Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka, is a well developed metro city in India. It is one of the major tourism attractions in India for its diversity. The uniqueness of the monuments, beautiful gardens, ancient temples, forts and palaces speak of the rich and exquisite heritage and culture that is well preserved to date.
Presently the city holds significance in major developmental areas like space research, education, technology, science and medical services. The IT revolution has turned Bangalore into a major industrial and commercial hub, also nicknamed as the Silicon Valley of India. Besides a popular tourist destination, it is one of the busiest and most traveled cities in India.
This fast developing metropolitan city started its journey way back in the 10th century. History goes that the then ruler Veera Ballala once lost his way while he was on a hunting expedition and landed in a poor old woman's cottage. She could only offer the king a platter of boiled beans. The king was so full of gratitude by her gesture that he named the place "Benda Kal Ooru" which means a town of boiled beans. Later it got Anglicized into "Bangalore".
The city developed in a number of fields in commerce and agriculture during the era of Kempe Gowda in 1537 AD, who was considered as the Father of Modern Bangalore. The prominence of the city from the ancient age is eminent from the different forts, palaces, temples and gardens built during different periods. It became a fort city during the time of Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. During the British period, it was the regional administrative city with the cantonment. The rich cultural and architectural glimpses of the past are still prominent in the new and modern structures.
Exploring Bangalore does not end at only sightseeing. There are a number of other things that will surely catch your eye. The city is a shopper's paradise because of the availability of huge collection of local as well as national and international brands to pick from. It is also culturally rich, with its fair share of festivals and events. The multiplexes, shopping malls, and amusement parks ensure that tourists have a gala time while getting a sneak-peak of the past.
Best Time to Visit Bangalore
Bangalore has moderate climate and thus can be visited any time of the year. Summers are not too hot. Similarly, winter season is not very cold. Thus, Bangalore can be termed a pleasant city in India, whereas the other major places experience extreme conditions of hot, cold, humid, sultry or arid weather. However, every place has a best weather season to visit. For Bangalore, this has to be when the summer sets in from end of March, to the rainy season around August. Once monsoon is over by about September end, the city becomes soothing and gracious with natural beauty. One enjoys tour to Bangalore best between October to February, moving around the city and visiting interesting tourist spots, which is tireless enjoyment.
Bangalore has links with all major cities of the country by rail and air. The well-organized bus service is a good option to connect with different towns and tourist spots in South India. The main railway stations here are the Bangalore City Railway Station located near the Kempegowda Bus Station, and the Bangalore Cantonment Railway Station, located close to the MG Road area. The Bengaluru International Ariport is about 13 km from City Station. It is connected to almost all major cities in India and many cities across the world.
The Central Bus Stand of Bangalore, located close to the city railway station, is very well organized, with the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operating buses throughout the state and other parts of South India. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation, Kadamba Transport Corporation, and the State Express Transport Corporation are some interstate bus operators that connect Bangalore. Advanced computerized reservations can be made. Private bus services are also available at a little extra cost, which is located in the vicinity of the central bus stand. The major tourist destinations that can be covered by bus are Mysore, Ooty, Hyderabad, Chennai, Hampi, Jog Falls, Puttaputti and Panaji. One can also go for local taxi and hired car services.
In Bangalore one can select from the umpteen hotels, lodges, paying guest facilities in the city that best suits one's pocket. The city has several budget, mid-range and luxury hotels to choose from. A tourist map will be quite handy to get important information about different hotels and accommodations available at different areas.
Bangalore is truly a cosmopolitan city, as evident from not only the vast diversity in population but also the availability of a varied platter. The umpteen choices, from street vendors to small restaurants to food joints and pubs to high-end restaurants, await the taste buds. Mouth-watering dishes are available from South Indian, Chinese, Thai, Mughlai, Arabian, North Indian and Bengali, among others.
The Udipi restaurants, typical South Indian food joints that serve vegetarian food, are quite popular here. If you're looking for authentic traditional Bangalore cuisine, head to any one among Udipi Krishna Bhavan, Mavalli Tiffin Room, Vidyarthi Bhavan, Central Tiffin Room, Janatha Hotel, and Chalukya Hotel.
Hyderabadi or Mughlai cuisine is quite popular in five to six renowned restaurants located in Frazer Town at the MM Road. Chandni Chowk at Shivajinagar is also famous for its food hubs. The best choice for Mangalorean food is Mangalore Pearl. The restaurants in five-star hotels also offer delicious and authentic regional food.
Exploring Bangalore does not end only at sightseeing.
- The Bengaluru Habba is the most popular cultural festival of the city, and is held in December-January.
- If interested in a vineyard lunch, one can drive to the Grover Vineyards at the foot of the Nandi Hills . Adventure options here include rock climbing at Ramanagara; bicycling, hiking, trekking and rock climbing at the Nandi Hills.
- Bangalore is a shoppers' paradise, offering local silk, modern-day synthetic dresses, materials of art, games, electronic gadgets, and what not.
- The innovative Film City, about 40 km from the heart of Bangalore, houses various entertainment facilities that are world-class.
- About 28 km from the city is the Wonderla amusement park. Some of the attractions here are water rides, virtual reality show, laser shows and musical fountain. There are five restaurants to choose from.
- The Bannerghatta National Park, a 25-km drive from Bangalore, is an abode for lions, tigers, panthers and birds. A safari can be availed to explore the wildlife.
- Avoid roadside food as it may not ensure proper hygiene and quality of the cooked food. Avoid street-side fruits salads also.
- Ensure that you drink mineral water only, and check the seal of the bottle beforehand.
- Mosquito nets, repellents, etc., are not always available at all locations. It is better to carry your own.
- Always carry a first-aid box with you while travelling.
- Carry woolen clothes with you during October to February, as the weather can fluctuate. During summer, carry sunglasses, sunscreen lotions and hats with you. To avoid dehydration, drink lots of water.
- It is better to carry a travel map to avoid being misguided by taxi drivers or guides.
- During sightseeing, ensure that you always move around with a group, especially after sunset.
- After dark, avoid deserted lanes or alleys that you are not familiar with.
- It is preferable to book a cab from a reputed agency or through your hotel.
- Beware of pickpockets in crowded areas. Keep your wallet in the side pocket instead of back pocket of your trouser.
- It is better to carry photocopies of important documents with you.
- Avoid talking to or sharing your itinerary with strangers acting too friendly.
Plan your trip according to your choice of destinations. The trip can be as short as 4 nights and 5 days or a longer one. Karnataka tourism and other renowned travel agencies offer different package tours which one can check and avail.
There are a number of travel agents in Bangalore who regularly conduct tours. They also provide customized packages according to one's preference of places to be covered, budget, number of days available, etc. You can either make an advance booking with them or contact them once you reach the city. They are sure to make your trip enjoyable and hassle-free.
One can also opt for their own local travel agent to fix the program for tour to Bangalore.
Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka
49, 2nd Floor, Khanija Bhavan, Race Course Road
Bangalore -- 560001
Tel: 080-22352828, Fax: 080-22352626
Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation
- Badami House
Opp. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Office, N.R. Square
Tel: 080-43344334, 43344337 (6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.)
- No. 8, Papanna Lane, St. Mark's Road
Tel: 080-43464351/ 52, 08970650071 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)