The capital of the Karnataka, Bangalore is called ‘The Silicon Valley of India’. It is not only famous for its business centres but also as a tourist location. Legend has it that King Veeraballa of Vijayanagara lost his way in the forest. He came upon a hut amid the forest where he met an old woman. He was hungry and weary and asked her for food. She gave him baked beans ('Benda Kalu' in Kannada).The king found this meal tastier than his palace one. In her honour he named the city ‘Benda Kalu Ooru’, meaning ‘the place of baked beans’.
Bangalore is known for its pleasing climate, gardens, museums, lakes and tourist spots. The old and young co-exist here. You can find fabulous shopping malls right next door to historical sites and monuments.
Bangalore is well-connected by air, rail and road. Super highways and flyovers will take you to any part of the city or its suburbs. There are many international and domestic flights. The airport is only an hour’s ride from the city. The main railway stations are at Bangalore East, Bangalore City and Cantonment. There are inter-state buses and city buses here. Taxis and autorickshaws will take you around the city and to tourist spots.
Make sure you visit the Vidhan Soudha – the legal headquarters of the state. It is built in dressed Bangalore granite. It was constructed based on the styles of Rajasthani, Chola and Dravidian. Lalbagh, meaning red garden and covering over 90 hectares, is known for its bright red roses in the Centenary Rose Garden. It was built by Hyder Ali in 1760.
Cubbon Park is a 300-acre park named after former British Commissioner Sir Mark Cubbon who placed a statue of Queen Victoria at the entrance of the park. The Bangalore Palace in town was built in Tudor style in 1880 based on the Windsor castle. It was built by a Wodeyar King and the last of the Wodeyars still live in this palace. There are photographs and paintings of the royals and their escorts in the palace.
Bull Temple in Basavanagudi is one of the oldest temples in Bangalore and is dedicated to Nandi, lord Shiva’s mount. It was built in the 16th century. Devotees believe that the source of the river Vishva Bharti originates at the feet of the statue. The temple stands within the Bugle Rock Park.
The ISKCON temple is the largest shrine in the city dedicated to Lord Krishna. It was built by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Bannerghatta National Park is 20km from Bangalore. The tiger safari here is a major attraction. It takes you through the 11,000-odd hectare protected area, and on this hour-long safari, you can see tigers and lions. Forest department organises elephant rides as well.
How to get there
Bangalore is well connected by air. Air Deccan, Air Sahara, Jet Airways, Kingfisher are the Indian operators. There are a host of international airlines such as Air France, Alitalia, KLM, Air India and Lufthansa operating to and from the city. The airport is about an hour’s ride from the city’s centre.
The main train stations are Bangalore East, City and Cantonment. There are inter-state buses as well as ones that ply within the city limits. There are taxis and autorickshaws that can take you around the city and to tourist spots.
Places to See in Bangalore and Around
Vidhana Soudha | Government Museum | Lalbagh Gardens | Tipu Sultan's Palace | Jumma Masjid | St. Marks Cathedral | Cubbon Park | Ulsoor Lake
Bangalore Palace | St. Andrew's Kirk | The Bull Temple | Nandi Hills | Janapada Loka Folk Arts Museum | Bannerghatta National Park | Shopping