Jaganmohan Palace complex hosts the Sri Jayachamrajendra Art Gallery
This article briefly introduces Jaganmohan Palace complex and Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery (SJAG) to the readers. Like there is a past for every historical place, there is an interesting past for the SJAG too. Let’s explore that in short and see how over the years, the gallery has been showing a glimpse of Mysuru’s bygone era through art and culture.
What is common among Paris, London, New York, Warsaw, Brussels, Vienna, and other cities? – Art gallery. They all have world-renowned museums OR art galleries and they attract millions of art enthusiasts every year.
Mysuru is not far behind in Art -painting, dance, and music. The Kings of Mysuru have been strong supporters/ promoters of the same and SJAG, aka Jaganmohan Palace (JP) is standing proof of that.
Architectural Grandeur of Jaganmohan Place Art Gallery
Hindu and colonial styles of art and architecture adore SJAG. The façade of the gallery has intricate carvings, while the interiors have magnificent ceiling murals showcasing scenes from the great Indian epics – the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata.
Inside the Jaganmohan Place Art gallery
The art gallery contains one of the largest collections of artifacts in South India. Most of these artifacts are paintings. The prominent among them are those by Raja Ravi Varma. There is a depiction of epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. With over 2,000 exclusively handmade art pieces, it is the home to works ranging from traditional Mysuru art, and exquisite carvings, to contemporary Indian paintings of the time.
Some highlights include:
- Raja Ravi Varma Paintings: Known for his fusion of Indian traditions with European techniques, Varma’s works here offer a beautiful representation of Indian mythology in European style.
- Traditional Mysuru Artworks: Dating back centuries, these artworks predominantly revolve around themes from Indian epics, displaying vibrant colors and intricate details.
- European Artists: The gallery has a section dedicated to European artists, showcasing the grandeur of Western art from various periods.
- Artifacts: In addition to paintings, visitors can admire musical instruments, antique furniture, and sculptures. A unique display of traditional Japanese art prints adds an international flavor to the gallery.
- Lady Curzon’s Gold Embroidered Mantle: This is one of the gallery’s most prized possessions. The richly embroidered mantle underlines the close ties the Mysuru kingdom had with the British Empire.
- Painters of a bygone era: Some other painters whose works are exhibited here include Nikolai Roerich, Svetoslav Roerich, Rabindranath Tagore, Abanindranath Tagore, and the Ukil brothers (viz., Sharada Ukil, Ranada Ukil, and Barada Ukil). Another collection of paintings by Col. Scot, a British Army officer during the Anglo-Mysuru wars is said to be the only visual representation of those wars.
- Auditorium – In 1900, a royal auditorium was built in the palace. This auditorium has three entrances, and the entablature has religious motifs and miniature temples crafted on it. The auditorium is used for Carnatic arts such as dance, music, and other cultural programs during the Dasara.
History of Jaganmohan Palace
Jaganmohana Palace(JP) was formerly an alternative royal residence of the ruling Maharaja of Mysuru. The construction of JP began in 1856 and was completed in 1861. The palace is one of the oldest modern structures in the whole of India.
Royal family lived in Jaganmohan Palace for sometime
In 1896, during the wedding celebrations of Princess Jayalakshmi Devi, the eldest sister of the then-ruling Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the old palace (the predecessor of the current Mysuru Palace) caught fire and was very seriously damaged. It was decided to demolish that structure and build a new palace. The construction of a new palace began in 1897 and lasted until 1912. During this interval, JP became the primary residence of the Maharaja and his family.
Jaganmohan Palace became the Nerve center for the royals
Jaganmohan Palace, assumed a pivotal role as both the primary official and residential center for the Royal family. Various personal and official ceremonies took place within its regal confines. Notably, the magnificent palace witnessed the grand coronation of the maharaja in 1902, officiated by Marquess George Curzon, the Governor-General of India. Additionally, the maharaja hosted daily durbar and organized significant events linked to Mysuru Dasara.
Furthermore, the historic Jaganmohan Palace served as the venue for the inaugural session of the Mysuru Representative Council in July 1907. This momentous event was presided over by Dewan V. P. Madhava Rao. The early convocations of Mysuru University also found their home within these palace walls.In 1915, Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, with a keen eye for culture and art, transformed the palace into an exquisite art gallery, thereby adding another layer of significance to this architectural gem.
Beyond its rich collection of art, the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery plays an essential role in the cultural tapestry of Mysuru. It is not merely a place of exhibition but a venue for cultural exchanges, art workshops, and educational tours.
A visit to Mysuru remains incomplete without a trip to the Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery. It offers a window into India’s rich artistic traditions, the grandeur of the Wodeyar dynasty, and the evolution of Indian art over the centuries. For art lovers and history enthusiasts alike, this gallery promises a journey that is not only educative but also incredibly inspiring.
Key Tips for Jaganmohan Palace / Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery Visitors
- Jaganmohan Palace is located within a convenient distance of 800 Meters walking distance from the KSRTC City bus stand, KR Circle & Mysuru City corporation office.
Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery Operating Hours & Entrance Fees:
- All days of the week.
- Timings- 10:00 AM to 5:30 AM
- Entry Fees: 150-200 Rs for Indian Nationals And 250 Rs for Foreign Nationals
Average Time taken to complete the tour:
- 1.5-2 hours
- Plan to spend a good time here to fully appreciate the extensive and high-quality art collection, including paintings, furniture, historical items, and art objects. The gallery has done an excellent job preserving and showcasing these treasures.
Audio Guided Tour Facility:
- The audio guide gadgets available here are excellent and provide a wealth of interesting information about the exhibits. Please note that they will hold onto your ID until you return the audio guide at the end of your visit.
- There is ample but limited parking available within the palace premises for tourist vehicles
Banned Entry Items:
- Photography and video recording are not permitted inside the gallery.
- Mobile phones, still, and video cameras are not allowed inside the Jaganmohan Palace art gallery. There is an option to deposit them at the counter with the curator, but tourists are advised to securely lock them in their private vehicles
Public Washroom Availability: Yes
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