BANGALORE TOURISM GUIDE:
Map: Bangalore Tourism, Karnataka, India
Location of Bangalore: Karnataka.
Significance: Capital Of Karnataka.
Bangalore was Founded by: Kempe Gowda.
Languages Spoken in Bangalore: Hindi, Kannada, Telgu, Tamil, English.
Bangalore – The City Of Baked Beans
The capital city of Karnataka, Bangalore, the fifth largest city in India, is the perfect blend of natural beauty and man-made marvels of architecture and technology. Blessed with a salubrious climate and dotted with beautiful parks, its tree-lined avenues, its trendy, yuppie downtown, and the software flood, Bangalore truly offers one a picture of striking contrasts.
Bangalore – located 1,000M above sea level is one of the most ‘happening’ places in India. Bangalore, which literally means the ‘town of baked beans’, was founded by Kempe Gowda, 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 since.
Bangalore is fast emerging as one of the most industrialized cities in India, keeping pace with the latest trends and fashion. Bangalore is renowned, not only for its own beauty and technological advances, but also for its easy access to the marvels of the land around it. These intriguing sites of Bangalore include gardens, universities, temples and ancient ruins. The city of Bangalore also is a gateway to Southern India. Bangalore is well connected to other major cities. Today it has almost become the fastest growing city in Asia. The bazaars and shopping malls of Bangalore offer a fine selection of silks, sandal wood souvenirs, handicrafts and fragrant incense sticks. Communication is very simple in this city where people can converse in English, Kannada and Hindi with equal ease.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL BANGALORE:
Bangalore has a pleasant climate. The greenery of the city is an added attraction along with the climate. The numerous gardens and parks, streets lined with trees are very soothing in what would have been a jungle of concrete. Bangalore is called the air-conditioned city in India as the city has dry tropical savannah type of climate with warm summers, cold winters and very frequent rains. But no weather goes to its extreme.
One can visit the city any time of the year and enjoy the salubrious climate but it is advisable to avoid the rainy season between July and September.
BANGALORE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:
The Bull Temple: The 4.57m high and 6.10 m long image was built by Kempe Gowda, in the 16th century. The image has been carved out of a single granite rock. The original colour of Nandi bull was grey, which has now turned black due to the application of coconut oil by the devotees. The statue of the bull has been carved out of a single rock. Non-Hindus are not allowed in the temple. The temple is always busy with some ceremony or other. On weekends, there are musicians who perform at the temple.
Vidhaan Soudha: A marvel of neo-Dravidian architecture and one of the most imposing building not only in Bangalore but in India, the Vidhaan Soudha houses the state legislative assembly of Karnataka and part of the Secretariat. The gleaming white domes, pillars and archways, resemble the architectural pattern of Mysore’s old palaces. The huge, carved doors of the cabinet room are made of pure sandalwood. The entire building, when floodlit on Sunday evenings, presents a truly breathtaking picture.
Tipu’s Palace: The summer palace of Tipu Sultan was built in Bangalore. The entire structure is built of teakwood. This double-storeyed ornate structure was constructed in 1781-1791 AD. This palace is beautifully decorated with floral motifs on the walls and ceilings. The structure is replete with pillars, arches and balconies. After the death of Tipu, this building was used by the British as their secretariat till 1867 AD. In busy market place of the city, are the remnants of this fort built by Tipu. What ever remains of the fort reminds one of the struggle of Tipu against the British. There is a small Ganesha temple among the fort ruins.
Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple: The temple is a 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 shows advancement in the technical and scientific knowledge of our ancestors.
Ulsoor Lake: The 1.5 sq. km lake is dotted with islands. The picturesque lake is located on the North-Eastern fringes of the city and is an ideal place for boating and shopping. A Ganesh festival is organised in August / September. One of the Kempe Gowda watch-towers stands nearby. There is also a swimming pool nearby, which has different timings for males and females.
Karnataka State Government Museum: One of the oldest museums of India, established in 1866 AD, it has on display specimens of works of antiquity and ancient art, such as sculptures, coins and inscriptions found in different parts of Karnataka. The Museum has an attractive collection of specimens of archaeological and natural history, numismatics, ethnology, art and industrial art. It houses some ‘virakals’ (Hero-Stones) of South India.
Working hours 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on all days except Wednesdays and General Holidays.
Bangalore Palace: Built in the Tudor style and inspired by the Windsor Palace, a Wodeyar king built this palace in 1887 AD. This unique edifice stands in the heart of the city. It is built in a manner similar to medieval castles in Normandy and England. Its interior boasts of elegant wood carvings and Tudor-style architecture
Venkatappa Art Gallery: A wing of the State Government Museum, Venkatappa Art Gallery is an interesting place of visit. Water colour paintings, Plaster of Paris works and other works of art of the famous artist Venkatappa and some contemporary artists are on display. There is a separate section for the wooden sculptures of Major Cheppudira Ponnappa Rajaram. Attached to the Art Gallery is an exhibition hall, which is available on rent to artists for exhibiting their works of art.
Visweswaraya Industrial and Technological Museum: Adjacent to the Government Museum in Bangalore is the Vishveshwaraya Industrial and Technological Museum, the second of its kind in India. Managed by the Council of Science & Industrial Research, the main objective behind its establishment is to inculcate in the people, a science consciousness. This museum is a tribute to Sir M. Vishweshwaraiah, a statesman who worked untiringly to bring science and technology to the common man. Working Hours: 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on all working days, closed on all Mondays and notified holidays.
Garden City: Aptly called ‘The Garden City’, due to the patronage of the Wodeyar rulers, this well-planned city with tree-lined avenues, parks, gardens and lakes attracts people from all over India. Bangalore has more than 400 gardens spread across the length and breadth of the city. In spite of all its expansions, it retains its quintessential old-world charm.
Cubbon Park (2 kms from MG Road): Planned and laid out in 1864 AD, Cubbon Park is a beautiful 300-acres park containing the public library and the museum. The illuminated “fairy fountain” and the elegant Greco-colonial style buildings, add to the beauty of this park. The imposing, red Gothic structure within this park is Seshadri Iyer Memorial Hall, which houses the public library. Also situated here are the High Court, the Government Museum, the Technology Museum, the Government Aquarium and the Jawaharlal Bal Bhavan.
Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens (4 kms from MG Road): These 240-acre gardens were laid out during the Muslim era (18 century) by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, 200 years ago. They contain the largest collection of rare tropical and sub-tropical plants, century-old trees, fountains, terraces, lotus pools, rose gardens and a Deer Park. Lal Bagh has a magnificent glass house built in 1840 AD, on the lines of London’s Crystal Palace. The Annual flower, fruit and vegetable shows are regularly held here. It contains one of Kempegowda’s towers and a surreal lawn clock surrounded by Snow White and seven dwarfs. Lal Bagh also houses the offices of the Karnataka Horticultural Society that renders free advice to those interested in flowers and gardens.
SIGHTSEEING AND EXCURSIONS FROM BANGALORE:
Ramohalli : This picnic spot is located 28 kms from Bangalore on the Mysore road. Ramohalli is a beautiful picnic spot with a KSTDC restaurant. The main attraction of the place is the 400-year-old Banyan tree, which has its branches, spread over an area of three acres.
Bannerghatta National Park: This lion and tiger safari park is set amidst picturesque surroundings around 22 kms away from the city. The park is spread over an area of 104 sq. kms. One can see the lions, tigers and elephants in closed enclosures. There is also a crocodile and snake farm, which attracts many visitors. There are regular bus services from the city to this place.
Nrityagram: This place was established as an institution for the classical dances. The famous Odissi dancer Protima Bedi had founded this place to preserve the ancient and classical dance forms of India. It is located 30 kms from the city centre. The dance village as it is called, was designed by the award-winning architect from Goa, Gerard Da Cunha. Apart from dance, this place also teaches allied subjects like philosophy, music, mythology, paintings and choreography.
Mysore: The erst while capital of the Wodeyars is 140 kms from Bangalore. This city has retained the charm it had acquired during the reign of Wodeyars. Mysore is also known as the ‘City Of Palace’. For centuries, Mysore has been visited for sandalwood and silk. The Mysore Palace is often compared with the Buckingham Palace in England. The St. Philomena’s Church and the Mysore Dassara are added attractions of this place. Vrindavan Gardens on the KRS Dam is one of the most-visited gardens in India. The musical fountains here have fascinated not only the visitors but they have also been widely shot for the silver screen.
Ramanagaram: This place is famous for the rock-formations and is a great attraction for the rock climbers. It is 49 kms from Bangalore City. Ramanagaram is also an important silk cocoon market.
Shivaganga: 50 kms from the city centre is a hill, which provides a breathtaking view of the nearby areas. There are two famous shrines dedicated to Lord Gangadeshwara and Goddess Honnadevi.
Hassan: 194 kms from Bangalore is Hassan, from where one can go to Belur, Halebid and Sravanabelagola. Sravanabelagola is a famous Jain pilgrimage with a 17m high monolith of lord Bahubali standing tall.
Bangalore is a city, which not only has a large number of cinema halls but is also famous for its nightlife. It is a city, which has adopted to the changing fashion trends in the world. The numerous pubs and nightclubs can compete with any modern city of America or Europe. The big boom may be over but the young people of the city still have money to squander over and the nightlife in the city is thriving.
The modern shopping malls at Bangalore, full of brightly lit shops and showrooms not necessarily invite prospective buyers but are treat for the window shoppers too. A thriving modern business centre, whose gracious garrison town features are being remodelled in the image of India’s mall loving middle class. It has been scathingly described as a city in search of a soul.
A night on the town normally kicks off with a bar crawl along Brigade Road, Residency Road and Church Street where scores of swish pubs compete with MTV, lasers and thumping sound systems.
Drinking alcohol here does not have the shabby connotations as is the case elsewhere in India. There is a ban on alcohol sale however, between 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm imposed in 1993 by the then Chief Minister Veerappa Moily to keep off the school children from skipping schools to booze.
FARE AND FESTIVALS OF BANGALORE:
Bangalore is a living city, which celebrates all the festivals and various fairs with great pomp and show, be it a flower show, a temple festival or a bull race.
Karaga: In the months of March and April every year falls the ‘Shakthi Worship’. The ‘Karaga’ procession starts from the Dharmaraja temple of Nagarthpet at 2 o’clock in the morning. After covering a distance of 20 to 25 kilometres, the procession returns to the temple at 6 am.
Ulsoor Someswara Festival: The Ulsoor Someswara Car Festival falls in March/April every year.
The Festival of Sriramanavami: Harikathas, Bhajans and Music performances are arranged in different parts of Bangalore during March/April for the Sriramanavami Festival.
Lal Bagh Show: The Mysore Horticultural Society conducts the Lal Bagh show in January and August and awards prizes for the best exhibits of vegetables, fruits and flowers in the show.
Festival of Sri Ganesha: During August, in various parts of Bangalore is celebrated the Sri Ganesha Festival.
The Bangalore Race: The summer season race commences in the middle of May and ends in July. The winter season race starts in November and goes on upto March next year. Of Course, betting is conducted on races run in other places
The Silver Car Festival for Sri Subramanyaswami (Visweshwarapuram): This festival which falls in November/December attracts a large number of devotees.
Groundnut Fair: This fair is held near Basava Temple in Basavangudi in September/October.
St. Mary’s Feast: At St. Mary’s Basilica near Russell Market Shivaji Nagar is celebrated the Parish Feast on the 8th of September.
Christmas: Bangalore adorns itself in its best attire to show its joy at the birth of Christ.
Ayyappa Bhajans: In the last week of December and the first week of January, the Ayyappa Bhajans are heard in different parts of the Bangalore sung by the pilgrims to Sabarimala.
The Festival Of Sankranti, Dassara And Diwali: Diwali in October/November, Dassara in September/October and Sankranti in January are celebrated with all the gaiety by Bangalorians.
Kannada Rajyotsava: On the 1st of November, falls the Kannada Rajyotsava. It is celebrated with great jubilation.
Ramzan and Bakrid: Prayers and Greetings are a characteristic feature of Ramzan and Bakrid.
SHOPPING AT BANGALORE:
Bangalore, compared to many other Indian cities is economical for buying silk fabrics, handloom fabrics, garments, woolen carpets, sandalwood articles, rare antiques, gold and silver jewellery, perfumes and incense sticks. Bangalore is famous for the shopping malls, which have some of the finest and biggest showrooms in India. This electronic capital of India has been attracting people for Sandal wood, Silk and hand woven materials.
The Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation’s ‘Priyadarshini’ Handloom House is located at various places. Bangalore is a good place to buy specialities from all over the state. Here one can find the fine Mysore silk and Sandalwood items. The inlay work from Karnataka in Brass and Rosewood are any collector’s hunt. Ivory artifacts and the Lambani Jewellery make good decorative as well as gift items. Some of the popular shopping haunts in Bangalore are:
Bigade Road – Bangalore: This is a popular hangout for young people, because there is a lot of entertainment available, as well as there are a lot of shopping options. You’ll get just about everything here. There is Rex (the best movie theatre in town), Cyber Cafes (offering coffee and the Internet access), a bowling alley, a discothèque, a video game parlour and quite a few eating places.
Commercial Street – Bangalore: This is strictly a shopping area with no entertainment outlets. Here, you can buy clothes, dress materials, jewellery and food.
Mahatma Gandhi Road (M.G. Road): M.G. Road is a very popular commercial area. There are a large number of sari stores, like ‘Deepam Silks’ and ‘Prasiddhi’.
There are two movie theatres namely Plaza and Symphony. ‘Gangaram’, a well-established bookstore and ‘Higgin Botham’ are very popular stops.
For radios, TV sets books and magazines, photograph material, silk sarees, textiles, garments and general goods. Shrungar Shopping Complex, Barton Court Commercial Complex, Public Utility Building Shopping Complex, Spencer Super Market, Coir Board Show Room, Natesan’s Antiquarts Show Room for gift articles, artifacts and antics.
Residency Road (Now renamed Field Marshal C.M. Cariappa Road):
‘Gangotri’, Uttar Pradesh Government Handicrafts’ show room, offering brassware, wooden furniture, jewellery, etc.; ‘Mriganayani’, M.P. Government Emporium; ‘Utkalika’, Orissa Government Handicrafts Emporium and ‘Gurjari’, Gujarat State Handicrafts Emporium, near New Opera can be visited.
For silk sarees, garments, children ware, textiles, Alankar Pearl Plaza Shopping Complex, Prabhat Shopping Complex, Janata Bazaar, Gupta Market, Sapna Book House, the largest show room of books at Thunga Complex (Opposite Tribhuvan Theatre) are all located in this area.
BANGALORE TRAVEL INFORMATIONS:
How to reach Bangalore:
By Air: Bangalore has its own airport with almost all the major domestic airlines catering services to the city. The airport is 6 kms from city centre. Few selected international carriers also operate their flights to the city.
By Rail: Bangalore has two railway stations, the Banglore City and Banglore Cantt. The major trains from and to Banglore terminate & start from the city station. Banglore is well connected to all the major towns of India.
By Road: Being the capital city of Karnataka, Bangalore has very good motorable roads to various parts of the state. Some of the bus services are also serving the adjoining states.
BANGALORE FACT SHEET:
Area: About 5.4 Million
Population: 386 Sq. Kms
Altitude: 3000 Feet Above Sea Level.
Climate: Salubrious & Warm.
Warmest Months: March To May.
Average Temperature: 13C To 26C.
Coolest Months: December To January
Rainfall: 859 mm annually.
Languages: Kannada. English, Hindi, Telugu And Tamil Are Also Widely Spoken.
NEARBY CITIES OF BANGALORE:
Mysore (139 km)
Hassan (187 km)
Tirupati (247 km)
Chennai (331 km)