"Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make the best of it as it is, is the only way of being happy." ~ Jennie J Churchill



At 949m above sea level on the Deccan Plateau in South India, Bangalore enjoys a salubrious climate through the year. The city was once known as the "Garden City." It is one of India's fastest growing cosmopolitan cities. Bangalore is a city of contrasts, going by several other aliases: India's Silicon Valley, Pub City, Shopper's Paradise, Garden City, Air-conditioned City, Gourmet's Delight, Pub Hopper's Paradise and Shopper's Hot Spot.

Bangalore has been extolled in a dozen ways. The city not only plays host to several international IT companies, public sector enterprises, defence organisations, and reputed educational and research institutions, but also lays claim to being the hub of India's emerging biotech industry. Bangalore has lots to offer - a rich cultural heritage, historic monuments, cultural centres, traditional arts and crafts stores, exotic cuisine, and friendly people. Amusement parks, country clubs, resorts, golf courses, cyber cafes, pubs, discos, bowling alleys, billiard halls, pool parlours, bustling shopping malls, high-rise apartments and sophisticated hotels together form the new face of Bangalore. Infotainment, entertainment, science and technology parks and wildlife safari parks all merge into a vibrant, richly textured modern metropolis. Today from a pensioners paradise it has transformed into one of the hottest destination for young people chasing their dreams in IT, BPO, Biotechnology or knowledge management.

More on Karnataka
South West K.
Wildlife Sanctuaries
Bandipur Park
Nagarhole Park


Bangalore which literally means the town of baked beans was founded by Kempegowda, a chieftain of the Vijayanagar empire, around the 16th century. He built four towers in four directions to specify its boundaries. However Bangalore has far exceeded these limits.

Places of Interest:

Vidhana Soudha
This magnificent building is modern Bangalore's well-known landmark. Built in Neo-Dravidian style using solid granite, it was the brainchild of Late Shri.K.Hanumanthaiah, a former chief minister of the erstwhile Mysore state. The state secretariat and the legislatures are housed in this five storey building. The entrance is an ornately carved sandalwood door.

Cubbon Park
This sprawling aesthetically laid out park is across the Vidhana Soudha and covers an area of 300 acres. Conceived by Lord Cubbon in 1864, it is an oasis of tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. The red Gothic structure of the city's High Court against the back drop of the green of Cubbon Park is a riot of colours. Besides this building, the public library with its attractive rose garden, the Jawahar Bal Bhavan with its bumper attractions for children are also located in the park. The Bal Bhavan is closed on Mondays and IInd Tuesdays.

This famous botanical garden was laid out by Hyder Ali and developed by his son Tipu Sultan. One of the towers set up by Kempegowda can be seen on a hillock here. Huge old trees with their canopy of green foliage and rare species of plants vie for attention along with the flaming red of the Gulmohar trees. The Glass House where flower shows are held twice a year is also impressive. Lalbagh has an attractive floral clock also.

Plant lovers can buy rose plants, crotons and other exotic shrubs and plants from the Horticultural Society situated near the Double Road gate at bargain prices.


Bull Temple
Kempegowda, the founder of the city is credited with the construction of this temple which has a mammoth bull carved out of a single rock. It is an example of the Dravidian style of architecture.

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is a natural cave born out of a monolithic stone. On January 14th every year, a ray of sunlight passes through an arch between the horns of a stone bull outside the temple and lights up the idol inside - a testimony to the architectural excellence, combined with a thorough knowledge of astronomy, possessed by the builders of the temple.

Tipu's Palace
Built in 1791 A.D., as a summer palace by Tipu Sultan, it has an attractive wooden interior.

Government Museum
Some rare collections of sculptures, coins and inscriptions as also some splendid displays of art are exhibited here. The museum faces the Kasturba Road. Wednesday is the weekly holiday.


Ulsoor Lake
The tranquil Ulsoor lake dotted with picturesque little islets is situated in the Cantonment area. It has facilities for boating. Open from 9 a.m to 6 p.m.

Bangalore offers a wide range of hotels, restaurants, bars and shopping arcades.

The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation conducts guided tours around the city.

Within easy reach:-

Whitefield (16 kms)
This quiet, peaceful village has acquired fame on account of `Brindavan' Ashram of Sri Satya Sai Baba, a holy man said to possess super human powers.

Bannerghatta National Park (22 Kms)
104 sq.kms of wild life habitation on the outskirts of the city, the Bannerghatta National Park has a lion safari as also crocodile and snake farms. Children will enjoy it.


Mutyala Madavu (45 Kms)
Tiny drops of water cascading down a height of 300 feet appear pearl like in the sunshine and offer an enjoyable picnic spot.

Nandi Hills (60 Kms)
This historic hill station at a distance of 60 kms from Bangalore has the ruins of Tipu's fortress. Built as a fortification in the wars against the Marathas and the British, one can see the embrasures and loopholes for placing cannons in the fort. But the beautiful locale and the enchanting atmosphere bely the character of the fort and have turned Nandi Hills into a popular hill resort. There are three bridle paths leading to the top offering interesting trekking. Towns of antiquity dot its base.

Mekedatu (Goat's leap) (98 km)
A narrow gorge where a goat can leap across the river Cauvery has created an ideal picnic spot. Downstream where the Cauvery mingles with the river Arkavathi stands a temple dedicated to Sangameshwara.


Shivaganga (56kms)
There is a natural spring named `Pathala Ganga' at Shivaganga which is at a height of about 4500 ft above sea level. Offers a panoramic view from the top. The two main shrines are the Gangadareswara Cave temple and Honnadevi Temple. This place is associated with Shanthala, wife of the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana.

Devarayana Durga (79 Kms)
Extensive forests, lovely countryside and hill top temples make this hill an ideal place for trekking. Nearby are a natural spring `Namada Chilome' and a temple dedicated to Ugra Narasimha.

Ghati Subramanya
There is an ancient temple of Lord Subramanya in this pilgrim centre which is 52 kms from Bangalore.

Talakad (132 kms), Kolar Gold Field (98 kms), Kanva Reservoir(69 kms), Vidurashwatha (88 kms) are the other places of tourist interest.


How to get there:
Bangalore is well connected by air to all the major cities of India (Madras, Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Mangalore, Goa and Belgaum).

There are regular train services to Madras (daily 4 trains) (journey about 7 hours). To Mysore 7 trains daily (journey about three and Half hours; Calcutta (twice weekly) New Delhi (daily) journey 42 hours (Rajdhani 35 Hrs). The Bangalore city railway station and Bangalore city bus station are located opposite to each other.

Local Transport:

Auto Rickshaws: These are the best and the most convenient means of transport within the city. These are metered and can carry upto three passengers. Extra charges are levied for luggage and waiting. One and a half times the metre fare is levied during night times.

Taxis: Taxis are not popular in Bangalore. However tourists can hire taxis through the Hotel reception/ Travel Counters.


Bangalore Transport Services
The main terminus for city services is located opposite the City Railway Station. Buses to all extensions of the city are operated from here. The other two bus terminals are Shivajinagar and City Market.

Bangalore Bus Station (out station)
This Bus Station is situated just opposite the City Railway Station. Regular and Super Deluxe Buses operate to all towns and cities in Karnataka and also to neighbouring states (Madras, Goa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh). Various State Government Transport services are available from this Bus Station.

Airport: Bangalore has only a domestic airport, which is 15 kms from the city. Indian Airlines operates daily flights to Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Goa. Indian Airlines city office is located at KHB Buildings, (next to Cauvery Bhavan) on K.G.Road).


Where to Stay:
Apart from the Ashok Radisson, Taj Residency, West End, Windsor Manor and the Oberoi Hotels which are all luxury hotels, there are several hotels in Bangalore offering decent boarding and lodging.

The Cauvery Arts and Crafts Emporium with its main outlet at M.G.Road is the ideal place to buy handicrafts that Karnataka has to offer. There are several well-known shops selling silks and sarees.

(Information courtesy Karnataka Tourism Department)

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.