Bangalore palace !
On hearing the word palace, most of the Bangaloreans imagine Royal Mysore Palace. Only a few of us might have visited the grand Bangalore Palace. Yes! being born and brought up in Bangalore, I had never been to this palace. Bangalore has changed so much as a metropolitan city over a decade. With all these changes apart, the Bangalore Palace stands still depicting the royalty, history and luxury.
It is located in the hub of the city spread over a wide area and a perfect place to spend a weekend. Finally, with my college friends, I decided to rediscover our own city.
The first sight of Bangalore palace was impressive, a perfect royal castle. The ferns covering the exteriors gave a natural look to the castle. I have heard that the palace is duple of Windsor Castle, London. However, the audio guide revealed that it was built in the Tudor style by Maharaja of Mysore - Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar X.
As we entered, the elegant entrance excited me. We bought our tickets (costs are mentioned at the end) which included an audio guide. The audio guide helps us to know the place history and significance which will be mapped to numbers around the place for around 40 minutes.
The palace is almost constructed with wood and has around 35 rooms.I would like to mention about the most remarkable subjects of the palace.
Coat of Arms
While ascending the curved staircase, one can notice the coat of arms painted on the wall in red and white. This is believed to be gifted to the Chamaraja Wadiyar X by the British. The coat of arms includes mythological entities and intricate floral patterns. In the center of this coat of arms is the Ganda Bherunda, a mythological two-headed bird, and on the other side is another mythological animal with the head of an elephant and lion — symbolizing royalty and power.
Spiral Staircase with antique artifacts
The curved wooden spiral staircase just made me feel all royal. The staircase is well decorated with the intricate wooden sculptures, lamps, carvings and beautifully painted walls. The feeling was just indescribable.
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The sculptures were carved out of rose wood and were a treat to eyes.
The walls along the staircase are adorned with paintings and has a massive elephant head mounted in it.
Wow! The Durbar hall was the most impressive part of the palace. This is a sprawling hall where the king used to address the assembly.
The other side of the hall contains stained glass windows. The women were not allowed to address the proceedings directly and were seated behind the curtains. The large mirrors, wooden sofas, ceilings placed in durbar hall, made it look royal and elegant.
The beautiful red, yellow and gold chandeliers were adding to the beauty of this hall.
Gallery of Wodeyar Royal family
The walls are decorated with photographs of the royal family. The successive wodeyars, the royal family members, the Dasara processions, public proceedings photographs can be seen.
Wodeyars dressed in the royal costume red and white with peta (similar to crown). They all depict the history, power, and the noble life led by Wodeyars.
The king's courtyard was beautiful. It contains a fountain, which was a gift by the King of Spain, Don Alphonso. When he visited India, Don Alphonse was extremely impressed by the comfort the courtyard provided him. This was primarily because of the Moorish architecture which was also common in Spain. It was after this visit that Alphonso gifted Maharaja Wadiyar the fountain and bench.
The Queen's courtyard contains a fountain in the center surrounded by patches of stones. Previously there used to be a small garden where the stones are placed now. The courtyard is surrounded by various rooms. We could just imagine how wonderful and luxurious it had been when the queens stayed here.
The whole palace interior walls are covered with numerous beautiful paintings. Each of them had a story to tell. The most beautiful paintings which attracted me are here.
The corridors have series of antique models arranged. Few of them are gifts from the kings of other countries.
These antiques are so attractive and artistic which reveals the significance of the art during those days.
Stools made of Animal Hides
Wodeyars were passionate about hunting. There were photographs of Wodeyars with the hunted animals. The stools made of hunted animal hides were displayed.
Though these animal hides dejected me, for kings it had been a hobby and passion.
So, these were the main subjects of Bangalore palace which caught my attention. Apart from these, one can notice a ballroom, the office of the king, various types of furniture, beautiful corridors filled with paintings.
Though the Bangalore palace is not as big as Mysore Palace, it has the royal charm and is unique. If you stay in Bangalore and still haven't been here, please pay a visit for half a day and explore this castle.
- The palace is open to public visit on all days. Visiting hours between 10am to 6pm.
- The entry tickets for Indians : INR 260 and foreigners : ~INR 500. This includes an audio guide which is available in English, Kannada, Hindi, German, French, Spanish, and Italian.
- The audio guide should be returned back after 40 minutes. If the crowd is less, officials do not refrain you to take more time.
- Photography is added charge with phone camera : INR 230 and still/DSLR camera : INR 685. I opted for phone camera as it was economical. Make sure you take this ticket for capturing photos or else it would lead to paying fines.
- There are no restaurants nearby inside the palace premises. However one can find restaurants in Sadashivnagar, Shivajinagar or Malleshwaram. Plan accordingly. Carry lots of drinking water.
Bangalore is not just adhered to mall culture. It is much more when you go out and explore its history and heritage.
Keep following for more posts on exploring Bangalore. See you soon :)