one within the old fort. The Wodeyar kings
first built a palace in Mysore in the 14th century, it was demolished and
constructed multiple times. The current palace construction was commissioned
in 1897, and it was completed in 1912 and expanded later around 1940.
Mysore palace is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in
India after Taj Mahal with more than 2.7 million visitors.Although tourists are
allowed to visit the palace, they are not allowed to take photographs inside the
palace. Price of admission for foreign tourists is 200 INR., and for Indians 40
INR. All visitors must remove their footwear to enter the palace.
The regent of Mysore, Maharani Vani Vilas Sannidhna, commissioned a British
architect, Henry Irwin, to build yet another palace in its place. The construction
was completed in year 1912. But slowly the beautification of the fort was also
taken up and the inhabitants of the fort were slowly shifted out to newer
Extension built outside. The present Public Durbar Hall wing was also added
much later around 1940.
Construction of this palce was was necessitated in 1887 whaen the
old, small wooden-built palace was burnt by accidental fire. while constructing it
, the Wodeyar kings of Mysore knigdom reffered to the architectural plans of
different palaces in the world and finally got created this plan, by assembling good
features of all references.Hence it combines the best features of both Indian and
certain western building designs.
MYSORE KINGS -HISTORY
Kings who ruled Mysore state belonged to WODEYAR dynasty. This
kingdom was started in 15th century .Originally they were subordinates
to Vijayanagarrulers.But, with the destruction of that kingdom, in southern
Karnataka,Mysore royal state flourished as strong independent state.
The rulers of Mysore were pro-people. They took many steps-like, establishing
a people representative council, implemented reservations for down-trodden
communities, etc. They patronized arts, music, literature, and sports like boxing.
In the present palace,lived and ruled Famous Krishnaraja wodeyar-the
fourth, and Jayachamaraja wodeyar. When India became independent in
1947, the state of Mysore got merged in it in January 1948.Then, the rulership
The architectural style of the palace is commonly described as Indo-
Saracenic, and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of
architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a
145 ft five-storied tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden.
The three storied stone building of fine gray granite with deep pink marble
domes was designed by Henry Irwin. The facade has seven expansive arches
and two smaller ones flanking the central arch, which is supported by tall pillars.
Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture
of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck, and
abundance with her elephants.
South Indian culture
South Indian culture refers to the culture of the South Indian states
of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. South Indian culture though
with its visible differences forms an important part of the Indian culture. The South
Indian Culture is essentially the celebration of the eternal universe through the
celebration of the beauty of the body and motherhood.
Rice is the staple diet, with fish being an integral component of coastal
South Indian meals. Coconut is an important ingredient in Kerala and costal part of
Karnataka of South India, whereas the cuisine in Andhra Pradesh is characterized by
the delicious pickles, spicy aromatic curries and the generous use of chili
powder. Dosa, Idli, Uttapam etc. are popular throughout the region. Coastal areas
like the state of Kerala and the city of Mangalore are known for their seafood. South
Indian coffee is generally quite robust, and coffee is a preferred drink throughout
the Malabar region Tamilnadu is well known for its idli,dosai,pongal,sambhar,vadai
which is the common breakfast in Tamil families.
The sophisticated Indian Classical Music of South India is known
as Carnatic music (after Carnatic, the name by which south India was known in the
earlier colonial days. Sarang Dev coined south Indian classical music
as karnatic Music). It includes sensuous rhythmic and structured music by
composers such as Purandara Dasa, Tyagaraja, Dikshathar, Shyama
Sasthri, and Swati Tirunal.
The South Indian culture is celebrated in the elaborate dance forms of
South India -
Koodiyattam, Bharatanatyam, Oyilattam, Karakattam, Kuchipudi,Kathakali, Theyyam
, Bhuta Kola, Ottamthullal, Oppana, Kerala
Natanam, Mohiniaattam and Yakshagana. The Bharatanatyam is the celebration of
the eternal universe through the celebration of the beauty of the body.This is done
through its tenets of having a perfectly erect posture, a straight and pout curving
stomach, a well rounded and proportionate body mass- to the body structure, very
long hair and curvaceous hips.
Architecture and paintings
The ruins at Hampi attest to the richness of Vijayanagara architecture.
Raja Ravi Varma's paintings combined European techniques with a
distinctly south Indian sensibility.
South India boasts of having two enchanting styles of rock
architecture, the pure dravida style of Tamil Naduand the Vesara style (also
called Karnata dravida style) present in Karnataka. The
of Mahabalipuram, Tanjore, Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal, Aihole, Belur, Halebidu, Lak
kundi,Shravanabelagola, Madurai and the mural paintings of Travancore and
Lepakshi temples, also stand as a testament to South Indian culture. The paintings
of Raja Ravi Varma are considered classic renditions of many a scenes of South
Indian life and mythology. There are several examples of Kerala Mural paintings in
theMattancherry Palace and the Shiva kshetram at Ettamanoor. South India is
home, as of April 2006, to 5 of the 26 World Heritage listed sites in India.
Sculptures and figurine
Sculptures at Hampi embodying human expression, Karnataka.
Sculptures became one of the finest medium of South Indian expression
after the human form of dance. In this medium it was possible to etch the three
dimensional form in time. The traditional South Indian sculptor starts his sculpture of
the divinities from the navel which is always represented unclothed by the sari. A
koshta or grid of the sculpture would show the navel to be right at the centre of the
sculpture, representing the source of the union of the finite body and the
infinite universe. Sculptures adorn many of the temples around the complexes and
also inside them. They are also depiction of dance steps of various stylizations and
have served to preserve danceforms and revive it.
Literature and philosophy
Tiruvalluvar, the author of the Tirukkural.
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