Bangalore City Tour, October 2017

On our first day in Bangalore in October 2017, we had a chance to go out into the city to see some of the sights. Our flight from Hong Kong was delayed so we did not start at the crack of dawn as planned, but rather at about 10am. The early start had been planned because Bangalore is notorious for its bad traffic. Believe me, it can be really bad. The calendar was on our side as this was Sunday on the tree day weekend of Mahatma Gandhi Day which is celebrated as an Indian national holiday every October 2nd. It being a holiday weekend, traffic was quite light.

We headed off from our hotel, the Park Plaza Bangalore, going to Bangalore Palace and picking up our guide on the way. The palace was built in the 1870s in a tudor style by Maharaja Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, the king of Mysore. It is still being used by the current king of Mysore for his ceremonial duties.

You can get recorded audio tours that describe the features of the palace and its history. One note on the tour — you have to pay extra to be able to take pictures.

An outside view of Bangalore Palace.

There are hunting trophies throughout the palace including this elephant head at the top of the entrance stairs.

This elephant head overlooks the main entrance to the Bangalore Palace

The rooms are richly decorated. This main meeting room hosted government meetings during the colonial period.

This is the main meeting room in the Palace. There is a balcony overlooking the room where women were allowed to watch the proceedings.

The palace has been kept in very good shape.

This is a very elegantly deceorated walkway.

The tilework in this patio is quite impressive.

A turret / tower on Bangalore Palace

After completing our tour, we headed off to Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, stopping briefly at the Karnataka state government buildings. They have an impressive statue of Mahatma Gandhi outside the state buildings.

A statue of Mohatma Gandhi outside the state government buildings of Karnataka.

Tipu Sultan was ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore at the latter part of the 18th century. He was deposed and killed in 1799 in the end of the Fourth Anglo-Mysore war at the Siege of Seringapatam. Incidentally, The Siege of Serigapatam was the setting for the first book in Bernard Cornwell’s excellent Richard Sharpe series. This book, Sharpe’s Tiger, is the first of 24 novels and short stories following the life of a fictional English Rifleman. I highly recommend the books.

Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace was built in central Bangalore in 1791. Tipu Sultan would hold court from this balcony. It was not easy to photograph as there were many visitors.

Tipu would speak to his subjects from the platform in the center of the picture.

Our last stop before lunch was the Sri Big Bull Temple (Dodda Ganeshana Gudi). Located at the founding point of Bangalore, this temple is a Nandi carved out of a single rock.

The Big Bull Temple at the founding point of Bangalore.

The temple around the bull is very ornately decorated.

The decorations on the temple are ornate and colorful.

Carved from a single boulder, the temple was built up around the bull.

This bull was carved in place from a single large rock. The temple was built around it.

The temple is in very active use as a Hindu shrine.

A dancing musician outside the Big Bull Temple

Having completed our tour itinerary, we stopped for a nice lunch. Outside the restaurant was this sea of two-wheelers. But with the light traffic, we had completed our planned six-plus hour tour in a mere three hours.

A horde of two-wheelers are a good example of the dense traffic of Bangalore,