Bangalore Palace tour 🏰: Glimpse into the Wodeyars story – Part 𝟚

To continue with the historical timeline, the mighty Vijayanagar empire which ruled almost the whole of the south India, met its ruin in 1565 at the battle of Talikota 👉 Hampi chronicles: Beginning with the end 🌄 (Starting the Hampi trail🚶🏻‍♀️)

After the disintegration of the Vijayanagara empire, the land was divided among the feudal lords – “Raja Wodeyar was the first of the Wodeyars (1578-1612), who had captured Srirangapatna and was functioning as the Viceroy of Vijayanagar” notes RK Narayan (in the book the Emerald Route) whose home was in Mysore. Srirangapatna was the capital of the Mysore kingdom.

The next notable person on the scene is Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar who allied with the Mughals against the Marathas in the fight to capture Bengaluru. The Mughals won and later sold Bengaluru to Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar. Next notable event was the rule of Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan over the Mysore kingdom. Meanwhile, the Wodeyars aligned themselves with the British and soon after defeat of Tipu Sultan by the British the Mysore kingdom was restored to the Wodeyars.

But in 1831, the British took over the rule of the Mysore kingdom and later in 1881 the same was restored back to the Wodeyars – namely Chamaraja Wodeyar X – who is credited with the Bangalore Palace. His successor was the famous Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, who is called the maker of modern Mysore, says RK Narayan. The next two Maharajas were Jayachamaraja Wodeyar and Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar and current head is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja. So we are up to speed !

The famed 10 day Dasara festival celebrated in Mysore is considered as a carryover of the erstwhile Mahanavami festival celebrated by the Vijayanagar kings with much pomp and show.

As was the norms of the ruling classes, the living quarters were kept separate for the men and women even at the relatively recent Bangalore Palace. From the durbar hall, a narrow passage lined with old black and white photographs of the Mysore Dasara festival and visits by foreign dignitaries leads us first to the living quarters of the men folk. There are also various paintings on the walls, replicas of the original hanging in Louvre and elsewhere.

The narrow passage leading to the living quarters of the men folk at the Bangalore Palace; note the pattern of the tiles

Now you start noticing the different patterns of the tiles on the floor and the designs on the walls. They vary from room to room.

A display of paintings adorn the walls of the Bangalore Palace; notice the tiles !?
The first floor of the living quarters of the menfolk; notice the tiles !? and the pretty wrought iron pattern

The courtyard below is called the King’s courtyard – it has the benches presented as gifts by the King of Spain on his delight at the hospitality of the Wodeyars.

King’s courtyard
Bench gifted by KIng of Spain made of tiles from Seville
Bench gifted by KIng of Spain

The women folk lived in even prettier settings 👇

The first floor living quarters of the womenfolk at the Bangalore Palace
The fountain the courtyard below in the living quarters of the women at the Bangalore Palace
The colonnade around the courtyard of the womenfolk
A vase made from elephant’s trunk at the Bangalore Palace

There are stools made from elephant’s feet and vase made from the elephant’s trunk and various other reminders of the family’s hunting escapades. I have seen ivory fashioned in various ways, displayed at museums; the elephant tail and dung are considered good luck charms, but this is the first time, seeing elephant trunks and foot on display ! 👉 Surprise Me🧞‍♂️ : Must see treasures at the Salar Jung museum in Hyderabad the Salar Jung museum in Hyderabad has ivory chairs gifted to Tipu Sultan by Louis XVI of France.

There are plenty more objects used by the royal family on display, the crockery, the clothes and more photos, painting and pictures. The audio guide tells you of the royals eating from silver thalis (plates) and then retiring to the respective courtyards to chew pan and gossip.

In addition to the regal life, I would really have liked to see the kitchens where the servants made the food for the silver thalis. How big were the vessels used for cooking? How were the servant’s rooms? What does an ordinary life look like in the palace? A glimpse into the royal life is only half the story…

It was a good three hours, the audio guide was a blessing; merely looking and walking along would have made absolutely no sense. The Bangalore Palace is well worth a visit ! Here’s the first part 👉 Bangalore Palace tour 🏰: Glimpse into the Wodeyars story – Part 𝟙

Till next post, take care !!


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