First Published on February 15, 2016
At the first glimpse, it felt as if I were standing in front of the renowned Windsor Castle. The high turrets and the stained glass apertures definitely made it appear so... Except that this wasn't UK. It was my own city in India and what I was standing before was the Wadiyar Palace Bengaluru - better known as the Bangalore Palace
When in Bangalore, it is impossible to miss a glimpse of the sprawling Bangalore Palace grounds. Many of you might have even attended some of the famed international concerts like the highest grosser Iron Maiden concert or the ever-popular Bryan Adams show. Then, there are a few of us who have visited it for the popular amusement park – Fun World or have taken a few horse riding classes here. However, these parts are just the fringe of colossal grounds and hidden in the middle of it is an actual treasure – the stunning Wadiyar palace Bangalore.
Bang in the middle of the city, the Bangalore Palace Bengaluru is impressive from the first time that you set your eyes on it. This fairytale castle was actually closed to the public until 2005 and this was the primary reason why I had not discovered it in its entirety. With the excuse of familiarizing my Dottie with her city, I finally managed to visit Bangalore Palace in 2015. What I discovered inside the Bangalore Palace definitely made me endorse the saying that this attraction was the crown jewel of Bangalore city.
In this complete guide to Bangalore Palace, you will learn the history of the place and get tips along the way to plan your own visit here. In the tour section, I have detailed the key sections that tell you what to see in Bangalore Palace. And finally, at the end of it all, are the common FAQs about the Wadiyar Palace in Bangalore, information about its entry fees and timings. So, get set for a whirlwind tour of this attraction.
- 1 History of Bangalore Palace Bengaluru
- 2 The Wodeyar Mysore Palace
- 3 The architecture of Wadiyar Palace Bangalore
- 4 Quick facts about Bangalore Palace
- 5 What to see in Bangalore Palace?
- 5.1 1) The Coat of Arms at the entrance of Bangalore Palace
- 5.2 2) The Ballroom of Wadiyar Palace Bangalore.
- 5.3 3) The Spiral staircase
- 5.4 4) Durbar Hall of the Bangalore Wadiyar Palace
- 5.5 5) Corridors with its antique cases and pictures
- 5.6 6) Wildlife spoils
- 5.7 7) Maharani’s courtyard at Bangalore Palace (Zenana Mahal)
- 5.8 8) Maharaja’s courtyard at Bangalore Palace (Mardana Mahal)
- 5.9 9) The Jockey’s chair
- 5.10 10) The Chandeliers
- 6 Pin This
- 7 Common FAQs for the Bangalore Palace, Bengaluru
- 8 What is the best way to reach Bangalore Palace?
- 9 How to reach Bangalore Palace by metro?
- 10 What are the Bangalore Palace entrance fees?
- 11 What is the best time to visit Bangalore Palace?
- 12 What is the contact number of Bangalore Palace?
- 13 Who owns Bangalore palace?
- 14 When was Bangalore Palace built?
- 15 Is the Bangalore Palace open to public?
- 16 Is it worth visiting Bangalore Palace?
- 17 Travel & Photography tips:
- 18 Booking Resources
History of Bangalore Palace Bengaluru
Bangalore Palace belongs to the illustrious Wadiyar dynasty of Mysuru (also, referred to as Wodeyar dynasty). However, in terms of built-up area, it is just a fraction of the Mysore palace. It was built in the 1878 for the young Maharaja of Mysore – Chamrajendra Wadiyar X . By this time, the Wadiyars were just rulers of Mysore on paper. The actual administration was taken over by the British. In fact, they were the appointed guardians of the minor king and were in charge of his education and training.
To ensure that there was proper residence and place for his training, the British guardians used the Maharaja’s funds to purchase 450 acres of property from Rev. Garrett. A few years later, the first construction of the current Bangalore palace began. The palace served as a summer retreat for the Mysore royal family.
The Wadiyar Palace in Bangalore underwent several legal battles over the next few decades. Ultimately, the title deed and ownership was granted to the Wadiyar family. For several years, it remained closed to the public. It was only in 2005, finally, that it was converted to a heritage museum and opened to the public. The Bangalore palace continues to be a private property, owned by H.H.Smt Pramoda Devi Wadiyar – a descendant of the illustrious Mysore royal family.
The architecture of Wadiyar Palace Bangalore
I had been informed that the palace was a copy of the Windsor Castle, a fact that was promptly corrected by the audio guide at the Palace. The Bangalore Palace is not a replica of the Windsor Castle but just built in the Tudor Style. The high turrets and those battlements along the walls is what give it the distinct European appearance. Adding a touch of Gothic, are the stained glass windows – more easily visible from inside the Bangalore palace.
As you go along this tour of the Bangalore Palace Bengaluru, you will see the Indian touch to the otherwise European architecture. It is this aspect that makes this Wadiyar palace different from its Western counterpart.
The palace is actually, a small one – with just around 35 rooms and is made of wood and granite. These rooms are divided between separate public and private sections. The public area can be accessed from the entrance on the left -which currently serves as the main entrance for the visitors. The private section consists of the residential space for the Maharajas and his family. This section has its own entrance but is also, connected from the inside to the public area of the palace.
Quick facts about Bangalore Palace
Before we get into what to see inside Bangalore palace, I thought I would share a few quirky facts about the place. Check them out.
- This one I have already revealed. While most people equate Bangalore Wadiyar Palace to Windsor castle, it isn’t really so. It is just the Tudor architectural style that makes it appear so.
- There are over 30,000 photos inside the Bangalore Palace.
- Many popular movies have been shot at the Wadiyar Palace Bangalore. One of them is the popular Aamir Khan movie – Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. The scene where Aamir Khan pretends to be a rich brat is shot in front of this palace.
- The Bangalore Palace grounds have hosted several prominent concerts like Bryan Adams, Deep Purple, Metallica, Guns and Roses etc. The Iron Maiden concert here in 2007 was the highest paid concert with over 38,000 people attending it.
And with that, you are now all set for a whirlwind tour of the summer palace of the Wadiyars.
What to see in Bangalore Palace?
Your Bangalore Palace entrance tickets include an audio guide that ensures that you don’t miss all the significant attractions within its premises. The audio guide to Wadiyar Palace is quite well made and enjoyable. It in fact, makes a great companion in your journey through the Bengaluru palace. Here is what you can expect to see inside Bangalore palace.
1) The Coat of Arms at the entrance of Bangalore Palace
The Maharaja of Mysore was awarded a Coat of Arms by the British. The Coat of Arms includes the symbol of the Wadiyars known as the Ganda Bherunda. This is the two-headed bird in the center. Along with the same, check out the sides for mythical creatures with the head of the elephant and the body of a lion. These are to represent power and royalty.
The Coat of Arms is a prominent part of the decor throughout the Bangalore Wadiyar Palace and you will find it in almost all the rooms of the Palace.Also, look out for the huge stuffed elephant head on top of the entrance. This was one of the many hunted creatures by the Maharaja.
2) The Ballroom of Wadiyar Palace Bangalore.
I will not lie and say that this is one of the most amazing ball rooms that I have seen. It sure is not but then, this palace isn’t one of the biggest that I have seen.
However, having said that, this ballroom is impressive with its colors and lighting and is an important part of the Bangalore Palace. It has a classic wooden ceiling with pretty chandeliers hanging throughout the room. The high Art-Deco arches along the side is what adds a royal yet contemporary touch to this room. As the audio guide informed me, there were plenty of ballroom parties and dancing that this hall has witnessed.
3) The Spiral staircase
An ordinary wooden spiral staircase but with some lovely artifacts and decor on it – the lovely lamps and the antique vases kept along the corner. One thing that I found unusual here were the custom-made three legged stools. Notice one leg is longer than the others – just to accommodate them on the staircase.
There was something charming about the brown intricately carved, wooden staircase – something antique, something different. 🙂 I can’t explain that feeling except that is how I feel around heritage properties that I have encountered in Old Mumbai.
4) Durbar Hall of the Bangalore Wadiyar Palace
Now this was really, impressive. With its amazing chandeliers, yellow and gold decor, stained glass and majestic looking furniture. Unfortunately, you have to watch it from the sides and are not allowed to enter it. It is here you can see the little Gothic touch clearly with those stained glass windows.
Unlike the Mysore Palace of the Wodeyars, this Durbar hall is quite contemporary. The Mysore Palace Durbar hall is humoungus and has two distinct sections – one which is meant for private meetings and the other being the Public Durbar hall. By the time the Bangalore Wadiyar Palace was built, there was no need for a public Durbar Hall. This is because the role of the Mysore royal family had diminished to mere administrators while the ruling authority was now under the British. That probably explains the smaller set-up.
There is a separate partition for the women as they were not allowed to be part of the proceedings directly. Unlike the palaces up North India, these did not have any jhalis or jharokas but was just a partition covered with curtains.
5) Corridors with its antique cases and pictures
Throughout the palace are corridors lined with beautiful paintings and artifacts from the palace. Be it the painting of the Maharajas or the black and white photos of him and his family on various occasions, it is indeed fun to observe them.
Various gorgeous paintings adorn the wall. A lot of them are not originals as informed by the audio guides of Bangalore Palace but beautiful and priceless, nonetheless. Included among them are the prized paintings of Raja Ravi Varma – the famed artist whose work still adorn the main Mysore Palace.
Carved side tables and dressing tables adorn the passage way. Along with them are several writing desks used by the Maharaja himself. I loved the wide open corridors with its Gothic and Tudor styled carvings. The natural sunlight coming through added a certain beauty to the entire place.
6) Wildlife spoils
Now here are some exhibits that I am not really fond of but well, they are unique to the Bangalore Palace Bengaluru. These are made of real animal hides – like the one above which is a stool made from Elephant’s legs and the one below which is a vase made of the elephant’s trunks.
The Maharaja Jayachamrajendra Wadiyar was an avid hunter, rumored to have killed over 300 tigers. His wildlife expeditions are well chronicled through the audio guides and the pictures on the wall. Something that really did not impress me, for I really felt sad after listening to it. The irony of it all is that when he quit hunting, he was elected the president of the Indian Board of Wildlife !!!
7) Maharani’s courtyard at Bangalore Palace (Zenana Mahal)
This one had a few open rooms for you to explore. Though there isn’t much in the room, it did satisfy my curiosity piqued by the closed doors of the palace. I wondered how big the rooms were, what colors, etc etc. I have to say that they were fairly big, not as small as the ones that I happen to see in some of the famed palaces of Rajasthan. Most of them had a high ceiling with some impressive chandeliers within them
The courtyard has a central fountain along with some patches of green around. Unfortunately, when we went, the same was dried up. However, it is easy to imagine how gorgeous they must be when in full bloom.
8) Maharaja’s courtyard at Bangalore Palace (Mardana Mahal)
The Maharaja’s courtyard was Colorful!!! No other adjective springs to my mind except that!
A unique tiled bench is the first thing that you see. The same is made of Spanish tiles and has a picture of a stag being attacked by dogs while the birds watch. There is no partition around it and you are welcome to sit on it and rest. A few seconds of Royal pleasure for you. 😀
The bench along with the fountain above was a gift from the King of Spain. The entire courtyard looks vibrant, thanks to these gifts. Along the corridors are kept some lovely curios from the Western world like the ones below.
9) The Jockey’s chair
Kept along the Maharaja’s courtyard is a wooden chair with a small weighing scale attached. This isn’t any chair but a chair to measure the weight of a jockey. Right next to it is a wooden stand to measure the height of the jockey. The Royal family of Mysore was heavily into horse racing as you can guess. 🙂
10) The Chandeliers
Throughout the palace are amazing and colorful chandeliers. While some of you may argue, what is the big deal about them for they are not the largest or the most intricate. But for me, these chandeliers added to the charm of the Bangalore Palace. They lit up the place – not just literally but in terms of the vibrancy and decor. I would have loved to see them at night.
There are plenty of more things that may interest you at the Bangalore Palace – like the office of the Maharaja, the lovely gardens in front of the Palace or even the history behind several paintings. The wardrobe of the Royal family is also, open to the public but honestly, I wish they displayed it better. It is just bunched into cupboards. If someone from the officials of the Bangalore Palace is reading this, please do make some corners for a lovely display of some of the garments – especially the festive ones. People like me would love to have a look at them.
I am sure that by now you are tempted to add this to your Bangalore visit. So, go on and pin this up to your board.
Common FAQs for the Bangalore Palace, Bengaluru
What is the best way to reach Bangalore Palace?
Bangalore or Bengaluru is the silicon city of India and one of the major metros in India. With an international airport, it is well-connected to the world. You can even hop into the city through domestic flights from any part of India. Bangalore is well- connected to all the major cities in India through railways and roads.
One can use any of the public transport options – autos, buses or cabs to reach the Bangalore Palace. It is located within the Palace grounds, near Mount Carmel College.
How to reach Bangalore Palace by metro?
The closest metro stations to Bangalore Palace are at a distance of 2 km. You can plan to get down at any of these metro stations –
– Cubbon Park
– Sampige Road
– Vidhana Soudha
– Central College Metro Station
You can get a local auto or hire one using Ola or Uber to get to Bangalore Palace.
What are the Bangalore Palace entrance fees?
The entrance tickets to Bangalore Palace is INR 225 for Indians and INR 450 for foreign tourists. This includes the audio guide to the palace. The audio guide is available in English, Hindi, Kannada, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Bangalore Palace Photography charges are INR 675 for still camera, INR 1000 for Video cameras and INR 100 for mobile cameras. Anyone without the permit is fined and they are quite strict about it. You will find guards and officials within the premises checking for the same.
What is the best time to visit Bangalore Palace?
In terms of season, Bengaluru can be visited almost any time of the year. The Bangalore Palace timings are from 10 am to 6 pm every day including public holidays.
What is the contact number of Bangalore Palace?
You can get in touch with the authorities at Bangalore Palace on +91 80233 60818 or on +91 80233 15789
Who owns Bangalore palace?
The current owner of Wadiyar Palace in Bengaluru is H.H.Smt Pramoda Devi Wadiyar – a descendant of the illustrious Mysore royal family.
When was Bangalore Palace built?
The initial construction of Bangalore Palace was done between 1874 to 1878. There were a few additions and expansions done in the subsequent years.
Is the Bangalore Palace open to public?
Yes, the Wadiyar Palace in Bangalore has been opened to public since 2005. You can visit it between 10 am to 6 pm everyday.
Is it worth visiting Bangalore Palace?
If you enjoy architecture, history and culture, then, it is definitely worth visiting the Bangalore Palace. The 19th century palace is a perfect showcase of the royal lives of the Wadiyar family of Mysore. The Indo-British architecture of the palace along with the prized possesions of the family makes an interesting heritage and cultural tour. You will also, get to see some unusual and exclusive exhibits like the gift from the King of Spain to the Maharaja, his hunting trophies and a jockey’s weighing chair.
Travel & Photography tips:
- There are rest-rooms within the Palace for public use. However, there are no cafes or restaurants here. Though there are plenty of them outside the palace grounds. Hence, do plan your visit accordingly.
- Carry a wide angle lens along with your basic kit lens for capturing this palace.
- Booking.com is a good site to book your Bangalore hotel online. This link gives you a list of all the hotels around Bangalore Palace.
- Viator.com has a list of interesting tours of which a few includes a visit to Bangalore Palace. Consider this link to view the same and book one of your choice.
- Klook.com has a plethora of tours in and around Bangalore. These include interesting cultural walking tours, cooking classes and more. You can even book day trips, cars and transfers through this link.
- Another interesting website to book tours online is GetYourGuide. The website offers tours as well as airport transfers, outstation cabs etc.
- If you rely on Amazon for your travel and shopping needs, then do consider using my affiliate link to get onto the app or website and buy your requirements.
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this.
Popularly referred to as a Restless Ball of Energy. My Mom refuses to entertain my complaints about my equally restless daughter & assures my husband that I was born with a travel bug.
I am a Post-Graduate in Marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, I enjoy photography and if you don’t find me at my desk, I would be out playing badminton or swimming or just running. I believe in planning for every long weekend through the year. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through this travel blog. My travel stories have also, got published on various websites and magazines including BBC Travel, Lonely Planet India and Jetwings. I have recently published my first book – When Places Come Alive – a collection of stories that are based on legends, landscapes, art and culture of a place which is available in both ebook and paperback format.