The Mysore palace is famous for its rich architecture and artwork, including the intricate carvings, paintings, and sculptures that adorn its walls and ceilings. There are several artefacts placed in the palace that shows its rich history and cultural importance. One of the most significant features of the palace is the Golden Throne, or Mysore Simhasana. One more attraction is the Golden Ambari of Jambu Savari.
Mysore golden Throne is also known as the “Chinnada Simhasana“, “Ratna Simhasana“, or “Mysore Simhasana.” This was used by the rulers of the Kingdom of Mysore during special ceremonies and occasions. As we look back on its originality, some legends say that the journey of the Golden Throne traces back to the Epic Mahabharata. Here are the complete footsteps of the Mysore golden throne from the Pandavas to the Wadeyar Dynasty.
Mysore Palace Golden Throne Weight
The weight of the Mysore Palace Golden Throne, also known as the Chinnada Simhasana, is not precisely known. However, it is estimated to weigh around 280 kilograms or 618 pounds. The Throne is made of fig wood, covered in gold plates, and decorated with precious stones such as diamonds and emeralds. The Throne is a significant and priceless piece of the palace’s heritage. And is considered one of the most valuable thrones in the world.
History of Mysore Simhasana:
The original Golden Throne was said to be handed over to the Mysore kingdom during the 17th Century. In 1610, during the Dasara celebration at Srirangapatna, Raja Wadiyar ( 9th ruler of the Yadu Dynasty) first ascended this Golden Throne. Since then, the Mysore golden throne has been preserved and protected by the Wadeyar Dynasty in the Mysore palace.
Golden Throne and the Epic Mahabharatha:
Although not enough proof traces the origin of Mysore’s golden Throne, several legends have different versions. A legend traces the origin of the Mysore Golden throne to the Pandavas of the Mahabharata epic. According to the legend, the Mysore golden throne originally belonged to the Pandavas.
Sivapriyananda, who belonged to a royal family of South Gujarat, mentioned in his book “Royal Mysore Dasara” about the Golden Throne. According to that, the Throne belongs to the epic hero, Dharmaraya or Yudhisthira (eldest of Pandavas). It was then passed on to Penukonda from Hastinapura to king Kampilaraya of Kampili. During the invasion of Mohammad Bin Tughlak on Kampili, king Kampilaraya was killed in the fight. And the Throne was hidden by the king.
It was then taken out by Harihar 1 of the Vijayanagara Dynasty in 1338, with the help of the scholar of Sringeri Mutt, saint Sri Vidyaranya. Since then, several kings of the Vijayanagar empire have used the Throne for centuries. And after the fall of the Vijayanagara empire, the Throne was handed over to the Mysore kings – the Wadeyar dynasty.
Design and Evolution of the Golden Throne Mysore:
The Throne was made of fig wood and decorated with ivory plaques. During the rule of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar (22nd ruler), major changes were made to the Golden Throne. During 1812-16, they decorated the Throne with precious stones, pearls, and diamonds. And was then, the silver coating/plating was changed to gold plating. And the weight of the Mysore golden throne then was 250 Kg.
Also, king Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar detailed the Golden Throne in his book “Devathanama Kusuma Manjari.” The golden Throne is adorned with 24 shlokas, or verses in Sanskrit, inscribed in gold. They are dedicated to various deities and gods, including Lord Ganesha, Lord Vishnu, and Goddess Lakshmi. And importantly to the goddess Chamundeshwari. The verses are also dedicated to the Kingdom of Mysore and its rulers, asking for their well-being and prosperity.
Present Version of the Golden Throne:
Later on, the 25th king of the Wadeyar Dynasty, Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, made some alterations to the Throne with the supervision of the shilpi Shiddalinga Swami. A Detailed note of shlokas and Wadeyar’s kingdom was added to the Throne in the Kannada language in 1940 when he ascended to the Throne.
Though the original design is not much modified, some alternations are made, and the Throne is slightly enlarged. The previous one had 5 steps and was smaller than the present design with 7 steps.
Design and Embellishments
The Royal Throne was made of fig wood and decorated with ivory plaques, gold, precious stones, and silver figurines by a skilled artisan named Singannacharya. The Throne features 7 steps leading to the main seat, the “Koormasana.” And a big golden umbrella provides shade over the seat. The four sides of the Throne are decorated with various figures, such as elephants, horses, soldiers, and chariots.
The Royal seat is adorned with carvings of birds, lions, and flowers and features Goddess Chamundeshwari in the centre, with Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati on either side. And is supported by horses in a jumping pose, adorned with lions as a mark of victory. Golden Umbrella is studded with gems and has a celestial bird called Huma at the top, believed to bring good luck to whoever it shades. The Royal Umbrella also has an inscription that blesses the Mysore king.
Mysore Golden Throne in Present Days:
Now the Throne is disassembled and kept in safety lockers throughout the year. Only during the Dasara, 9 days of Darbar, is the Throne displayed for public visit. It is used in a ceremonial procession during the Dasara, a nine-day Mysore festival.
During the festival, the Throne is placed on an elephant and taken in a procession through the city streets, accompanied by musicians, dancers, and other performers. The Dasara festival is an important cultural event in Karnataka. And the use of the Golden Throne in the procession is a nod to the region’s rich history and cultural heritage. While the Throne is no longer used for official purposes, it continues to be an integral part of the cultural identity of the people of Mysore.
Overall, the Golden Throne of Mysore is a stunning work of art that perfectly blends traditional Indian and Western design elements to create a masterpiece that reflects the grandeur of the Mysore royal family.