The Palace of Mysore (also known as 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, which ruled the princely state of Mysore for over seven centuries. The palace also houses two durbar halls (ceremonial meeting hall of the royal court). 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. All visitors must remove their footwear to enter the palace.
Every autumn, the Palace is the venue for the famous Mysore Dasara festival, during which leading artists perform on a stage set up in the palace grounds. On the tenth day of the festival Vijaya Dashami, a parade with caparisoned elephants and other floats originate from the palace grounds. The Dasara festival is celebrated in the months of September and October of each year.
The festival celebrates and commemorates the victory of the great Goddess Durga, after she slew the demon, Mahishasura, and thereby, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil according to Hindu mythology. Some call her Chamundeshwari.
To celebrate this festival the Palace of Mysore is illuminated with more than 96,000 lights during that two-month period.