Mysore, the cultural capital of Karnataka, is renowned for its rich history, majestic palaces, and vibrant festivals. Among the many treasures that this city holds, Mysore Ambari stands as a testament to the opulence and grandeur of the erstwhile royal dynasty. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of Mysore Ambari and its enduring legacy.

The Historical Significance

Mysore Ambari, also known as the Golden Howdah, is an intricately designed elephant-mounted throne used during the grand Dasara procession. This procession, which takes place during the Navaratri festival, is a symbol of the city’s rich cultural heritage and royal traditions. The Ambari serves as the centerpiece of the procession, carrying the idol of the goddess Chamundeshwari, the presiding deity of Mysore.

The history of Mysore Ambari dates back to the 17th century when it was first introduced by the Wadiyars, the ruling dynasty of Mysore. Over the centuries, the Ambari has undergone several modifications, reflecting the changing tastes and preferences of the royal family. Today, it stands as a magnificent work of art, adorned with gold, silver, and precious gems.

The Design and Symbolism

Mysore Ambari is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, showcasing the intricate skills of the artisans of Mysore. The throne is made of wood and covered with gold plating, giving it a resplendent appearance. The design incorporates elements of traditional Mysore architecture, with intricate carvings depicting mythological figures, floral motifs, and scenes from the epics.

The Ambari is supported by a wooden frame that rests on the back of an elephant. The elephant, considered a symbol of royalty and power, adds to the grandeur of the procession. The idol of the goddess Chamundeshwari is placed on the Ambari, symbolizing her presence and blessings during the festival.

The Dasara Procession

The Dasara procession is the highlight of the Navaratri festival in Mysore. It attracts thousands of visitors from across the country who come to witness the grandeur and splendor of the event. The procession begins at the Mysore Palace and moves through the streets of the city, culminating at the Bannimantap Grounds.

As the Ambari makes its way through the streets, accompanied by a retinue of caparisoned elephants, folk dancers, musicians, and soldiers, the air is filled with the sounds of trumpets and drums. The sight of the beautifully decorated Ambari, gleaming in the sunlight, is a sight to behold.

The Enduring Legacy

Mysore Ambari is not just a symbol of grandeur and pageantry; it is a living testament to the rich cultural heritage of Mysore. The Dasara procession, with the Ambari at its heart, continues to be celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor, keeping alive the traditions of the past.

Today, Mysore Ambari has become an iconic symbol of Mysore’s identity and is featured prominently in the tourism promotions of the city. It serves as a reminder of the glorious past and the enduring legacy of the Wadiyars.


Mysore Ambari, with its exquisite design and historical significance, is a treasure that showcases the cultural heritage of Mysore. The grand Dasara procession, with the Ambari as its centerpiece, continues to captivate visitors and locals alike, offering a glimpse into the regal traditions of the past. As Mysore embraces the future, it is the preservation of such traditions that ensures the city remains a beacon of cultural richness and grandeur.