I have been away from this travel blog for more than 5 years. Not that I have not travelled in the meanwhile, but I did not find the time to pen down my experiences. So, in a way, this is a fresh start.
In the year 2015, just after my birthday, we travelled to Bangalore (from where we later paid a visit to Mysore). Thankfully, the flight did not pose any problem for my daughter, June. It was for the first time that my little daughter was travelling. She was just seven and half months old at that time. With not much to do in Bangalore apart from meeting an old friend and a relative, we selected the Bangalore Palace as a place to visit one day.
Situated in the Palace Gardens area, the Bangalore Palace belongs to the Wadiyar dynasty of Mysore. In 1884, the then Maharaja of Mysore, Chamarajendra Wadiyar bought the property from Rev. J. Garrett, who was the first Principal of the Central High School in Bangalore, now known as Central College. Currently there is a dispute going on for this property between Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar, the current heir and the Govt. of Karnataka.
Built in the Tudor style of architecture with fortified towers, battlements and turrets, the Bangalore Palace is said to be inspired by the Windsor Castle of Berkshire, England.
The palace offers a very comprehensive audio tour which provides the details of the different sections but I missed most of it as I was carrying my daughter in a baby carrier sling and had to take out the earphone in many occasions. I remember the entry fee and camera charges being a bit on the higher side, particularly if you compare with Mysore palace. I must also add that there is no one to check whether you are taking snaps or not. Although I paid charge for my digital camera, I took many snaps with my phone too. The ambience of the palace is very quiet and peaceful without the hustle-bustle of the tourist crowd. At least it was lonely when I visited.
A wooden lift was stationed in the ground floor but I am not sure if it is still operational or available for the tourists.
A wooden staircase that is decorated with many paintings and statuettes took us to the first floor.
The first floor features the Durbar Hall which is decorated with stained glass windows, luxurious sofa sets and chandeliers.
Throughout the palace pillars and arches dominate the architecture along with ornate cornices and motifs. The ceilings are also ornamented. The striking yellow colour is used generously for the walls including the Durbar Hall and the Ballroom.
Also displayed in abundance are trophies of elephant hunting like elephant heads mounted on walls, stools made of elephant feet and vases of elephant trunks.
The other thing you will notice is a huge collection of paintings ranging from European art to those of Raja Ravi Varma.
There is also large collection of photographs chronicling the different generations of Wadiyar dynasty and other old pictures of Bangalore and Mysore.
Wooden furniture, collectibles including porcelain, metal and wooden figurines and chandeliers adorn the corridors. There are also some curiously interesting things displayed like a weighing chair for jockeys.
A room was stuffed with personal belongings of the royal family and also featured a painting of the last king.
I found two courtyards in the ground floor, one with a fountain in the middle (that no longer works) and another more colourful decorated with seats covered with tiles.
The Ballroom, also situated in the ground floor, was used to hold private parties of the royals. This is also the last section covered on the audio tour.
The expansive grounds surrounding the palace are used for public events and cultural programs including music concerts by international artists.
Overall it was a nice experience to visit the Bangalore Palace. It may not be an extravagant affair like some other palaces from the rest of the country but it manifests the old charm of royal dynasties pleasantly tucked into the otherwise modern technological epicentre.