Called variously the "Garden City of India" and "India's Silicon Valley", Bangalore, fast emerging as one of the most industrialized cities in India, offers the pluses of city life without the minuses.
The present capital of the state of Karnataka, Bangalore was founded by the local Chieftain Kempe Gowda in the sixteenth century. But it was only when Tipu Sultan made Bangalore the summer capital of (the then) Mysore state, that Bangalore came into its own. The ruling family of the Wodeyars also contributed in developing the city through the gardens and palaces they built. To the British goes the credit of making it into an administrative center.
Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium
A visit to the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium is an experience that you will never forget. Surely, the shows will inspire you to learn, explore, and discover the fascinating world of astronomy.
The Fort and Tipu's Palace
A fine example of 18th century Indian military architecture, this fort constituted the stronghold of Hyder Ali, and subsequently his son Tipu Sultan, witnessing several fierce and bloody battles during their times. The fort was last used for military purposes as recently as 1888.
Bangalore isn't called the Garden City of India for nothing. Trees, flowers, bushes and plants are visible wherever you go, and the Lal Bagh garden has expansive lush lawns, a profusion of flowerbeds, lotus pools and tinkling fountains. The flower show here is a sight to behold! You'll also be able to see the lake, a sit-out on a hill-top and a fascinating nursery.
This imposing granite building houses both the Secretariat and State Legislature and several other offices. Built in a Neo-Dravidian style of architecture, it is one of India's most magnificent public buildings. It is flood-lit on Sunday evenings, presenting a truly breathtaking picture.
Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple
The temple is natural monolith carved cave temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. On the 14 / 15 January every year a ray of light passes precisely through the horns of the Nandi bull and illuminates the deity inside. This unique phenomenon occurs every year on the Makar Sankranti day and attracts large number of devotees. The precision of the event displays the advanced technical and scientific knowledge of those who built the temple. The architectre of this temple combines 'Vastukala' with astronomy.
This picturesque 1.5 sq. km lake is dotted with islands. Located on the North-Eastern fringes of the city, it is an ideal place for boating and shopping. A Ganesh festival is organised in August / September. One of the Kempegowda watch towers stands nearby. There is also a swimming pool which has separate timings for males and females.
Visveswaraya's Industrial & Technological Museum
See an unconnected tubelight glow, actually watch your voice as you speak, learn how to make motion pictures, paper and burglar alarms. These are just some of the fascinating aspects of a museum that is a wonderland of information about the marvels of science.
The park is a lush, grassy expense fringed with flower beds, shady bowers and flowering trees. It contains various species of trees, some of which are not grown anywhere else in India and have been specially imported. In the evenings the illuminated fairy fountains light up and a restaurant in the center of the park serves light refreshments. Also within the park is an aquarium, the City Central Library which contains rare books, a children's playground, and a quaint old toy train called the Puttani Express which takes you on a ride all around the park.
Bangalore is naturally air-conditioned. The weather is extremely pleasant. The city has a dry tropical savannah type of climate. The rains are very frequent and the summers are warm. Winters are cold. But no weather is extreme. You can visit the city any time of the year and enjoy the salubrious climate. It is advisable to avoid the monsoons between July and September.
Bangalore is famous for its shopping malls, which have some of the biggest and finest showrooms in India. Though the de facto software capital of India, it has been attracting shoppers for sandal wood, silk and hand woven materials for ages. The Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation's 'Priyadharshini' Handloom House is located at various places. Bangalore is a good place to buy specialities from all over the state. Brass inlay work, Rosewood, Ivory artifacts and Lambani Jewellery make good decorative and/or gift items.
Premier shopping areas are Mahatma Gandhi Road, Commercial Street, Brigade Road, Public Utility Building, Kempe Gowda Road, Jayachamarajendra Road, Jayanagar Shopping Complex, Russel Market, City Market, Avenue Road.
All the major Indian festivals are celebrated with pomp and gaiety.
Bangalore also celebrates some regional festivals.
The Karaga festival is celebrated in March / April. Karaga, an earthen pot embodying Shakti, is taken out in a night procession for more than 12 miles before being immersed in the Sampangi tank.
In November Kadalekaye Parishe is celebrated. The local farmers worship at the Bull temple. Kadalekaye Parishe is also known as the Peanut festival.
Bangalore accounts for the highest number of two and three-wheelers in the country, with every alternate vehicle being a two-wheeler (motorcycle or scooter) or a metered auto-rickshaw. Autos are the most popular and available means of public transport. Getting one at night, though, can be difficult.
Buses leave from the main bus stand right opposite the railway station. The Bangalore Municipal Transport Corporation also runs special deluxe buses called Pushpak. These charge a bit more, but are more comfortable.
It is easy to hire a car in Bangalore and you can choose to drive yourself.
Bangalore has an international airport with almost all the major domestic airlines offering flights to and from the city. The airport is 6 kms from the city centre.
Bangalore has two railway stations, the Bangalore city and Bangalore Cant. The major trains to and from Bangalore terminate and start from the city station. Bangalore is well connected to all the major towns of India. Rajdhani Express, other superfast trains, and the recently inaugurated Konkan railway also serve the city.
Bangalore has very good motorable roads to various parts of the state. Some of the bus services also serve the adjoining states. Both private and state transport run buses are available from the beautiful and well maintained bus terminus in Bangalore.