Saturday, 8 April 2017

Amazing Bangalore Palace, Bangalore


Bangalore Palace en.wikipedia.org

Any visitor to the garden city of Bangalore, Karnataka  can not miss the  scenic palace  called Bangalore Palace  that was built by Rev. J. Garrett, who was the first Principal of the Central High School in Bangalore, now known as Central College. Amazingly , this majestic building  with a castle-like design  bears striking resemblance to England’s Windsor Castle.  Set amidst lush green environs, the huge  palace grounds are used for organizing various social and musical  events. 

The construction of the palace began  in 1862 and completed in 1944. In 1884, the then  Maharaja of Mysore Chamarajendra Wadiyar X evinced keen interest in this artistic building and in 1884 bought it. Presently owned by the Mysore royal family, the palace has recently undergone renovation.


Bangalore Palace en.wikipedia.org

The palace and the grounds constitute a huge property in this sprawling city. Rev. J. Garrett, the first principal of the Central High School, built this palace with a floor area of 45,000 sq ft (4200 m²) and the open land covers a whooping  454 acres (183 ha) in the prime area of the city. It is believed that the British officials who were guiding the young prince HH Chamaraja Wodeyar in his education bought the palace in 1873 A.D. from him at a cost of Rs. 40,000.00 and later made some alterations to suite their needs. 

The ground floor of the palace  has an open courtyard containing granite seats.  There  is a ballroom  for holding private parties. The first floor that has the Durbar Hall, can be  accessed  by climbing a decorated staircase. The huge hall  was used by the ruler to address the assembly.  One side of the hall has stained glass windows in Gothic style. The interior walls of the palace have beautiful paintings belonging to the mid-19th century, including some Greek and Dutch paintings. A stricking attraction includes a dining table belonging to the Diwan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail. This table contained a mother-of-pearl inlay with Chinese lacquer work.

The impressive  architectural feature of this unique palace is its Tudor style design with fortified towers, battlements and turrets. The interiors are  beautiful  and  decorated with elegant wood carvings, floral motifs, cornices and relief paintings on the ceiling. John Roberts and Lazarus company  supplied the neo-classical, Victorian and Edwardian styled furniture. The palace has 35 rooms, mostly bedrooms, besides a swimming pool. As part of renovation, additions were made such as stained glass and mirrors, specially imported from England, besides a manual lift and wooden fans from General Electric.  

Ever since HH Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar struck a business deal in 1970 with two  local contract companies, the huge property and the associated lands  have become  entangled in never-ending legal Battle. In the mean time, the state government was particular about confiscating  the huge property under Land Acquisition Act 1894 and Urban Land (ceiling and regulation) Act. This legal action, having been failed, the government tried to lay its hands on the estate under the recent Bangalore Palace (Acquisition & transfer) Act 1996 (under Mr. H.D. Deve Gowda's government) and the case is before the Supreme Court. 

The late Srikanta Datta Narsimharaja Wadiyar focussed attention on the renovation work after he obtained the right to own the palace. Woodwork the brass-fittings  and lamps were replaced and the old furniture was restored and  newly upholstered. Among the  30,000 photographs currently available in the palace,1,000 of them would  be restored and put up for viewing in an exhibition. A room was converted into a boutique where silks and other garments used by the royal family would  be exhibited. The palace is open to the public who can visit it after paying a fee.  Illumination of the palace and renovating the gardens using Mexican grass is in progress.

The sprawling grounds surrounding the palace  was used for holding public events including music concerts. Many international artists have performed in the grounds. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangalore_Palace