It has always been in my mind to visit the Palace in the city. I have roosted in to this city soon after my marriage and it’s been half a decade strolling in the noises of the rush city life. This city has got many things to feed my archelogy/history buff-self. It is spotted with many old temples, forts, parks and long is the list but unfortunately people have mistaken it for its party life, Tech parks, never-ending development and traffic.
Bangalore Palace is one among the spots that I have been waiting to get a chance to visit and I waited for 5 long years and yes better be late than never.
Imperiality has been a fascination for me and palaces and monumental creations could never ditch my eyes.
The weather is hot and little humid, very unlikely for the garden city to be. The sun was scorching just as severely as in the costal lands. The Palace is located right in the middle of the city, about 3kms away from Vidhana Soudha- the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka. It is easily accessible from any corner of the city and one would be wonderstruck to find it quietly placed away from the hustles and bustles while being in the center of a young roaring metro. It is as if the time paused a century ago just there, within the compound of the fortress.
It took 82 years to build the palace and is built in Tudor style architecture with fortified towers, battlements and turrets. A slight replica of Windsor castle of Berkshire, England. It is owned by the Wodayar Royal Family of Mysore.
The interiors were decorated with elegant wood carvings, floral motifs, cornices and relief paintings. You can find traces of Victorian style carpets, furniture’s and wall decorations. The frontal view of the palace proves, it’s one of its kind in the country. The external walls are covered in beautiful green creepers which is maintained by the authorities in the same way since long.
It is open throughout the week from 10:00hrs to 17:00hrs and they charge an entry fee of Rs. 250 per person if Indians. Upon entering the palace, one will be amazed by seeing the wide spiral stairway that climb in a swirl from the left-hand side. You can find an old wooden telephone, statues and swords and a huge chandelier hanging down from the high roof. The interiors painted in shades of ochre, stained windows, tall arches, wooden flooring, hand painted patterns on the walls and those walls which are ornate by ceramic hangings and paintings- all these gives a taste of English reign once ruled the country.
I got my ticket, which came along with a headphone and controller with numbers on it that explains in audio form, the history behind every important spot. Right next to the ticket counter is a huge hall with wooden chairs lined in an oval shape which was the royal living room, don’t forget to look up at the ceiling that is made of intricately carved wood. I marveled the richness of the bygone era which continues to glitter the eyes of the sightseer even after decades…
The spiral stairs took me to the Darbar hall- vast and airy. A Carnatic Jugalbandhi started to play in my mind- The music of the Kings and Queens. The rustic smell of history transformed the entire scene. I observed every inch of the setting keenly. It had two-story high windows that are adorned with white curtains that looked like high tide in the wind. There was a huge mirror at the center of the room and majestic seating’ s marvelously placed. The laughter’s and chirpings from a time foregone still echoed across the vault of the hall.
Other than the living room, the entire place is made up of hand-worked mosaic floor in white and shades of blue. I took a walk along the long corridors, the open courtyard at the center of the palace- where the old royal dinner set, artifacts and crafts are kept on display for the visitors. There were treasure chests, dressing tables, wardrobes, which show-cased the royal attire, old lanterns and what not- everything that vibrated something unusual, something regal and elegant and not from this age…
One must visit and see for themselves the glory of monarchical regime that has been swept out even from the thoughts of the newest generation. We have a strong heritage, and this place is one of evidences that still stands out with the same vigor as in the time that we have only heard about. I assure a visit would undoubtedly take you back in time…