Bangalore is India's 5th largest city- the girth and gallop of its industrial and commercial growth unrivalled in India. The city houses over ten thousand industries and owes its indomitable spirit of enterprise to the two Dewans M. Vishveshwaraya and Seshadri Iyer. In the early years of the 20th century when the country’s need for industrialization was not a conscious thought, Dewan Vishveshwaraya engineer turned statesman along with Seshadri Iyer credited in his time for having developed the Mysore State, played the roles of veritable pathfinders in Bangalore’s journey to the dynamic and versatile zone of industrial progress it occupies today. Bangalore hence has always been on the upswing of progress.
The first Indian city to receive electricity, it is symbolic of India’s need to evolve a modern image that is inclusive of its rich cultural traditions. When the hi-tech IT revolution invaded India, Bangalore was ready; and is today at the centre of the hardware-software industries – pioneers of innovation, production and retail in these areas. With a cosmopolitan population of over 4 million and growing, it is rated as the number one city for those who wish to move in, seek employment and resettle.
Its pub-café- lounge bar culture added to by a massive influx of visiting international business professionals has rendered the city with a zingy global hub ambience. But the city is not just mirth and music alone- it is home to world acclaimed research institutions - Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Indian Institute of Astrophysics and Aeronautical Development and the Raman Institute of Physics.
For a tourist discovering the chaos and colour of India Bangalore is like a long exhale, a rejuvenating break- colourful but also easier to just find ones bearings amidst certain certainties like the almost constantly pleasant climate. It’s a city where one can walk around comfortably exploring – streets lined with flowering trees; Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park to stroll meandering and aimless; an aquarium and Children’s Park; the monumental Vidhana Soudha and nearby library,; and the State Museum and the Industrial and Technological Museum. Ask a resident at random what they feel about Bangalore - anticipate the slow content smile and the pantomimed exclamation ‘it’s the best!’ It’s not surprising. There’s a lot to love about a city that possesses so many faces. Bangalore is called the Garden City; Silicon Valley of India: and the City of Draught Beer- diverse, delightful - one big buzz!
Bangalore is situated in the South-East edge of the state of Karnataka in South India. The city at an altitude of 3,250 feet above sea level and central location in the South-Deccan plateau enjoys a very pleasant, refreshing climate. Dotted with parks, gardens, lakes and tree-lined avenues Bangalore is called the "Garden city".
How to get there
Located at the junction of the National Highway 4, 7 and 48 Bangalore accesses all parts of the country. The nearby states Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa access the city through their State Road Transport Corporations bus services and similarly the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) avails bus services to interstate cities.
The two main railway stations in Bangalore are the Bangalore City railway station and Bangalore Cantonment railway station. The Cantonment station conveniently accesses the area around M.G. Road. The main railhead connects to all major interstate cites - Delhi, Chennai, Calcutta, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Bangalore accesses interstate cities through daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Goa and Thiruvananthapuram. It is an international airport and is located 8 km from the M.G. Road area in the city. The airport avails direct international flights from Bangalore to Muscat, Sharjah and Singapore; and international connecting flights through Mumbai to the Gulf region, Paris, London, New York and Singapore.
According to a fascinating legend King Ballala of the Hoysala dynasty once lost and hungry was offered a simple meal of boiled beans by a peasant woman. The kindness of the woman and her earnest offering seemed to the king a meal more satisfying than any Royal banquet he had dined at. The kind so moved by her gesture called the region Bendakaalu ooru, which in the local language kannada means boiled beans (benda kaalu) village(ooru). The credibility of the legend is proven by a 9th century inscription depicting the story in a temple in Begur. Over time the name Bendakaalooru evolved into Bengalooru, and eventually Bangalore in English.
The Yelahanka Prabhu feudal lord Kempegowda ws so impressed by the region where Bangalore stands today that he called it gandu bhoomi or ‘the heroic place’. Kempegowda served the Vijayanagara rulers and subsequently received the land as a gift by the Vijayanagara emperor. It is on this land that he where he founded the town of Bangalore. In 1537 he constructed a mud fort within which he built the small towns of Balepet, Cottonpet, and Chickpet- towns which today are the wholesale commercial and vegetable market places of the city. Kempegowda was a visionary and predicted that Bangalore possessed the propensity to grow and develop expansively. He built watch-towers to mark future boundaries. In 1638 the Sultan of Bijapur Mohammed Adil Shah, captured Bangalore and gifted it to his lieutenent Shahaji Bhonsale which lead to 49 years of Martha rule. The Mughals claimed the city after this period passing it on to the Wodeyars of Mysore at a price. In 1759 Hyder Ali Tippu Sultans father captured Bangalore.
During their successive reign the city was beautified by parks, palaces and gardens. After the death of Tipu Sultan The British handed Bangalore back to the Wodeyars thugh they placed very little faith in their wise governance. Hence the British ruled the city for a time constructing and establishing the railways, telegraphs, postal and police departments. Finally in 1881 the British handed over the governance and rule of the city to the Wodeyars- two of whom- Diwans like Mirza Ismail, and sir Vishweshwarayya are credited for modernizing Bangalore.
When in Bangalore you cannot but visit Vidhana Soudha, an impressive edifice made out of granite where the Legislative Chambers of the state government is located. Bangalore's most famous landmark Vidhana Soudha was commissioned by Kengal Hanumanthaiah who was once the chief minister of Mysore. The building is characteristic of the Indian style of architecture. The sight of the four headed lion (symbolizing Indian sovereignty) overshadowing the main entrance is a curious one. The edifice boasts an impressive 300 rooms and 22 departments.
Attara Kacheri meaning ‘18 offices of departments,’ was once the premises of the General and Revenue Secretariat of the state government and today the High Court of Karnataka state.
In 1864 Lord Cubbon once viceroy of India built Cubbon Park which encompassed 300 acres of greenery.
Another famous park located in the city is Lal Bagh Gardens. This 240 acre botanical garden was built by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan in the 18th century with exotic trees relocated from Persia, Afghanistan and France. Glass House, inspired by the Crystal Palace, London is located in the centre of the garden and is the venue for the annual flower shows.
Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum on Kasturba road was built in honour of the Dewan-engineer-satesman Sir M. Visvesvaraya The museum is famous for its mobile science exhibition; the airplane and steam engine on display in the compound; its five galleries-Engine hall, Electronic Technology Gallery, Kimbe Paper Metals Gallery, Popular Science Gallery and Childrens' Science Gallery.
Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium built and completed in 1989 to mark the birth centenary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Government Museum, built in 1877, is one of the oldest in the country. On display are a priceless collection of coins, sculptures, inscriptions, and old paintings amongst other things. Nearby is the Venkatappa Art Gallery named after K. Venkatappa, a famous artist it displays his paintings and works; as well as the art other contemporary artists. The Karnataka Folk Museum in Kumara Park West, Sheshadripuram, is museum showcasing folk crafts such as rare masks, artifacts, costumes, folk music and videos of folk dances.
Ulsoor Lake, also called "Halsur" or "Alasur" was built by Kempe Gowdaand is a site that attracts tourists for boating facilities offered.
Bangalore Palace, located in the centre of the city was built to replicate Windsor castle in 1880 by the Wodeyar King. Asia’s largest annual IT event IT.Com is organized by the government of Karnatakais and held at the Palace grounds. The participation for the event extends well past national boundaries into the arena of international IT and BPO communities.
The Fort was originally built by Kempe Gowda in 1537 and added to by Tipu Sultan. Though only parts of the fort remains the elaborately Islamic arhes and the Ganapathi Temple remain witness to the eras gone past. Tipu Sultan’s Palace built close to the fort is now a museum.
ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) Temple Complex is a real cow puller- a magnificent structure all at oncemodern and tradional outh Indian it boasts a multi-vision cinema theatre, ten mini computer aided presentation theatres, vedic library and a preaching library.
Other historical sites which remain places of worship include Jumma Masjid ; St. Marks Cathedral; St. Mary's Basilica; St. Andrew's Kirk; Kumara Park Kanyakaparameshwari Temple; the Bull Temple with an impressive Shiva Statue; and the Sri Gavi Gangadhar-Eshwara Temple.
Gandhi Bhavan located on Kumara Krupa Road where the life of Mahatma Gandhi is chronicled through pictures maintained by the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi.
Besides soaking in the historical aspects of the city; Bangalore also offers up pleasant hours of shopping for something to take home- objects of beauty perhaps? Stunning silks, coffee, jewelry and handicrafts - perhaps a tasting of the deep South - Chennai, Coimbatore, Thanjavur etc.
The Chowdaiah Memorial Hall is a violin-shaped auditorium, where an experience of live classical music performances is possible; and similarly Rabindra Kalakshetra a theatre where the city’s most sought after plays are staged.
After a long day in one of the busiest business-industry centres in India Bangalore offers up nightlife options –pubs, bars, cocktail lounges, night clubs etc- that are trendy and hip.
i-BAR, Park Hotel
13th Floor, Ivory Tower Hotel
Liquor Café, Cosmo Village
Hypnos, Gem Plaza
1912 -- The Living Room
Insomnia, Le Meridien
F-Bar and Lounge, Le Meridien
Spin, Residency Road
NASA, Church Street
Polo Club, Hotel Oberoi
Purple Haze, M.G Road
Jockey Club, Hotel Taj Residency
Dublin, ITC Windsor Sheraton
The ‘Silicon Valley of India’
Unlike the original Silicon Valley in Sanra Clara Valley Bangalore is not situated in a valley but on a plateau. What the nickname seeks to establish is Bangalore’s arrival as an IT hub. As early as th 1980’s the Indian Express newspaper was the first space to name the city ‘Silicon Valley of India’ on print; and more frequently later on by the 1990’s due to the localization of companies focusing on R&D and software and hardware production application I the city.
The Electronics City Bangalore located 23km. from Bangalore City was established by Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation with a view of expanding the electronics industry in Karnataka. It is considered the pulse of the Indian Information technology industry, subsequently putting in India on the IT world map. Occupying approximately 335 acres over Konappana Agrahara and Doddathogur villages in the outskirts of Bangalore it houses over 100 industries including the industrial premises of market leaders Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Infosys, Siemens, ITI, Wipro, Satyam amongst others. Hence the area of Electronics City is also referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of India’.
The beginning of the new millennium marked the dotcom boom during which the IT industry in Bangalore grew exponentially with the establishment of local and foreign companies. Bangalore has emerged as a software and R&D subcontracting centre for multinationals and there have been future forecasts in the media in the west if Bangalore would be the next Silicon Valley and further if the city would replace the original.
Where to stay
Kamath Yatri Nivas
The Leela Palace
The Park Hotel
The Taj West End
Windsor Manor ITC Hotel
The Central Park
Eagleton - The Golf Resort
St. Mark's Hotel
The Richmond Hotel
Nalapad's Hotel Bangalore International
Ashraya International Hotel
Compact Guest House
Church Street Inn
D'Habitat Serviced Apartments, Koramangala
Corporate Homes - Richmond Town, Indiranagar
Corporate Suites, Prestige St Johns Wood Apartments, Koramangala
Guest House Bangalore & Bungalow Bangalore
HomeStead, Lavella Road
Lavelle Inn - Lavelle Mansion, Lavelle Road
Melange - 21, Vittal Mallya Road
The Abode, Langford Gardens
Tranzell Court, Austin Town and Koramangala
Hotel Empire International
Nahar Heritage Hotel
Sukh Sagar Hotel
Woodlands Hotel (P) Ltd.
Arahna Homes, Indiranagar
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