Bangalore Palace : Windsor Castle in Bengaluru
Ballrooms, geometrical motif ceilings, rosewood staircases, Belgian mirrors, fountain courtyards- a visit to the Bangalore Palace is a window in to the world of Mysore Wodeyars. For an hour or so, with the help of Narrowcasters multi lingual audio guide, one gets transported to the stately English mansion and the world of the Wadiyar kings and their heritage.
A Brief History:
The first owner of this Tudor style Castle was Rev Garrett, who was the first Principal of the Central High School in Bangalore, now known as Central College. It was later purchased for the Maharaja of Mysore- Chamarajendra Wadiyar- X during the 1880s. Since then the palace, with a built up area of 40,000 square feet, has seen many renovations. It was thrown open to the public in 2005 by the late Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar of the royal family.
The castle is complete with battlements, turrets, gothic styled windows and a majestic garden landscaped by German horticulturist Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel in the front. The castle has a granite stone exterior with the interiors being wood. While the ground floor of the castleconsists of the ballroom, the office room of the late Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, Moorish style courtyards with blue ceramic tiled benches; the upper floor houses the grand Durbar Hall, where Wadiyar kings used to conduct assembly and also the private quarters of the Maharajas & the royal ladies.
Though the palace is filled with artefacts there are a few attractions that you should just not miss.
The Durbar Hall with its stained glass windows, the geometric patterned ceilings, the majestic chandeliers and the rendered columns is something to watch out for. The Wadiyar’s Coat of Arms is used as a decorative element in the hall. The Coat of Arms is a double headed mythological bird at the centre flanked by an elephant headed lion, a mystical animal, on either side. The motto “I uphold only the truth” is inscribed in the centre.
Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings, a chair shaped weighing machine to weigh jockeys, hunting scenes of tigers, taming of wild elephants, and the rosewood balustrade with its ornate motifs also speak of the wonder of yesteryear. Also, don’t forget to head to the open courtyard that boasts of blue mosaic tiled benches and a fountain, both gifted by King of Spain Don Alphonso to the Wadiyars.
The Palace is located near Mount Carmel Institute of Management, Palace Road, Vasanth Nagar. The entrance is from the Vasanth Nagar gate of the Palace Grounds. If you are coming by bus, then the nearest alighting points are Palace Guttahalli or Mount Carmel College. From here The Bangalore Palace is only 5-10 minutes by walk.
The Palace is open on all days between 10am-6 pm. The entry fees for Indians is Rs 230. The camera fees is about 685 Rupees.
Contact Number: 080-23360818.
• Parking is available in front of the Palace.
• There is no entry fee for kids. But sadly, the audio guides are only provided for adults.
• Do carry a photo ID with you. This needs to be submitted before entering the castle.
• For food, one could either head out to one of the places at Cunningham Road nearby or check out the Heritage Hotel at the Jayamahal Palace.