Friday, July 31, 2015

India Day Seven: Bangalore Palace and Our Last Day!

Our last day in India was lots of fun. Unfortunately Mom was sick and unable to go sightseeing with someone from the office (who will be called L in this) and me. Our first stop was the Hare Krishna Hill temple. Photos were not allowed in the temple complex, but it was a beautiful temple and you can find photos online.

I did, however, take lots of photos at the Bangalore Palace, which was built in the mid-19th century for the Maharaja of Mysore. It is a mix of Tudor, Edwardian and Victorian architecture and styles. 

We were given audio guides and were free to walk around the palace at our leisure. Most of the walls are painted a bright yellow, very different from any historical houses I've been to in Britain or France.

The first Maharaja to live in the palace

The first stop was the ballroom, which had some gothic elements (the arches) and some Tudor elements (the ceilings)

We walked up the staircase lined with official photos until we got to where the Maharaja held court.

He sat where the big mirror is
We got to see the Maharaja and Maharana's courts (they lived in separate quarters to keep with purdah). The audio guide had accounts from the current Maharaja and his family members about their childhoods at the palace. 

Maharaja's quarters
Maharaja's quarters 
Maharaja's quarters
Maharaja's quarters 
Maharaja's quarters (this was used to measure jockeys)
Maharaja's quarters
Cute puppy statue!
Maharana's quarters ("You can tell because of the feminine wallpaper" - audio guide)
Maharana's quarters
Maharana's quarters
Some hunting spoils
Elephant trunk vase. Why?
Random face drawn on a mattress in the Maharana's quarters
Maharana's quarters
Maharana's quarters
Maharana's quarters
Maharana's quarters
We looked into the office of the late Maharaja of Mysore. My favorite part of his office was the portrait (presumably of him) with the Ray Bans.

In front of the palace were some stray dogs and at least one kid being pulled away by their parents because they were reaching for the dogs. 

I could have spent hours walking through the palace and looking at all of the photos. It was fascinating to see the different architectural influences coming together in the building. 

Next we drove to Commercial St, which was recommended to me by a friend. It was very busy and very different to shopping here. The second you step into one of the stores, someone is offering you scarves to look at or asking me what I want. I didn't go into any of the shops knowing what I wanted, except some souvenirs. You are supposed to haggle on the prices, something that I cannot do so I relied on L to haggle for me. If I went shopping there again, I would go in with a specific list of things that I want (scarves, pillow cases, etc.) and I would have a better handle on the conversion rate between rupees and dollars.

After getting back to the hotel Mom (who was feeling better) had the signature facial at the hotel spa Jiva. It was perfect after a stressful week and before two very long flights.  

I will have one last post about India that will have some afterthoughts and other photos that were not included in previous posts. See you then!


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