The City of Bengaluru
Bengaluru, formerly Bangalore, is the capital city of Karnataka in South India. For several years, Bengaluru has been known as the greenest, most liberal and most forward-thinking city in the country. These attributes have propelled Bengaluru to the forefront of the tech industry boom in India, and it currently ranks as India’s most developed city and one of the world’s fastest growing urban areas.
Home to an interesting blend of past and present, the city has earned several monikers such as the Pub Capital of India, Air Conditioned City, City of Gardens, and the Silicon Valley of India, being the centre of India’s IT industry. It has also earned the title of the most liveable city in India. Although Bengaluru may not have as many iconic attractions as the other major cities in India, the city does have a wonderful mix of nature, spirituality, culture, architecture, and history.
Despite not being a tourist city, Bengaluru is still a host to several popular attractions, which cater to diverse audiences. Amongst the popular tourist attractions are:
- Bangalore Palace
Inspired by England’s Windsor Castle, the Bangalore Palace was built in 1887 by Chamaraja Wodeyar, one of the Maharajas of Mysore. This evocative palace has Tudor-style architecture, complete with fortified towers, arches, green lawns, and elegant woodcarvings in its interiors. The palace is still home to the royal family of Karnataka.
- National Gallery of Modern Art
Located on Palace Road, the National Gallery on Modern Art is a must see for those interested in the arts. Established in 2009, the Gallery is the third of its kind in India, following the National galleries established in Delhi and Mumbai. It is housed in a Colonial mansion with a garden setting, and has two interconnected wings. The old wing features works from the early 18th century, and up until India’s Independence, while the new wing displays works from several contemporary artists.
- Tipu Sultan’s Palace and Fort
Situated in the Bangalore fort area, Tipu Sultan’s Palace was originally constructed in mud by Chikkadeva Raya. Later, Hyder Ali started its reconstruction in the style of Indo-Islamic architecture. The Palace was finally completed by his son, Tipu Sultan, in 1791, and was used as his summer retreat from Mysore. The two story structure is constructed substantially from wood, with finely embellished balconies, pillars and arches.
- Lalbagh Botanical Garden
The Lalbagh Botanical Garden began as a private Mughal-style garden for the city’s royal rulers. Established in 1760 by Hyder Ali, it was later extended by his son Tipu Sultan. It now covers 240 acres, and derives its name from the red roses that bloom throughout the year there. The garden is said to have some of the most diverse species of plants in the country. The focal point of the Garden is a majestic glasshouse, built in 1889 to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales. It was designed along the lines of the Crystal Palace in London. During India’s Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations, the Garden taken on a festive look, with a captivating show of over 200 varieties of flowers.
- Cubbon Park
Occupying a 300 acre area in Bengaluru’s business district, Cubbon Park is a popular place for nature lovers, joggers, dog walkers, and those looking to relax and revel in its scenic beauty on a lazy Sunday morning. The park was named after the erstwhile Commissioner of Bangalore, Sir Mark Cubbon. Many ornamental and flowering trees, both exotic and indigenous, can be found in the park.