Bengaluru also popularly called Bangalore is the largest city and capital of Karnataka. The city in recent times has become a hotspot for IT professionals and upcoming entrepreneurs, thus calling it the “IT capital of India”. In fact, the phrase “The Silicon Valley”, of India refers to Bangalore itself. However, a few decades ago, it prominently called “Garden City”. It has a population of more than 8 million and a metropolitan population of around 11 million, making it the 3rd most populous city and 5th most populous urban agglomeration in India. Bangalore is the second-fastest-growing major metropolis in India.
The city’s history dates back to around 890 CE, in a stone inscription found at the Nageshwara Temple in Begur, Bangalore. In 1537 CE, Kempe Gowda – a feudal ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire – established a mud fort considered to be the foundation of modern Bangalore and its oldest areas, which exist to the present day. In short, the city has a wide history connected with various emperors.
Bangalore is the capital of Karnataka. Located on Deccan Plateau of Southern India.
How to reach Bengaluru?
The metropolitan city has all sorts of connectivity. One can reach Bangalore through any of these 3 modes
- Air: Bangalore is served by Kempegowda International Airport located at Devanahalli
- Rail: Bangalore has many railway stations like Bangalore Cantonment, Majestic Railway Station, Yeshwanthpur Railway station which is well connected to major cities.
- Road: Buses operated by Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) are an important and reliable means of public transport available in the city. And you can you KSRTC for interstate travel.
When to visit Bengaluru?
The best time to visit Bangalore is from the months of October to February which is the winter months here. Being a populous city and an IT hub of India, Bangalore is best known for its moderate climate that is very pleasing to everyone. However, Bangalore suitable for a visit throughout the year.
Kannada is the local language in Karnataka – Bangalore. Apart from this other languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi etc. are also spoken here. This is because Bangalore has been open to people from all around India and the world.
Bangalore has very pleasant. One can all experience all types of seasons in a single day. Yes, it is hard to believe but in Bangalore, the climate changes in a fraction of seconds. Generally, the temperature varies from 20 degrees to 25-degree centigrade.
Fairs and Festivals in Bengaluru
Much more than glass buildings, the city is famous for its charming festivals and fairs. When you plan a visit to Bangalore, ensure that you are aware of the upcoming festivals in Bangalore.
- Significance: Invoking Goddess Shakti through Karaga
- When: Month of March – April
- Where: Dharmarayaswamy temple
- Duration: 10 days
- Significance: Celebrating the harvest of the first groundnut produce
- When: November
- Where: Dodda Ganesha Temple
- Duration: 2 days
Durga Puja Festival
- Significance: Triumph of Goddess Durga over evil, King Mahishsura
- When: September – October
- Where: Kalaburagi River
- Duration: 4 days
- Significance: Kannada New Year
- When: March (or) April
- Where: Throughout Bangalore
- Duration: 1 day
Ganesh Chaturthi Festival
- Significance: Birth Of Lord Ganesha
- When: August – September
- Where: Throughout Bangalore
- Duration: 1 day to 11 days
- Significance: Triumph of god Rama over the evil demon, King Ravana
- When: October
- Where: Throughout Bangalore
- Duration: 1 day
- Significance: Festival Of Lights
- When: October (or) November
- Where: Throughout Bangalore
- Duration: 1 day
Transportation/Stay to prefer
The public transport in the city ranges from reasonable buses to many expensive taxis. However, the most common mode of local transportation in Bangalore comprises the auto-rickshaws.
The city has hotels, lodges, luxurious resorts and much more. It is advisable to pre-book them at the earliest for them to be pocket friendly.
Places to visit in Bengaluru
It is a botanical garden, commissioned by Hyder Ali in 1760. The park is home to over 1000 species of flora and a Glass House. It is a heaven for all nature lovers; Lal Bagh covers an area of 240 acres in the heart of the city. Hence, the garden features rare plants of French, Persian and Afghani origin and has attained the status of a Government Botanical Garden. This botanical garden, a delight for photographers. In addition to this, the annual flower show is conducted in the famous glass house built here. The Lal Bagh Rock which dates back to 3000 million years, is yet another attraction.
- Timings: 6:00am to 7:00pm
- Entry Fee: Adults: INR 25 (After 8:00 AM) Children below 12 Years: Free Camera: INR 60
It is located in the heart of the city and spreads over 300 acres. In Fact, the Cubbon Park became the basis for naming Bangalore as “Garden City”. Major General Richard Sankey created the park in 1884. It is home to numerous trees and plants.
- Timings: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm (except on Monday and Tuesday)
- Entry fees: No entry fees
Jayaprakash Narayan Biodiversity Park
In short, called JP Park is on an 85-acre site at Mathikere in the northwest area of Bangalore. The park has four lakes, lawns spread over 25 acres and over 250 varieties of trees and shrubs. The star attraction here is the musical fountain that is on showy display on the weekends. Additionally, they also have a quaint and colourful rock garden that’s popular with tiny tots. Moreover, the BBMP also has a swimming pool on the premises and your babies can sign up for classes.
- Timings: 5:00 AM – 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM – 8:30 PM
- Entry Fee: No Entry Fee
Kempegowda built this fort in 1537 A D. It is located next to the Victoria Hospital Gate in the K.R Market area. Mysuru ruler Hyder Ali in 1761 replaced the original mud fort was replaced by a stone fort. Primarily, the original fort was oval in shape and used to have huge gateways at important places which are Delhi Bagilu (gate), Yelahanka Bagilu in the North, Kanakahalli Bagilu, Mysore Bagilu in the South, Ulsur Bagilu in the East and Kengeri Bagilu in the West.
- Timings: 10 AM – 6 PM
- Entry Fee: INR 5 (Indians) & INR 100 (Foreigners)
Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace
The palace consists of 2 storied wooden structures with exquisitely carved pillars, arches and balconies which was built in 1791. This palace used to be the summer retreat of Tipu Sultan. It was the constructor itself who often called it ‘Abode of Happiness’ and ‘Envy of Heaven’. It also has a museum. Various items linked with Tipu Sultan and Hyder Ali are displayed here. The design of the palace does resemble Indo-Islamic style with arches and brackets painted in different colours which further highlight the carvings done on them.
- Timings: 10 AM – 6 PM
- Entry Fee: INR 15 (Indians) & INR 200 (Foreigners) & INR 25 for still camera and video respectively.
It is located near Mekhri Circle and Cantonment Railway station. It is the smaller version of Windsor Castle in England. Folks who seek to experience the classic royal charm of Bangalore can head over here. The expansive Palace Grounds around it were once a famed venue for international music acts, so this location has an important place in Bangalore’s contemporary culture too. A visit to the Palace is a must.
- Timings: 10 AM to 5.30 PM
- Entry Fees: INR 230 (Indians) & INR 460 (Foreigners)
- Mysore Lancers WW-I memorial in memory of the contributions made by the Mysore Lancers in World War 1, a war memorial was erected at JC Road.
- World War I memorial (Sapper War Memorial) is located at the intersection of Brigade Road and Residency Road. In honour of the fallen of the Madras Sappers & Miners (Madras Engineer Group), this memorial was constructed.
- National Military Memorial is located near the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium. To honour the sacrifices made by the Indian soldiers over the years it was built.
- Vidhana Soudha It is the seat of the state legislature of Karnataka. It is an imposing granite building, built-in 1956 in the ‘Neo-Dravidian’ style. With four entrances in all four directions and four floors above the ground level and one below it, we surely don’t doubt the title. Popularly known as the ‘Taj Mahal of South India’.
- Attara Kacheri It is the High Court of Karnataka that overlooks Vidhana Sabha. It is a red brick and stone building in the Greco-Roman style of architecture.
- NIMHANS Brain Museum showcases the human brain and its functions. It is located in the Wilson garden area. The museum has a diverse collection of over 600 brain samples and is the result of over 30 years of research. The museum seeks to help visitors understand how the brain works and get an insight into the kind of diseases that can affect it.
- HAL Aerospace Museum showcases the growth of the Indian aviation industry and HAL for six decades. The museum houses displays of various aircraft and helicopters, Aircraft engine models, Flight simulators, a mock Air Traffic Control Tower and an exhibit of Indian aviation history.
- Government Museum has a rare collection of archaeological and geological artefacts including old jewellery, sculpture, coins and inscriptions. The museum is also home to the Halmidi inscription, the earliest Kannada inscription ever found (450 AD).
- National Gallery of Modern Art is an art gallery in Bangalore. It showcases modern Indian art and houses paintings. NGMA also organizes art walks.
- Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat is an art Gallery of high standards. It is the home to traditional Mysore art, as well as European Art, mainly Russian.
Dodda Alada Mara
The big banyan tree is located in Ramohalli. It is one of the vastest Banyan trees ever, which has wonderfully spread its roots over 3.5 acres of land. It is at least 400 years old. The enormous scatter of the tree has also made itself home to a number of animals including monkeys. All in all, the Dodda Alada Mara is a natural enigma standing tall for 4 centuries making it a must-visit for anyone who is visiting Bangalore for holidays.
Lakes in Bangalore
Bangalore has numerous lakes such as Ulsoor Lake, DRDO Lake, Sankey tank, Hesaraghatta Lake, Yediyur Lake, Nagavara Lake (also called Lumbini Lake), Hebbal Lake, Madiwala Lake, Kempanbudi Lake, Varthur Lake, Bellandur Lake among others.
Nandi hills or Nandidurg is a hill fortress of southern India, in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka state. It is located just 3 to 5 km from Chickballapur Taluq, 60 km from Bangalore. Nandidurg hill, known commonly as Nandi Hills, is the source of the Penner, Ponnaiyar and Palar rivers. An ancient Nandi temple is situated on this hill from which it gets its name. This temple has a thousand-year-old sculpture of Nandi. An ancient lord Shiva and Parvati temple also adorn this hill.
60 km west of Bangalore off the Magadi road is where this hill is. It is among the largest monolith hills in Asia. The hill rises to 1226 m above mean sea level and forms a part of the Deccan plateau. It consists of peninsular gneiss, granites, basic dykes and laterites. The hill is famous for the Narasimhaswamy temple and is ideal for trekking. All in all, the peak offers a great view of the surrounding landscape.
Bannerghatta National Park
22 km from the south of Bangalore one can find this park. This hilly place is the home of one of the richest natural, zoological reserves. The 25,000-acre zoological park makes this a major tourist attraction of Bangalore, which is very crowded during weekends and holidays.
It mainly comprises a butterfly conservatory, museum and an audio-visual room. Additionally, the butterfly conservatory has a polycarbonate roof and is 10,000 square feet of a circular enclosure, inside which the living environment has been carefully designed to support over 20 species of butterflies. Most importantly, the environment has a tropical setting and is completed with a humid climate, an artificial waterfall, a narrow walking bridge and host plants and shrubs that attract butterflies.
Birds at Hebbal lake
The habitat at Hebbal Lake is favoured by many species of water birds including large waterbirds such as the spot-billed pelican, Eurasian spoonbill, shoveller, pintail, garganey, little grebe, coot and the Indian spot-billed duck. Moreover, the shallow zone supports sandpipers and other waders as well as purple moorhens, purple herons and grey herons. In fact, Bangalore has an active bird watching club that meets every Sunday.
The aquarium is the 2nd largest aquarium in India. It has a variety of exotic cultivable as well as ornamental fish on display. In fact, the Hocks stick, Indian Tiger Barb, Pearl Coushmi and Moon Tail are a few of the kinds of fish that can be spotted here.
- Lumbini Gardens is an eco-friendly public park on the banks of Nagawara Lake near Hennur. It has a swimming pool, rides and water boating facility.
- Wonderla is an amusement park located near Bidadi, 28 kilometres from Bangalore.
- Innovative Film City is an amusement and theme park with go-karting, and stage and studio facilities.
- I play is an ice-skating rink at the phoenix market city. It is the only natural ice rink in Karnataka.
- Fun World is an amusement park in Jayamahal road close to Palace Grounds.
- Breakout Escape Experience: Located in Koramangala, this place offers a unique experience for thrill and fun-seekers. Visitors have a mystery to solve in less than 60-mins and escape from the room.
Places of worship
- ISKCON temple (Vaikunta hills) is the Krishna Lila Theme park located at Uttarahalli. It is ISKCON’s largest temple complex in the world which is spread over 8 acres of land.
- Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple is a 16th-century temple known as Dakshina Kashi. The sun’s rays fall on the Shivalinga only on the day of Makara Sankranthi.
- St. Mark’s Cathedral is the oldest church in Bengaluru. The cathedral also has memorial plaques for several British officers and for lives lost in the Moplah revolt.
- St. Mary’s Basilica is the only church in Karnataka that has been elevated to the status of a minor basilica. It is famous for the festivities held during the St. Mary’s Feast in the month of September each year, an event that attracts a number of devotees from in and around Bangalore.
- Masjid-e-Khadria is one of the most beautiful mosques in Bengaluru, located on Millers Road. This mosque hosts the prayers on Eid and also hosts the Haj camp.
- Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha is the oldest and the only major Sikh gurudwara in the heart of Bangalore. Traditional prayers start every morning at 3 am.
Other Spiritual attractions
A traditional gurukula and centre for excellence in Sanskrit, Indian philosophy and Indology – Poornaprajna Samshodhana Mandiram, is a 50-year-old residential Sanskrit college located near Vidyapeetha circle. Around 500 students are presently pursuing their studies in Indian lore from primary to doctorate level.
Art of Living Foundation
This foundation is on the Kanakapura Road which is very famous for the serene ambience and the rejuvenating effect of the atmosphere with the people worldwide visiting it to attend yoga meditation classes. One can find spiritual peace and a calm soul here.
Cuisines to taste in Bengaluru
Bangalore has all kinds of cuisines be it local, national or international; anything that comes to your mind you can find it here. There are various restaurants and local street food spots that provide mouthwatering food at affordable price. But if you are here then you should definitely try them.
- Benne Masala Dosa at CTR (Malleshwaram)
- Mysore Pak
- Coin Paratha with Chicken Ghee Roast at The Permit Room
- Local Meals at Vidhyarthi Bhavan
Things to do in Bengaluru
Some of the top things to do in Bangalore include Exhibitions, concerts, festivals and handicraft fairs to keep the celebratory spirit alive throughout the year. Bangalore also has a lively rock and jazz scene. You can also take a tour of historical monuments and museums. The city also offers some great and fun-filled activities like trekking, go-karting, crazy roller coaster rides too!!
Souvenirs to buy in Bengaluru
If you love shopping then you can’t miss shopping in Bangalore. These spots have a traditional as well as a modern approach towards anything you want to purchase.
- silk sarees
- any kind of jewellery
- exotic fruits