Friday, July 22, 2005

Bangalore Palace to get cosmetic facelift

Bangalore Palace to get cosmetic facelift
Deccan Herald

Srikantadatta Wodeyar, scion of Mysore dynasty, has taken up the task of restoring beauty to the Bangalore Palace by undertaking repair works.

Five-star hotels copied it, swanky restaurants borrowed it, clubs flaunted cheaper imitations, but Bangalore Palace still carries an air of ‘original’ elegance that can only come with royalty. This, despite its dilapidated walls, leaking ceilings, chipped furniture and creaky doors.

But the fading beauty of the palace will soon be cosmetically resurrected. Scion of the Wodeyar dynasty, Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, whose ancestors bought the 20,000 sq ft palace from Major Garrett for Rs 40,000 in 1884, has taken up its restoration work. First priority will be given to the ballroom, and the first phase of the palace will be ready by next month, said Wodeyar. The entire project is expected to be completed within six to eight months. Furniture will be repaired, woodwork will be redone, door latches will be replaced, windows will be painted and broken tiles will be re-laid — all in keeping with its old unique style.

“This is a project close to my heart. I have not depended on any contractor. We have brought craftsmen from Rajasthan for restoration work. I count every brick, every block of wood and clear them, making frequent trips to inspect the work. We have not allocated any particular budget, all expenditure will be need-based,” Wodeyar said, after he and his family performed Gayatri Homa in the palace to mark the beginning of the restoration work.

The new look will also feature 1,000 photographs of the Wodeyar family and paintings — both classical and modern — from Wodeyar’s personal collection. The library is also being restored, and books on law will be kept on display.

The Bangalore Palace has also thrown open certain parts of its building for public viewing.

Carriages of North Karnataka-make will be cleaned and prepared for joy rides that will be on offer at the palace grounds.

The entry ticket is priced at Rs 100 for adults, Rs 200 for foreigners, Rs 50 for children and Rs 500 for those wanting to use the camera.


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