From Hampi we took the overnight train to Bangalore and visited Tara, an old colleague of ours from NIST. Bangalore had many interesting areas, including one that was up on top of a shopping centre that resembled a European pavement cafe area.
The highlight of staying in Bangalore, however, was a trip down to Mysore. It was a long drive but the visit to the palace was well worth it.
The Palace of Mysore (also known as the Amba Vilas Palace) is the official residence of the Wodeyars - the royal family of Mysore that ruled the princely state of Mysore for over seven centuries. The Wodeyar kings first built a palace in Mysore in the 14th century, it was demolished and constructed multiple times. The current palace construction was commissioned in 1897, and it was completed in 1912 and expanded later around 1940.
Mysore palace is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in India after Taj Mahal with more than 2.7 million visitors.
Every autumn, the Palace is the venue for the famous Mysore Dasara festival, during which leading artists perform on a stage set up in the palace grounds. On the tenth day of the festival a parade with caparisoned elephants and other floats originate from the palace grounds. The festival corresponds with Natratri, celebrated to commemorate the victory of the Goddess Durga who slew the demon Mahishausura, so is a celebration of good over evil. We were there just before the festival took place, but did manage to see dancing troupes practicing in the palace grounds.