Have weekend, will travel? Bengaluru or Bangalore is a futuristic city with a cultural heart. Globalisation came a-knocking on Bengaluru’s doors in the late 20th century. In the IT capital of India, Victorian-era bungalows still lurk in the shadows of high-rises and hip cosmopolitan crowd bows before deities on their way to work for million dollar start-ups. The traffic-congested streets wind its way through narrow alleys of spice markets which are plastered with flashy Kannada cinema posters.
Explore More: Bengaluru Tourist Map
Here’s a handy guide to make the most of 48 hours in the “Silicon Valley of India” –
What better way to unfold a city than exploring its historical sites! Set a date with Bengaluru’s past and start exploring.
Tipu Sultan’s Palace (9 AM)
Famed for its flashy frescoes and teak pillars, the elegant 18th-century summer pad of Tipu Sultan is built in Indo-Islamic architecture. Rickshaw horns of the city almost succeed in making sure one doesn’t travel back to the glory days of Mughal Emperor. Saturated with historical charm, rambling remnants and pink stone walls of the Bangalore Fort – a stronghold of Kempe Gowda – stand in the vicinity. The entire complex lies adjacent to the cramped gullies of K.R. Market (City Market) where Bangaloreans love to barter with fruit and flower vendors.
Bangalore Palace (11 AM)
A solemn reminder of Tudor architecture, this royal residence offers a slice of bygone regal splendour amidst a dizzying downtown ablaze with neon. Its façade presents a vague resemblance to Windsor Castle built in the days of yore whereas, its lavish interior décor and galleries exhibit memorabilia, paintings and portraits.
Have a lunch on the run along the MG Road or Old Airport Road and make a quick stop at Shivoham Shiva Temple to resume your day by heading east from the city centre.
HAL Heritage Centre and Aerospace Museum (3 PM)
A paradise for aviation aficionados, the prestigious museum houses indigenous aircraft models (like Dornier and Jaguar), choppers and flight simulators. Visitors can engage in mock dogfights and take strolls through orchids in India’s oldest aerospace museum at HAL premises.
Cubbon Park (5 PM)
It’s a vital green lung of the city where nine-to-fivers converge to seek solace from city’s rat race. The park sprawls against the crimson façade of Attara Kacheri (Karnataka High Court). The park is renowned for botanical assets, Araucaria-lined avenues, and an aquarium housed in an octagonal building. The Visvesvaraya Museum, Nehru Planetarium and Freedom Park are other prominent attractions only a few yards away.
Nightlife in Bengaluru (8 PM onwards)
Bengaluru caters every whim from classical dance to rock concerts and fresh brews to lip-smacking Udupi cuisine. The city has a swanky nightlife thanks to a diverse population which follows a simple mantra of “work hard and play harder.” No Limmits, Pebble – the Jungle Lounge, Opus and Loveshack are popular watering holes frequented by barflies.
After a day of colonial hangovers and hedonistic delights, start your next day with local deities. Make sure to have a tasty Masala Dosa in Gandhi Bazaar.
Bull Temple (9 AM)
A giant granite monolith of Nandi (the mount of Shiva) guards the entrance of a 16th-century Dravidian style temple known to Kannada tongues as Dodda Ganeshana Gudi. The Bull temple is located inside a park named Bugle Rock.
Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple (10 AM)
Carved out of a cave in Gavipuram 16th-century by the founder of Bengaluru, this sacrosanct spot is popular for architectural wonders, monolithic sculptures and an annual solar phenomenon when the rays land on the Lingam. Catch the early morning prayers here or at the nearby Bull Temple.
Bannerghatta Biological Park (11 AM)
The zoo is located just beyond the southern limits of Bengaluru metropolitan area. Rich fauna, exotic charm and environmental amenities of Bannerghatta National Park beckons the urban populace to the serenity of nature. Many trails leading to ancient temples in the park are ideal for hiking and trekking excursions. An elephant sanctuary, a butterfly enclosure and a snake house are other highlights here. For outdoor thrills, jungle safaris are on offer.
If you’re more inclined to spend time indoors then launch a shopping spree at Orion Mall, UB City or Mantri Square. Retail therapy along Brigade Road and at Chickpet Market provide value for money as well.
Lal Bagh (4 PM)
After having your lunch and coffee at the famous Vidyarthi Bhavan, go for a walk in this botanical garden. Laid out in 1760 by sultan Hyder Ali, this expansive garden houses a lotus pond and glasshouse which emulates the Crystal Palace of London. India’s most diverse collection of tropical plants lies within its verdant 240 acres.
Ulsoor Lake (6 PM)
In Bangalore, boating is as obligatory as devouring a Masala Dosa. The beautiful lake is dotted with islands and fenced by a pathway. Paddle your boat and enjoy the sunset as you take in the lackadaisical vibe to rejuvenate your soul after having two days full of neon and noise.
For those willing to linger a bit longer in Bengaluru may visit Dodda Aladha Mara, Wonderla Amusement Park, Fun World, Snow City, and Nandi Hills.