There are a lot of things to do in Bangalore, but this trip was much needed for me. You’ll judge me if I told you that after 7 years in Bangalore, I never once visited Bangalore Palace, until last week. I beg you not to confuse this for disinterest since I am a total history buff. I love watching documentaries and visiting monuments.
I am a lover of the wrecked, and admire architecture left in the rubble. From a small room by the road to an abandoned fort, I find them all hauntingly beautiful. But when it came to Bangalore Palace, the stars just didn’t align for me. Until last week.
Before anything else, let me talk about the stunning beauty that are the exteriors of the palace. Elegant. Simple. Grand. Welcoming. I have been to many palaces in my life, but none of them felt as homely as the Bangalore Palace.
The place had a sense of absolute simplicity to it and had me wondering what lay inside. Would the insides match the English-Tudor style exteriors? Would there be more vines? My head bubbling with all kinds of possible ideas – ranging from the aesthetics of Mughal-e-Azam to Disney Princess Castles – I stepped inside. And boy-oh-boy was I in for a surprise.
The interiors of the palace struck me back to consciousness and out of the Tudor-fantasy I was in, with its vibrant walls and painted ceilings. It was like I had been transported into another world altogether. The yellow and golden walls, coupled with rather simple-looking Neoclassical style furniture, the colourful chandeliers, and the Gothic windows gave the interiors a very warm and welcoming feel.
It looked exactly like a family residence that it once was to the Royal Wodeyar family. But don’t you fall for the simplicity. Turns out some of the furniture within the building was bought from John Roberts and Lazarus. The walk around the palace was nothing short of delightful with the elegant staircases, the well-lit corridors, the white metal railings at the balcony, and of course, a view of the courtyard. I was so glad that I picked a weekday for my visit, which helped me miss the regular crowd and I could take my time admiring the artefacts.
Upon entering the palace, they provide you with an audio guide which lasts about 40 mins. It guides you through the stories that lay beyond the palace walls. The policy around the audio guide is a little strict and the authorities expect you to wind up the tour within the same duration, which was a bit of a problem for me since I like strolling across historical sites.
I look around at the ceilings, cracks in wooden structures, withering of polish and paint, and ageing of the fabrics (if any). To my luck, I had the FlippAR Go app on my phone which gave me access to information on the Palace throughout my stroll, as and when I wanted.
The palace is still owned by the Royal family and has been kept in a terrific state, by maintenance. It was very interesting to find out that the mega-movie Chandramukhi was filmed in this very palace, and that the grounds associated with the palace have hosted legends such as Iron Maiden over the years. Hence established, no palace is cooler than Bangalore Palace. Word.