Sunday, 24 July 2011

Bangalore, Karnataka

The mere mention of Bangalore conjures up the image of a uber-chic metropolis endowed with a salubrious climate and ample greenery. Trendy hangouts and an ever-increasing population of young professionals have given the capital of Karnataka a vibrant image. A city pulsating with energy, Bangalore has indeed come a long way from being the sleepy cantonment town that it was during the British Raj. Consequently Bangalore tourism has expanded manifold.

Bangalore is an anglicized version of Bengaluru, which is a derivative of the words Benda Kalooru. Legend has it that in the year 1120 AD, when the Chola King Veera Ballalla reached this place after losing his way in the jungle during a hunting trip, an old lady offered him shelter for the night and served him baked beans for dinner. In a sign of gratitude to the lady, the King constructed a town and named it Benda Kalooru which means baked beans. 

But the present city of Bangalore took shape courtesy the visionary efforts of local chieftain Kempe Gowda who founded the city in 1537. Over the years Bangalore has come to be known by a multitude of monikers. While the tree-lined avenues and spacious parks have earned it the sobriquet of Garden City, the bevy of chic pubs has made it famous as the Pub City. 

Bangalore has been hailed as India's Silicon Valley due to the presence of a large number of reputed IT bellwethers. Tourism in Bangalore is happening with a substantial number of tourist attractions.

Places to See:

Bull Temple

One of the major landmarks of the city, the Bull temple attracts tourists and devotees alike for the magnificent monolithic Bull structure. The Kadalekayi Parishe (The Groundnut fair), which is held in the month of November attracts large number of tourists. 

Attara Kacheri

Literally meaning "Eighteen offices", this impressive edifice of red brick and stone houses the state High Court. Built in the Greco- Roman style of architecture, Attara Kacheri building predates the Vidhana Soudha by almost a century and was conceived by Commissioner Bowring. 

Bangalore Palace

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangalore, the Bangalore Palace has been built along the lines of the Windsor Castle in England and embodies Tudor architecture. Known for the profusion of exquisite woodwork, this stunning palace was built by Chamaraja Wodeyar, Maharaja of Mysore in 1887. 

Cubbon Park

Named after Mark Cubbon, Bangalore's longest-serving commissioner, this beautifully laid out park spreads over 300 acres in the heart of the city. A favorite hub of fitness freaks and the elderly population, Cubbon Park also houses some of the most elegant buildings of the city like the Attara Kacheri.


Constructed by the ISKCON society to commemorate the birth centennial of its founder Sri Prabhupada, the temple complex is a synthesis of modern technology and traditional temple architecture. Perched atop a hillock with a panoramic beauty, ISKCON temple attracts thousands of devotees.

Tipu's Palace

Construction of this magnificent palace was started by Haider Ali and completed by Tipu Sultan in 1791. This summer retreat of Tipu, also known as the Adobe of Peace, is a two-storied wooden structure lined with beautifully carved pillars, arches, and balconies. Now home to a museum displaying artifacts belonging to the Haider-Tipu regime. 

Vidhana Soudha

This majestic structure, housing the State Legislature and the Secretariat of Karnataka, has an imposing presence on the landscape of Bangalore. Influenced by the Neo-Dravidian style of architecture, it is reputed to be the largest secretariat in India. Vidhana Soudha came up courtesy the efforts of Kengal Hanumanthaiah, Chief Minister of the then Mysore state between 1951-1957.


Bangalore Excursions

Bannerghatta National Park (19 km)

Established in 1971, Bannerghatta National Park is part of the Nilgiris-Eastern Ghats Reserve (NEGR). Regarded the largest elephant reserve in the country, the NEGR is the abode to over 2500 Asiatic elephants. You can avail of lion and elephant safaris that will take you to the innermost regions of the Park. 

Whitefield (16 km)

Whitefield is renowned for being the location of Sathya Sai Baba's ashram Brindavana and the International Tech Park, one of India's first IT parks. The serene ambience of Brindavana attracts pious devotees in large numbers. The Tech Park plays host to some of the world's top IT companies. 

Nrityagrama (28 km)

Located northwest of Bangalore, this unique dance village was established by late Odissi dancer Protima Gauri to revive Indian classical dance forms. Upholding the age-old guru-shisya parampara, Nrityagrama offers long-term study of classical dance and allied art subjects. In February, during the annual fest of Vasantha Habba, there is an all-night dance and music performance when renowned Indian classical musicians perform. 

Shivaganga (58 km)

A popular excursion around Bangalore, the Shivaganga hill offers a panoramic view of the scenic valley beneath. The unique feature of the hill is that it looks like a bull (Nandi) from the East, a Ganesha from the West, a Linga from the South and a cobra from the North. A flight of steep steps will lead you to the shrines of Gavi Gangadhareshwara Cave temple and Honnadevi temple............

How to Reach Bangalore

Regular flights operate from Bangalore to prominent Indian cities. The airport houses booking offices of international airlines and there are direct international flights to Sharjah, Muscat and Singapore.

Bangalore is well connected to the rest of the country both by meter gauge and broad gauge rail services. It is an important railway station on the southern railway network. 

National Highways NH 4, NH 7, and NH 48 connect Bangalore to some of India's major cities. Various State Transport Corporations and private bus operators conduct interstate bus services to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Pondicherry and Goa............
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