A dose of royalty & bygone in the Bangalore Palace!
The 18th-century private residence of the Wadiyar dynasty has multiple personalities. Inspired by Windsor Castle and comprising Hindu elements, the Bangalore Palace unveils the royalty of the South Indian dynasties. A glance from the outside transport you to London, the interiors, however, brings you back to India. The city is overflowing with the technology boom, cafes, and boutiques. Thus the palace gives you a good reason to connect with its roots. Also recommended for history buffs and any aficionado of Hindu culture.
Tantalized by the well-decorated entry, I realized how the Bangalore Palace also has a wedding venue. The common entry to the palace and the wedding venue gave me glimpses of a South Indian wedding. The ground floor of the palace is adorned with ceramic blue tiles. The same floor also hosts private weddings in the huge ballroom. A private function was taking place there when I visited there and the merry festivities were a delight to witness.
The ticket counter on the left gives easy access to the palace, with options to pay for photography. The palace ticket also includes an audio guide. The palace opens from 10h00 in the morning with entry allowed till 18h00. There’s a hefty charge for a ticket person is 225₹ (3$) for Indians & 450₹ (6.5$) for foreigners and an additional 650₹ (10$) for photography. Although it seems justified when interiors are experienced first hand. The queue for purchasing the ticket is quick, and different bands are tied to our hands to identify the ticket type. The guards are usually strict regarding photography especially if you haven’t paid for it. So keep that in mind, & camera and mobiles in pockets or bags.
To take the audio guide you’ll have to submit your ID proof which can be collected back once the tour ends. The slip must be kept safely for receiving the ID back.
The Tour of The Bangalore Palace
Start the tour through the first floor where the Durbar Hall is located. The entry to the hall is through a staircase which is lined with antiques from Maharaja’s collection. The chandeliers in the wooden staircase and the bright yellow walls bejewelled with red and white Hindu elements manifest what is expected from the Palace.
The Durbar Hall was the King’s assembly hall where the ministers used to assemble to discuss government matters. The opulence of the Hall is visible in the intricate work on the ceiling and pillars. The hall is furnished with the King’s seat, sofas for the cabinet members and a dining set. The yellow walls are decorated with red & white decors and gigantic mirrors. The windows of the hall are uniquely defined in the Gothic style with stained glass windows.
The hallway from the Durbar hall to the courtyard showcases various pictures of the Maharaja and the time of his reign. The paintings on display showcase the paintings by Raja Ravi Verma from the 19th century.
The grandiosity of the Palace is conspicuous in the central courtyard flaunting the different styles of flooring. The halls are well decorated with various collections of pictures from almost 30000 collections.
The hallways showcase various collections of the Maharaja including weighing sets, brassieres, Dutch paintings, and trophies. The pillars in the hallways are also beautified with Hindu elements & similar colours.
The Boutique Room
The cloth room stores the numerous collection of sarees and dresses worn by the Kings & ladies of the Wadiyar dynasty. The pile does seem overwhelming at first, but it gives a splendid view of the insights into the Royal family.
The Gardens of the Bangalore Palace
The external design of the Bangalore Palace holds a vivid resemblance to Windsor Castle. The walls are covered with vine, Roman arches, and granite a light brown structure that looks like an English landscape.
The facade of the palace faces the opposite of a grand garden where the panorama of the Palace building resonates in entirety. The manicured plants & blossoming flowers accentuate the beauty of the Palace.
Some parts of the Palace including the Ballroom and the woodwork have been restored to maintain its glory and others are in progress. The impact of time is clearly visible in various sections of the Palace. Due to the ownership dispute between the government & the ruling Wodeyars in 1949, the restoration process is painfully slow.
The palace is now the centre stage of various events taking place in the city. Be it a wedding, a movie shoot or a music festival, Bangalore Palace have the capacity to host almost everything huge.
How to Reach Bangalore Palace?
The Bangalore Palace is located on Palace Road near the railway overbridge with no direct connectivity to the Metro. You can take an auto or an Uber to & from the palace. Autos are easily available and are usually on standby outside the main gate of the Bangalore Palace.
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