The Bangalore Palace is one of the city’s best-known landmarks and one of the former homes of the royal family of Mysore. Five generations of the Wadiyar family had ruled over a large part of South India for over 500 years during the powerful Mysore kingdom. A visit to the palace offers a glimpse into the private world of one of India’s royal dynasties.
The palace is situated in enormous grounds of over 450 acres and is set in a large landscaped garden. Built in the Tudor style, construction of the palace began in 1862 and was completed in 1944. More recently, the current heir of the Wadiyars started an ambitious renovation project and opened part of the palace to the public in 2005. He still lives in a private wing of the palace.
The interiors of the palace feature different elements of the Gothic, Victorian, and neo-classical styles. There are over 35 rooms, most of them bedrooms, and a grand ballroom on the ground floor. An ornate staircase leads up to the magnificent Durbar Hall where the maharajah would address his assembly. In the courtyard is a beautiful fountain and bench made of colorful Spanish ceramic tiles, a gift from a former king of Spain. The palace also boasts one of the city’s first elevators which is operated by hand.