Saturday, October 29, 2005

Playing the palace ...

Today, we visited the fantastic Bangalore Palace, said to be a replica of Windsor Castle. The castle -- complete with turrets -- was built by the Wodeyars, the maharajahs of Mysore, in the late 19th Century.

We took a tour of the interior. It was amazing. There are signs of former opulence and decay all around. Workmen were doing restoration work in various rooms, but in some places it looked like a losing battle.

The place is a mix of Western and Indian elements. There are skylights containing Belgian glass and rooms hung with oil paintings of Hindu gods. The maharanee's bedroom has beautiful Chinese wallpaper. Two small courtyards boast Mediterranean tiles and fountains. Sepia-tinted pictures of the Wodeyars from the days of the Raj line the walls of one of the courtyards. An entrance hall is dominated by a stuffed elephant's head hanging overhead.

To complete the cognitive dissonance, the palace grounds -- including the formal garden -- played host to an information technology fair. Very Bangalore.


At 1:29 AM, Blogger Deppe said...

You can blame the decay on the hundreds of film shootings that happen in that palace.


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