Chamarajendra Wadiyar bought the original property in 1873 from the principal of Bangalore Central High School, Reverend J Garret, from his personal funds. The main building spreads across 45,000 sq feet with a mix of Tudor and Scottish Gothic architecture. It took 2 years to build the palace, at a cost of about Rs 198,158.
The Bangalore Palace was built by a Wodeyar King in 1887 on the 400 acre space. Inspired by the Windsor castle, this palace was built in the Tudor style, complete with Gothic windows, foiled windows, battlements and turrets resembling the Daria Daulat Palace in Srirangapatanam, this summer palace has been constructed largely of wood and is famous for its carving and paintings.
In June 2005 Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar decided to open the palace to the public to meet its Rs 20 lakh annual upkeep costs. The special attraction is a gallery of nearly a thousand historical photos, including those of viceroys, maharajas and other famous personalities inside and exquisite carvings and paintings.
The palace grounds has convention halls which can be hired by any private citizens for marriages and functions. Within the huge campus you can also find a horse riding school.
Bangalore Palace Audio Tour
The palace has now launched an audio guide instead of the traditional tour guides. It is a boon for foreign tourists, now the tourist could also decide on the spots of interest.
Palace authorities say the script was prepared after a through research and was recorded by a professional team. The tour has been launched in seven languages including English, Kannada, Hindi, French, Spanish, German, Italian and the tour lasts about an hour.
Bangalore Palace Attractions
A Chair to weigh Jockeys: This is a weighing chair to weigh jockey’s with a shape of horse-hoof legs. Every Wadiyar ruler was a passionate fan of horse-racing. The chair is carved shoe shape with a measuring stand on the right and weigh scale on the left.
Coat Of Arms: The British presented this to Chamaraja Wadiyar X. In the center is the mythological two headed bird Ganda Bherunda which was the emblem of the Wadiyar’s. This emblem is flanked by another mythological animal which has the head of an Elephant and of Lion which symbolizes power and royalty.
The maharajah’s courtyard has a bench and a fountain which was a gift from the King of Spain Don Alphonso. When he was deposed of power in year 1931 he visited Bangalore and found solace in this courtyard, because the columns and arches were of Moorish Architecture which were back home. The Wadiyar’s gracious hospitality made him present this fountain and bench made of bright coloured tiles by the leading art deco ceramicist Seville.
Don Alphonso’s experience in India is seen on the plaza seat. There is also an interesting picture where a stag is attacked by a hunting dog with a bird hovering above.
The Wadiyar’s were great hunters. It is believed that Jayachamaraja Wadiyar himself killed 300 tigers and as many elephants. At the entrance is the head of the one of the many elephants he had shot. There are many trophies of elephant hunts also displayed here. There are also stools made from elephant feet and also a vase made out of elephant’s trunk.
Eventually Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar gave up shooting and become the first Chairman of the Indian Board of Wildlife.