Golden Howdah or Chinnada Ambari is located in the northern bay of Mysore Palace also called the Amba villa Palace, is a wooden structure in the form of a mantapa which is covered with eighty kilograms of gold sheets. Golden Howdah has an intricate designs consisting of scrolls, foliage and flowers.
Either side of Golden Howdah or Chinnada Ambari is 2 ivory fly whisks, finely cut strips of ivory form the bristles which are tipped with zari, type of thread made from thinnest gold or silver wire. There are two lights attached to the Golden Howdah of red and green colour. These are battery operated and used to control pace of the procession by the Wodeyar Kings of that time. King would customarily stop to receive floral offerings form his subjects. Elephant would lift the garland up to the king who would touch the flower then the elephant would hand it back.
During the days of yore, the king would sit in the Golden Howdah or Chinnada Ambari accompanied by his brother and nephew. Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar was as the last member of the royal family to ride in Golden Howdah. Seven cannons were fired to make momentous events. The tradition of the Dasara festival continues to this day also but the idol of the presiding deity of the Mysore city, Godess Chamundeshwari, is taken in procession in the Golden Howdah.
The golden throne consists of the main seat, a staircase, and the golden umbrella. A benedictory verse, forming part of the Sanskrit inscriptions, consisting of 24 slokas in Anusthup metre, engraved on the rim of the umbrella, states as follows:
"Oh, King Krishna, Lord of the earth, stone of the illustrious Chamaraja, you are resplendent with the blessings of Goddess Chamundeshwari. You are the lord of the Karnataka Ratna Simhasana. You are the full moon of the autumn to the milky ocean of the Yadu race. This golden umbrella of the golden throne which you have inherited from your illustrious ancestors evokes the awe of the whole world."
According to this sculpture, which is addressed to Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, the bejewelled golden throne has come down to the Mysore royal family from generations of Kings. The seat has a tortoise seat (Kurmasana). The four sides of the throne are decorated with Vyalas and creepers. Elephants on the east, horse on the south, soldiers on the west and chariots on the north decorate the royal seat. Lord Brahma sits towards the south, Maheshvara on the north and Lord Vishnu in the centre from the Trinity. In the corners are found Vijaya and four lions, two of the mythical Shardulas, two horse and swans in the four corners. It is further adorned with Naganymphs and Asthadikpalakas or the guardians of the eight quarters.
(Last Updated on : 05-06-2013)
|More Articles in Mysore Palace (13)|