Mysore, Feb. 28 (JP)- Splendour of the South, the iconic Amba Vilas Palace in city, will be illuminated on Wednesdays apart from Saturday and Sunday. This gives the guests of State's Golden Chariot luxury train a fairytale look at a bygone era.

Deputy Director P.V. Avaradi of Palace Board says that the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) sent representations to the Board with requests from tourists that they missed the palace illumination.

The Golden Chariot guests who come from every corner of the world, miss the regular illumination of Amba Vilas Palace on Saturdays and Sundays as the train leaves Bangalore on Monday and arrives in Mysore in the evening with the guests being given a two-day stopover during which they go sight-seeing around the city apart from visits to Srirangapatna and Kabini forest area.

The train then proceeds to Hassan on Thursday morning.

Nearly one lakh 15 watt bulbs spaced perfectly light up the palace every Saturday and Sunday and draw a few thousand visitors regularly. Adom Vatik from Tel Aviv, Israel, writes in his blog: "An amazing palace! The No.1 attraction of Mysore. Very rich in decoration, special architecture. Wonderful stained glass work on roofs and windows. Don’t miss the illumination which is on Saturdays and Sundays only!"

Maddy from New York writes in her blog, "The Mysore palace is breathtakingly beautiful. Just awesome. One of the must see places in Mysore. Visit it during Dasara when it is decked in its best. Truly memorable visit. The interiors are just awesome."

Amba Vilas Palace's architectural style is said to be a combination of Indo-Saracen along with flourishes of Gothic, Hindu, Muslim and Rajput styles. It is a three-storied stone structure with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower.

The building of 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. When palace is illuminated then it is as though the past comes alive.

The Palace Board spends between Rs. 80 to Rs. 90 lakh every year towards the maintenance of the Palace and the electricity bill alone comes to Rs. 80,000 per hour. According to Avaradi, the Golden Chariot’s guests were missing the illumination as the train had its itinerary fixed and in order to promote tourism the Palace Board had taken this decision to illuminate the palace on Wednesdays also.

The train begins its journey from Bangalore and traverses for 7 nights and 8 days through Kabini - Srirangapatna - Mysore - Shravanabelagola - Belur - Halebid - Hampi - Badami - Pattadakal - Goa- Bangalore.

From its inaugural run on March 10, 2008, the Golden Chariot has made 27 trips carrying a total of 825 passengers, a majority of them foreigners.

The Golden Chariot is the third luxury train after Rajasthan's Palace on Wheels and Maharastra's Deccan Odyssey. The fare is a little over a lakh rupees for a person and for a couple it is around Rs. 78,000.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore